Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/16/1994 09:16 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                 
                       February 16, 1994                                       
                           9:16 a.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Loren Leman, Chair                                                    
 Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chair                                               
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
 Senator Jim Duncan                                                            
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE BILL NO. 227                                                           
 "An Act relating to terminal rental adjustment clauses for motor              
 vehicles and trailers."                                                       
 HOUSE BILL NO. 117                                                            
 "An Act naming the Manvil H. Olson Bridge."                                   
 SENATE BILL NO. 237                                                           
 "An Act relating to offenses involving delivery of firearms to                
 minors and to offenses involving possession of dangerous                      
 instruments, including firearms, by minors."                                  
 SENATE BILL NO. 267                                                           
 "An Act relating to the training of law enforcement and corrections           
 officers; to the establishment of surcharges to be assessed for               
 violations of certain traffic offenses; creating the Alaska police            
 standards training fund; and providing for an effective date."                
 SENATE BILL NO. 216                                                           
 "An Act relating to the sale, display, or distribution of material            
 harmful to minors at places where minors are allowed to be present            
 and where minors are allowed to view such material."                          
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 SB 227 - No previous senate committee action.                                 
 HB 117 - See Transportation minutes dated 4/8/93.                             
 SB 237 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/9/94 and 2/11/94.                  
 SB 267 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/11/94.                             
 SB 216 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/11/94.                             
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 C.E. Swackhammer, Deputy Commissioner                                         
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 111200, Juneau, AK 99811-1200¶465-4322                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:  opposed to SB 237                                       
 Portia Babcock, Aide                                                          
 Senate State Affairs Committee                                                
 State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-2095                                 
  POSITION STATEMENT:  prime sponsor of SB 237                                 
 Carol Carroll, Aide                                                           
 Senator Kerttula                                                              
 State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-6600                                 
  POSITION STATEMENT:  prime sponsor of SB 227                                 
 Sharon Peek, Aide                                                             
 Representative Menard                                                         
 State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-2679                                 
  POSITION STATEMENT:  prime sponsor of HB 117                                 
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 94-9, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at           
 9:16 a.m.                                                                     
 Number 030                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN announces that SB 194 (WAITING LIST FOR PIONEERS               
 HOME) will not be heard in committee today.  The prime sponsor has            
 requested the committee to hold off on hearing the bill.                      
 Number 022                                                                    
 MINORS) will be the first order of business before the Senate State           
 Affairs Committee today.                                                      
 Number 141                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Swackhammer from the Department of Public             
 Safety if he and his staff wish to join the committee at the table.           
 Number 046                                                                    
 C.E. SWACKHAMMER, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Public Safety            
 (DPS), states after the department received a copy of the new                 
 version of SB 237, the department submitted a seventeen page                  
 document to the committee on the bill.  Mr. Swackhammer notes that            
 several of the points made in the seventeen page document have been           
 incorporated into the new committee substitute for SB 237.                    
 Number 092                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN asks how SB 237 compares to the house bill relating            
 to the carrying of concealed weapons.                                         
 Number 100                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says SB 237 is similar to the house bill, but there           
 are many differences.  One, is that the house bill has training               
 requirements for qualifying for a permit to carry a concealed                 
 Number 103                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN says the reason he is asking is adding a concealed             
 carry provision to SB 237 makes the bill more controversial than it           
 needs to be.  He wants to know why the committee wishes to do this,           
 since there is another bill which already addresses the concealed             
 carry issue.                                                                  
 Number 116                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says he thinks it is a topic that ought to be                  
 discussed and he saw SB 237 as a reasonable vehicle for doing so.             
 The chairman thinks if the committee looks at the Department of               
 Public Safety's comments and suggestions, then it is possible that            
 SB 237 could be crafted so that it is less controversial than it is           
 Number 127                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN asks what DPS's position on the original bill was,             
 which only included a provision addressing juvenile possession of             
 Number 132                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says the department was in the process of reviewing           
 SB 237, when the provision for concealed carrying was added.  At              
 that point, the DPS concentrated on the concealed carry portion of            
 the bill.                                                                     
 Number 136                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN wants to know if there was any discussion of just              
 the original bill, without the concealed weapons provision, that              
 indicated any support or opposition to it.                                    
 Number 140                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states there was testimony from the Division of                
 Family & Youth Services (DFYS).  The chairman believes that, with             
 the exception of some minor technicalities which need work, there             
 will not be much opposition to that portion of the bill.                      
 Number 153                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN asks if DPS had a position on the juvenile                     
 possession portion of SB 237.                                                 
 Number 156                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says DPS did review that portion of the bill, and             
 saw it as a positive tool for law enforcement.                                
 Number 158                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN asks if any significant opposition has surfaced to             
 the juvenile possession portion of SB 237.                                    
 Number 160                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says no significant opposition has surfaced, just              
 minor fix-ups on some of the definitions, and whether a juvenile              
 should go straight to adult court.                                            
 Number 184                                                                    
 PORTIA BABCOCK, Aide, Senate State Affairs Committee, states                  
 committee members should have a new work draft committee substitute           
 before them (8-LS1365\U) and a memo from Jack Chenoweth,                      
 Legislative Drafter, dated February 14, 1994.  Ms. Babcock reviews            
 the changes in the new work draft cs.                                         
 Number 286                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER moves the committee adopt the new committee                    
 substitute for SB 237.                                                        
 Number 289                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, notes that work draft                   
 8-LS1365\U has been adopted in lieu of the previous committee                 
 substitute.  The chairman asks Mr. Swackhammer to walk the                    
 committee through the department's responses to SB 237.                       
 Number 294                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER states the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has              
 prepared a seventeen page document on issues relating to concealed            
 carry that the department would like to see addressed by the                  
 legislature.  The document has been submitted to the committee.               
 Mr. Swackhammer reviews the document submitted by DPS.                        
 Number 341                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asks about a finding of delinquency on page twelve             
 of SB 237.                                                                    
 Number 346                                                                    
 MS. BABCOCK replies the penalty of suspension of driver's license             
 is an additional penalty for a juvenile who has a weapons violation           
 of carrying a weapon without permission from their parent or                  
 guardian, not withstanding one of the exceptions outlined in the              
 Number 358                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR comments that would only seem to affect a child                
 interested in driving.                                                        
 Number 362                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states loss of driver's license is in addition to              
 penalties set out in section 9, paragraphs 1-5 of SB 237.  The                
 chairman asks that the committee return to the briefing by Mr.                
 Swackhammer on DPS's seventeen page document.                                 
 Number 370                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER continues with his briefing.                                  
 Number 382                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Swackhammer if the department intends to              
 make the renewal as extensive as the original application.                    
 Number 386                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER responds DPS does not intend to make renewal of               
 permits as extensive as the original application.                             
 Mr. Swackhammer continues with his briefing.                                  
 Number 411                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR says there needs to be a provision in the bill                 
 allowing peace officers access to mental health information on                
 Number 428                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says that is a substantive issue for the                      
 department.  DPS currently has not access to much of the                      
 information sources relating to mental health of individuals.                 
 Perhaps applicants could sign a waiver allowing the department                
 access to that type of information.                                           
 Number 438                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR is also concerned about paragraphs nine and ten on             
 page 5 of DPS's analysis, which state:                                        
  (9) is not now in and has not previously entered an alcohol                  
  treatment program, unless the person presents the department                 
  with a sworn statement of a medical or psychological pro-                    
  fessional that the person has undergone treatment for alcohol                
  abuse and has demonstrated freedom from alcohol impairment for               
  the five years immediately preceding the application;                        
  (10)...substance abuse treatment program....                                 
 Senator Taylor thinks that even on police forces one can probably             
 find that 15%-20% of the population are practicing alcoholics.                
 Senator Taylor finds these two paragraphs very offensive, because             
 we are trying to encourage people to get into alcohol programs, not           
 avoid the problem.  Senator Taylor states under this paragraph,               
 George Jacko would not be eligible for a concealed weapon permit.             
 Number 461                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER responds DPS's premise is that lethal concealed               
 weapons are being placed among citizenry who do not currently carry           
 those.  He states if a person has demonstrated a propensity to be             
 dependant on either alcohol or drugs, the thinking capability                 
 during that period of time is absent for good judgement.  DPS feels           
 if a person successfully completed any kind of treatment program,             
 they could be given an affidavit by a doctor that they are free               
 from that impairment.                                                         
 Number 472                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR states that as a practical matter, the doctor                  
 doesn't know; there is no way to know if that person is a closet              
 alcoholic or not.  There is not a single doctor out there who will            
 tell the committee he can tell whether or not someone is still                
 abusing alcohol.  You are setting up the professional to be liable            
 for that kind of statement.  Senator Taylor wants to know where the           
 magic number 5 years came from.                                               
 Number 478                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says 5 years was taken from language in the bill.             
 Number 480                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR says some drafter apparently decided 5 years was               
 probably a good amount of time.                                               
 Number 482                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states the document Senator Taylor is looking at is            
 DPS's response to the bill, so DPS didn't have anything to do with            
 the language in the bill.  The chairman says he will flag this as             
 being a potential trouble spot in the bill, and asks that the                 
 committee get back to the review of DPS's response to SB 237.                 
 Number 488                                                                    
 MS. BABCOCK states the language regarding the alcohol treatment               
 program is in the current version of SB 237, however, the substance           
 abuse language is not in the bill.  To make it more consistent, the           
 committee should discuss either adding the substance abuse                    
 language, or removing all language relating to alcohol and                    
 substance abuse.                                                              
 Number 495                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states it is his opinion that whatever is done, it             
 should be consistent.                                                         
 Number 498                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR wants the committee to understand one thing: there             
 is a significant difference between a group of people who                     
 voluntarily submit themselves to some form of alcohol counseling or           
 treatment, as Senator Jacko did- who here will step up and say he             
 is an alcoholic?  Or that he somehow would have used or abused a              
 firearm in that condition?  But that is what we are doing with this           
 legislation.  Senator Taylor asks Mr. Swackhammer how police                  
 departments get cops who have a drinking problem to get alcohol               
 treatment if this bill is passed.  He says under this bill, a cop             
 would lose his job for five years, and then would have to get an              
 affidavit from a doctor before he could go back to work.                      
 Number 510                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER states that for the Department of Public Safety,              
 when a cop has a drinking problem, the department makes sure that             
 person does not have a problem while on duty, or is dependent,                
 before being put back on duty.                                                
 Number 515                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asks Mr. Swackhammer if the department does not make           
 them wait five years.                                                         
 Number 516                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says DPS does not make troopers wait five years,              
 but SB 237 does not apply to police officers, it relates to the               
 permitting process.                                                           
 Number 517                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asks Mr. Swackhammer to clarify that police officers           
 who carry a loaded 357 magnum 24 hours a day will not have to                 
 comply with SB 237, but all the normal citizenry will have to wait            
 five years?  Senator Taylor says he has known a lot of drunk cops,            
 and he is not really excited about the idea that cops can be                  
 drunks, and then after a 30 day treatment program and smiling at              
 the chief right, they're back on duty with the loaded gun.                    
 Number 519                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says DPS did not propose the language in SB 237;              
 the language was already in the bill.                                         
 Number 520                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR says he is only suggesting perhaps the playing field           
 should be the same for other human beings.  Senator Taylor asks how           
 much time it takes for a cop to get back on duty after alcohol                
 Number 525                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER states he cannot remember any specific                        
 circumstances regarding police officers with alcohol problems.                
 Number 527                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Senator Taylor to work with Ms. Babcock to                
 address his concerns about provisions in SB 237 relating to alcohol           
 and drug abuse.                                                               
 Number 530                                                                    
 MS. BABCOCK states it is true at this time that law enforcement               
 personnel are completely exempt from anything in these sections.              
 Number 532                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says it is his opinion that there be some                      
 consistency.  The chairman asks Mr. Swackhammer to proceed with his           
 reviewal of DPS's analysis of SB 237.                                         
 Number 533                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER continues with his reviewal.                                  
 Number 545                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER asks Mr. Swackhammer what kind of training would               
 qualify a person for a concealed weapon, and if military training             
 would meet DPS's training requirements.                                       
 Number 051                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says DPS envisions allowing police officers,                  
 corrections people, and others with that type of training to                  
 qualify for permits without additional training.  He says 8-10 hour           
 courses dealing with gun safety, which also addressed the legal               
 parameters of using a weapon in self defense would qualify.  He               
 says requirements for gun courses should not be put in statute, so            
 there can be flexibility in courses allowed.                                  
 Number 566                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says that could have negative aspects if, in the               
 future, DPS adopted repressive regulations, making it difficult for           
 anyone to qualify for a concealed carry permit.                               
 Number 569                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says that is not his intent, nor the intent of the            
 department, but if it would make Chairman Leman feel more                     
 comfortable, a provision could be inserted in the bill stating                
 training requirements are not to exceed "x" number of hours.                  
 Number 578                                                                    
 MS. BABCOCK comments the State of Florida has a four-page statutory           
 section addressing training requirements and exemptions.                      
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says the committee will work with Mr. Swackhammer to           
 develop appropriate language addressing training requirements.                
 The chairman states paragraph 12 on page 6 of the department's                
 analysis troubles him somewhat.                                               
 TAPE 94-9, SIDE B                                                             
 Number 595                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says a person shouldn't have to justify wanting to             
 carry a concealed weapon.                                                     
 Number 584                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says the State of Washington has that clause in               
 their statutes requiring justification for carrying a concealed               
 weapon.  Mr. Swackhammer continues his reviewal of DPS's analysis.            
 Number 577                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR wonders if it wouldn't be a good idea to have                  
 reflected on a person's driver's license that they have a permit to           
 carry a concealed weapon.                                                     
 Senator Taylor is also concerned that a person who does not specify           
 that they have been to an alcohol treatment program on the                    
 application for a concealed carry permit, even if that person                 
 attended the program thirty years ago, is committing a class B                
 felony under SB 237.                                                          
 Number 548                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says the committee might want to clarify what types            
 of inadvertent errors might force a person into perjury.                      
 SENATOR TAYLOR says he meant someone intentionally disregarding               
 that question, not inadvertently omitting that information.                   
 Number 543                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER continues with his reviewal of DPS's analysis of SB
 Number 526                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR comments that there are abuses of departments, he              
 mentions the Department of Environmental Conservation, charging               
 exorbitant amounts of money when fees are allowed to be established           
 by regulation, instead of being in statute.                                   
 Number 521                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says the departments do receive legislative                   
 oversight, and the Department of Public Safety does have a good               
 track record.  Mr. Swackhammer continues with his reviewal of DPS's           
 analysis of SB 237.                                                           
 Number 476                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says he believes federal law applies to weapons in             
 Number 474                                                                    
 MS. BABCOCK says state law prohibits weapons on school grounds.               
 The site in statutes is AS 11.61.220.  Ms. Babcock states the                 
 places where concealed weapons would not be allowed are: airports,            
 courts, correctional institutions, police stations, and The Alaska            
 Marine Highway.                                                               
 Number 470                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asks if people will be allowed to carry concealed              
 weapons in the legislature.                                                   
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if anyone in the room is carrying a concealed             
 SENATOR TAYLOR says he is asking because it is allowed in Texas,              
 and it is estimated that at any given time, about 17% of the                  
 members of the Texas Legislature are armed while on the floor of              
 the legislature.  Senator Taylor says, in jest, that perhaps a                
 firearm would be a handy thing to have in the heat of debate.                 
 Number 453                                                                    
 MR. SWACKHAMMER says the department recommends persons not be                 
 allowed to carry concealed weapons into state or federal offices or           
 political subdivisions.                                                       
 Number 448                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN announces SB 237 will be held over until the                   
 committee meeting Friday, February 18, 1994.                                  
 Number 437                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up the next item on the agenda, SB 227 (MOTOR           
 VEHICLE RENTAL TERMS) and calls the first witness.                            
 Number 435                                                                    
 CAROL CARROL, Aide to Senator Kerttula, says SB 227 will address              
 Terminal Rental Adjustment Clauses (TRAC's) and clarify in statute            
 that just because these clauses are a true lease, does not change             
 the nature of that lease.  This is important for two reasons: one,            
 it will hold down the rental cost to lessees; and two, it will                
 protect the lessor in bankruptcy cases where judges may determine             
 that the lessee had a security interest in the vehicle, and                   
 therefore, hold them up in some manner, wouldn't return them to the           
 lessor, or would use them to satisfy some of the debts of the                 
 Number 414                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if this provision doesn't appear in the Uniform           
 Commercial Code (UCC).  Ms. Carroll replies it does not.                      
 Number 413                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR says the reason he believes it is not in the UCC is            
 there would be a debate as to whether or not the lessee has                   
 acquired an equity interest within the property.  He asks why the             
 legislature should, as a matter of policy, deny the creditors of              
 the bankrupt the opportunity to go after that asset?                          
 Number 375                                                                    
 MS. CARROLL says SB 227 states that a TRAC, in and of itself, does            
 not change the nature of a lease.  That lease may be a security               
 interest lease, but the bill is only saying, just because this                
 clause is in a lease, does not necessarily mean the lessee has any            
 equity in the property.  Also, TRAC's usually appear in commercial            
 leases; they very rarely are consumer leases.                                 
 Number 360                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if anyone has any further comments or questions           
 about SB 227.  Hearing none, he asks what the pleasure of the                 
 committee is.                                                                 
 Number 359                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to move SB 227 from the Senate State            
 Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                            
 Number 358                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN, hearing no objections, releases SB 227 from the                
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 355                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 117 (NAME MANVIL H. OLSON BRIDGE                  
 (SCHROCK RD.)) as the next order of business before the committee.            
 The chairman calls the first witness.                                         
 Number 353                                                                    
 SHARON PEEK, Aide to Representative Menard, states HB 117 would               
 name a bridge the Manvil H. Olson Bridge.  Mr. Manvil was a builder           
 of make-shift bridges.  Many people in the area already refer to              
 the bridge identified in HB 117 the Manvil Olson Bridge.                      
 Number 339                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Peek if, in her opinion, there is strong,             
 local support for naming that particular bridge after Mr. Manvil.             
 Ms. Peek replies that there is very strong, local support.                    
 Number 326                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to move HB 117 from the State Affairs           
 Committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 325                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HB 117 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 323                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting            
 at 10:29 a.m.                                                                 

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