Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/11/2002 10:40 AM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                     SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                          May 11, 2002                                                                                          
                           10:40 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Randy Phillips, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 268                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to  the  issuance of  state-guaranteed  revenue                                                              
bonds  by  the  Alaska  Housing  Finance  Corporation  to  finance                                                              
mortgages for qualifying veterans;  and providing for an effective                                                              
date."                                                                                                                          
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 180(JUD)                                                                                                  
"An  Act relating  to  persons  who  provide services  related  to                                                              
children;  establishing   a  legislative   task  force   on  child                                                              
services; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 348                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  violations of  domestic violence  protective                                                              
orders."                                                                                                                        
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 443(L&C)                                                                                                  
"An  Act retroactively  extending  the application  and  licensing                                                              
deadlines and  amending the effective  date of certain  provisions                                                              
relating  to regulation  of  persons  who practice  tattooing  and                                                              
permanent cosmetic  coloring or body  piercing; and  providing for                                                              
an effective date."                                                                                                             
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 474(CRA) am                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to  public  rights-of-way  and  easements  for                                                              
surface transportation  affecting  the Anchorage Coastal  Wildlife                                                              
Refuge."                                                                                                                        
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 501                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the use of unclaimed property to pay court-                                                                 
ordered restitution; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 517(STA)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to the disposition of obsolete or surplus state                                                                
property."                                                                                                                      
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SB 268 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/12/02 and Finance                                                                    
Report dated 5/9/02.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 58 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 5/6/01 and Finance                                                                 
Report dated 5/11/02.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB 180 - See Judiciary minutes dated 5/8/02.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 348 - See HESS minutes dated 4/24/02 and Judiciary minutes                                                                   
dated 5/8/02.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 443 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 4/25/02 and Finance                                                               
Report dated 5/9/02.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 474 - See Resources minutes dated 5/6/02.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 501 - See Judiciary minutes dated 5/9/02.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 517 - See State Affairs minutes dated 5/7/02.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. John Bittney                                                                                                                
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation                                                                                              
PO Box 101020                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, AK 99510-1020                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered a question about SB 268                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained the contents of HB 348                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joe Green                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Prefers the House version of HB 474                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Laura Achee                                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Green                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:   Explained the differences  between the House                                                            
and Senate versions of HB 474                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dennis Poshard                                                                                                              
Special Assistant                                                                                                               
Department of Transportation &                                                                                                  
  Public Facilities                                                                                                             
3132 Channel Dr.                                                                                                                
Juneau, AK  99801-7898                                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Opposed to  HB  474 but  prefers the  House                                                            
version                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-13, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN RANDY PHILLIPS called the  Senate Rules Committee meeting                                                            
to order at 10:40 a.m.  Senators  Cowdery, Ellis and Phillips were                                                              
present.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  informed  members  that the  committee  has  a                                                              
fiscal note  to SB  54-ALASKA VETERANS  ADVISORY COUNCIL  that was                                                          
not approved the previous day.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY moved  to attach the updated fiscal  note to SB 54                                                              
for the purpose of calendaring.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that  with no objection,  the updated                                                              
fiscal note would be attached to SB 54.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS  moved to calendar  SB 268-GUARANTEED  REVENUE BONDS                                                          
FOR  VETERANS with  its attached  fiscal notes  at the  Chairman's                                                          
discretion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  asked why Korean War veterans  are not included                                                              
in this bill.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHN BITTNEY, Alaska Housing  Finance Corporation (AHFC), told                                                              
members that  the program is governed  by federal rules  under the                                                              
U.S. tax  code that qualify the  bonds for a tax  exemption. Under                                                              
the U.S.  tax code,  the term  "qualified veteran"  is defined  as                                                              
someone who  served prior to January  1, 1977 or cannot  have been                                                              
discharged  more  than   30  years  prior  to  the   date  of  the                                                              
application of the  loan. AHFC is supporting measures  in Congress                                                              
right now that will expand the definition  and the legislature has                                                              
voted in unanimous support of sending  a resolution to Congress to                                                              
support those measures.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  noted  that   with  no  further  questions  or                                                              
objections, SB 268 would be calendared.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that the committee does  not yet have                                                              
possession of HB 58.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS moved  to  calendar CSHB  180(JUD)-YOUTH  SERVICES:                                                          
REGULATION & TASK  FORCE and its accompanying fiscal  notes at the                                                          
Chairman's discretion.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that  with no questions or objections,                                                              
the motion carried.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked for  a review of  HB 348-VIOLATION  OF A                                                          
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDER.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ERIC  CROFT, sponsor of HB 348,  described the bill                                                              
as a simple  measure that describes the knowledge  requirement one                                                              
needs  to  show   to  prove  violation  of  a   domestic  violence                                                              
restraining order.  He said a court  opinion was issued  last year                                                              
in  which  the   judge  could  not  determine   the  legislature's                                                              
intention.  Because of that  opinion, it  is almost impossible  to                                                              
prosecute these  cases.  The defense  can rely on  an unreasonable                                                              
mistake of  fact so that if  the defendant believed  something, no                                                              
matter  how  "off-the-wall," a  jury  cannot  determine  it to  be                                                              
unreasonable.  As an example,  he noted  that an individual  might                                                              
claim to have  not known that a  phone call would be  considered a                                                              
means  of  communication   in  regard  to  a   restraining  order.                                                              
Representative  Croft   said  the  current  standard   requires  a                                                              
prosecutor  to prove  what  "is in  a  person's  head." The  court                                                              
opinion has  caused a  lot of consternation  in the  prosecutorial                                                              
community.   Representative  Croft  said that  HB  348 contains  a                                                              
middle ground standard.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS  moved to calendar  HB 348 and its  two accompanying                                                              
fiscal notes at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY objected.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that  the motion  to calendar  HB 348                                                              
carried with Senators Therriault,  Ellis and Phillips in favor and                                                              
Senator Cowdery opposed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY moved  to  calendar CSHB  443(L&C)-TATTOOING  AND                                                          
BODY PIERCING at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS objected  and said that he is a  reluctant supporter                                                              
of this  legislation. He  sponsored the  original effort  to bring                                                              
some  regulatory  oversight to  tattooing  and body  piercing.  He                                                              
noted  that  Alaska is  the  "wild  west"  of tattooing  and  body                                                              
piercing  with  no regulations  and  unsanitary  practices  taking                                                              
place. Minors  have gotten  hepatitis from  the practice.  Senator                                                              
Ellis said  the sponsor's concern in  HB 443 is that a  few of the                                                              
practitioners did  not get the notice of minimal  state regulation                                                              
of their activities so they will  be given a window of opportunity                                                              
to  "get legal."  He said  he is  willing  to go  along with  this                                                              
approach once  but he  cannot support  reopening the window  again                                                              
because the  public health is at  risk from practitioners  who are                                                              
not  "good   actors."   He  pointed  out   that  the   responsible                                                              
practitioners were registered and  therefore notified. He repeated                                                              
that he  will give the  others the benefit  of the doubt  one time                                                              
but hopes  the legislature  does not attempt  to open  this window                                                              
again.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that  without objection, the motion to                                                              
calendar CSHB 443(L&C) carried.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  asked Representative Green which  version of HB
474 he prefers.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOE  GREEN, sponsor of CSHB 474(CRA)  am -ANCHORAGE                                                          
COASTAL  WILDLIFE  REFUGE,  told  members  he  prefers  the  House                                                          
version (CSHB 474(CRA) am.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS asked for an explanation of the two versions.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAURA ACHEE,  staff to Representative Green,  stated that both                                                              
bills  require   the  Department  of  Transportation   and  Public                                                              
Facilities (DOTPF),  if it seeks to create a new  easement through                                                              
the  Anchorage  Coastal  Wildlife  Refuge,  to come  back  to  the                                                              
legislature.  The House  version only requires  that DOTPF  notify                                                              
the legislature whereas the Senate  version requires approval from                                                              
the legislature.  The Senate  version more  closely resembles  the                                                              
original bill introduced  by Representative Green  but the changes                                                              
made in the House  version were more acceptable  to House members.                                                              
She pointed out  the difference can be summed up  by saying in the                                                              
House version, inaction by the legislature  implies tacit approval                                                              
of  the easement  while in  the Senate  version,  inaction by  the                                                              
legislature implies  tacit disapproval. From  DOTPF's perspective,                                                              
the House version will make its job much easier.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  asked why  the  legislature  would want  this                                                              
level of involvement in this refuge.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. ACHEE replied  that this project has been  ongoing for several                                                              
years.  Although it  went through  the  public process,  a lot  of                                                              
Anchorage residents  have felt their concerns were  not heard. The                                                              
Anchorage  Coastal  Wildlife  Refuge  is  unique  because  islands                                                              
protect that section of coastline  from ice scour that ravages the                                                              
rest of Cook  Inlet. The protected shoreline provides  habitat for                                                              
nesting shore  birds. Many  of the proposed  trail routes  for the                                                              
coastal trail extension  would go right through  the prime habitat                                                              
areas. Biologists  and local residents  were speaking  out against                                                              
those routes  and felt  DOTPF was  not listening  to any  of their                                                              
concerns. The  only proposed  routes that were  showing up  on the                                                              
plans were those through the coastal  refuge. Representative Green                                                              
was asked to get involved because  so many people felt the process                                                              
was broken  and asked  that the legislature  have final  oversight                                                              
authority over the refuge it created in 1988.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN informed members  that this oversight  would                                                              
apply only to  refuge lands. There is a belt  along a considerable                                                              
amount of  the 12-mile refuge and  the juncture between  the bluff                                                              
and the  flat is  where the  critical habitat  is located  in most                                                              
cases. That would  have also been the location of  the trail under                                                              
consideration for two years by DOTPF.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked to hear from a representative of DOTPF.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. DENNIS POSHARD,  DOTPF, thanked the sponsor  for agreeing that                                                              
the House version is a better version  - DOTPF takes that position                                                              
also.  However, DOTPF  does  continue to  oppose  the bill.  DOTPF                                                              
believes the establishment  of the wildlife refuge  and the Alaska                                                              
Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)  management plan is sufficient                                                              
in  order to  oversee  the wildlife  and  what  occurs within  the                                                              
wildlife refuge.  He believes Representative Green's  concerns are                                                              
very  legitimate in  regard to  protecting the  wildlife, but  the                                                              
federally-mandated  NEPA process is  working well and  will result                                                              
in a  trail route that  does protect  the wildlife. He  noted that                                                              
the  Orange route,  which was  the  most coastal  route, has  been                                                              
removed and, in lieu of that route,  a new route has been proposed                                                              
by  ADF&G.  That  is the  result  of  interagency  cooperation  to                                                              
propose  a  route that  can  be  permitted  by all  agencies  that                                                              
oversee  wildlife   protection  and  wetlands   management.  DOTPF                                                              
believes the bill  is unnecessary but asks the  legislature, if it                                                              
supports the bill, to support the House version.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked who prepared the Senate version.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ACHEE  specified that Senator  Halford prepared  the amendment                                                              
in the Senate Resources Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS said  it is  his  opinion that  if the  sponsor                                                              
wants  a specific  version of  his or  her own  bill, the  sponsor                                                              
should get  it. He said  the Senate will have  to "slug it  out on                                                              
the floor."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  stated that  if  the Senate  Rules  Committee                                                              
addresses the  House version, it  will have eliminated  the Senate                                                              
committee  process.   He  then asked  Representative  Green if  he                                                              
believes  ADF&G is  being  coerced into  moving  forward with  the                                                              
route that has habitat problems.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said that a  significant change recently took                                                              
place and  that his  concern is that  if this legislation  doesn't                                                              
pass, that  "would then  possibly get shaken."   He noted  that an                                                              
ADF&G biologist  spoke against the  Orange route, as well  as many                                                              
others, yet that  route stayed active for two years.   He said the                                                              
way  the  Administration  is  looking  at it  now  is  very,  very                                                              
favorable.  He  feels  everyone  is  in  tune  with  the  possible                                                              
exception  of two  or  three landowners  that  lie  along the  new                                                              
route. He  noted the  cost of maintaining  the Orange  route would                                                              
have been  very high  and habitat  would have  been destroyed.  He                                                              
felt the process is now on track  and CSHB 474(CRA) am will ensure                                                              
it stays that way.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT said  he believes the  Rules Committee  should                                                              
act as  a gatekeeper and  decide whether  a bill is  calendared or                                                              
not.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS  moved  to  calendar  CSHB  474(CRA)  am  with  its                                                              
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that the motion failed  with Senators                                                              
Cowdery and Therriault opposed and  Senators Ellis and Phillips in                                                              
favor.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY moved to calendar  SCS CSHB 474(RES) with its zero                                                              
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS objected.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that  the motion carried with Senators                                                              
Therriault,  Cowdery  and  Phillips  in favor  and  Senator  Ellis                                                              
opposed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  moved to calendar HB 501-UNCLAIMED  PROPERTY &                                                          
RESTITUTION  with   its  zero  fiscal  notes  at   the  Chairman's                                                          
discretion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   THERRIAULT    moved   to    calendar   CSHB    517(STA)-                                                          
SURPLUS/OBSOLETE STATE  PROPERTY with its zero fiscal  note at the                                                          
Chairman's discretion.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS adjourned the meeting at 11:05 a.m.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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