Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/16/1994 09:16 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 CHAIRMAN LEMAN announces that SB 237 (WEAPONS POSSESSION/SALE BY/TO 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 weapon. 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 currently. Number 127 SENATOR DUNCAN asks what DPS's position on the original bill was, which only included a provision addressing juvenile possession of weapons. 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 bill. 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 individuals. 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 treatment. 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 237. 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 school. 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 weapon. 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 lessee. 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.