Legislature(2001 - 2002)

01/24/2001 03:35 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                   
                    SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                                                                
                         January 24, 2001                                                                                       
                             3:35 p.m.                                                                                          
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator John Torgerson, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Drue Pearce, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Robin Taylor                                                                                                            
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Georgiana Lincoln                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 49                                                                                                              
"An Act eliminating  a requirement that a social security  number be                                                            
provided by an  applicant for a hunting or sport fishing  license or                                                            
tag and for certain hunting  permits; and providing for an effective                                                            
     MOVED CSSB 49(RES)OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                         
SENATE BILL NO. 19                                                                                                              
"An Act repealing  the termination  date of changes made  by ch. 87,                                                            
SLA 1997 and ch.  132, SLA 1998 regarding child support  enforcement                                                            
and related  programs; repealing  the nonseverability  provision  of                                                            
ch. 132,  SLA 1998; repealing  certain  requirements for  applicants                                                            
for hunting  and sport  fishing licenses  or tags,  and for  certain                                                            
hunting  permits,  to provide  social  security  numbers  for  child                                                            
support enforcement purposes;  and providing for an effective date."                                                            
     MOVED CSSB 19(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
SB 49 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
SB 19 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Mr. Darwin Peterson                                                                                                             
Aide to Senator Torgerson                                                                                                       
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau AK 99811                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 49.                                                                                      
Mr. Kevin Brooks, Director                                                                                                      
Administrative Services                                                                                                         
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 49.                                                                                         
Mr. Eric Weathers                                                                                                               
P.O. Box 1791                                                                                                                   
Cordova AK 99574                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 49.                                                                                          
Ms. Denny Kay Weathers                                                                                                          
P.O. Box 1791                                                                                                                   
Cordova AK 99574                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 49.                                                                                         
Mr. Dean Curran                                                                                                                 
P.O. Box 42                                                                                                                     
Cordova AK 99574                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 49.                                                                                          
Ms. Barbara Miklos, Director                                                                                                    
Child Support Enforcement Division                                                                                              
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
550 W 7th Ave. Ste. 500                                                                                                         
Anchorage AK 99501-3566                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CSSB 19.                                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 01-3, SIDE A                                                                                                             
Number 001                                                                                                                      
          SB  49-NO SOC SEC. # REQ'D ON HUNT/FISH LICENSE                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  called the Senate Resources Committee meeting                                                             
to order at 3:35 p.m. and announced SB 49 to be up for                                                                          
MR. DARWIN  PETERSON, aide to Senator  Torgerson, sponsor  of SB 49,                                                            
explained  that  it repeals  the  requirement  for  social  security                                                            
numbers  on  hunting  and fishing  licenses  in  Alaska,  which  was                                                            
mandated  when the 20th Legislature  enacted  HB 344 to comply  with                                                            
the   federal   Personal   Responsibility   and   Work  Opportunity                                                             
Reconciliation  Act of 1996.  One of the Act's requirements  was the                                                            
collection  of  social  security  numbers  on recreational   license                                                            
applications.   The  Department of  Fish and Game  (ADF&G) has  been                                                            
required  to provide  these  social security  numbers  to the  Child                                                            
Support Enforcement  Division (CSED)  in Alaska or any other  state.                                                            
MR. PETERSON  said, "Effective October  1, 2000 the State  of Alaska                                                            
was granted  a three-year exemption  from requiring social  security                                                            
numbers  on hunting  and fishing  license  applications.  SB 49  was                                                            
introduced  in  response to  this  federal  exemption.   Since  it's                                                            
imposition,  the people of the State  of Alaska have been  resentful                                                            
of this federal  requirement as an invasion of privacy."   SB 49 has                                                            
an immediate effective date.                                                                                                    
SENATOR  TAYLOR  moved  to adopt  CSSB  49, 22-LS0390\C   Lauterbach                                                            
1/19/01.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                       
MR.  PETERSON  explained  that  the  main  difference  is  that  the                                                            
original bill  repealed three sections  of statute (requiring  ADF&G                                                            
to collect  social security numbers  on hunting and fishing  license                                                            
applications).   Language on lines 10 - 12 on page  1 of the CS also                                                            
deletes  a requirement that  the commissioner  request those  social                                                            
security  numbers   on  the  applications.    It  is   a  conforming                                                            
Number 369                                                                                                                      
MR.  KEVIN   BROOKS,  Director,  Administrative   Services,   ADF&G,                                                            
supported  SB 49.  He pointed  out that ADF&G  has already  issued a                                                            
half million licenses and  would just send a letter to their vendors                                                            
letting  them  know it's  no  longer  a requirement  when  the  bill                                                            
passes.  He  said that the Internet  license transactions  were very                                                            
successful,  but were built  around the social  security number,  so                                                            
they would  need to work  on that.   His goal is  to find a  way for                                                            
individuals  to easily renew licenses  over the Internet  since it's                                                            
apparent that the need for these services will continue to grow.                                                                
MR. BROOKS wanted to know  whether committee members would object to                                                            
leaving  the social  security  number  on the  form  as an  optional                                                            
field.  Currently  social  security  numbers  are  used  as  primary                                                            
identifiers in  the database. Using a different combination  of name                                                            
and number, such  as drivers' licenses, wouldn't work  as well since                                                            
everyone doesn't  have a driver's  license. He'd like to  find a way                                                            
to  use  the  social   security  number  in  their  database   while                                                            
emphasizing improved customer service in Internet operations.                                                                   
Number 556                                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON said  that, in  his opinion,  having the  social                                                            
security data field on  the license was acceptable as long as it was                                                            
clearly optional  information. To reduce arguments  between licensee                                                            
and issuer  over whether or not all  data fields on the license  are                                                            
required,  he suggested  placards  be  placed on  counters  wherever                                                            
licenses are  sold. The placards should  make it clear that  listing                                                            
social security numbers is optional.                                                                                            
MR. BROOKS agreed with that.                                                                                                    
SENATOR  LINCOLN wanted  to know  if Mr.  Brooks  was talking  about                                                            
social security numbers  being optional for future years or for this                                                            
year until new licenses are made.                                                                                               
MR. BROOKS  said that  it's a  foregone conclusion  for the  current                                                            
year because  2001  licenses were  already out.  This discussion  is                                                            
about future years.  He went on to say that they might  come up with                                                            
a different solution. He was just trying to explore options.                                                                    
SENATOR  LINCOLN  said that  she would  object  to having  it as  an                                                            
option because  it isn't  easy to make sure  everyone would  realize                                                            
that it's optional.  She  and Senator Taylor had heard that stealing                                                            
identities was  done by using individuals' social  security numbers.                                                            
She said that  if it isn't a requirement she could  see no reason to                                                            
put it in as an  option. Although the number would  be useful to the                                                            
department,  it would only be useful  for those that supplied  their                                                            
number so she'd rather eliminate that data field.                                                                               
MR.  BROOKS replied  that  the only  purpose  for using  the  social                                                            
security number is to make  it easier for those people who wanted to                                                            
purchase  or renew licenses  over the Internet.   He has to  balance                                                            
the security  of personal  data against the  trouble of entering  it                                                            
each time a license is issued or reissued.                                                                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR asked him to explain the transition period.                                                                      
MR. BROOKS  said that the  number would be  optional in the  current                                                            
year, but  that the department  wanted to  keep its options  open in                                                            
future years. He favors  the social security number being boldly and                                                            
clearly identified as optional.                                                                                                 
SENATOR TAYLOR  said if this law passes, he doesn't  believe that it                                                            
would  be discretionary  for  the  commissioner  to ask  for  social                                                            
security numbers.  He agrees with  Senator Lincoln, that  after this                                                            
current  year transition  period,  the  social security  data  field                                                            
should be eliminated.                                                                                                           
Number 811                                                                                                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR  also wanted to know  how you could swear  under oath                                                            
on a computer.                                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON said that part would be removed.                                                                             
SENATOR ELTON  said he understands that if it isn't  optional to ask                                                            
for social security  numbers, then the current service  of licensing                                                            
over the Internet would be jeopardized.                                                                                         
MR. BROOKS said  that a unique identifier was needed  so individuals                                                            
didn't have to reenter their personal information every year.                                                                   
Number 938                                                                                                                      
SENATOR  ELTON  asked  why  an  individual's  name  and  birth  date                                                            
wouldn't work instead of the name and social security number.                                                                   
MR. BROOKS  said that they were running  various combinations  in an                                                            
effort to find a suitable  alternative for names and social security                                                            
numbers. The last  name and last four digits of the  social security                                                            
number might be a good alternative.                                                                                             
MR. ERIC WEATHERS, Cordova  resident, said that several years ago he                                                            
rescinded  his social  security number  and now is  unable to  get a                                                            
driver's  license, a hunting  license, or  a sport fishing  license.                                                            
This doesn't mean that  he no longer hunts or fishes.  It just means                                                            
that he  no longer pays  for licenses. He'd  like drivers'  licenses                                                            
and commercial  fishing  licenses  to be  included in  this bill  as                                                            
Number 1005                                                                                                                     
MS. DENNY KAY WEATHERS,  Cordova resident, testified that she didn't                                                            
have a social  security number either and that she  supported SB 49.                                                            
She requested that it be  amended to include non-commercial drivers'                                                            
licenses,  commercial   fishing  permits  and  crew   licenses.  Ms.                                                            
Weathers  went on to say  that when she went  to renew her  driver's                                                            
license  she  found  that  an  October  21,  1998  State  of  Alaska                                                            
memorandum said HB 344  makes a social security number mandatory for                                                            
renewal.  Although she has  been a licensed  driver since she  was a                                                            
teenager,  she is now  unable to  get a drivers  license. She  noted                                                            
that  an alien  on a  non-work  status can  get an  Alaska  driver's                                                            
license  but she  cannot. She  closed by  saying  that she  supports                                                            
Senator  Lincoln's suggestion  to  remove the  social security  data                                                            
field from license forms.                                                                                                       
MR.  DEAN CURRAN  supported  SB  49.   He  doesn't want  his  social                                                            
security number on his  hunting and fishing license.  He said that a                                                            
federal identification  number for  social security purposes  has no                                                            
business appearing  on any State of Alaska documents.  He would like                                                            
to have the social security  field removed from all state documents.                                                            
This is particularly  important now  that individual identities  are                                                            
being stolen more frequently by using social security numbers.                                                                  
Number 1193                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  asked Mr.  Brooks to  comment  on his  proposed                                                            
amendment  on page 1,  line 12.  As Senator Taylor  pointed  out, an                                                            
authorized  officer currently swears  in fishing license  applicants                                                            
when a license is purchased.                                                                                                    
MR. BROOKS  said that his department  supported removing  the "swear                                                            
in" requirement  on licenses. When  an individual fills in  personal                                                            
information on license  forms, they are attesting to the correctness                                                            
of  that  information.  The  Department  of  Law  does  review  this                                                            
information  and false information  is prosecutable. As a  practical                                                            
matter, issuing  stations, such as  Carrs and Fred Meyers,  have not                                                            
been requiring  sworn statements and  it's a housekeeping  matter to                                                            
remove the item from the statute.                                                                                               
Number 1278                                                                                                                     
SENATOR PEARCE suggested  removing the small print saying, "I hereby                                                            
subscribe and  swear that the information  provided is true."   Then                                                            
ADF&G could no  longer ask that question and would  lose the ability                                                            
to prosecute if the information is incorrect.                                                                                   
MR. BROOKS thought she raised a legitimate point.                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON suggested  deleting "before an officer authorized                                                            
to administer  oaths in the  state," on line  13 and leaving,  "Each                                                            
applicant shall  be subscribed and sworn to by the  applicant." This                                                            
would leave the disclaimer on the bottom.                                                                                       
SENATOR  TAYLOR  said that,  in  essence,  is  what has  been  done.                                                            
Contract  offices or  businesses have  agents  or employees  selling                                                            
licenses. That  agent gives the applicant  a license application  to                                                            
fill out. In  signing the application,  the applicant is  testifying                                                            
to the correctness of the  information. The language requiring sworn                                                            
testimony  before an authorized  officer means  a notary public.  He                                                            
agreed with Senator Pearce that this is somewhat arcane.                                                                        
SENATOR TAYLOR  went on to  say that he thought  there was  a subtle                                                            
distinction  between a false swearing  and giving false information                                                             
on an application.  He thought Chairman  Torgerson's suggestion  was                                                            
good, but  that it's  important to  be able to  prosecute for  false                                                            
information on an application.  He thought the attorneys should look                                                            
carefully  at the wording,  but that he would  be happy to  go along                                                            
with the chairman's recommendation.                                                                                             
Number 1595                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  said  it  was  clear  that  license  applicants                                                            
weren't being  sworn before an authorized officer  of the state.  He                                                            
then asked if someone would offer the amendment.                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR  moved that the words  on line 13 be removed.   There                                                            
were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                       
SENATOR  ELTON said  that the  sense of  the committee  is that  Mr.                                                            
Brooks will  check with attorneys  on language  and bring it  before                                                            
the next committee of referral.                                                                                                 
SENATOR  TAYLOR moved  to pass  CSSB 49  (RES) from  committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations.   There were no objections and it was so                                                            
Number 1617                                                                                                                     
            SB  19-CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT/SOC SEC. #                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON announced SB 19 to be up for consideration.                                                                  
SENATOR  TAYLOR  moved  to adopt  CSSB  19 22-GS1002/C  Lauterbach.                                                             
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
MS. BARBARA  MIKLOS, Director,  Child Support  Enforcement  Division                                                            
(CSED), supported CSSB 19.                                                                                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR  asked if the federal government granted  a waiver on                                                            
getting information.                                                                                                            
MS. MIKLOS  answered  that the  only waiver  the state  got was  for                                                            
hunting  and fishing licenses.   She  said CSED  is required  to get                                                            
social security numbers  on applications from various documents like                                                            
a driver's license.  She  spoke with the director of the Division of                                                            
Motor Vehicles  (DMV), Mary  Marshburn, who  didn't understand  that                                                            
the federal  government's  position was only  for child support  and                                                            
not for any  other requirements DMV  may have.  If you don't  have a                                                            
social security card, you  may still get a driver's license.  As far                                                            
as DMV is concerned, the  number only needs to be on the application                                                            
and  if  you don't  have  a  card,  then you  can  just  present  an                                                            
affidavit saying you don't  have a social security number.  She said                                                            
she  would  work with  Ms.  Marshburn  to get  this  issue  resolved                                                            
SENATOR  TAYLOR commented  that in  light of testimony  on the  last                                                            
bill  there is  "someone  out there  who  was arrested  for  driving                                                            
illegally and his wife  doesn't have a driver's license either - all                                                            
because of this glitch."                                                                                                        
MS. MIKLOS  said that Ms. Marshburn  informed her that there  may be                                                            
other requirements  not related to  child support that she  needs to                                                            
SENATOR PEARCE  asked if the social  security number needs  to be on                                                            
the application only and not on the actual driver's license.                                                                    
MS. MIKLOS indicated that was correct.                                                                                          
SENATOR  TAYLOR  moved to  pass  CSSB 19(RES)  from  committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations.   There were no objections and it was so                                                            
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON adjourned the meeting at 4:10 p.m.                                                                           

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