Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/12/2002 01:50 PM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                     SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                          May 12, 2002                                                                                          
                            1:50 p.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. 55                                                                                                              
"An Act  changing the  name of  the Alaska  Pioneers' Home  to the                                                              
Alaska Pioneers'  and Veterans' Home  and of the  Alaska Pioneers'                                                              
Homes Advisory  Board to the  Alaska Pioneers' and  Veterans' Home                                                              
Advisory Board;  relating to  services for  veterans in  the home;                                                              
relating  to  the  advisory  board  for  the  home;  making  other                                                              
amendments  to   the  statutes  relating   to  the   home;  making                                                              
conforming  amendments to  other  statutes; and  providing for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
     ADOPTED A SENATE RULES COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE AND APPROVED FOR                                                               
     CALENDARING                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 230                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to recommending  or refusing psychotropic  drugs                                                              
as a treatment  for children and  to the evaluation  and treatment                                                              
of children with behavioral or psychological problems."                                                                         
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 317                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  the national  forest income  program  in the                                                              
Department  of  Community  and Economic  Development  and  to  the                                                              
authority of  the department to  adopt regulations;  and providing                                                              
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 366                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to  the fee  for the  Chitina  dip net  fishing                                                              
permit; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 53(STA)                                                                                                   
"An   Act  establishing   the   Alaska  Seismic   Hazards   Safety                                                              
Commission."                                                                                                                    
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 56(FIN)                                                                                                   
"An Act relating to minimum wages;  and providing for an effective                                                              
date."                                                                                                                          
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 207(RLS)                                                                                                  
"An  Act  moving   election  district  24  as   described  in  the                                                              
Constitution of the  State of Alaska at statehood  from the Second                                                              
Judicial District  to the Fourth Judicial District  and adding the                                                              
Nabesna area to  the Third Judicial District and  removing it from                                                              
the Fourth Judicial District."                                                                                                  
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 208(RES)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to aquatic  farming of shellfish;  and providing                                                              
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 246(JUD)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to  regulation of  a person providing  insurance                                                              
for  the cost  of medical  care, to  confidentiality of  insurance                                                              
records, to insurance  hearings, to insurance fees,  to annual and                                                              
quarterly statements  by insurers,  to managed care  insurance, to                                                              
taxes on insurance, to insurer certificates  of authority, to risk                                                              
based  capital  for  insurers,  to  unauthorized  and  nonadmitted                                                              
insurers,  to surplus  lines insurance,  to  health insurance,  to                                                              
life  insurance,   to  annuity   insurance,  to  consumer   credit                                                              
insurance, to  insurer liquidation,  to multiple employer  welfare                                                              
arrangements,  to the  Alaska Insurance  Guaranty Association,  to                                                              
hospital and  medical service corporations,  and to  regulation of                                                              
insurance  producers, agents,  brokers,  managers, and  adjusters;                                                              
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 254(FIN)                                                                           
"An Act relating to the teachers'  retirement system, the judicial                                                              
retirement  system, and  the public  employees' retirement  system                                                              
and to  the tax qualification under  the Internal Revenue  Code of                                                              
those systems;  amending the definition of  'actuarial adjustment'                                                              
in  the teachers'  retirement  system  and the  public  employees'                                                              
retirement system;  repealing certain provisions of  the teachers'                                                              
retirement  system and  the public  employees' retirement  system;                                                              
amending the statutory  limitation on payment of  warrants to make                                                              
an  exception for  warrants  making  benefit payments  or  refunds                                                              
under  various   state  retirement   and  benefit  programs;   and                                                              
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 276(L&C)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to temporary permits  and licenses by endorsement                                                              
issued by the Board of Nursing; and  relating to the delegation of                                                              
nursing duties."                                                                                                                
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 287(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An  Act relating  to the  exemption of  commercial fishing  entry                                                              
permits from claims  of creditors and execution on  an interest in                                                              
a limited entry permit; and providing for an effective date."                                                                   
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 296(CRA)                                                                                                  
"An   Act    relating   to    mergers   and   consolidations    of                                                              
municipalities."                                                                                                                
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 332(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An Act extending the termination  date of the Council on Domestic                                                              
Violence  and Sexual Assault;  relating  to the council's  duties;                                                              
placing the  executive director  and staff of  the council  in the                                                              
exempt service; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 350(FIN) am                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to  murder, conspiracy,  criminal mischief,  and                                                              
terroristic threatening; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 447                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  the interest  rates that  may be charged  on                                                              
loans by the Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank."                                                                          
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 499(JUD)                                                                                                  
"An Act declaring  legislative intent to reject  the continuity of                                                              
enterprise  exception  to  the  doctrine  of  successor  liability                                                              
adopted in  Savage Arms, Inc. v.  Western Auto Supply, 18  P.3d 49                                                              
(Alaska 2001) as it relates to products  liability; providing that                                                              
a successor  corporation  or other business  entity that  acquires                                                              
assets of  a predecessor corporation  or other business  entity is                                                              
subject to liability  for harm to persons or property  caused by a                                                              
defective product  sold or  otherwise distributed commercially  by                                                              
the  predecessor only  if  the acquisition  is  accompanied by  an                                                              
agreement for the successor to assume  the liability, results from                                                              
a  fraudulent conveyance  to  escape liability  for  the debts  or                                                              
liabilities  of the  predecessor, constitutes  a consolidation  or                                                              
merger  with  the  predecessor,  or  results  in  the  successor's                                                              
becoming  a continuation  of the  predecessor; defining  'business                                                              
entity'  that acquires  assets to include  a sole  proprietorship;                                                              
and  applying this  Act to  the sale,  lease,  exchange, or  other                                                              
disposition  of  assets  by a  corporation,  a  limited  liability                                                              
company,  a  partnership,  a  limited   liability  partnership,  a                                                              
limited  partnership,  a sole  proprietorship,  or other  business                                                              
entity  that occurs  before, on,  or after the  effective date  of                                                              
this Act."                                                                                                                      
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 507 am                                                                                                           
"An  Act naming  the  Trooper  Hans-Peter Lothar  Roelle  Memorial                                                              
Weigh Station  and the  Officer Justin  Todd Wollam Memorial  Bike                                                              
Trail; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 521(CRA)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to municipal improvement areas."                                                                               
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 527                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to entry into the Minto Flats  State Game Refuge                                                              
for  purposes  of  exploration  and development  of  oil  and  gas                                                              
resources."                                                                                                                     
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB 55 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/8/01, 5/5/01 and                                                                      
4/18/02 and HESS minutes dated 4/29/02.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SB  230 -  See HESS  minutes dated  3/4/02  and Judiciary  minutes                                                              
dated 5/11/02.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SB 317 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/21/02.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SB 366 - See Resources minutes dated 5/8/02.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB  53  -  See State  Affairs  minutes  dated  4/18/02,  Resources                                                              
minutes dated 4/29/03 and Finance minutes dated 5/9/02.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 56  - See  Labor and  Commerce minutes  dated 3/26/02,  Finance                                                              
minutes dated 5/8/02 and Rules minutes dated 5/10/02.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB 207 - See Judiciary minutes dated 5/11/02.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 208 - See Resources minutes dated 4/24/02, Judiciary minutes                                                                 
dated 5/3/02 and Finance minutes dated 5/11/02.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB 254 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/11/02 and 4/16/02,                                                                   
Rules minutes dated 4/26/02 and Finance minutes dated 5/11/02.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 287 - See Resources minutes dated 5/8/02 and Finance minutes                                                                 
dated 5/10/02.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 296 - See CRA minutes dated 4/10/02 and 4/17/02 and Judiciary                                                                
minutes dated 5/1/02 and Finance minutes dated 5/9/02.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 332 - See Judiciary minutes dated 4/29/02 and Finance minutes                                                                
dated 4/29/02.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 350 - See Judiciary minutes dated 5/8/02 and Finance minutes                                                                 
dated 5/10/02.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 447 - See Resources minutes dated 4/19/02 and 5/8/02 and                                                                     
Finance minutes dated 5/10/02.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 499 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 5/4/02 and                                                                        
Judiciary minutes dated 5/10/02.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 507 - See Transportation minutes dated 5/10/02.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB 521 - See CRA minutes dated 5/3/02.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 527 - See Resources minutes dated 5/10/02.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Jim Duncan                                                                                                         
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions about SB 55                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Richard Benavides                                                                                                           
Staff to Senator Davis                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Stated support for CSSB 230(JUD)                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Amy Erickson                                                                                                                
Staff to Representative Murkowski                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the provisions of HB 246 and HB                                                                
521                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Barbara Cotting                                                                                                             
Staff to Representative James                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for the sponsor of HB 254                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guy Bell                                                                                                                    
Division of Retirement and Benefits                                                                                             
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions about SCS HB 254(RLS)                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dave Donley                                                                                                             
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the intent of Amendment 1 to HB                                                                
276                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports Amendment 1 to SCS HB 276(RLS)                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pat Hartley                                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Scalzi                                                                                                  
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions about HB 287                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Lori Backes                                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Whitaker                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the provisions of HB 296                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Patti Swenson                                                                                                               
Staff to Representative Bunde                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the contents of HB 332                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. David Brewster                                                                                                              
Staff to Representative McGuire                                                                                                 
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the contents of HB 350                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Anne Carpeneti                                                                                                              
Assistant Attorney General                                                                                                      
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered a question about HB 350                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dale Anderson                                                                                                               
Staff to Representative Mulder                                                                                                  
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the provisions of HB 447                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Heather Nobrega                                                                                                             
Staff to Representative Rokeberg                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the contents of HB 499                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Judy Ohmer                                                                                                                  
Staff to Representative Kott                                                                                                    
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the provisions of HB 507                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-14, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN RANDY PHILLIPS called the  Senate Rules Committee meeting                                                            
to order  at 1:50 p.m. Senators  Cowdery, Therriault  and Phillips                                                              
were present.  Senator Halford arrived momentarily.  The committee                                                              
took up SB 55.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  moved to  adopt Version  P of SB  55-PIONEERS'                                                          
AND  VETERANS' HOME/ADVISORY  BD as  the working  document of  the                                                          
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that  without objection, Version P was                                                              
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT informed members  that he met with Commissioner                                                              
Duncan the previous  day.  The new language in  Version P provides                                                              
that the  effective  date will take  place when  the agreement  is                                                              
signed by  both parties. Copies of  the agreement will be  sent to                                                              
the revisor of statutes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JIM  DUNCAN,  Department  of  Administration  (DOA),                                                              
explained that substantial  progress has been made  in the ongoing                                                              
negotiations  between the  DOA and  Veterans Administration  (VA).                                                              
Section  24 provides that  when those  negotiations are  completed                                                              
satisfactorily,  meaning  that  veterans who  reside  in  Pioneers                                                              
Homes  could  receive per  diem  payments  from  the VA  and  that                                                              
ownership and  management of the  Pioneers Homes will  remain with                                                              
the  state, copies  of the  agreement  would be  presented to  the                                                              
revisor  of  statutes   and  the  Legislative  Budget   and  Audit                                                              
Committee. The bill will take effect upon signing.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  pointed out the new fiscal  note contains half                                                              
of  the   original  request.  He   asked  if  DOA   will  continue                                                              
negotiating to get  VA benefits for existing residents  if less or                                                              
no funding is provided.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUNCAN  said DOA would. He said he  really hopes some                                                              
funding is  provided because  DOA would like  to see  an increased                                                              
benefit  to  veterans  and  pioneers  alike as  a  result  of  the                                                              
negotiations.  However,  the  negotiations  do not  hinge  on  the                                                              
funding level; they  hinge on the provision in  the legislation to                                                              
rename the Pioneer Homes and on the veteran preference on beds.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD   moved  to  calendar   CSSB  55(RLS)   with  its                                                              
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS's presence was noted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that without objection,  CSSB 55(RLS)                                                              
would be calendared.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  took up SB 230-PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS  FOR CHILDREN                                                          
and asked if the Judiciary version was before the committee.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. RICHARD BENAVIDES, staff to Senator  Davis, sponsor of SB 230,                                                              
verified that the  Senate Judiciary Committee adopted  a committee                                                              
substitute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS  moved to  calendar  SB  230 and  any  accompanying                                                              
fiscal notes at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  asked Senator Taylor to provide  an explanation                                                              
of SB 317-NAT'L FOREST INCOME AND REGS OF DCED.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ROBIN  TAYLOR, sponsor  of SB  317, informed members  that                                                              
a  year  ago   the  federal  government  passed   timber  receipts                                                              
legislation, which provides a stable  funding source for six years                                                              
from the  federal government.  Monies received  will be  allocated                                                              
through the Department of Education  and Early Development (DOEED)                                                              
based on  a formula  that he  and Senator  Mackie designed  six or                                                              
seven  years ago.  SB 317  contains clean-up  language that  gives                                                              
DOEED sufficient authority  to convey those funds  pursuant to the                                                              
formula.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD moved  to calendar  SB 317  and its  accompanying                                                              
zero fiscal note at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that  SB 366-CHITINA DIP  NET FISHERY                                                          
PERMIT FEE was before the committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  TAYLOR   informed  members  that  the   Senate  Resources                                                              
Committee changed the  bill to reflect the same fee  this year and                                                              
a zero fee next year.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  stated that this  bill moved out of  the Senate                                                              
Finance Committee last night.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD moved  to calendar  SB 366  and its  accompanying                                                              
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  announced the  committee  would  take up  CSHB                                                          
53(STA)-SEISMIC HAZARDS SAFETY COMMISSION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS moved to calendar HB  53 and its accompanying fiscal                                                              
note at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN DAVIES,  sponsor of  HB 53, informed  members                                                              
that the fiscal note cost is about $33,000.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  moved to calendar CSHB 56(FIN)-MINIMUM  WAGE with                                                          
its accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD  moved  and  asked  unanimous  consent  that  the                                                              
committee  approve for  calendaring  CSHB 207(RLS)-REALIGNMENT  OF                                                          
JUDICIAL DISTRICTS.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS  moved to calendar  CSHB 208(RES)-AQUATIC  FARMS FOR                                                          
SHELLFISH  and any  accompanying  fiscal notes  at the  Chairman's                                                          
discretion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  asked for  an  explanation of  CSHB  246(JUD)-                                                          
OMNIBUS INSURANCE BILL.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. AMY ERICKSON, staff to Representative  Murkowski, Chair of the                                                              
House Labor and  Commerce Committee, informed members  that HB 246                                                              
primarily contains  clarifications to  existing law.  An amendment                                                              
made by the Judiciary Committee pertains  to title plants (Section                                                              
51 on page  20). She indicated  it is the only  substantive change                                                              
in the legislation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  asked if  Section 51 requires  a hard  copy title                                                              
plant.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. ERICKSON said it allows the public  record to be used in title                                                              
searches.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD moved to calendar  CSHB 246(JUD) at the Chairman's                                                              
discretion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The   committee   took   up   CSSSHB   254(FIN)-STATE   RETIREMENT                                                          
SYSTEMS/WARRANTS.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARBARA  COTTING, staff  to Representative  James, sponsor  of                                                              
SSHB 254, informed members that a  proposed Senate Rules Committee                                                              
substitute  was before  the  committee. She  asked  that Mr.  Bell                                                              
explain the changes made in the new version.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GUY  BELL,  Director  of  the   Division  of  Retirement  and                                                              
Benefits, Department of Administration,  told members that several                                                              
new sections have been added to the  proposed committee substitute                                                              
that  make minor  modifications  to  public employee  and  teacher                                                              
retirement  statutes.  Sections 7  and  8 (page  7)  make a  small                                                              
change to  the conditional  service benefit  that is available  to                                                              
retired public employees if they  enter the teaching profession by                                                              
allowing them to  work one year rather than the  minimum two years                                                              
to receive  a supplemental retirement  benefit under  the Teachers                                                              
Retirement System (TRS).  It is designed as an  incentive to bring                                                              
retired public employees into teaching.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  moved to adopt the proposed  committee substitute                                                              
as the working document of the committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  Senate                                                              
Rules Committee substitute was adopted  as the working document of                                                              
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked Mr. Bell to elaborate on Section 7.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL  explained  that the TRS  contains a  benefit called  the                                                              
"conditional  service   benefit."  Currently  a   Public  Employee                                                              
Retirement System (PERS) retiree  is allowed to enter the TRS as a                                                              
teacher  and  after  serving  for  two years,  is  entitled  to  a                                                              
conditional retirement benefit based  on the two years of service.                                                              
The  proposed committee  substitute will  provide the  conditional                                                              
retirement  benefit after  one year of  teaching. The  conditional                                                              
retirement benefit  amounts to 2  percent of the  person's salary.                                                              
Each year of service in the TRS equals 2 percent.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked  if that is based only on  the time spent                                                              
in the teaching profession.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL said  that is correct. It  is based on the  actual number                                                              
of years in the TRS.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  announced  that  no objections  to  adopt  the                                                              
proposed  committee  substitute as  the  working  document of  the                                                              
committee were heard.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL continued. Language on page  26, Section 34, addresses an                                                              
issue related  to temporary  employees of  the legislature  in the                                                              
1970s. During that  time, legislative employees were  not in PERS.                                                              
In 1980,  those employees were allowed  to claim service  for time                                                              
worked  in  the  1970s  but  unfortunately   some  did  not.  This                                                              
provision  will allow  them  to claim  that  service  in order  to                                                              
obtain eligibility  for retirement benefits, including  the Tier 1                                                              
health  benefit,  but  they  will  be required  to  pay  the  full                                                              
actuarial cost of the pension and health benefits.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY asked how many people fall in that category.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL said the division does not  have an exact count, but only                                                              
five  or six  people have  contacted  the division  over the  past                                                              
couple of years.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked what actuarial  costs they will  have to                                                              
pay.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL  said the  division has  not done  any calculations  yet.                                                              
However, if this provision enables  those employees to have Tier 1                                                              
rather  than  Tier 2  status,  the  division  would take  the  net                                                              
present value  of five years worth  of health benefits  and charge                                                              
that cost.   He then explained that  Section 38 was added  on page                                                              
30; it  relates to peace  officers and  firefighters in  the PERS.                                                              
Currently, when  a person on disability reaches  normal retirement                                                              
age, their benefits are converted  to a normal retirement benefit.                                                              
This provision  allows a  person to elect  to continue  to receive                                                              
the disability  benefit when he  or she reaches  normal retirement                                                              
age.  Often  the  normal  retirement benefit  is  lower  than  the                                                              
disability benefit.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL said that  Sections 39 and 40 on page  39 again relate to                                                              
peace officers and firefighters only.  They adjust the benefit for                                                              
occupational death for the survivor  from 40 percent to 50 percent                                                              
of  the person's  salary  at death  or 75  percent  of the  normal                                                              
retirement benefit they would have  accrued. The division has done                                                              
some calculations  and a person would  have to have many  years of                                                              
service to  get to the equivalent  of a 50 percent benefit  or the                                                              
75 percent survivor  benefit. He noted the final  section that has                                                              
been added is Section 45 on page  32. It applies to peace officers                                                              
and firefighters  and affects Tier  2 and 3 employees.  It adjusts                                                              
the number  of years for the  calculation of final  average salary                                                              
for the pension  benefit from five  years to three years.  It will                                                              
increase  the benefit  by  a modest  amount.  These sections  were                                                              
designed to improve  recruitment and retention of  peace officers.                                                              
The cost of  that change will amount  to .005 percent and  it will                                                              
take  effect on  the  state's system  in  FY05.  The division  has                                                              
drafted a fiscal  note that reflects  no cost for FY 03  and FY 04                                                              
and then $344,000  in FY 05. The  general fund cost will  be about                                                              
half that amount.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS asked  Mr. Bell to provide a copy  of the fiscal                                                              
note to members.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL  said the  remainder of  the bill is  for the  purpose of                                                              
complying  with  the  Internal  Revenue  Code  and  with  existing                                                              
practice. The  bill was  designed to  bring the retirement  system                                                              
up-to-date with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  clarified  that the  committee  was  reviewing                                                              
Version B.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  asked how the changes  in Section 46  will affect                                                              
divorced couples.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL  replied that  the qualified  domestic order language  is                                                              
unchanged.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT commented that  he heard concern expressed that                                                              
the  Anchorage  Police  Department  has hired  away  Alaska  State                                                              
Troopers.  He noted  the  language  in this  bill  applies to  all                                                              
employees in  that job  classification and that  he has  not heard                                                              
testimony  that  these changes  will  attract employees  to  state                                                              
jobs.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL said the initial proposal  that came from Anchorage had a                                                              
"cafeteria plan"  and a  local option. It  included the  three new                                                              
sections  in  this  bill  and two  additional  items,  which  were                                                              
significantly more  expensive from an actuarial  cost perspective.                                                              
Rather than  go down that path,  the division suggested  keeping a                                                              
level  playing field  between  all public  employees  - state  and                                                              
local  government -  in  terms of  recruiting  peace officers  and                                                              
firefighters. The division came up  with the lowest cost option it                                                              
could find to do that. He has heard  people testify that employees                                                              
are  attracted   by  other  jurisdictions   and  by   the  federal                                                              
government,  not necessarily  by municipalities  or the state.  He                                                              
indicated that  this legislation makes  a minor effort  because it                                                              
is low cost yet improves benefits.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS asked if DOA supports Version B.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL said it does.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  asked if Representative James  supports Version                                                              
B.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTTING said she does.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked Mr. Bell  if these changes  will produce                                                              
an increased annual cost to the state of $344,000.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL said the cost will amount to .005 percent of salary.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  stated, "Well, we're still taking  a bill that                                                              
really didn't cost us anything and [turning] it into a cost."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL verified that there will be a cost in the future.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD  moved to  calendar  SCS SSHB  254(RLS)  [Version                                                              
853\B] and its accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  informed members  that  an amendment  to  CSHB                                                          
276(L&C)-REGULATION  OF  NURSING  has  been  proposed  by  Senator                                                          
Donley.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD offered  to sponsor  the  proposed amendment  and                                                              
moved to adopt it [Amendment 1] for the purpose of discussion.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY  explained that this bill  deals with a gap  in the                                                              
law regarding  delegation of duties  by nurses. When  dealing with                                                              
that  area,  he  believes  it is  important  that  nurses  not  be                                                              
pressured  into improperly  delegating their  duties. Amendment  1                                                              
will  safeguard  the  licenses  of nurses  who  are  pressured  to                                                              
delegate duties.  It provides that if  a nurse believes  he or she                                                              
has  been ordered  to  improperly  delegate  a task,  reports  the                                                              
incident to  the Board of  Nursing and is  found to be  correct by                                                              
the board,  the nurse  would be  insulated from  reprisals  by the                                                              
employer.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PEGGY WILSON,  sponsor of  HB 276, stated  support                                                              
for Amendment 1.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD  moved  to  calendar  SCS CSHB  276(RLS)  at  the                                                              
Chairman's discretion.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The  committee took  up CSHB  287(FIN)-EXEMPT  ENTRY PERMITS  FROM                                                          
CREDITOR CLAIMS.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. PAT  HARTLEY, staff  to Representative  Scalzi, sponsor  of HB                                                              
287, told members  that HB 287 removes limited  entry permits from                                                              
the exemption section of Title 9  to delete an inference that they                                                              
are somehow property.   It adds in Section 3 of  the bill specific                                                              
language  to the  Limited  Entry Act,  spelling  out that  fishing                                                              
privileges are exempt from claims  of creditors except loans under                                                              
the  Division  of  Investments or  the  Commercial  Fisheries  and                                                              
Agriculture Bank,  and arrears with the Child  Support Enforcement                                                              
Agency.  It adds,  in Section  2,  language to  the limited  entry                                                              
statutes making  it absolutely clear  that the only time  a person                                                              
may transfer an entry permit due  to an execution on the permit is                                                              
for the  purpose of  enforcing a lien  recorded at the  Commission                                                              
under the statutes of the child support enforcement division.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD   moved  to  calendar   CSHB  287(FIN)   and  its                                                              
accompanying fiscal note at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  moved  to  calendar  CSHB  296(CRA)-MUNICIPAL                                                          
MERGER  AND  CONSOLIDATION  and   its  zero  fiscal  note  at  the                                                          
Chairman's discretion.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD objected  for  the  purpose of  a  review of  the                                                              
measure.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. LORI BACKES, staff to Representative  Jim Whitaker, sponsor of                                                              
HB 296, told  members the intent of this legislation  is to create                                                              
fairness and timeliness in the process  of consolidation petitions                                                              
by limiting  the time allowed to  gather signatures on  a petition                                                              
for consolidation to not more than  365 days. Regarding the method                                                              
used to count votes, the petition  must be supported by a majority                                                              
of  the  voters  within  each  of   the  cities  affected  by  the                                                              
consolidation as well as the voters  outside the cities but within                                                              
the boundaries of the borough.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  asked if the situation in Homer  triggered this                                                              
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BACKES said  it did  not. She  explained that  Representative                                                              
Whitaker  recognized some  flaws  in the  consolidation effort  in                                                              
Fairbanks that he felt needed to be addressed.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that  without  objection to  Senator                                                              
Halford's motion, the bill would be calendared.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The  committee  took  up  CSHB  332(FIN)-DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE/SEXUAL                                                          
ASSAULT COUNCIL.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATTI  SWENSON, staff  to Representative  Bunde, told  members                                                              
that the Senate  Finance Committee added a technical  amendment to                                                              
this  bill  that allows  a  transition  period until  the  present                                                              
employee contracts  expire next  July (Section  4). At  that time,                                                              
all of  the positions within the  Council will become  exempt. The                                                              
fiscal  notes reflect  what  will  happen if  the  Council is  not                                                              
extended:  the  duties  of  the Council  will  be  distributed  to                                                              
agencies throughout state government.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT said that normally  a fiscal note reflects what                                                              
will happen if the bill passes.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SWENSON said she also questioned  the fiscal note but was told                                                              
this is the normal process for an extension.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT indicated that  the fiscal note does state that                                                              
the costs of the Council are already in the budget.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS asked if anyone  in the Senate Finance Committee                                                              
was opposed to this measure.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SWENSON said  not that  she  recalls. She  repeated that  the                                                              
costs  are already  contained in  the  budget so  the fiscal  note                                                              
reflects the costs  to other state agencies if the  Council is not                                                              
extended.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   ELLIS  moved   to  calendar   CSHB   332(FIN)  and   its                                                              
accompanying fiscal  notes with individual recommendations  at the                                                              
Chairman's discretion.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The  committee took  up CSHB  350(FIN) am-TERRORISTIC   THREATS  &                                                          
OTHER CRIMES.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVID  BREWSTER, staff to  Representative McGuire,  sponsor of                                                              
HB  350,  informed members  that  this  measure  is known  as  the                                                              
"omnibus  homeland security  bill" and  updates Alaska's  statutes                                                              
that  address  public  areas  and  conveyances.  HB  350  adds  to                                                              
existing law terrorist threats that  cause evacuations of areas or                                                              
disrupt transportation schedules.  It increases criminal penalties                                                              
for certain  acts of  terrorism; terroristic  threatening  and for                                                              
certain  imitation  substances.  It also  increases  penalties  of                                                              
threats to water and food supplies,  air, utilities and pipelines.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT   asked  what  change  the   Senate  Judiciary                                                              
Committee made.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREWSTER deferred to Ms. Carpeneti for that information.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT informed  members that HB 350 was  heard by the                                                              
Senate State Affairs  Committee and that the changes  it made were                                                              
not incorporated in the current version.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANNE CARPENETI,  Assistant Attorney  General, clarified  that                                                              
the House  version did  incorporate most of  the changes  that the                                                              
Senate State  Affairs incorporated into  its version of  the bill.                                                              
The Senate Judiciary Committee added  the word "knowingly" on page                                                              
8, line 28.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS  pointed out that Senator  Taylor wanted to  use the                                                              
word "intentionally"  but the Department of Law  recommended using                                                              
the word "knowingly."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to calendar  the Senate Judiciary version                                                              
of HB 350 and its attached fiscal notes.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The committee took up HB 447-COM  FISH & AGRICULTURE BANK INTEREST                                                          
RATE.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
MR. DALE ANDERSON,  staff to Representative Mulder,  sponsor of HB                                                              
447, said  the general  purpose of  HB 447 is  to ensure  that the                                                              
Commercial  Fishing  and  Agriculture   Bank  (CFAB)  is  able  to                                                              
continue  serving its  Alaskan  member-borrowers  in an  efficient                                                              
manner  and  equitably  compete with  other  lending  institutions                                                              
throughout the state.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS indicated that HB 447 has a zero fiscal note.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD moved  to calendar  HB 447 with  its zero  fiscal                                                              
note at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The  committee  took  up  CSHB  499(JUD)-SUCCESSOR  LIABILITY  FOR                                                          
PRODUCT LIABILITY.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. HEATHER  NOBREGA, counsel  to the  House Judiciary  Committee,                                                              
stated that  HB 499 covers  a very small  area of law,  that being                                                              
products liability.  Within that area  of law, the  bill clarifies                                                              
when  a  successor  corporation  should  be held  liable  for  the                                                              
liabilities of  the predecessor corporation's assets.  The general                                                              
rule is  that when a corporation  purchases another's  assets, the                                                              
successor   corporation  is  not   responsible  for   liabilities.                                                              
However, in products  liabilities, courts have made  exceptions to                                                              
that doctrine  to provide recovery  for an injured  plaintiff. The                                                              
court has  used four generally  recognized exceptions to  the rule                                                              
to  determine when  a  corporation  is not  liable.  The issue  of                                                              
products liability has not yet been  addressed in Alaska statutes.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS asked  which  court case  set  this legislation  in                                                              
motion.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA said  the ongoing case is Savage v.  Western Auto. She                                                              
explained:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     There  is a  products liability  case right  now in  the                                                                   
     courts. They  - since products liability has  never been                                                                   
     addressed in Alaska, they had  to - they appealed to the                                                                   
     Supreme Court  for the Supreme  Court to decide  whether                                                                   
     it is the law of the land in  this state. In their case,                                                                   
     the  plaintiffs asked  for the  law  of the  land to  be                                                                   
     three doctrines. The Supreme  Court adopted two of those                                                                   
     doctrines.  They  didn't  even  look at  the  third  one                                                                   
     because they  decided it just  wasn't necessary  at that                                                                   
     point in time to even look at that.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     One of  the doctrines  is one of  the four [indisc.]  of                                                                   
     those  generally accepted by  the law  of the land.  The                                                                   
     other doctrine that was called  continuity enterprise is                                                                   
     a  modern  theory  -  a modern  doctrine  that  over  36                                                                   
     jurisdictions   in  the  country   have  rejected.   The                                                                   
     restatement  of  torts  has   rejected  it  and  we  are                                                                   
     rejecting  it with  this bill  because we  do not  think                                                                   
     that that should  be the law of the land  in this state.                                                                   
     It  is  an ongoing  litigation.  The  trial is  set  for                                                                   
     November. What this bill will  do is say this is the law                                                                   
     of the  land in this state  and this is what  you should                                                                   
     be applying to  the facts of the case, and  not that one                                                                   
     exception.  It is only taking  away that one  exception.                                                                   
     It  is not in  any way  affecting the  final outcome  of                                                                   
     this ongoing litigation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  said it  is his  understanding that Western  Auto                                                              
was a  distributor of  Savage Arms products.  Western Auto  sold a                                                              
weapon to a customer. After the weapon  was then sold several more                                                              
times,  an accident  occurred  and the  victim's  family sued  the                                                              
insurance company.  The insurance company settled the  suit and is                                                              
now trying to recover  its costs. He asked if that  is an accurate                                                              
description.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-14, SIDE B                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NOBREGA said  that several  companies  are involved.  Western                                                              
Auto was  the final company to  sell the product. The  family sued                                                              
both Western  Auto and the  makers of  the rifle, which  is Savage                                                              
Industries. Western Auto settled  and now its insurance company is                                                              
trying to  sue the company  that purchased  the company  that made                                                              
the rifle for the amount it paid to the family.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY asked if the settlement  was less than $5 million.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA said she believes it was about $5.4 million.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY asked if it is two  or three times that amount now                                                              
due to interest and attorneys' fees.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NOBREGA said  she  has heard  it is  about  $14 million.  She                                                              
repeated that HB 499 will not affect  the outcome of the trial; it                                                              
will determine the law of the land.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD questioned  Ms. Nobrega's  statement that  HB 499                                                              
will not affect the outcome of the trial.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NOBREGA  said that  is  correct  because  there is  no  final                                                              
outcome yet. She added:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The Supreme Court is deciding  what the law is therefore                                                                   
     then  - just  ignoring this  bill  for right  now -  the                                                                   
     Supreme Court  then sends what  the law is back  down to                                                                   
     the court.  Then you  have to argue  whether or  not the                                                                   
     facts of  the case - applying  the facts of the  case to                                                                   
     the law  will equal  some kind  of judgment for  Western                                                                   
     Auto to get money. The Supreme  Court found two areas of                                                                   
     the law they decided, or two,  let's say, [indisc.] that                                                                   
     you  can argue  in  the lower  court.  One is  generally                                                                   
     recognized and it's allowed  for in this bill. The other                                                                   
     is a  modern theory that has  been rejected by  many and                                                                   
     we're also  rejecting. They  will be able  to -  if this                                                                   
     bill becomes  law - there are four actual  exceptions in                                                                   
     there  they would be  able to  argue. So there  actually                                                                   
     has  been no arguing  of the  law and  the facts.  We're                                                                   
     still in the  setting the law phase of the  litigation -                                                                   
     what is  the law that we  want to apply these  facts to.                                                                   
     There  will be  a long  trial to  look into  all of  the                                                                   
     facts  of who  the shareholders  were  of each  company,                                                                   
     what   assets    were   purchased,   are    they   still                                                                   
     manufacturing,  what are they  still manufacturing,  how                                                                   
     those  two  companies -  the  successor who  bought  the                                                                   
     company  and  the  company who  manufactured  the  rifle                                                                   
     initially,  how   those  two  work  together.   That  is                                                                   
     successor  liability and  that is what  the whole  trial                                                                   
     would be  about. Should this  company be liable  for the                                                                   
     rifle  manufacturer's  defective  product? There  is  no                                                                   
     final  judgment now.  They're  only looking  at the  law                                                                   
     right now and what the law is.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  asked if  the reason HB  499 will not  affect the                                                              
final judgment is  because it does not exist but  that HB 499 will                                                              
affect the outcome  of the case and who wins, who  loses, who pays                                                              
and who receives.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NOBREGA said  how  the facts  are applied  in  the case  will                                                              
[indisc.] the  final judgment  but there have  not been  any facts                                                              
argued to any theories of law.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD asked if the people  arguing the other side of the                                                              
case agree with Ms. Nobrega's interpretation.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA said they do not.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD remarked that this bill will change the rules.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NOBREGA  said  that  changing the  rules  and  affecting  the                                                              
outcome  are two different  things.  She agreed  that HB 499  will                                                              
change the rules.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  said the threshold  is to convince  the committee                                                              
that the rules in the case should be changed.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  commented that changing the  rules will change                                                              
the outcome  because  the one exception  they  may have relied  on                                                              
would no longer be available.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  said that he owned  an excavating company  at one                                                              
time. The name of the company still  exists but he sold all of the                                                              
equipment  at  an  auction.  He said  he  doesn't  understand  how                                                              
someone  who  was  injured  on  that  equipment  could  blame  his                                                              
corporation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said she  does not believe  that scenario  would fall                                                              
under HB 499  because he was not a manufacturer  or distributor of                                                              
that equipment.  She explained  that products  liability  does not                                                              
hold users of equipment liable.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   COWDERY  said   he  manufactured   rollover   protection                                                              
equipment for his equipment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said the maker  of a product  will always  be liable.                                                              
Whether or not  the company that buys that product  and resells it                                                              
is liable is the  question. She said she was not  sure how to work                                                              
Senator  Cowdery's scenario  into  the discussion  right now.  She                                                              
said  the general  rule is  that no  one wants  to hold  successor                                                              
companies liable  because no  one would  buy an existing  company.                                                              
That is the reason the exceptions exist.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked if the four other exceptions  will still                                                              
be available.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA said that is correct.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT cautioned  that the state does not  want to get                                                              
into  a situation  where someone  may try  to break  the chain  by                                                              
selling just the machinery and not the stock.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said most  of the exceptions  work around  the theory                                                              
that these are good reasons to hold the company.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   HALFORD  suggested   the  evaluation   is  whether   the                                                              
continuation  of  a 75-year  old  name  is  worth picking  up  the                                                              
liability of a product that carries that name.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT said  he believes  that would  be an  integral                                                              
part of arguing  that it was either a merger or  a continuation of                                                              
the predecessor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  said in this case  there was actual  distress and                                                              
bankruptcy.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said when  a company  purchases another's  assets and                                                              
continues  to make the  same products  and use  the same  name, it                                                              
would be subject  to liability and that would be  entered into the                                                              
valuation of how much was paid for that company.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  said that  is what happened  in the  Western Auto                                                              
case - they  kept the name and  most of the products  although not                                                              
the product that caused the accident.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if they  kept the name of the business or                                                              
the name of the product.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA said  it is her understanding that they  kept the name                                                              
but they did not buy the particular rifle that exploded.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS  asked  if  one  of  the  parties  in  the  lawsuit                                                              
requested the bill.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA said  the request came from representatives  of Savage                                                              
Arms. She pointed out that concerns  have been expressed about the                                                              
retroactivity  provision. She  maintained that  most attorneys  in                                                              
the state  would say  the bill contains  what was  the law  of the                                                              
land until the Supreme Court adopted  the continuity of enterprise                                                              
theory. She noted that without the  retroactivity provision, there                                                              
will  be a "bubble  in time  of a  weird theory  that most  people                                                              
aren't used to..."  By making it retroactive, the  law of the land                                                              
regarding  successor liability  will  be kept  at  the status  quo                                                              
before, during, and after the case.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS  asked  how  far back  in  time  the  retroactivity                                                              
extends.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said it extends forever,  which is the  way attorneys                                                              
figured the law was before this case.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS asked  how she knows  what attorneys  all over  the                                                              
state think and whether she polled them.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said she knows  because she  went to law  school. She                                                              
stated that before  this decision, the idea of  products liability                                                              
had never been addressed in Alaska.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD asked what happened  to the victim of the accident                                                              
in this case from the perspective of equity.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA said she does not know  the specifics but believes the                                                              
injury was severe.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  asked if  the injury  was one  that was  worth $5                                                              
million.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said that is what  Western Auto settled for  but that                                                              
she does not know what the injury was worth.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD  asked if  Western  Auto  settled and  then  sued                                                              
Savage Arms.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said that is correct;  the manufacturer of  the rifle                                                              
is no longer  in existence so Western  Auto "is going to  the next                                                              
deepest pocket they can find."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD asked if the argument  is between two companies at                                                              
this point.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA  said the argument  is between Allstate  Insurance and                                                              
Lloyds of London, and Savage Arms.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD asked if the injured party is taken care of.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA said that is correct.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY moved  to  calendar CSHB  499(JUD)  and its  zero                                                              
fiscal note at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS objected.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  announced  the motion  carried  with  Senators                                                              
Cowdery,  Halford, Therriault  and Phillips  in favor and  Senator                                                              
Ellis opposed.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  moved to calendar HB 507am-NAMING  TRANSPORTATION                                                          
FACILITIES & AREAS.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS objected.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS asked for an explanation of the measure.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. JUDY OHMER,  staff to Representative Kott, sponsor  of HB 507,                                                              
explained  that HB  507 began  as a way  to commemorate  a lot  of                                                              
Alaska's  fallen heroes  - those  people who gave  their lives  to                                                              
others in  service. It then became  a "naming" bill  via additions                                                              
made in the Senate  Transportation Committee. HB 507  began with a                                                              
weigh station at  mile 10.6 on the Glen Highway  named after State                                                              
Trooper  Roelle and  a bike  trail  along the  Glen Highway  named                                                              
after Officer Justin Todd Wollam.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY  noted  that  three more  places  were  named  in                                                              
commemoration in the Senate Transportation Committee version.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  Ms. Ohmer  if  Trooper Roelle's  family                                                              
wants a weigh station named after him.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. OHMER said very much so.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  moved to  calendar HB 507am  and its  zero fiscal                                                              
note at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that  with no further  objection, the                                                              
motion carried.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The committee took up CSHB 521(CRA)-MUNICIPAL IMPROVEMENT AREAS.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. AMY  ERICKSON, staff to  Representative Murkowski,  sponsor of                                                              
HB  521,  informed  members that  this  legislation  clarifies  an                                                              
ambiguity in the  current law that tax increment  financing can be                                                              
used to improve  public areas. It  can be used with  revenue bonds                                                              
and general obligation  bonds. HB 521 also extends  the definition                                                              
of improvement area to include areas adjacent to blighted land.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY   moved  to  calendar   CSHB  521(CRA)   and  its                                                              
accompanying fiscal note at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that without  objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The committee took up HB 527-MINTO FLATS GAME REFUGE.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGH  FATE said HB 527  is the result of  a problem                                                              
brought to  his attention on April  25. The Department  of Natural                                                              
Resources (DNR) had denied access  into the core area of the Minto                                                              
Flats.  The  Commissioner agreed  there  is  probably a  need  for                                                              
clarification.  At the  same time  discussions  were ongoing  with                                                              
DNR, the  interior delegation  requested  that the House  Resource                                                              
Committee sponsor it. He believes the amendment made in the                                                                     
Senate Resources Committee is appropriate.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD moved to calendar HB 527 with its accompanying                                                                  
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
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 3:00 p.m.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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