Legislature(2015 - 2016)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/24/2016 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 180 Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SJR 19 CALL FED. CONSTITUTIONAL CONV:TERM LIMITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 24 LEGIS. ETHICS ACT: CONTRACTORS,INTERNS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 123 USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE DRIVING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 123(JUD) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 24, 2016                                                                                        
                           1:34 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 123                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating to  the  penalty  for  the use  of  electronic                                                               
devices while driving."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 123(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to the applicability of  the Legislative Ethics                                                               
Act to legislative  interns, legislative volunteers, consultants,                                                               
independent  contractors, sole  proprietorships, and  other legal                                                               
entities."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 19                                                                                                  
Requesting the  United States  Congress to  call a  convention of                                                               
the states  to propose  an amendment to  the Constitution  of the                                                               
United  States to  set a  limit  on the  number of  terms that  a                                                               
person may be  elected as a member of the  United States House of                                                               
Representatives and as a member  of the United States Senate; and                                                               
urging the  legislatures of  the other 49  states to  request the                                                               
United States Congress to call a convention of the states.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 180                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to the  temporary  delegation by  a parent  or                                                               
guardian of powers related to  a child; relating to adoption; and                                                               
relating to the  distribution to a parent or guardian  in a child                                                               
protection situation of information on family support services."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 123                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE DRIVING                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MEYER                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/19/16       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/16                                                                                
01/19/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/16       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/13/16       (S)       STA AT 10:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                          
02/13/16       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/13/16       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
02/16/16       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/16/16       (S)       Moved SB 123 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/16/16       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
02/17/16       (S)       STA RPT 3DP 2NR                                                                                        
02/17/16       (S)       DP: COGHILL, HUGGINS, MCGUIRE                                                                          
02/17/16       (S)       NR: STOLTZE, WIELECHOWSKI                                                                              
02/22/16       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/22/16       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/22/16       (S)       MINUTE (JUD)                                                                                           
02/24/16       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 24                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: LEGIS. ETHICS ACT: CONTRACTORS, INTERNS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GARDNER                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/21/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/05/15       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/05/15       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/12/15       (S)       STA AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/12/15       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/12/15       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
03/31/15       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/31/15       (S)       Moved SB 24 Out of Committee                                                                           
03/31/15       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
04/01/15       (S)       STA RPT 2DP 2NR                                                                                        
04/01/15       (S)       DP: COGHILL, MCGUIRE                                                                                   
04/01/15       (S)       NR: STOLTZE, HUGGINS                                                                                   
02/24/16       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SJR 19                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CALL FED. CONSTITUTIONAL CONV: TERM LIMITS                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MCGUIRE                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/12/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/12/16       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/24/16       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 180                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PARENT-GUARDIAN/CHILD: TEMP. POWER OF ATTY                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GIESSEL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/12/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/12/16       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/24/16       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KEVIN MEYER                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 123.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
EDRA MORLEDGE, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyers                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Outlined the changes in version H of SB                                                                  
123.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER                                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 24.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
STEPHEN SWEET, Legislative Intern                                                                                               
Senator Gardner                                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SB 24 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JERRY ANDERSON, Administrator                                                                                                   
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Stated support for SB 24.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE ANDERSON, former administrator on contract                                                                                
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided supporting information related to                                                               
SB 24.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
FORREST WOLFE, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SJR 19 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
NICOLAS TOMBOULIDES                                                                                                             
U.S. Term Limits (USTL)                                                                                                         
Washington, DC                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SJR 19.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS, National Legislative Director                                                                                       
Citizen Initiatives                                                                                                             
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Voiced concern with language in the first                                                                
resolve of SJR 19.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CATHY GIESSEL                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 180.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ANNA MARIA BALCZAR, representing herself                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 180.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHARITY CARMODY, Founder and President                                                                                          
Beacon Hill                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 180.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ANDREW BROWN, Senior Fellow for Child Welfare Reform                                                                            
Foundation of Government Accountability                                                                                         
Austin, Texas                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 180.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BENJAMIN HEMMILA                                                                                                                
Safe Families for Children                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 180.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KARI NORE, Staff                                                                                                                
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided the sectional analysis  for SB 180                                                             
on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:34:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LESIL   MCGUIRE  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:34  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Costello, Coghill, and Chair McGuire.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         SB 123-USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE DRIVING                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:34:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  announced  the   consideration  of  SB  123.  She                                                               
solicited a motion  to adopt the work  draft committee substitute                                                               
(CS)  and noted  the  individuals who  were  available to  answer                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:35:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  moved to  adopt the  work draft  CS for  SB 123,                                                               
labeled 29-LS1198\H, as the working document.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  found no  objection and version  H was  before the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:35:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KEVIN MEYER,  Alaska State  Legislature,  sponsor of  SB                                                               
123, summarized  that the bill  seeks to  make it easier  to cite                                                               
people  who  text  while  driving.   It  is  mirrored  after  the                                                               
Anchorage ordinance  and imposes a  $500 fine for  the violation.                                                               
He assured the members that this  is not intended to be a revenue                                                               
bill and offered  his belief that it will result  in a savings to                                                               
the  state.  Changing  the  offense   from  a  misdemeanor  to  a                                                               
violation  will  avoid  the  lengthy  investigation  process  and                                                               
potential jury trial.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE commented that she  believes this will get people's                                                               
attention.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:37:56 PM                                                                                                                    
EDRA  MORLEDGE,  Staff,  Senator Kevin  Meyers,  highlighted  the                                                               
changes  in version  H  of SB  123. She  noted  that the  packets                                                               
contain a memo from Legislative  Legal Services that answers many                                                               
of  the questions  raised  during the  previous  hearing. At  the                                                               
drafter's suggestion,  the CS cites  Title 12 for the  penalty so                                                               
people understand this is a  violation, not a traffic infraction.                                                               
The  next  change,  which  was suggested  by  the  Court  System,                                                               
directs the court to include  the violation in the bail schedule.                                                               
An  effective date  of July  1 also  was added  to allow  time to                                                               
accomplish these changes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE found no questions and solicited a motion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:39:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL moved to report the  CS for SB 123 from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:39:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced that without  objection, CSSB 123(JUD) is                                                               
reported from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
         SB  24-LEGIS. ETHICS ACT: CONTRACTORS,INTERNS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:40:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCGUIRE   announced  the  consideration  of   SB  24.  She                                                               
solicited  a motion  to adopt  the proposed  committee substitute                                                               
(CS).                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:40:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL moved  to adopt  the work  draft CS  for SB  24,                                                               
labeled 29-LS0148\H, as the working document.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:41:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER,  Alaska   State  Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
sponsor of  SB 24,  explained that  she introduced  this clean-up                                                               
bill  at  the request  of  the  Select Committee  on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics.  The  issue   is  that  the  ethics   statutes  apply  to                                                               
contractors and some sections are  unnecessary, don't make sense,                                                               
and aren't  enforced. For example,  the people who  print statute                                                               
books  are  now  required  to attend  ethics  training.  She  was                                                               
unaware of any opposition to this housekeeping matter.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE noted  that Jerry Anderson and  Joyce Anderson were                                                               
available to answer questions.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:43:29 PM                                                                                                                    
STEPHEN SWEET, Legislative Intern,  Senator Gardner introduced SB                                                               
24 reading the following prepared statement:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  problem this  bill seeks  to address  is that  the                                                                    
     ethics  committee   is  not  always  able   to  conduct                                                                    
     trainings  with   each  legal  entity  the   state  has                                                                    
     contracts with.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section   one   clarifies  applicability   of   ethical                                                                    
     standards   to    legislative   consultants,   interns,                                                                    
     contractors, and  legislative volunteers.  For example,                                                                    
     I,  as  an intern,  will  continue  to be  required  to                                                                    
     comply  with   statutes  banning   gift  solicitations,                                                                    
     banning the use of  public time for political purposes,                                                                    
     and the like.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section two  clarifies how ethics requirements  will be                                                                    
     levied upon a legal entity.  For example, if the Ethics                                                                    
     Committee began  a contract  with, say,  an independent                                                                    
     contractor halfway  through a session,  ethics statutes                                                                    
     would be applied to only  those who would be working on                                                                    
     the  project with  the  legislature; such  requirements                                                                    
     would not apply to those who  work at the office of the                                                                    
     contractor but who  are not working on  the project. If                                                                    
     Company  A  has  been  contracted,  not  all  of  their                                                                    
     employees  would   have  to   abide  by   Alaska  State                                                                    
     Legislature ethics standards.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section   three  defines   legislative  employees,   to                                                                    
     include  a  person, other  than  a  legislator, who  is                                                                    
     compensated  by the  legislative branch  in return  for                                                                    
     providing regular  or substantial  services, regardless                                                                    
     of  pay scale  or if  they are  full or  part time.  It                                                                    
     would not  include interns, contractors, and  the like.                                                                    
     However,  this  does  not  mean  that  contractors  are                                                                    
     exempt   from  ethics   standards;   that  concern   is                                                                    
     addressed  in  the  first section,  which  specifically                                                                    
     states that  interns and consultants are  employees for                                                                    
     the purposes of compliance with ethics standards.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:46:37 PM                                                                                                                    
JERRY  ANDERSON, Administrator,  Select Committee  on Legislative                                                               
Ethics, stated support  for SB 24 and relayed  that the committee                                                               
worked  extensively  with  Legislative   Legal  Services  on  the                                                               
provisions  of  the bill.  He  deferred  further comment  to  Ms.                                                               
Anderson   who  was   the  administrator   when  that   work  was                                                               
accomplished.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:47:23 PM                                                                                                                    
JOYCE ANDERSON,  Former Administrator, on contract  to the Select                                                               
Committee  on Legislative  Ethics, explained  that the  committee                                                               
looked  at  the  issue  after  several  contractors  and  several                                                               
divisions  within  the legislature  called  and  asked about  the                                                               
requirements. The response to those  inquiries was that there was                                                               
no   differentiation  between   a   contractor   and  a   regular                                                               
legislative employee.  That meant that contractors  had to attend                                                               
ethics  training   and  follow  the  disclosure   scheme  in  the                                                               
Legislative Ethics Act. The committee  looked at this and decided                                                               
it was not the intent of  the ethics code to include contractors.                                                               
Upon  request,  Legislative  Research provided  information  from                                                               
other  states where  contractors are  not considered  legislative                                                               
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She  said the  committee  felt, similar  to legislative  interns,                                                               
that  contractors and  consultants  should be  put under  certain                                                               
sections of  the code, but not  all of it. The  provisions in the                                                               
bill are recommendations from the  subcommittee, of which Senator                                                               
Gardner was a part.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:51:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE closed public testimony on  SB 24 and held the bill                                                               
in committee.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL commented  that  this issue  came up  repeatedly                                                               
during oil and tax discussions so he believes it's appropriate.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
       SJR 19-CALL FED. CONSTITUTIONAL CONV: TERM LIMITS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:52:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of SJR 19.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:53:14 PM                                                                                                                    
FORREST WOLFE,  Staff, Senator Lesil  McGuire, introduced  SJR 19                                                               
speaking to the following sponsor statement:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     SJR 19  begins a  process under Article  V of  the U.S.                                                                    
     Constitution  for application  to  Congress  to call  a                                                                    
     Convention of  States to debate  an amendment  for term                                                                    
     limits for members of Congress.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     As of  February 2016, nearly  80% of Americans  and 78%                                                                    
     of  Alaskans  have  expressed  bi-partisan  support  to                                                                    
     limiting the number of terms  a person can serve in the                                                                    
     U.S. Congress.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     SJR 19 is  about respecting the will of  the people and                                                                    
     fixing a broken system. In  1994 and 1996 the people of                                                                    
     Alaska  voted  to  express   their  strong  support  in                                                                    
     imposing term limits. The  1994 voter initiative passed                                                                    
     with nearly  63% of the  Alaska electorate,  or 126,960                                                                    
     Alaskans,  expressing  the  desire to  limit  terms  of                                                                    
     congressional office  holders. Twenty-two  other states                                                                    
     also  voted  to  limit congressional  terms.  The  next                                                                    
     year,  in [USTL  vs. Thornton]  the U.S.  Supreme Court                                                                    
     ruled   it   unconstitutional   for  states   to   pass                                                                    
     individual state  laws placing limits on  the number of                                                                    
     terms  a congressman  could  serve.  The Court  instead                                                                    
     ruled   that  a   constitutional  amendment   would  be                                                                    
     necessary. Article V of  the U.S. Constitution provides                                                                    
     a means, other than  directly through Congress, for the                                                                    
     states to propose adopting such an amendment.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Implementing  term   limits  empowers  the   people  by                                                                    
     allowing  for  people  with new  ideas  and  energy  to                                                                    
     compete  for  office.  Washington D.C.  is  broken  and                                                                    
     bound by  endless gridlock literally unable  to respond                                                                    
     to the  voters' wishes. One  only needs to look  at the                                                                    
     skyrocketing   debt  --   some  $19   trillion  -   and                                                                    
     inefficient programs,  to know that Congress  is unable                                                                    
     to  control spending  and fix  the country's  problems.                                                                    
     Contrary  to  the Framer's  intent  to  have a  citizen                                                                    
     legislature  that rotates  regularly many  of those  in                                                                    
     Washington have grown apart  from the very constituents                                                                    
     that sent them there.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     SJR 19 will help end  "business as usual" in Washington                                                                    
     D.C.  and helps  to put  the people  back in  charge of                                                                    
     their  government. Incumbents  are  heavily favored  in                                                                    
     elections creating  an uneven  playing field  for those                                                                    
     with fresh ideas to represent and serve.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
NICOLAS  TOMBOULIDES, U.S.  Term Limits  (USTL), Washington,  DC,                                                               
provided supporting information for SJR  19. He related that this                                                               
national non-profit  organization was  the appellant in  the U.S.                                                               
Supreme Court case USTL vs.  Thornton. USTL assisted 23 states to                                                             
place term  limits on  prospective members  of the  U.S. Congress                                                               
but the  U.S. Supreme  Court ruled that  states could  not impose                                                               
qualifications  that  are stricter  than  those  outlined in  the                                                               
Constitution. The  silver lining is  that this can be  done under                                                               
Article V, he said.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He explained  that Article  V describes  the process  whereby the                                                               
Constitution  may  be  amended.  Thirty  four  states  must  pass                                                               
resolutions on  a single subject  calling for a  convention. Once                                                               
that  threshold   is  met,  Congress   is  required  to   call  a                                                               
convention. Each  state appoints its delegates  who would propose                                                               
an amendment to  impose congressional term limits.  This would be                                                               
ratified by the legislatures or conventions within 38 states.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TOMBOULIDES reiterated  support for  the resolution  opining                                                               
that Congress is practically and  geographically removed from the                                                               
citizens of  the U.S.  He quoted  a professor  at U.C.  Irvine to                                                               
support that  position. He  described the  system as  broken with                                                               
large, gerrymandered  districts that encourage  special interests                                                               
to step in and  keep members in office for decades  at a time. He                                                               
stressed  the  importance of  creating  an  election system  that                                                               
allows  for  fresh  ideas  and  rebalances  the  system  to  make                                                               
Congress more accountable to the people.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOMBOULIDES concluded that the  founders intended for Article                                                               
V to be used and there is no better time than now.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:00:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO asked,  assuming there is a  convention and term                                                               
limits  imposed,  how this  would  affect  the balance  of  power                                                               
between the three branches of government.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TOMBOULIDES   said  he  believes  this   would  reinvigorate                                                               
Congress and  enable the will of  the people to place  a check on                                                               
the  executive branch  because citizens  would feel  their voices                                                               
are being heard in congressional elections.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO   asked  the  average  number   of  years  that                                                               
executive  branch  bureaucrats  have   served  in  their  current                                                               
positions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOMBOULIDES offered to follow up with the information.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL asked  who led on the opposite side  of the issue                                                               
that resulted in USTL vs. Thornton.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:02:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. TOMBOULIDES  recalled that Arkansas Congressman  Ray Thornton                                                               
challenged  the state  constitutional  amendment.  A lower  court                                                               
ruled in his  favor and USTL appealed to the  U.S. Supreme Court.                                                               
It  was a  5-4  decision  USTL with  Justice  Thomas writing  the                                                               
dissenting opinion.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL commented that some  might look at this as trying                                                               
to  cut Alaska's  senior Congressman  off  at the  knees and  his                                                               
perspective  is  that couldn't  be  farther  from the  truth.  He                                                               
asked, assuming  there is a  convention and term  limits imposed,                                                               
if this would be prospective.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOMBOULIDES said the delegates  would make that decision, but                                                               
his  organization  tends  to  favor  a  prospective  term  limit.                                                               
Current  members   shouldn't  be   exempted  forever,   but  they                                                               
shouldn't be thrown out of office immediately either, he said.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  reiterated that he isn't  interested in removing                                                               
the Alaska delegation  then added that the effort  may have worth                                                               
if two-thirds of the states agree.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He  asked if  continuous applications  under Article  V mount  or                                                               
dissipate rapidly based on political whim.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOMBOULIDES said regional issues tend  to die out, but when a                                                               
national  issue  garners enough  support  Congress  tends to  act                                                               
before the  convention is convened.  He named  several amendments                                                               
in  the   Constitution  that  weren't   done  by  an   Article  V                                                               
convention, but were pressured by one.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  commented  that  there is  a  rich  history  of                                                               
America putting Congress under pressure.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:09:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE  asked how the court  distinguished its reasoning                                                               
in the Thornton decision and the  ruling in 1951 that allowed the                                                               
term limits of the presidency to be redefined.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TOMBOULIDES explained  that  in 1951  Congress ratified  the                                                               
22nd  Amendment  imposing  a  two-term limit  on  the  office  of                                                               
President, whereas  in 1995  it was a  U.S. Supreme  Court ruling                                                               
regarding  state statutes  and  state constitutional  amendments.                                                               
The  latter did  not  have the  same  force of  law  as the  22nd                                                               
Amendment, he said.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO  asked, if  term  limits  had been  imposed  on                                                               
representatives and senators, how  many presidents would not have                                                               
gone  from consecutive  service in  Congress and  then on  to the                                                               
presidency.  She commented  on  the  advantages of  institutional                                                               
knowledge  versus fresh  ideas and  asked if  he'd thought  about                                                               
weighing the opportunity cost when he discussed term limits.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TOMBOULIDES said  he'd follow  up with  the data,  but their                                                               
research indicates that  newer members are more  skeptical of the                                                               
weight  and power  of bureaucracy.  That  being said,  preserving                                                               
institutional knowledge is very  important and the delegates will                                                               
have to work to strike the right balance, he said.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:14:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MCGUIRE commented  on  the  disconnect millennials  feel                                                               
with their government  and opined that it's good  to move elected                                                               
officials through.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL commented  that this would force  the question on                                                               
the voters and his interest stems from the low voter turnout.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:20:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:20:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE COONS,  National Legislative Director,  Citizen Initiatives,                                                               
Palmer, Alaska, raised  concern with some of the  language in the                                                               
first resolve on page 2 of SJR  19. He pointed out that there are                                                               
already  several single  issue Article  V organizations  that are                                                               
looking for  a single amendment.  Also, the Convention  of States                                                               
came up with  three broad subjects, one of which  is term limits.                                                               
The COS  concept on term  limits is  it would apply  to Congress,                                                               
federal judges, and  the Supreme Court, which  means an amendment                                                               
for each office.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He suggested  everyone get together and  put forward applications                                                               
that are  specific to  a named  amendment. In  this case,  a term                                                               
limit  for Congress  amendment so  that  is the  only thing  that                                                               
could be  brought up. He  also encouraged introducing  a delegate                                                               
resolution that defines the convention  and contains the specific                                                               
language of the  amendment. He suggested looking  at the language                                                               
in  SJR 15  and changing  the language  in the  first resolve  to                                                               
something similar.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He  also expressed  concern with  the second  resolve because  it                                                               
combines  with  the convention  of  the  states version  of  term                                                               
limits that has  passed in 5 states. His belief  is that Congress                                                               
will deny that.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:28:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE held SJR 19 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
       SB 180-PARENT-GUARDIAN/CHILD: TEMP. POWER OF ATTY                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:28:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of SB 180.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:28:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR CATHY GIESSEL, Alaska  State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
sponsor of  SB 180,  introduced the  legislation speaking  to the                                                               
following sponsor statement:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Senate  Bill  180  seeks to  establish  an  alternative                                                                    
     route to placing  a child into the  foster care system.                                                                    
     It allows parents  to execute a power  of attorney over                                                                    
     their minor child for no  more than one year to another                                                                  
     person in  order to prevent  the child from  needing to                                                                    
     enter the foster care system.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     It allows parents or guardians,  who are struggling, to                                                                    
     seek help  with unemployment,  homelessness, addiction,                                                                    
     etc. without the concern of  losing their child(ren) or                                                                    
     being held liable for abandonment,  abuse or neglect of                                                                    
     the  child  during  the  execution   of  the  power  of                                                                    
     attorney.  This bill  allows a  parent  or guardian  to                                                                    
     execute a power  of attorney for no more  than one year                                                                    
     for   their  child   to  another   person.  There   are                                                                    
     provisions  in  this  bill   that  allow  for  military                                                                    
     parents or  guardians, as well as  incarcerated parents                                                                    
     to execute a power of  attorney for their children. The                                                                    
     parent or guardian maintains  all their parental rights                                                                    
     with the power of attorney.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     This bill does not require  the person appointed as the                                                                    
     attorney-in-fact   to   comply   with   the   licensing                                                                    
     requirements of a child care facility or foster care.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I urge  you to  support this bill  that will  help keep                                                                    
     families together, keep children  safe and help prevent                                                                    
     abuse and neglect.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:31:41 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNA  MARIA  BALCZAR,  representing herself,  Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                               
testified in support of SB 180.  She shared her personal story of                                                               
using Safe Families for Children  when she needed to find someone                                                               
to care  for her children  for 6-8  weeks after she  had surgery.                                                               
Her church  and others directed her  to this program and  she was                                                               
very happy with the outcome.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARITY CARMODY,  Founder and President, Beacon  Hill, Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska,  testified in  support of  SB 180.  She said  Beacon Hill                                                               
recently  launched Safe  Families for  Children Alaska,  which is                                                               
meant to keep  kids out of foster care. They  serve families that                                                               
are not in situations of  abuse or neglect, but rather situations                                                               
like Ms. Balczar described. They  recruit healthy families in the                                                               
community and  about 15 churches  are recruiting people  as well.                                                               
They use  the state background  system, Juvenile  Justice, Office                                                               
of  Children's Services  (OCS) records,  and do  home studies  to                                                               
ensure that the host families are  clear. A primary tenet is that                                                               
host families receive no compensation.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
She described  the bill  as proactive  to avoid  potential future                                                               
problems  if regulations  or  leadership  changes. She  explained                                                               
that they received  a variance from OCS to  operate Safe Families                                                               
for  Children  in the  state  but  it  will  need to  be  renewed                                                               
annually. She  said they would  like to be exempt  from licensure                                                               
requirements as  a child placement  agency because they  are just                                                               
implementing  the program  and arranging  parents to  allow other                                                               
parents to watch  their kids. They would also  like host families                                                               
to be exempt from the  licensure requirements for a foster family                                                               
because this is not foster care.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARMODY  noted that they are  working to tighten some  of the                                                               
language  to  avoid  potential   misuse,  and  ensure  that  only                                                               
organizations like Beacon Hill, that  are approved under the law,                                                               
could be exempt from the child placement agency licensing.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  commented on the  benefits of giving  parents this                                                               
type of help.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:40:13 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDREW BROWN, Senior Fellow for  Child Welfare Reform, Foundation                                                               
of  Government   Accountability,  Austin,  Texas,   testified  in                                                               
support of  SB 180. He stated  that nearly 3,000 children  are in                                                               
foster care  in Alaska and that  number has been rising  the last                                                               
few years.  Statistics show  that a majority  of children  in the                                                               
foster  care system  enter because  of a  temporary crisis.  They                                                               
really  don't need  to be  in foster  care but  the parents  have                                                               
nowhere else  to turn  to get  the immediate  help they  need. He                                                               
related his personal experience that  finally led him to the Safe                                                               
Families  for Children  organization.  The  concept is  neighbors                                                               
helping neighbors during times of  trouble. This organization has                                                               
served over  20,000 children,  90 percent  of whom  returned home                                                               
within an average of 45 days  and never entered the child welfare                                                               
system.  He said  this is  an  astounding statistic  if you  know                                                               
anything about  the foster  care system. This  is a  program that                                                               
gets  involved  early and  allows  families  to heal  and  remain                                                               
intact and whole.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The reason for  SB 180 is to provide certainty  for the continued                                                               
use of  this tool, to  give OCS another tool  it can use,  and to                                                               
protect the rights of parents.  He concluded that SB 180 inspires                                                               
families to ask for help before things get out of control.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:47:10 PM                                                                                                                    
BENJAMIN  HEMMILA,  host  family,  Safe  Families  for  Children,                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska, testified  in support  of SB  180. He  shared                                                               
that he and  his wife were able  to help a family in  need and it                                                               
was a very  positive experience. They are thrilled  at the vision                                                               
of this program.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  said  she  likes   the  idea  that  there  is  no                                                               
compensation  for doing  this, because  too often  the motivation                                                               
for providing  foster care is  financial. She asked if  he agrees                                                               
about the  financial aspect and  if he receives  adequate support                                                               
from churches, families, and neighbors to get needed supplies.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HEMMILA said he and his  wife were overwhelmed by the support                                                               
from the community and he  believes that not having the financial                                                               
incentive is key.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:51:29 PM                                                                                                                    
KARI   NORE,  Staff,   Senator   Cathy   Giessel,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, provided the following  sectional analysis on behalf                                                               
of the sponsor:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1:  Amends AS  13.26.020 (Delegation  of powers                                                                  
     by  parent  or  guardian).  This  section  removes  the                                                                    
     delegation  of powers  over minors  from this  section.                                                                    
     This  section now  only applies  to  the delegation  of                                                                    
     powers  over  an incapacitate  person  by  a parent  or                                                                    
     guardian.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section  2: Adds  a  new section  under  AS 13.26  This                                                                  
     creates  a  new  section (AS  13.26.023  Delegation  of                                                                    
     powers over  minor child) for the  delegation of powers                                                                    
     over minors.  Gives parents or guardians  the authority                                                                    
     to execute a  power of attorney to  delegate to another                                                                    
     person one  or more powers regarding  the care, custody                                                                    
     or property of  the minor child. With  the exception of                                                                    
     the marriage  or adoption of the  child, performance of                                                                    
     an abortion  or the  termination of parental  rights to                                                                    
     the minor child. Parent or  guardians have the right to                                                                    
     revoke the power of attorney  at any time. The power of                                                                    
     attorney  for no  more  than one  year,  however a  new                                                                    
     power of  attorney can  be executed at  the end  of the                                                                    
     one year  period. Parents or guardians  in the military                                                                    
     may execute  a power of  attorney for greater  than one                                                                    
     year  if the  parent is  on active  duty, the  power of                                                                    
     attorney  is then  equal to  the length  of the  active                                                                    
     duty plus  30 days. No  compensation will be  given for                                                                    
     the duration of  the power of attorney. The  form for a                                                                    
     parent or  guardian appointing an  attorney-in-fact for                                                                    
     their child  is provided  in this  section. Designation                                                                    
     of  a power  of  attorney does  not terminate  parental                                                                    
     rights or obligations of the  parent or guardian to the                                                                    
     minor   child,   however   it   does   not   constitute                                                                    
     abandonment, abuse or neglect,  unless the parent fails                                                                    
     to retake  custody after the power  of attorney expires                                                                    
     and  fails to  execute  a  new one.  Under  a power  of                                                                    
     attorney a child  is not considered in  foster care and                                                                    
     the attorney in fact is  not considered to be providing                                                                    
     foster  care and  does not  need  to be  licensed as  a                                                                    
     child  care facility  or foster  care  (AS 47.32).  The                                                                    
     power of attorney  also does not constitute  as an out-                                                                    
     of-home  placement  under  AS  47.10.  Definitions  are                                                                    
     provided at the end of this section.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section  3:   Amends  AS  25.23.060(c)   (Execution  of                                                                  
     consent;  consent as  power of  attorney) This  section                                                                    
     amends AS 25.23.060(c) to insert  references to the new                                                                    
     section added in AS 13.26  which was created in Section                                                                    
     2 of this bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4: Amends AS 47.10.086(a) (Reasonable efforts)                                                                   
     This  section  allows   the  department  to  distribute                                                                    
     information to  the parent  or guardian  of a  child in                                                                    
     need  of  aid  about  community  based  family  support                                                                    
     services including  the use of  a power of  attorney to                                                                    
     select   an   individual   to  care   for   the   child                                                                    
     temporarily.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:52:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Responding to  questions, Ms. Nore  said the three  exceptions to                                                               
delegating the power regarding the  care, custody, or property of                                                               
the minor start  on page 2, line 4. Also,  there is no limitation                                                               
on the  number of  new powers  of attorney  that can  be executed                                                               
following expiration.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
She noted  that the form for  a parent or guardian  to appoint an                                                               
attorney-in-fact is provided on page 3 - page 5.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said the form  includes the exceptions on  page 2,                                                               
lines 4-7,  and she  assumes that nothing  in the  document would                                                               
supersede the rights that minor  children have to judicial bypass                                                               
laws. She noted that this is relevant to the issue of abortion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL voiced support for getting answers.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  said  she  wants   clarification  that  in  those                                                               
individual cases,  the right of  the child  to go before  a court                                                               
still exists as if it were their parent stepping in their shoes.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. NORE agreed  to check with Legislative Legal  to clarify that                                                               
this doesn't take more rights away from a minor.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL pointed  out that  the language  in the  consent                                                               
form on page 3, line 17, speaks to that.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:56:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO asked  if one parent could  undermine the rights                                                               
of the  other parent with  regard to  the power of  attorney. She                                                               
noted there  is another power  of attorney bill in  the committee                                                               
and she wants assurance there won't be unintended consequences.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:57:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE clarified that the other  bill is HB 8 sponsored by                                                               
Representative Shelly Hughes. She suggested  the two teams have a                                                               
conversation before the next hearing.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:58:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  posed the following questions:  1) can this                                                               
be done now; 2)  is there an ability to sue  if there are medical                                                               
or dental  costs; 3) could  a 15  year old stay  with a 17  or 18                                                               
year old;  4) does the PFD  go to the biological  parents or host                                                               
parents.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  said she appreciates the  questions and believes                                                               
Ms. Carmody could  answer them, but the committee is  out of time                                                               
today.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:59:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE held SB 180 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:00:11 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair McGuire adjourned the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                 
meeting at 3:00 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 24 version H.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 24 FiscalNote.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB24A.PDF SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB24 Leg Research Report Subcontractors.PDF SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB24 Contracts - Rec by Ethics Office.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB24 Previous Advisory Opinions.PDF SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB24 Previous Minutes & Committee Action.PDF SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB24 Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SJR 19 - Supporting Documents - Convention FAQ.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SJR 19
SJR 19 - Supporting Documents - Dispelling the Runaway Convention Myth.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SJR 19
SJR 19 - Supporting Documents - Term Limits Convention One Pager_AK.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SJR 19
SJR 19 Fiscal Note.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SJR 19
SJR 19 Supporting Documents - Constitutional Convention FAQs.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SJR 19
SJR 19 ver A.PDF SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SJR 19
SB 180ADN Commentary 2-13-16 Demer.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180 ADN Commentary 2-3-16 Walker-Carmody.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 FiscalNote.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 Letter of Support AIC.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 Letter of Support AIC.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 Letter of Support AK Childrens Trust.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 Letter of Support AYFN.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 Letter of Support Beacon Hill.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 Letter of Support brian schaeffer.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 Sectional Analysis version W.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 180 Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB0180 version W.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB 123 Changes from Version A to Version H.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 123
SB 123 Legal Memo 2 24 2016.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 123
SB 123 Work Draft Version H.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 123
SB 123 Legal Research - Municipal Laws.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 123
SJR 19 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 2/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
SJR 19