Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/07/2017 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:49:40 PM Start
01:50:49 PM Confirmation Hearings
02:19:18 PM SB15
02:32:47 PM SB100
02:36:47 PM SB106
03:00:38 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Postponed to 1:45 p.m. --
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
Drew Phoenix, State Commission for Human Rights
Bryce Johnson, Alaska Police Standards Council
William Granger, Board of Governors of the
Alaska Bar
*+ SB 100 MUNICIPAL LIENS: AUTHORITY FOR & PRIORITY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 106 CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 16 FIDUCIARY ACCESS TO DIGITAL ASSETS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 15 E-CIGS: SALE TO AND POSSESSION BY MINOR TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 15(JUD) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 7, 2017                                                                                          
                           1:49 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
State Commission on Human Rights                                                                                                
     Drew Phoenix - Anchorage                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION HELD                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                                 
     Bryce Johnson - Juneau                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar                                                                                            
     William Granger - Anchorage                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 15                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to possession of an  electronic smoking product                                                               
or a  product containing nicotine  by a  minor and to  selling or                                                               
giving  an electronic  smoking product  to a  minor; relating  to                                                               
business  license   endorsements  to  sell   cigarettes,  cigars,                                                               
tobacco,   products   containing  tobacco,   electronic   smoking                                                               
products,  or  products  containing  nicotine;  and  relating  to                                                               
citations  for certain  offenses concerning  tobacco or  nicotine                                                               
products."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 15(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 100                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to municipal liens."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 106                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to a municipal tax exemption or deferral for                                                                   
economic development property; and relating to a municipal tax                                                                  
exemption for a fire protection system."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  15                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: E-CIGS: SALE TO AND POSSESSION BY MINOR                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) STEVENS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/13/17       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/13/17                                                                               
01/18/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (S)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
02/14/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/14/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/14/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/21/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/21/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/21/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/28/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/28/17       (S)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
03/02/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/02/17       (S)       Moved  CSSB 15(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/02/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/06/17       (S)       L&C RPT CS  4DP    NEW TITLE                                                                           
03/06/17       (S)       DP: COSTELLO, HUGHES, MEYER, GARDNER                                                                   
03/27/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/27/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/27/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/29/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/29/17       (S)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
04/03/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/03/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/03/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/05/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/05/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/05/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/07/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 100                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MUNICIPAL LIENS: AUTHORITY FOR & PRIORITY                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) EGAN BY REQUEST                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/29/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/29/17       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
04/07/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 106                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUND                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) FANSLER                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/06/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/17       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/15/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/15/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/15/17       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/20/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/20/17       (H)       Moved  HB 106 Out of Committee                                                                         
02/20/17       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/22/17       (H)       JUD RPT 3DP 1NR                                                                                        
02/22/17       (H)       DP: KOPP, FANSLER, CLAMAN                                                                              
02/22/17       (H)       NR: REINBOLD                                                                                           
03/06/17       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/06/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/06/17       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/16/17       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/16/17       (H)       Moved  HB 106 Out of Committee                                                                         
03/16/17       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/17/17       (H)       FIN RPT 6DP 4NR                                                                                        
03/17/17       (H)       DP: KAWASAKI, ORTIZ, GUTTENBERG, GRENN,                                                                
                         SEATON, FOSTER                                                                                         
03/17/17       (H)       NR: WILSON, PRUITT, THOMPSON, TILTON                                                                   
03/24/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/24/17       (H)       VERSION: HB 106                                                                                        
03/27/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/27/17       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
04/07/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DREW PHOENIX, Appointee                                                                                                         
State Commission on Human Rights                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the State                                                                      
Commission on Human Rights.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRYCE JOHNSON, Appointee                                                                                                        
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Alaska Police                                                              
Standards Council.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM GRANGER, Appointee                                                                                                      
Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Board of                                                                   
Governors of the Alaska Bar.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JORDAN SHILLING, Staff                                                                                                          
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed the changes in version N of the CS                                                              
for SB 15.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOE DARNELL, Investigator                                                                                                       
Division of Behavioral Health                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information related to SB 15.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 15.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TIM LAMKIN, Staff                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Stated agreement with version N of the CS                                                                
for SB 15 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DENNIS EGAN                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 100.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZACH FANSLER                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 106.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
GREG RAZO, President and Chairman of the Board                                                                                  
Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC)                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 106.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BIOFF, General Counsel                                                                                                     
Kawerak, Inc.                                                                                                                   
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 106.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NICOLE BORROMEO, Executive Vice President and General Council                                                                   
Alaska Federation of Natives                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 106.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK REINHART, Executive Director                                                                                            
Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 106.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MARIE DARLIN                                                                                                                    
AARP and the Capital City Taskforce                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 106.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MARY SCHLOSSER, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information and answered questions                                                              
related to HB 106.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:49:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  JOHN   COGHILL  called   the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:49  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Costello,  Kelly,  Wielechowski, and  Chair                                                               
Coghill. Senator Meyer arrived soon thereafter.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                          
                     CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                  
                State Commission on Human Rights                                                                            
                Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                             
              Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:50:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  the first  order of  business would  be                                                               
confirmation hearings.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:51:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER joined the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked Chief  Johnson to  tell the  committee about                                                               
his interest in serving on the Alaska Police Standards Council.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:51:16 PM                                                                                                                    
BRYCE  JOHNSON,  Appointee,   Alaska  Police  Standards  Council,                                                               
Juneau,  Alaska, said  he has  been in  law enforcement  for more                                                               
than 24  years, the  last four  of which he  has been  serving as                                                               
chief of  the Juneau Police  Department. He said he  cares deeply                                                               
about the profession and appreciates this opportunity to serve.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL thanked  Chief Johnson for his  service. Finding no                                                               
questions, he  advised that  his name would  be forwarded  to the                                                               
full body for consideration.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked  Mr. Granger to tell the  committee about his                                                               
interest in serving on the Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:53:13 PM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM  GRANGER, Appointee,  Board  of Governors  of the  Alaska                                                               
Bar, Anchorage,  Alaska, said  he is a  banker by  profession and                                                               
has served  as treasurer on the  board of governors for  about 12                                                               
years.  He  said he  is  pleased  to  report that  the  financial                                                               
condition  of  the  board  is   sound,  and  he  appreciates  the                                                               
opportunity to continue this service.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  what the  board  of governors  looks at  in                                                               
terms of managing the bar association.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRANGER explained  that it  provides  general oversight  and                                                               
direction as to how the organization functions.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  thanked Mr.  Granger for  his service.  Finding no                                                               
questions, he  advised that  his name would  be forwarded  to the                                                               
full body.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:57:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL asked  Mr. Phoenix to tell the  committee about his                                                               
interest in serving on the State Commission on Human Rights.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DREW  PHOENIX,  Appointee,  State  Commission  on  Human  Rights,                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska,  said his  passion, experience,  and education                                                               
center on  human rights and civil  rights. The nine years  he has                                                               
lived  in  Alaska  he  has  worked in  a  variety  of  nonprofits                                                               
focusing  on  civil  rights.  He said  he  firmly  believes  that                                                               
eliminating  the threat  of discrimination  for individuals  will                                                               
benefit  the  entire  state  in  terms  of  health,  safety,  and                                                               
economic wellbeing. "I am honored to  be able to use my expertise                                                               
in   diversity  management   on  behalf   of  the   human  rights                                                               
commission."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL, noting  that he  had worked  for the  ACLU, asked                                                               
what things he had advocated for.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX said  he worked at the ACLU of  Alaska for four years                                                               
in various  capacities. Most recently  he worked as  the director                                                               
of development  and communication  coordinating the  analysis and                                                               
public education of various civil  rights issues. He recalled the                                                               
top   three  issues   involved   workplace  discrimination,   ADA                                                               
compliance  violations,  and  voting  rights.  Most  recently  he                                                               
worked at  Identity, Inc.  as the executive  director. It  is the                                                               
statewide  lesbian, bisexual,  transgender nonprofit  corporation                                                               
that does education, advocacy and community support.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  described gender  identity as  a hot  button issue                                                               
and asked if he works in that area.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX  said his concern, and  his role in the  Human Rights                                                               
Commission, is the  protection of all Alaskans in  all areas that                                                               
pertain  to the  Alaska  Human  Rights Law,  AS  18.80. That  law                                                               
primarily  focuses  on  race,  sex,  religion,  national  origin,                                                               
ability, disability, and age. He  noted that the statute does not                                                               
include  certain  things  that  he  worked  on  in  his  role  at                                                               
Identity.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked  if he could be even handed  and work through                                                               
the law in those areas.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX replied he would  objectively and impartially enforce                                                               
the existing Alaska Human Rights Law to the best of his ability                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:03:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY  asked if he supported  the ACLU when it  sought to                                                               
overturn the  law passed  in 2010  that required  a parent  to be                                                               
notified before  an abortion  could be  performed on  their minor                                                               
daughter.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX  replied the ACLU decided  to pursue that item  as an                                                               
organization; his  opinions and  vantage point are  separate from                                                               
that.  He added,  "I  am here  to uphold  and  enforce the  Human                                                               
Rights  Law  as  it  pertains   to  discrimination  in  areas  of                                                               
employment, public  accommodation, finance and credit  and I will                                                               
absolutely do that in keeping with the law."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY said, "You're associated  with ACLU. I just want to                                                               
know if you supported their position on that or not."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PHOENIX  said  he  isn't  sure how  that  pertains  to  this                                                               
position, but he does support a  woman's right to choose the kind                                                               
of reproductive care she receives.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY said  he wanted to know his  predisposition on that                                                               
kind  of thing.  "Did you  support  the ACLU's  position on  that                                                               
matter or not?"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX said he just started  working at the ACLU in 2010 and                                                               
that matter did not pertain to his job.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY asked  if he  supported  the Alaska  ACLU when  it                                                               
sought to overturn a law  that limited public funding of abortion                                                               
to those cases for which it was medically necessary.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX answered yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY  mentioned  an ACLU  lawsuit  against  a  Catholic                                                               
hospital  in Michigan  and asked  if  he believes  a health  care                                                               
provider would be  guilty of sex discrimination if  it refused to                                                               
provide abortions or sterilization procedures.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX  said if  something like that  came before  the Human                                                               
Rights  Commission,  he  would  rely  on  the  expertise  of  the                                                               
commission's legal counsel regarding how  it pertains to AS 18.80                                                               
as well  as the  legal background  of the  case before  making an                                                               
objective decision.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  shared that he  struggles with the  current Alaska                                                               
Human Rights  Commission. "It  seems to  want to  get out  of the                                                               
bounds  that are  created for  it by  the statutes  that we  have                                                               
written, and it  seems that the ACLU often comes  to their aid in                                                               
that. I'm  just trying to  figure out here,  are we going  to add                                                               
another person  to the commission  that maybe has views  that are                                                               
opposed  to what  the statute  is and  is willing  to go  through                                                               
other means  to achieve those  ends." He expressed  concern about                                                               
the   commission  usurping   the   legislature's  authority   and                                                               
questioned  whether the  appointee holds  views that  are out  of                                                               
step  with  the  rest  of  Alaska.  Alaskan's  consistently  vote                                                               
conservatively on these  matters, yet the commission  seems to be                                                               
moving to the left, he said. "As  we go forward, I have some real                                                               
questions  about this  candidate and  I  want to  know more."  He                                                               
requested the  chair hold  Mr. Phoenix's name,  so he  could send                                                               
the appointee  some questions. His  answers would become  part of                                                               
the record.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked Mr. Phoenix if he would like to respond.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX  said he would be  happy to respond to  the questions                                                               
that  are  sent  to  him.  He  added, "I  am  being  asked  as  a                                                               
commissioner to  enforce the current law  and I would do  that to                                                               
the best of my ability with all objectivity and impartiality."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:11:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   said  he  finds  the   previous  line  of                                                               
questioning a  little perplexing because the  Alaska Human Rights                                                               
Commission has nothing to do  with abortion. He asserted that the                                                               
appointee's private views  on the subject are  irrelevant and the                                                               
questions  boarder  on  violating  his  constitutional  right  to                                                               
privacy.  He pointed  out that  the Alaska  Supreme Court  agreed                                                               
with  the ACLU  when it  reversed both  lower court  decisions on                                                               
parental notification and public  funding for abortions. He said,                                                               
"I want  someone on the  Human Rights Commission  who understands                                                               
the law [and]  is advocating for justice and human  rights. And I                                                               
don't  care  what   his  personal  views  are   on  these  highly                                                               
controversial issues that have absolutely  nothing to do with his                                                               
ability to perform  his functions as a commissioner  on the Human                                                               
Rights Commission."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:13:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL responded saying, "I've  been on this committee for                                                               
a long, long, time and I've  heard you and many others ask people                                                               
deeply about their personal views on  things only to find out how                                                               
they would serve on a committee."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI replied, "Never on abortion Mr. Chairman."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL responded, "Yes sir."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY  said it  is  absurd  to  say that  questioning  a                                                               
candidate's  views  on controversial  issues  is  a violation  of                                                               
their  constitutional  rights. These  are  exactly  the kinds  of                                                               
issues that will come before the Human Rights Commission.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL commented on the passion these issues elicit.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:14:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER  asked why  he left the  profession of  theology to                                                               
work  for the  Community Action  on  Toxics, the  ACLU, and  then                                                               
Identity, Inc.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX said  he still is an ordained minister  but no longer                                                               
serves local  churches. After serving  as a minister for  over 20                                                               
years he was ready for a change.  He fell in love with Alaska and                                                               
decided  to move  here and  use his  education and  experience in                                                               
executive management in a different sector than the ministry.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked what he is doing in Fairbanks.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. PHOENIX  said he and  his wife opened a  diversity management                                                               
consulting  firm.  He  is  also  homeschooling  their  child  and                                                               
interviewing for permanent positions in Fairbanks.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL thanked  Mr. Phoenix and asked him  to return based                                                               
on Senator Kelly's request.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:18:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   asked  if   the  public  would   have  an                                                               
opportunity to comment on the appointee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:18:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL confirmed that public testimony would be taken.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
         SB  15-E-CIGS: SALE TO AND POSSESSION BY MINOR                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:19:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration  of SB 15 and solicited                                                               
a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS).                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:20:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  moved to adopt  the CS  for SB 15,  labeled 30-                                                               
LS0170\N, as the working document.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL objected for an explanation of the changes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:20:41 PM                                                                                                                    
JORDAN  SHILLING,  Staff,  Senator  John  Coghill,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature  Juneau,  Alaska explained  that  the  CS for  SB  15                                                               
version  N, removes  Section 3  of  the previous  version of  the                                                               
bill. [It  removes amendments to  AS 11.76.106(a)]  that prohibit                                                               
electronic smoking  products or  products containing  nicotine to                                                               
be sold to individuals 19 years of  age or older while not in the                                                               
presence of a sales clerk.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked how age is verified on internet sales.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHILLING said  he  didn't  know, but  current  law does  not                                                               
prohibit individuals  19 years of  age and older  from purchasing                                                               
e-cigarettes and  e-liquids when not  in the presence of  a sales                                                               
clerk.  He  deferred further  explanation  to  the Department  of                                                               
Health and Social Services (DHSS).                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked Mr. Darnell  how age is verified  for online                                                               
sales.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:22:48 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE  DARNELL,   Investigator,  Division  of   Behavioral  Health,                                                               
Department  of  Health  and Social  Services  (DHSS),  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska,  advised that  online  businesses  have age  verification                                                               
questions  and that  the Department  of Revenue  regulates online                                                               
sales for tax purposes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  said he  didn't  want  a blanket  prohibition  on                                                               
internet sales at this time.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER said  he appreciates  that, but  youth need  to be                                                               
protected from access to vaping  products if they are the primary                                                               
users.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL stated his preference  to only address youth in the                                                               
bill. Adult use is a different policy discussion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER  said  his  concern  is  that  by  not  addressing                                                               
internet sales youth will use that avenue for access.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:25:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS,  Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor  of SB                                                               
15, said  this bill is  targeted to  restrict youth access  to e-                                                               
cigarettes. It has enjoyed very  little opposition and widespread                                                               
support. It  is not  a tax  bill. "I  think we  can do  some good                                                               
things for  the young people  in our communities by  passing this                                                               
bill as it is."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked if he supports the CS.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS suggested Mr. Lamkin respond.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:27:39 PM                                                                                                                    
TIM  LAMKIN, Staff,  Senator Stevens,  Alaska State  Legislature,                                                               
said the CS  is agreeable; Section 3 of the  previous version was                                                               
problematic because it raises tax issues.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked if Section 3 is the only change.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL replied it is the primary change.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  reiterated his  concern that  youth would  use the                                                               
internet to access e-products.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:31:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS said this is not  the perfect answer, but it will                                                               
help.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL voiced support for  moving the bill and thanked the                                                               
sponsor for working with him on the new CS.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:32:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  moved to report the  CS for SB 15,  version 30-                                                               
LS0170\N,  from  committee  with individual  recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL   stated  that  CSSB  15(JUD)   is  reported  from                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
        SB 100-MUNICIPAL LIENS: AUTHORITY FOR & PRIORITY                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:32:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration of SB 100.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:33:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DENNIS EGAN,  Alaska State  Legislature,  sponsor of  SB                                                               
100,  introduced  the  bill speaking  to  the  following  sponsor                                                               
statement:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     SB 100  is at the  request of  a number of  Alaska city                                                                    
     attorneys.  It fixes  an  unintended  consequence of  a                                                                    
     1998  bill aimed  at ending  unauthorized 'common  law'                                                                    
     liens that were being used  to go after public servants                                                                    
     when individuals disagreed with a government action.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Liens are  a tool local governments  across America use                                                                    
     to  recoup  unpaid  costs   of  providing  services  or                                                                    
     abating  dangerous situations.  In  Alaska, many  rural                                                                    
     municipalities  provide  utility   services  for  their                                                                    
     communities. Those municipalities  use liens to collect                                                                    
     from people who use services  but don't pay. Liens have                                                                    
     historically   also   been   used  to   recover   local                                                                    
     governments' costs  when they have to  abate dangerous,                                                                    
     dilapidated, or public nuisance properties.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     In  2012, the  Alaska Supreme  Court held  that because                                                                    
     liens based  solely on municipal law  were not included                                                                    
     in  the  code  of   civil  procedure,  municipal  liens                                                                    
     without a hook to some  other state law were not valid.                                                                    
     SB 100 puts the tools  back in municipalities' hands by                                                                    
     giving liens under municipal law  the same authority as                                                                    
     state and federal law liens under Alaska statutes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:35:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO asked if he was aware of any opposition to the                                                                 
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR EGAN said no.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL held SB 100 in committee for further review.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                HB 106-CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUND                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:36:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration of SB 106.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:37:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ZACH FANSLER, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor                                                                  
of HB 106, introduced the legislation speaking to the following                                                                 
sponsor statement:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     This bill will safeguard  Alaskans' access to the civil                                                                    
     justice  system by  creating a  stable and  sustainable                                                                    
     mechanism  for   funding  the  Alaska   Legal  Services                                                                    
     Corporation,  protecting  those  who cannot  afford  to                                                                    
     hire  an   attorney  of  their   own.  It   allows  the                                                                    
     Legislature to  appropriate up to 25  percent of filing                                                                    
     fees  paid  to  the  Alaska  Court  System  during  the                                                                    
     previous fiscal  year into  the already  existing Civil                                                                    
     Legal Services Fund.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  Alaska Legal  Services Corporation-established  in                                                                    
     1967-is   a  nonprofit   charitable  501(c)(3),   whose                                                                    
     funding  comes from  a variety  of state,  federal, and                                                                    
     private sources.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska Legal Services Corporation  endeavors to serve a                                                                    
     growing number of eligible  applicants. Since 1984, the                                                                    
     number  of Alaskans  who qualified  for legal  services                                                                    
     has more than doubled, from 41,000 to over 100,000.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Yet currently,  the state's contribution to  The Alaska                                                                    
     Legal Services  Corporation is only a  fraction of what                                                                    
     it was 30  years ago. House Bill 106  aims to stabilize                                                                    
     the Alaska Legal Services  Corporation funding and help                                                                    
     ensure  that  civil  legal  aid  is  available  to  all                                                                    
     Alaskans, not just the few who can afford it.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:38:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL opened public testimony on HB 106.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:39:32 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG  RAZO, President  and Chairman  of the  Board, Alaska  Legal                                                               
Services  Corporation  (ALSC),  Anchorage, Alaska,  advised  that                                                               
ALSC  provides free  legal  help to  low-income  Alaskans and  is                                                               
dedicated  to assuring  access to  justice for  all Alaskans.  He                                                               
said HB 106  aims to reduce Alaska's civil justice  gap that ALSC                                                               
has tried  to bridge for  15 years.  He provided examples  of the                                                               
individuals   that  ALSC   has  represented.   He  said   he  has                                                               
volunteered his time to serve on  the ALSC board for more than 25                                                               
years because he  believes in the mission and has  seen how these                                                               
lawyers can  change people's  lives for the  better. He  has also                                                               
witnessed the  bad outcomes  when Alaskans  cannot afford  to get                                                               
the civil  legal help they  need. He pointed out  that defendants                                                               
who cannot pay are not  guaranteed a court-appointed attorney for                                                               
civil cases. ALSC is their only option.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. RAZO said  he can also attest that ASLC  is fiscally prudent,                                                               
so it can serve as many  clients as possible. These attorneys are                                                               
some  of  the  best  lawyers in  Alaska.  They  receive  positive                                                               
results in 86 percent of their  cases and they resolve 80 percent                                                               
of their clients' legal issues without  having to go to court. He                                                               
reported that  the ALSC helped  6,500 Alaskans last year  but had                                                               
to turn away  850 clients because they couldn't afford  to do the                                                               
work. The  ALSC fund already exists  and HB 106 will  provide one                                                               
more funding source.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said Mr. Razo's  arguments compelled him  to bring                                                               
the  bill  up  even  though  he  does  not  generally  support  a                                                               
designated funding stream.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:45:41 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN BIOFF, General Counsel, Kawerak,  Inc., Nome, Alaska, stated                                                               
that  he is  testifying in  support  of HB  106. He  said he  has                                                               
worked closely with  the ALSC for the last 15  years. It provides                                                               
a critical  service to  many of  the families  in the  region who                                                               
rely heavily  on subsistence  to survive. Many  of the  people in                                                               
this region  are not able  to afford  a private attorney  for any                                                               
civil legal matter and ALSC  has provided this service. They have                                                               
no other recourse and there would  be a real civil legal services                                                               
gap if ALSC attorneys weren't present in the area.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:48:05 PM                                                                                                                    
NICOLE BORROMEO,  Executive Vice  President and  General Council,                                                               
Alaska  Federation of  Natives (AFN),  Anchorage, Alaska,  stated                                                               
that  the  AFN   has  worked  with  the   Alaska  Legal  Services                                                               
Corporation on  several issues  and has  found it  to be  a great                                                               
organization  that is  doing tremendous  work in  the state.  She                                                               
cited  the example  several years  ago  when ALSC  helped find  a                                                               
solution when  the state and Native  community were at odds  on a                                                               
legal matter  concerning a  Native child  and the  application of                                                               
the Indian  Child Welfare Act  (ICWA). With their  help, guidance                                                               
and technical  expertise, emergency  regulations were  passed and                                                               
then the  statute was changed  last year  as well. She  said that                                                               
every  dollar  that  ALSC  receives is  multiplied  in  terms  of                                                               
benefits that  come to  Alaskans, not  just the  Native community                                                               
but  also  to veterans,  seniors,  and  children. She  urged  the                                                               
committee to pass HB 106 quickly.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:50:16 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICK  REINHART,  Executive  Director,  Governor's  Council  on                                                               
Disabilities  and Special  Education,  Anchorage, Alaska,  stated                                                               
that the  council supports  HB 106  and has  done so  in previous                                                               
years. He  said their  primarily interest is  that many  of their                                                               
beneficiaries  use  the services  of  the  Alaska Legal  Services                                                               
Corporation.  These services  are  vital for  access to  housing,                                                               
health  care and  food, and  protection from  abuse. He  said the                                                               
council submitted  a letter  of support  and hopes  the committee                                                               
passes HB 106.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:51:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MARIE DARLIN,  representing AARP  and coordinator of  the Capital                                                               
City Taskforce, advised  that AARP submitted a  letter that lists                                                               
the reasons for AARP's support for  HB 106. It establishes a more                                                               
stable   funding  mechanism   for  the   Alaska  Legal   Services                                                               
Corporation.  She reminded  the committee  that with  the rapidly                                                               
increasing population of older Alaskans,  there will be increased                                                               
need for ASLC services.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked  the sponsor to explain how  the Alaska Legal                                                               
Services Corporation is funded.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER deferred the question to his staff.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:54:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY SCHLOSSER, Staff, Representative  Zach Fansler, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, explained  that ALSC is an  Alaska organization that                                                               
was  established  in 1967.  It  receives  some funding  from  the                                                               
national legal services organization as  well as a $450,000 grant                                                               
from  the   Department  of   Commerce,  Community   and  Economic                                                               
Development  and  occasional  punitive   damages.  She  said  the                                                               
commerce grant decreased  $100,000 over the last  two years while                                                               
the caseload  has steadily increased  over the last 10  years. HB                                                               
106 would stabilize the funding.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked to hear from  the Court System about how they                                                               
would  be  affected  if  25  percent  of  the  filing  fees  were                                                               
dedicated to  ALSC. He asked  for an explanation that  ALSC seems                                                               
to be doing more with less.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER clarified  that court  fees currently  go                                                               
into the undesignated general fund,  so the bill would not impact                                                               
funding for the Court System.  Regarding doing more with less, he                                                               
said the numbers  show that there is more need  for ALSC services                                                               
every year.  Current estimates  indicate that  about half  of the                                                               
applications for services are turned  away because funding is not                                                               
stable.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  shared that  he is not  a proponent  of designated                                                               
funding and  would therefore be  looking for  a way to  amend the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER  pointed out  that the  bill states  it is                                                               
not the  intent to create  a dedicated fund.  Future legislatures                                                               
could choose to appropriate zero percent  in lean times and up to                                                               
25 percent when the state is in better fiscal shape.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:00:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL held HB 106 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:00:38 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Coghill adjourned the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                 
meeting at 3:00 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Granger - Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
Phoenix - State Commission for Human Rights.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
Johnson - Alaska Police Standards Council.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106 - Letter of Support - ACOA.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Letter of Support - ANDVSA.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Supporting Document - ALSC Statement on Case Restrictions.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Supporting Document - Civil Funds Filing Fee Info.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Supporting Document - Civil Legal Services Fund Overview.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Supporting Document - Fact Sheet.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Supporting Document - FY16 ALSC Fact Sheet.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 - Supporting Document - FY16 ALSC Pro Bono Program.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
SB 100 - Letter of Support - Juneau.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 100
SB 100 - Letter of Support - Municipality of Anchorage.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 100
SB 100 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 100
SB 100 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 100
SB 100 - Supporting Document - Benintendi Legislative History.pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 100
CS for SB 15 (Version N).pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB 15 - Summary of CHanges (ver. R to N).pdf SJUD 4/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 15