Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/24/2019 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 34 PROBATION; PAROLE; SENTENCES; CREDITS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 52 ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL; ALCOHOL REG TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 80 INITIATIVE SEVERABILITY TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 80 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 24, 2019                                                                                         
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Mike Shower                                                                                                             
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mike Shower                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 52                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  alcoholic   beverages;  relating  to  the                                                               
regulation  of  manufacturers,   wholesalers,  and  retailers  of                                                               
alcoholic  beverages;  relating  to licenses,  endorsements,  and                                                               
permits  involving   alcoholic  beverages;  relating   to  common                                                               
carrier  approval to  transport or  deliver alcoholic  beverages;                                                               
relating  to the  Alcoholic Beverage  Control Board;  relating to                                                               
offenses  involving  alcoholic  beverages; amending  Rule  17(h),                                                               
Alaska Rules  of Minor  Offense Procedure;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 80                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to proposing and enacting laws by initiative."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 80 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 34                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  probation; relating  to a  program allowing                                                               
probationers to  earn credits for  complying with  the conditions                                                               
of  probation;  relating  to   early  termination  of  probation;                                                               
relating to  parole; relating to  a program allowing  parolees to                                                               
earn  credits  for  complying  with  the  conditions  of  parole;                                                               
relating to early termination of  parole; relating to eligibility                                                               
for discretionary parole; relating to good time; and providing                                                                  
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 52                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL; ALCOHOL REG                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MICCICHE                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
02/11/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/11/19       (S)       L&C, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
03/26/19       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/26/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/26/19       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/28/19       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/28/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/28/19       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/02/19       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/02/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/02/19       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/04/19       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/04/19       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/09/19       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/09/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/09/19       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/11/19       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/11/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/11/19       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/16/19       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/16/19       (S)       Moved CSSB 52(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                    
04/16/19       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/17/19       (S)       L&C RPT CS FORTHCOMING 4DP                                                                             
04/17/19       (S)       DP: REINBOLD, COSTELLO, BIRCH, BISHOP                                                                  
04/17/19       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/17/19       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/17/19       (S)       JUD AT 6:00 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/17/19       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/19/19       (S)       L&C CS RECEIVED SAME TITLE                                                                             
04/22/19       (S)       JUD AT 6:00 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/22/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/22/19       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/23/19       (S)       JUD AT 6:00 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/23/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/23/19       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/24/19       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 80                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: INITIATIVE SEVERABILITY                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) BIRCH                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/06/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/06/19       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/11/19       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/11/19       (S)       Moved SB 80 Out of Committee                                                                           
04/11/19       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/12/19       (S)       STA RPT 2DP 1DNP 2NR                                                                                   
04/12/19       (S)       NR: SHOWER, REINBOLD                                                                                   
04/12/19       (S)       DP: MICCICHE, COGHILL                                                                                  
04/12/19       (S)       DNP: KAWASAKI                                                                                          
04/23/19       (S)       JUD AT 6:00 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/23/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/23/19       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/24/19       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BEVERLY SCHOONOVER, Acting Director                                                                                             
Alaska Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse                                                                              
Alaska Mental Health Board                                                                                                      
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 52 to modernize                                                                
the language and limit youth access to alcohol.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
LEE ELLIS, President                                                                                                            
Brewers Guild of Alaska                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 52.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JAN HILL, Member                                                                                                                
Title 4 Review Steering Committee                                                                                               
Haines, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 52.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LOGAN DANIELS, Volunteer                                                                                                        
Healthy Voices Healthy Choices                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 52 to modernize                                                                
the language and limit youth access to alcohol.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
KATI CAPOZZI, President and CEO                                                                                                 
Alaska State Chamber of Commerce                                                                                                
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 80.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LAURA BONNER, representing herself                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to SB 80.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BETHANY MARCUM, Executive Director                                                                                              
Alaska Policy Forum                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 80.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CHRIS BIRCH                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as  sponsor during the  hearing on                                                             
SB 80.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHELLEY  HUGHES  called   the  Senate  Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:32  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Kiehl, Micciche, Reinbold, and Chair Hughes.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
         SB 52-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL; ALCOHOL REG                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:33:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
SENATE  BILL NO.  52, "An  Act relating  to alcoholic  beverages;                                                               
relating  to the  regulation of  manufacturers, wholesalers,  and                                                               
retailers   of  alcoholic   beverages;   relating  to   licenses,                                                               
endorsements,   and   permits  involving   alcoholic   beverages;                                                               
relating  to  common carrier  approval  to  transport or  deliver                                                               
alcoholic beverages;  relating to the Alcoholic  Beverage Control                                                               
Board;  relating  to   offenses  involving  alcoholic  beverages;                                                               
amending  Rule 17(h),  Alaska Rules  of Minor  Offense Procedure;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES made opening remarks.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:33:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  said he  looks  forward  to hearing  from  the                                                               
public.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:34:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony on SB 52.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:34:32 PM                                                                                                                    
BEVERLY  SCHOONOVER, Acting  Director, Alaska  Advisory Board  on                                                               
Alcoholism   and  Drug   Abuse,  Alaska   Mental  Health   Board,                                                               
Department of  Health and Social Services  (DHSS), Juneau, stated                                                               
that  the  agencies she  oversees  are  statutorily charged  with                                                               
planning and  coordinating behavioral  health services  funded by                                                               
the state. The  boards are in support of SB  52, which provides a                                                               
much-needed  update  to  the  Title  4  provisions  and  includes                                                               
prevention measures  to reduce underage  drinking. She  said that                                                               
the  agencies have  made progress  to  reduce underage  drinking.                                                               
According to the annual youth  risk behavioral survey (YRBS) over                                                               
the last 25  years there have been declines in  the percentage of                                                               
youth  starting drinking  before 13  years of  age. However,  the                                                               
department   knows  that   underage  drinking,   including  binge                                                               
drinking  occurs in  Alaska. In  2017, nearly  15 percent  of the                                                               
students  surveyed in  the YRBS  reported binge  drinking in  the                                                               
past 30 days.  She related that is  four or more drinks  in a row                                                               
for females and five or more  drinks in a row for males. Underage                                                               
drinking,  especially binge  drinking  is  harmful to  adolescent                                                               
brain  development.   The  department  does  not   want  Alaska's                                                               
teenagers  engaging  in other  risky  behaviors  while under  the                                                               
influence of  alcohol. The  department believes  the preventative                                                               
measures  outlined in  SB  52 will  reduce  underage drinking  in                                                               
Alaska for  the following  reasons. SB 52  would hold  adults who                                                               
supply  alcohol  to  youth  accountable  by  maintaining  current                                                               
penalties for  furnishing alcohol  to a  minor, especially  if it                                                               
causes the youth  harm or is a repeat offense,  both of which are                                                               
felonies  under the  bill. This  bill also  provides much  needed                                                               
resources for enforcement of Title  4 by increasing license fees,                                                               
many  of which  have not  been  increased in  decades, which  has                                                               
continued to  limit the ABC Board's  ability to do its  job. This                                                               
includes ensuring  that businesses do  not sell or  serve alcohol                                                               
to minors. She thanked Senator  Micciche for sponsoring this bill                                                               
for  his  steadfast leadership  to  the  large group  of  diverse                                                               
contributors  who  have worked  hard  to  find solutions  through                                                               
compromise  and move  these changes  forward for  the last  seven                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:36:29 PM                                                                                                                    
LEE ELLIS, President, Brewers Guild  of Alaska, Anchorage, stated                                                               
support for  SB 52. He said  that over the multi-year  process of                                                               
developing the compromises in this bill,  the bill is fair. It is                                                               
not considered a  gift to the Brewers Guild of  Alaska, but it is                                                               
fair to every stakeholder in the  process. He said that his group                                                               
would  like to  honor that  process by  supporting this  bill. He                                                               
further wanted  to support  the efforts  by Senator  Micciche and                                                               
others who  have been involved in  the process. He said  that the                                                               
bill will  benefit the  industry by  cleaning up  the regulations                                                               
that  affect it.  He said  brewery  startups often  must hire  an                                                               
attorney  to  sort  through  the regulatory  process  to  open  a                                                               
business. Manufacturers  have been a  bright spot in  the economy                                                               
in the  last few  years in  Alaska. Anything  that would  make it                                                               
easier  to assist  entrepreneurs will  benefit the  industry. The                                                               
bill  will still  maintain regulation  on  the tap  room and  the                                                               
three-tier   system    that   is   critical    for   wholesalers,                                                               
manufacturers, and retailers. This has  been the best work by all                                                               
these groups, which is the reason the guild supports it.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:38:17 PM                                                                                                                    
JAN  HILL, Member,  Title 4  Review  Steering Committee,  Haines,                                                               
stated  that she  was a  member of  the Title  4 review  steering                                                               
committee and has  been involved throughout the  process. She has                                                               
served as  cochair of  the local  option subcommittee  with Chris                                                               
Simon, formerly of  the Alaska Department of  Education and Early                                                               
Development. She  emphasized that Title  4 very much needs  to be                                                               
modernized and  SB 52  is a  huge step  forward. She  related the                                                               
subcommittee talked  extensively about the impacts  of alcohol on                                                               
dry and  damp communities, alcohol-related  crimes, and  the need                                                               
to improve Title  4 in order to increase  enforcement. While much                                                               
work still needs  to be done with local option  laws, SB 52 makes                                                               
some  important   changes.  One  of   these  is  to   give  rural                                                               
communities  access to  existing data  about legal  alcohol sales                                                               
and deliveries,  so law  enforcement can  understand the  flow of                                                               
alcohol into rural Alaska. Another  change is regulating Internet                                                               
sales to  ensure that a  person in a  dry community is  not using                                                               
this loophole to get around  the monthly order limits in existing                                                               
laws. She  stated her  support for  SB 52.  She urged  members to                                                               
pass the bill this year.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:39:58 PM                                                                                                                    
LOGAN DANIELS,  Healthy Voices  Healthy Choices,  Anchorage, said                                                               
that a friend's brother was  killed by a 16-year-old drunk driver                                                               
in  the Lower  48. He  said  that anything  that can  be done  to                                                               
modernize the regulations and limit  youth access to alcohol will                                                               
be a step in the right direction.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:41:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES, after  first determining no one  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on SB 52.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
She gave upcoming committee announcements.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[SB 52 was held in committee.]                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                 SB 80-INITIATIVE SEVERABILITY                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:41:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
SENATE BILL  NO. 80, "An  Act relating to proposing  and enacting                                                               
laws by initiative."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:42:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony on SB 80.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:42:29 PM                                                                                                                    
KATI  CAPOZZI,  President  and   CEO,  Alaska  State  Chamber  of                                                               
Commerce, Eagle  River said that  her nonprofit  organization was                                                               
founded in  1953 to  promote a  positive business  environment in                                                               
Alaska.  The Alaska  State Chamber  of  Commerce (State  Chamber]                                                               
represents  hundreds  of  businesses,  manufacturers,  and  local                                                               
chambers  of commerce  across the  state. These  companies employ                                                               
more  than 100,000  hard-working  Alaskans, she  said. The  State                                                               
Chamber  believes  that  SB  80  is  necessary  to  maintain  the                                                               
integrity  of  the  signature-gathering   process  for  a  ballot                                                               
measure.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She  explained that  once  voters sign  their  names to  specific                                                               
ballot measure language, their support  should be applied only to                                                               
the exact language  to which they lent their names.  If any court                                                               
or  courts   decide  to  alter   or  remove  language   from  the                                                               
initiative,  it  cannot  be  assumed  that  the  voters'  support                                                               
remains.  If  a court  severs  language  from a  proposed  ballot                                                               
measure,  it  should  be  mandatory  that  initiative  proponents                                                               
support  the  revised  language  that  actually  appears  on  the                                                               
ballot.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CAPOZZI said  the State  Chamber supports  SB 80  because it                                                               
will correct a deficiency that  has been overlooked in the ballot                                                               
initiative process. Further, the  organization also believes that                                                               
this  bill will  result in  fewer protracted  legal battles  once                                                               
ballot-measure proponents  understand that if any  section of the                                                               
initiative does  not pass  constitutional muster,  the proponents                                                               
would be required  to revert to the signature  gathering stage of                                                               
the process.  Passage of SB  80 should result in  more carefully-                                                               
crafted-ballot  measures  at the  outset,  she  said. This  would                                                               
result in a  smoother, more predictable process  for all parties,                                                               
whether  the parties  support  or oppose  the  ballot measure  in                                                               
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:44:22 PM                                                                                                                    
LAURA BONNER,  representing herself, Anchorage, said  that she is                                                               
a 47-year  retiree who  strongly opposes SB  80. She  offered her                                                               
belief  that this  bill would  usurp  the peoples'  power in  the                                                               
initiative process. Gathering the number  of signatures in all 40                                                               
districts   to  place   an  initiative   on   the  ballot   takes                                                               
considerable time,  effort, and expense.  If SB 80 were  to pass,                                                               
if  even one  word was  changed, added,  or deleted  that process                                                               
would need to start over.  She has signed numerous petitions over                                                               
the years,  sometimes just  because she wanted  to see  the issue                                                               
come  before  the  voters,  she  said.  She  said  she  has  seen                                                               
legislators  support  a proposed  bill  [in  committee] but  vote                                                               
against it  on the  floor because  the bill  was amended,  or the                                                               
legislator  obtained more  information  on the  bill.  It is  the                                                               
floor vote  that matters  in the legislature;  likewise, it  is a                                                               
person's vote  during the  election that matters  in terms  of an                                                               
initiative.  She  expressed  concern  that  SB  80  would  stifle                                                               
Alaskans'  constitutional   rights.  Although   she  is   not  an                                                               
attorney, she has concerns  about potential constitutional issues                                                               
related to this bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:46:31 PM                                                                                                                    
BETHANY   MARCUM,  Executive   Director,  Alaska   Policy  Forum,                                                               
Anchorage,   said   that   Alaska   is  fortunate   to   have   a                                                               
constitutionally  enshrined ballot  initiative  process. Not  all                                                               
states  trust  their  citizens to  participate  directly  in  the                                                               
legislative  process.  Most  Alaskans  would  agree  this  is  an                                                               
important right. In order for  the initiative process to continue                                                               
to  have  value  for  future   generations  of  Alaskans,  it  is                                                               
imperative  that  the  integrity   of  the  process  is  ensured.                                                               
Currently,  a  loophole  created  by past  Alaska  Supreme  Court                                                               
decisions  allow  the  courts  to   tamper  with  the  initiative                                                               
language.   She    related   that   when   the    courts   remove                                                               
unconstitutional provisions, the end result  is that the language                                                               
voters see  on their ballots  may be different than  the language                                                               
in  the  petition  booklet  that  voters  signed.  This  is  what                                                               
happened  last  year with  Ballot  Initiative  1, she  said.  She                                                               
characterized  it  as  an  injustice   to  voters.  Further,  the                                                               
legislature  can   be  stripped   of  its  role   to  act   as  a                                                               
counterbalance in the  process. The legislature has  the right to                                                               
pass  legislation  that is  substantially  the  same as  proposed                                                               
initiatives,  thus removing  those initiatives  from the  ballot.                                                               
When  courts  change  the language,  the  legislature  loses  its                                                               
ability to  provide oversight on  the process. She  urged members                                                               
to consider [SB] 80 to rectify this situation.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:48:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  after first  determining  no  one else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on SB 80.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:48:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  referred to  a memo with  legal analysis  from the                                                               
Division   of  Legislative   Legal  Services,   [Legal  Services,                                                               
Legislative Affairs Agency memo  of 4/23/19 from Alpheus Bullard,                                                               
Legislative Counsel]  as to the  constitutionality of SB  80. The                                                               
memo cited the  rule of construction, in  Latin [expression unius                                                               
est exclusio  alterius" or  "the expression of  one thing  is the                                                               
exclusion   of  another".]   In   essence,   the  legal   counsel                                                               
interpreted  that  the  Constitution   of  the  State  of  Alaska                                                               
provides some  limits and strictures  on the peoples'  ability to                                                               
exercise the legislative power directly,  but having those limits                                                               
and rules in place means that  the legislature does not get to do                                                               
other  limits and  rules  on  the peoples'  power,  at least  not                                                               
through  statutes.   He  related  a   scenario  he  had   with  a                                                               
constituent  who  was  interested  in  obtaining  a  presidential                                                               
candidate's tax  returns. The  Legislative Legal  Research answer                                                               
was  the  same,   that  the  U.S.  Constitution  has   a  set  of                                                               
qualifications  and   the  state  does   not  get  to   add  more                                                               
qualifications, which is the same  principle, he said. He said he                                                               
would not hold up the bill today, but he does have concerns.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES said  she also  reviewed  the memo.  She asked  the                                                               
record to reflect her comments,  that the restrictions in Article                                                               
XI, Section  7, of the Constitution  of the State of  Alaska, and                                                               
read, "The  initiative shall  not be  used to  dedicate revenues,                                                               
make  or   repeal  appropriations,  create  courts,   define  the                                                               
jurisdiction of courts  or prescribe their rules,  or enact local                                                               
or special  legislation.". She said  she realizes that  those are                                                               
restrictions on content and not process.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She referred  to the  "Law-Making Power" in  Article XII"  of the                                                               
Constitution of the  State of Alaska, and read, "As  used in this                                                               
constitution, the  terms 'by  law' and  'by the  legislature,' or                                                               
variations of these terms, are  used interchangeably when related                                                               
to  law-making  powers.  Unless clearly  inapplicable,  the  law-                                                               
making powers  assigned to  the legislature  may be  exercised by                                                               
the people through the initiative,  subject to the limitations of                                                               
Article XI."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES  asked  whether  this  would  create  an  imbalance                                                               
between the initiative and what the  people can do. She said that                                                               
when the legislature passes a law,  and the governor signs it, it                                                               
can be appealed in court. The  courts can find some sections in a                                                               
bill  could be  found unconstitutional  and pulled  out, but  the                                                               
rest  of the  bill stands.  Thus, the  legislature's process  has                                                               
severability.  She  asserted that  SB  80  does not  remove  that                                                               
ability because if an initiative were  to pass and become law, 90                                                               
days after passage,  if challenged, the court  could remove parts                                                               
that it  deems unconstitutional,  so the  rest of  the initiative                                                               
would  stand. She  concluded that  these  "law-making powers"  as                                                               
being very balanced. This refers  to severability in the process,                                                               
she said.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She commented that  one benefit is that the  people putting forth                                                               
initiatives will  work harder to create  accurate language during                                                               
the drafting  of initiatives. This  would reduce time  and effort                                                               
spent  by the  Lieutenant  Governor's office  and  by the  Alaska                                                               
Court System, she said. She  acknowledged that the analogy of the                                                               
balance and law-making  power is not a  perfect analogy. However,                                                               
people  are signing  petitions based  on the  language that  they                                                               
believe will  be on the  ballot. If it  is rewritten it  could be                                                               
likened to her  duties, if she were to cosponsor  a bill and vote                                                               
in favor  of it, but  the bill  is rewritten before  the governor                                                               
signs it.  At that  point her name  is on a  final bill  that she                                                               
voted for, yet it contains language she does not support.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  characterized [SB 80]  as being about  the process,                                                               
that  the severability  still stands  for the  initiative process                                                               
after it becomes law. The courts  could determine a part of it is                                                               
not constitutional,  but the rest  would stand.  She acknowledged                                                               
that  the Division  of Legislative  Legal [Services,  Legislative                                                               
Affairs  Agency]  does  a  good  job, but  she  thinks  that  the                                                               
restrictions  in the  Constitution  of the  State  of Alaska  are                                                               
content related  and that  the severability  still holds  for the                                                               
initiative process after it becomes law.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:55:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CHRIS BIRCH,  Alaska  State  Legislature, Juneau  agreed                                                               
with the  Chair's comments. He  said that fundamentally  it comes                                                               
down to truth in advertising. He  said that SB 80 would restore a                                                               
check  in  the  "checks  and   balances"  of  the  constitutional                                                               
framers'  vision of  the initiative  process. The  intent of  the                                                               
voters  at  the signature  phase  should  matter, he  said.  When                                                               
signing the petition,  these voters are not  giving their support                                                               
to a  general concept for  legislation. The courts should  not be                                                               
empowered  to  divine   the  intent  of  those   who  support  an                                                               
initiative to guess what degree  of changes would be permissible.                                                               
The legislature has  an obligation and right  by the Constitution                                                               
of  the  State  of  Alaska  to stop  an  initiative  by  enacting                                                               
similarly situated legislation. If  the courts revise initiatives                                                               
after the  legislative review process, they  deny the legislature                                                               
its  right to  review  a  revised initiative.  He  said he  would                                                               
appreciate the committee's support.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:57:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD moved  to report SB 80,  work order 31-LS0185\U,                                                               
Version  U, from  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  found no objection.  Therefore, SB 80  was reported                                                               
from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:57:34 PM                                                                                                                    
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:59:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  reconvened  the   meeting  and  reviewed  upcoming                                                               
committee announcements.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:00:24 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Hughes  adjourned the  Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 2:00 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Memorandum from Legal Services 4/23/2019.pdf SJUD 4/24/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 80