Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/17/2010 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:31:27 PM Start
01:31:42 PM SB194
01:34:55 PM HB186
02:06:50 PM Confirmation Hearings
02:12:14 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Confirmation Hearing: Select Cmte on TELECONFERENCED
Legislative Ethics
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 194(JUD) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 17, 2010                                                                                        
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                              
Senator Hollis French, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Bill Wielechowski, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 194                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to civil damages for certain alcohol                                                                           
     - MOVED CSSB 194(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 186(FIN) AM                                                                             
"An Act declaring that certain firearms and accessories are                                                                     
exempt from federal regulation."                                                                                                
     -    HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                        
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                         
Legislative Ethics Committee                                                                                                  
     Gary Turner - Soldotna                                                                                                     
     H. Conner Thomas - Nome                                                                                                    
          - CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                              
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 194                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CIVIL DAMAGES FOR ALCOHOL VIOLATIONS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MEYER                                                                                                    
04/17/09       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/17/09       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
01/28/10       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
01/28/10       (S)       Moved CSSB 194(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
01/28/10       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
01/29/10       (S)       STA RPT CS  5DP     NEW TITLE                                                                          
01/29/10       (S)       DP: MENARD, FRENCH, MEYER, PASKVAN,                                                                    
02/10/10       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/10/10       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/10/10       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/15/10       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/15/10       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/15/10       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
BILL: HB 186                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AK FIREARMS EXEMPT FROM FED. REGULATION                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KELLY                                                                                             
03/12/09       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/12/09       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
04/06/09       (H)       JUD AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/06/09       (H)       Moved CSHB 186(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/06/09       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/07/09       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 4DP 2NR                                                                                
04/07/09       (H)       DP: LYNN, COGHILL, GATTO, RAMRAS                                                                       
04/07/09       (H)       NR: GRUENBERG, HOLMES                                                                                  
04/11/09       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
04/11/09       (H)       Moved CSHB 186(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/11/09       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/13/09       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) 5DP 5NR                                                                                
04/13/09       (H)       DP:   KELLY,    AUSTERMAN,   FAIRCLOUGH,                                                               
                        HAWKER, STOLTZE                                                                                         
04/13/09       (H)       NR: THOMAS, GARA, CRAWFORD, SALMON,                                                                    
04/16/09       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/16/09       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 186(FIN) AM                                                                              
04/17/09       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/17/09       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/01/10       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/01/10       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/01/10       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JERRY LUCKHAUPT, Legislative Counsel                                                                                            
Legislative Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a legal overview of HB 186.                                                                     
GARY MARBUT, President                                                                                                          
Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA)                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 186.                                                                          
JAMES FLOYD, representing himself                                                                                               
Tok, AK                                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 186.                                                                          
SCOTT HAMMOND, representing himself                                                                                             
Kenai, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in strong support of HB 186.                                                                    
DEREK MILLER, Staff                                                                                                             
  to Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided information  related to HB  186 on                                                             
behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                          
H. CONNER THOMAS, Nominee                                                                                                       
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Nome, AK                                                                                                                        
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Nominee  to  the   Select  Committee  on                                                             
Legislative Ethics.                                                                                                             
GARY TURNER, Nominee                                                                                                            
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Nominee  to  the   Select  Committee  on                                                             
Legislative Ethics.                                                                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:31:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HOLLIS   FRENCH  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:31 p.m.  Senators Wielechowski,                                                               
Egan,  and French  were present  at  the call  to order.  Senator                                                               
Coghill arrived soon thereafter.                                                                                                
          SB 194-CIVIL DAMAGES FOR ALCOHOL VIOLATIONS                                                                       
1:31:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration  of SB 194. He noted the                                                               
proposed amendment to incorporate  the penalties for those people                                                               
who buy alcohol in violation of a court order.                                                                                  
1:32:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI moved Amendment 1.                                                                                         
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                         
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE         BY SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI                                                                    
     TO:  CSSB 194(   ), Draft Version "S"                                                                                      
     Page 1, following line 2:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Section 1. AS 04.16.047(b) is amended to read:                                                                   
     (b)   A  licensee may  bring a  civil action  against a                                                                    
     person  who  violates  this section  if  the  violation                                                                    
     occurs on  the premises  of that licensee.  If judgment                                                                    
     is entered  in favor of  the licensee, the  court shall                                                                    
     award civil  damages in the  amount of  $1,500 [$1,000]                                                                
     and  award  reasonable  costs and  reasonable  attorney                                                                    
     fees   allowed  under   the  Alaska   Rules  of   Civil                                                                    
     Page 1, line 3:                                                                                                            
     Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                       
     Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                          
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
SENATOR COGHILL joined the committee.                                                                                           
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI reported  that his  staff met  with Senator                                                               
Meyer  and  his  staff.  His   understanding  is  that  there  is                                                               
objection to  the amendment.  He clarified  that it  does nothing                                                               
similar to what the House bill does.                                                                                            
CHAIR FRENCH  found no objection  and announced that  Amendment 1                                                               
is  adopted. Finding  no  committee discussion,  he  asked for  a                                                               
1:33:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI moved to report  CS for Senate Bill 194 from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s). There being  no objection, CSSB 194(JUD)  moved from the                                                               
Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                            
At ease from 1:33 p.m. to 1:34 p.m.                                                                                             
         HB 186-AK FIREARMS EXEMPT FROM FED. REGULATION                                                                     
1:34:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  FRENCH  announced  the  consideration  of  HB  186.  [CSHB                                                               
186(FIN)am  was before  the committee.]  The  committee heard  an                                                               
overview  and took  public testimony  at a  previous hearing.  He                                                               
asked  Mr. Luckhaupt  to give  an overview  of the  research he's                                                               
done and the legal issues that the bill raises.                                                                                 
1:35:59 PM                                                                                                                    
JERRY  LUCKHAUPT,  Legislative  Counsel,  Legislative  Legal  and                                                               
Research  Services, Legislative  Affairs Agency,  stated that  HB                                                               
186  raises interstate  Commerce Clause  issues. At  one time  it                                                               
appeared that  the U.S.  Supreme Court was  going to  exempt from                                                               
the Commerce  Clause some wholly  intrastate activities,  but the                                                               
Gonzales v.  Raich decision in 2005  put that notion to  rest. He                                                             
explained  that   California  passed  a  law   exempting  medical                                                               
marijuana activities.  It purported to protect  people who engage                                                               
in  medical marijuana  activities wholly  within California  from                                                               
any  affect  on interstate  commerce.  The  theory was  that  the                                                               
federal  government could  not prosecute  these  people, but  the                                                               
U.S. Supreme  Court rejected that  view in an opinion  by Justice                                                               
Scalia. The  Court said  that even  granting that  the activities                                                               
were wholly intrastate, interstate commerce would be affected.                                                                  
MR. LUCKHAUPT said  it was significant that during  the time that                                                               
the  case was  on  appeal,  the Ninth  Circuit  Court of  Appeals                                                               
("Ninth Circuit") reversed a decision  [United States v. Stewart]                                                             
in a case  involving a man who manufactured  and sold machineguns                                                               
wholly   within  California.   The   federal  government   sought                                                               
certiorari and the  U.S. Supreme Court sent the case  back to the                                                               
Ninth  Circuit to  reevaluate  the decision  based  on the  Raich                                                               
decision. At  that point the  Ninth Circuit ruled that  the man's                                                               
activities  affect interstate  commerce even  if they  are wholly                                                               
intrastate as  claimed. Therefore,  the federal government  had a                                                               
right to regulate  his activities. "That's, I think,  as close as                                                               
we can get on point in a case like this," Mr. Luckhaupt said.                                                                   
1:39:14 PM                                                                                                                    
That being  said, the Legislature  has at times passed  laws that                                                               
appear  to  be  unconstitutional,   Mr.  Luckhaupt  pointed  out.                                                               
Medical  marijuana  is one  example;  people  in this  state  are                                                               
exempt  from prosecution  in state  courts for  medical marijuana                                                               
activities, but they still face  potential prosecution in federal                                                               
courts.  Another  example  is  found   in  the  Tundra  Rebellion                                                               
statutes  -  AS 38.05.500  through  AS  38.05.505. That  was  the                                                               
result  of a  people's  initiative in  the  early '80s  basically                                                               
disclaiming the Statehood Act. It  said that all federal lands in                                                               
Alaska belong to the State of Alaska.                                                                                           
CHAIR FRENCH asked  if California had passed  anything similar to                                                               
HB 186 before the Stewart case was decided.                                                                                     
MR. LUCKHAUPT said no.                                                                                                          
CHAIR FRENCH asked  if it's legally significant that  there is no                                                               
constitutional  amendment  giving  a  person  the  right  to  use                                                               
marijuana, but  citizens have been  firm about the right  to bear                                                               
arms since this country was founded.                                                                                            
MR. LUCKHAUPT said  that in the Raich case  Justice Scalia didn't                                                               
talk  about whether  or  not  a person  had  a  right to  possess                                                               
marijuana.  The issue  was  commerce. The  Court  said that  even                                                               
intrastate activities  have an effect  on interstate  commerce so                                                               
the federal government and Congress  have the right to intervene.                                                               
He  said  his  opinion  doesn't  change  considering  the  Second                                                               
Amendment. His  memo referenced  two cases in  the last  20 years                                                               
that seemed  to say  there was  a limit on  how far  the Commerce                                                               
Clause went with  regard to interstate activities.  But the Raich                                                               
case kind of  said that everyone was confused and  that they were                                                               
reading too much into these cases.                                                                                              
1:43:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI warned  that  if this  becomes law,  people                                                               
need to realize that there  is potential for federal prosecution.                                                               
That  being  said, there  is  a  provision  that the  state  must                                                               
provide defense, he added.                                                                                                      
MR. LUCKHAUPT agreed  that people could get  the wrong impression                                                               
that if  this were to  become law  that they would  be completely                                                               
immunized. In fact, they would  likely have criminal liability if                                                               
they engaged in  the activity and the  federal government decided                                                               
to prosecute, he said.                                                                                                          
CHAIR  FRENCH  called  a  point  of order  to  clarify  that  the                                                               
language  on page  3,  line  18, says  the  attorney general  may                                                               
defend a citizen. Some earlier  versions said "shall" but in this                                                               
version there  is no command  for the attorney general  to defend                                                               
someone in federal court for breaking the federal firearms law.                                                                 
MR. LUCKHAUPT said it would  be unfortunate if someone engaged in                                                               
an activity that  is purported to be protected only  to find that                                                               
they  were  subject  to  criminal  liability.  When  the  medical                                                               
marijuana law passed  in Alaska there was  considerable effort to                                                               
make  people   understand  that   there  was   potential  federal                                                               
liability. That's what the Raich case was about.                                                                                
1:46:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if he sees the potential  for a chain                                                               
of prosecutions or  if it would only be the  person who possesses                                                               
the gun who would be prosecuted.                                                                                                
MR.   LUCKHAUPT  opined   it  would   primarily  be   the  person                                                               
manufacturing  firearms without  obtaining a  federal license  or                                                               
permit.  In  the  Stewart  case   the  person  who  received  the                                                               
machinegun   was  not   prosecuted;   it  was   the  person   who                                                               
manufactured  and sold  the machinegun  who  was prosecuted.  The                                                               
opinion didn't talk about other clients.                                                                                        
1:47:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL emphasized  that if this were to  become law it's                                                               
important to  let the citizens know  that this is a  challenge to                                                               
the federal  government regarding  the right  to bear  arms under                                                               
the Second  Amendment and states' rights  authority. The question                                                               
will be whether the Commerce Clause trumps those.                                                                               
CHAIR FRENCH asked for an update on the Montana litigation.                                                                     
MR.   LUCKHAUPT  summarized   that   a   wildlife  group   sought                                                               
declaratory judgment  in U.S. District  Court in Montana  and the                                                               
federal government  has responded. He  surmised that the  case is                                                               
either  waiting  resolution  or   the  scheduling  of  arguments.                                                               
Theoretically there  could be  discovery going  on, he  added. He                                                               
hasn't found  anything on  the Tennessee case,  but has  heard it                                                               
CHAIR  FRENCH noted  that  the bill  packet  contains letters  to                                                               
Montana and Tennessee federal  firearms licensees regarding their                                                               
need  to continue  to obey  federal  law in  this regard  despite                                                               
passage of bills similar to HB 186.                                                                                             
1:50:37 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  MARBUT,  President,  Montana  Shooting  Sports  Association                                                               
(MSSA), said he wrote the  original Firearms Freedom Act that was                                                               
passed in  Montana in 2009. The  subject is states' rights  and a                                                               
challenge to federal  Commerce Clause authority. Since  MSSA is a                                                               
gun   group,  the   vehicle  for   the  challenge   is  firearms.                                                               
Acknowledging  there is  precedent that  does not  bode well  for                                                               
success, he emphasized  that the purpose of  the Firearms Freedom                                                               
Act is to  challenge the status quo, not to  conform. He reported                                                               
that the  goal is to  take this all the  way to the  U.S. Supreme                                                               
Court  and persuade  the Court  to  overturn a  lot of  precedent                                                               
surrounding   the  Commerce   Clause.  He   noted  that   similar                                                               
legislation has been introduced in 22 other states.                                                                             
MR.  MARBUT  reported  that  the Montana  lawsuit  was  filed  on                                                               
October 1, 2009,  the same day that the  Montana Firearms Freedom                                                               
Act became effective.  The goal was to get the  issue into court;                                                               
it was  not to have  people start manufacturing these  items. "We                                                               
have advised all Montanans in every  news release we've put out …                                                               
that  people should  not try  and make  these Montana-made  items                                                               
until  we can  validate the  principles of  the Montana  Firearms                                                               
Freedom Act in court," he said.                                                                                                 
In  a  Second Amendment  case,  District  of Columbia  v  Heller,                                                             
Justice Scalia said,  "… what is not debatable is  that it is not                                                               
the  role  of  this  Court  to  pronounce  the  Second  Amendment                                                               
extinct." Mr.  Marbut asserted that  it is  also not its  role to                                                               
pronounce  the  Tenth Amendment  extinct.  Noting  that the  U.S.                                                               
Supreme Court overturns  a lot of president,  he highlighted that                                                               
Justice  Roberts,   in  Citizens   United  v.   Federal  Election                                                             
Commission,  talked   about  when   the  Court   should  overturn                                                             
1:55:18 PM                                                                                                                    
He read the following from Justice Roberts' opinion:                                                                            
     Likewise, if adherence to  a precedent actually impedes                                                                    
     the stable  and orderly  adjudication of  future cases,                                                                    
     its stare  decisis effect is also  diminished. This can                                                                    
     happen in a  number of circumstances, such  as when the                                                                    
     precedent's  validity is  so  hotly  contested that  it                                                                    
     cannot  reliably function  as a  basis for  decision in                                                                    
     future  cases, when  its rationale  threatens to  upend                                                                    
     our settled jurisprudence in related  areas of law, and                                                                    
     when the precedent's underlying  8 reasoning has become                                                                    
     so  discredited   that  the   Court  cannot   keep  the                                                                    
     precedent alive without  jury-rigging new and different                                                                    
     justifications to shore up the original mistake.                                                                           
MR. MARBUT cited  Gonzales v. Raich as an example  of how far the                                                             
interpretation  of the  Commerce  Clause authority  has gone.  It                                                               
goes  back  to  Justice  Roberts'  statement  about  jury-rigging                                                               
justifications to shore up an  original mistake. In that case the                                                               
Court said  that the marijuana  distributed under  the California                                                               
Medical Marijuana Act theoretically  affected a marketplace in an                                                               
illegal substance.                                                                                                              
He said that  a Tenth Amendment wave is sweeping  the country and                                                               
many states are  asserting their sovereignty. This  is proper and                                                               
the  Firearms  Freedom  Act  is  part of  that.  It's  a  healthy                                                               
exercise in democracy  to try to persuade the  U.S. Supreme Court                                                               
that it  needs to do  something about a  bad law that  came about                                                               
during the New Deal era.                                                                                                        
MR. MARBUT said  that a new argument they intend  to put forth is                                                               
that  the   Commerce  Clause,  the  Supremacy   Clause,  and  the                                                               
Necessary and  Proper Clause have  all been amended by  the Tenth                                                               
Amendment.  It's bedrock  of  jurisprudence that  if  there is  a                                                               
conflict between  two provisions of  a co-equal body of  law, the                                                               
most  recent must  be given  preference. Lacking  that principle,                                                               
law could  be neither amended  nor repealed. This  fresh argument                                                               
can change the course from  the precedence of the Raich decision,                                                               
he concluded.                                                                                                                   
1:58:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH  asked if the  personality of  the Court in  2010 is                                                               
different than it was in 2005 when Raich was decided.                                                                           
MR. MARBUT said the complexion  hasn't changed significantly, but                                                               
we hope  that Justice Scalia and  Justice Roberts will be  on our                                                               
side this time.  They hope that Justice Scalia  will be persuaded                                                               
to talk  about the role  of the Court  with respect to  the Tenth                                                               
Amendment  as he  did  in the  Heller case,  and  they hope  that                                                               
Justice  Kennedy will  be persuaded  because there's  an emerging                                                               
consensus among  states on this  issue and he is  most interested                                                               
in public opinion.                                                                                                              
CHAIR FRENCH  asked which  side Justice Kennedy  came down  on in                                                               
the Raich case.                                                                                                                 
MR. MARBUT replied  Justice Kennedy and Justice  Scalia were with                                                               
the majority, but  the new rationale may put Justice  Scalia in a                                                               
different position.                                                                                                             
2:00:45 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  FLOYD, representing  himself, Tok,  said in  light of  the                                                               
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and  Firearms (BATF) letters that were                                                               
sent  to licensees  last year,  he  wonders if  anyone has  given                                                               
though  to   having  state  firearms  licensees   versus  federal                                                               
firearms licensees.                                                                                                             
MR. MARBUT  explained that the  BATF only sent  letters addressed                                                               
to Montana and Tennessee licensees  and the assumption has always                                                               
been  that  they  wouldn't  be  players.  They  require  national                                                               
markets  and  their business  models  are  to ship  across  state                                                               
lines. Presumably it  will be the mom and pop  machine shops that                                                               
would  make  these state-made  items  if  the principles  of  the                                                               
Firearms Freedom Act are validated in court.                                                                                    
2:03:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT  HAMMOND,  representing   himself,  Kenai,  reiterated  his                                                               
strong support for HB 186.  "Let the federal government know that                                                               
we are  very serious about  this and it's  time for us  to assert                                                               
our rights under the Constitution," he said.                                                                                    
CHAIR  FRENCH said  given that  the challenge  will be  completed                                                               
through the  Montana case, he  wonders why Alaska  should subject                                                               
even one citizen to the potential calamity of going to jail.                                                                    
2:05:04 PM                                                                                                                    
DEREK MILLER, Staff to Representative  Mike Kelly, said we'd like                                                               
to join in for the same reasons that Mr. Marbut stated.                                                                         
CHAIR FRENCH  summarized that the  bill almost becomes  an amicus                                                               
brief  to the  U.S.  Supreme Court  saying  that the  Legislature                                                               
agrees with the thrust of the case.                                                                                             
MR. MILLER said yes.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  COGHILL  commented  that  there  are  people  who  would                                                               
willingly subject themselves to  this potential federal liability                                                               
thinking that it would be a patriotic act.                                                                                      
2:06:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH held HB 186 in committee.                                                                                          
^CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                          
                     CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                  
2:06:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  FRENCH  announced  the  next   order  of  business  to  be                                                               
legislative confirmations.                                                                                                      
H.  CONNER  THOMAS,  Nominee,  Select  Committee  on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics, Nome, said he has served  on the committee since 1999 and                                                               
is asking for confirmation to  another three-year term. He enjoys                                                               
the duty and  feels that this is  a public service he  can do for                                                               
the  citizens of  the  state. He  said  he is  able  to meet  the                                                               
committee responsibilities even  though he is a partner  in a law                                                               
firm in Nome. I would like to continue, he concluded.                                                                           
CHAIR FRENCH  reported that he  has served on the  committee with                                                               
Mr. Thomas and  has no questions. "I'm  perfectly comfortable and                                                               
happy that you're stepping forward to serve again," he said.                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI thanked Mr. Thomas for his service.                                                                        
SENATOR COGHILL remarked that he's got institutional history.                                                                   
2:08:46 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  TURNER, Nominee,  Select Committee  on Legislative  Ethics,                                                               
said he  is the director of  the Kenai Peninsula College  said he                                                               
just completed  his first  three-year term  on the  committee. He                                                               
enjoys working  on the committee  and considers it  an intriguing                                                               
public service.  I look  forward to  being reconfirmed  if deemed                                                               
worthy, he concluded.                                                                                                           
CHAIR FRENCH reported that he  served with Mr. Turner for several                                                               
years and is  pleased that he wants to continue.  It takes awhile                                                               
to get up  to speed on the  complex set of rules  that attend the                                                               
ethics laws in the state.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked if  he  encountered  any major  surprises                                                               
since he comes from an academic rather than legal background.                                                                   
MR.  TURNER replied  he certainly  relies on  the attorneys  that                                                               
serve  on the  committee,  but  he thinks  it's  healthy that  he                                                               
brings a different perspective.                                                                                                 
2:11:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI moved  to advance the names  Gary Turner and                                                               
H.  Conner Thomas  for  appointment to  the  Select Committee  on                                                               
Legislative  Ethics. The  names  will be  forwarded  to the  full                                                               
membership of the legislature in  joint session for consideration                                                               
and a final vote.                                                                                                               
CHAIR FRENCH found no objection  and announced that in accordance                                                               
with  AS  24.60.130,  the  Senate  Judiciary  Standing  Committee                                                               
reviewed the  following and recommends  the appointments  of Gary                                                               
J. Turner  and H.  Conner Thomas. He  reminded members  that this                                                               
does  not reflect  any  intent  by the  members  to  vote for  or                                                               
against the  confirmation of the  individuals during  any further                                                               
2:12:14 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair French  adjourned the  Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 2:12 p.m.                                                                                                            

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