Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/11/1994 09:05 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                 
                         March 11, 1994                                        
                           9:05 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Loren Leman, Chair                                                    
 Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chair                                               
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
 Senator Jim Duncan                                                            
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 All Members Present                                                           
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 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."                          
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 279                                                           
 "An Act relating to operating or driving a motor vehicle,                     
 commercial motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft."                           
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 368                                                            
 "An Act relating to reapplication for the 1993 permanent fund                 
 dividend when the United States Postal Service documents the loss             
 of mail during the 1993 application period; and providing for an              
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 25(L&C)                                
 Relating to a state materials exchange.                                       
                                                                               
 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 29 am                                         
 Relating to the military operations areas environmental impact                
 statement of the United States Air Force.                                     
                                                                               
 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 30                                            
 Relating to the twenty-sixth annual Girls' State.                             
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 313(JUD)                                                
 "An Act relating to suspended imposition of criminal sentences and            
 to the imposition of sentence when a suspended imposition of                  
 sentence is revoked."                                                         
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 248(HES)                                               
 "An Act relating to services for and protection of vulnerable                 
 adults; and providing for an effective date."                                 
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 250                                                           
 "An Act relating to the Older Alaskans Commission and staff of the            
 commission; changing the name of the Older Alaskans Commission to             
 the Alaska Commission on Aging and extending the termination date             
 of the commission; relating to the Alaska Pioneers' Homes Advisory            
 Board; relating to services and programs for older Alaskans; and              
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 21                                                            
 "An Act relating to child visitation rights of grandparents and               
 other persons who are not the parents of the child."                          
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 SB 216 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/11/94, 2/16/94, and                
          3/4/94.                                                              
                                                                               
 SB 279 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/9/94.                              
                                                                               
 HB 368 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/9/94.                              
                                                                               
 HCR 25 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/9/94.                              
                                                                               
 HCR 29 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/9/94.                              
                                                                               
 HCR 30 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/9/94.                              
                                                                               
 HB 313 - No previous senate committee action.                                 
                                                                               
 SB 248 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
        2/2/94, 2/4/94, and 2/16/94.                                           
                                                                               
 SB 250 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
   2/2/94, 2/4/94, and 2/16/94.                                                
                                                                               
 SB 21 - No previous senate committee action.                                  
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Representative Pete Kott                                                      
 State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-3777                                 
  POSITION STATEMENT:  prime sponsor of HB 313                                 
                                                                               
 Margot Knuth, Assistant Attorney General                                      
 Criminal Division                                                             
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300, Juneau, AK 99811-0300¶465-3428                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:  in favor of HB 313                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
 Nancy Bear Usera, Commissioner                                                
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110200, Juneau, AK 99811-0200¶465-2200                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:  in favor of SB 248 & SB 250                             
                                                                               
 Mary Lou Meiners, State Chairperson                                           
 American Association of Retired Persons Legislative Committee                 
 Box 020412, Juneau, AK 99802-0412¶586-2568                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  testified on SB 250                                     
                                                                               
 Connie Sipe, Director                                                         
 Division of Senior Services                                                   
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110209, Juneau, AK 99811-0209¶465-3250                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:  testified on SB 250                                     
                                                                               
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
 State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-3892                                 
  POSITION STATEMENT:  prime sponsor of SB 21                                  
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 94-15, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at           
 9:05 a.m.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 010                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 216 (DISPLAY SEX EXPLICIT MATERIALS               
 NEAR MINOR) as the first order of business before the Senate State            
 Affairs Committee.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 015                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to adopt the State Affairs committee            
 substitute for SB 216.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 021                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders CSSB 216(STA) be                 
 adopted in lieu of the original bill.  The chairman asks if there             
 is anyone in the public who wishes to testify on the bill.                    
                                                                               
 Number 023                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge SB 216 from the State              
 Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders SB 216 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 027                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 279 (DWI LAWS) as the next order of               
 business before the State Affairs Committee.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 033                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge SB 279 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 035                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders SB 279             
 released from committee with individual recommendations.                      
 Number 039                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 368 (REAPPLICATION PERIOD FOR 1993 PF             
 DIVIDEND) as the next order of business before the State Affairs              
 Committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 045                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to discharge HB 368 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 048                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR objects and asks what the next committee of referral           
 is for HB 368.                                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER replies it goes next to the Rules Committee.                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states he is concerned that people in Southeast have           
 been left out of the reapplication period due to the time shift.              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN states the people being allowed to reapply for their            
 1993 dividends are people who applied, but whose applications were            
 lost by the Post Office.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR says he will withdraw his objection.                           
                                                                               
 Number 068                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no further objection, orders HB 368                   
 released from committee with individual recommendations.                      
 Number 072                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN brings up HCR 25 (STATE INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS                    
 EXCHANGE) as the next order of business before the State Affairs              
 Committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 077                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge HCR 25 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 079                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HCR 25 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 081                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN brings up HCR 29 (COMMEND AIR FORCE: ENVIR IMPACT               
 STATEMENT) as the next order of business before the State Affairs             
 Committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 086                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to discharge HCR 29 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 089                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HCR 29 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 091                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HCR 30 (TWENTY-SIXTH ANNUAL GIRLS STATE)             
 as the next order of business before the committee.                           
                                                                               
 Number 095                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to discharge HCR 30 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 097                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HCR 30 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 101                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 313 (IMPOSITION/REVOCATION,SUSPENDED              
 SENTENCES) as the next order of business before the committee.  The           
 chairman calls the prime sponsor to testify.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 103                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT, prime sponsor of HB 313 states HB 313               
 primarily deals with class B misdemeanors.  Under current law, a              
 judge cannot put a person on probation any longer than the maximum            
 period of time that person could be sentenced to prison.  For                 
 instance, the maximum sentence for disorderly conduct is ten days,            
 so a judge could not sentence a person convicted of disorderly                
 conduct to probation for more than ten days.  The intent of HB 313            
 is to give judges a little discretion in sentencing.  It will allow           
 judges to put a defendant on probation for up to a year.  It is               
 hoped that this option in sentencing will free up some prison                 
 space.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Assigning a person to probation, and as a part of that probation              
 requiring them to attend an alcohol rehabilitation program, would             
 not fall under the parameters of the current probation status if              
 the alcohol rehabilitation program is for a longer period of time             
 than the amount of time they are on probation.                                
                                                                               
 Number 128                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there has been any previous objection to HB
 313.                                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT states HB 313 passed the House of                         
 Representatives by a vote of 36 to 0.                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is anyone in the public who wishes to            
 testify on HB 313.  The chairman asks Ms. Knuth if she would like             
 to join the committee at the table.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 132                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states that, as a former district court judge, had             
 the provisions contained in HB 313 been available to him, he would            
 have utilized them.  There are many times when the amount of                  
 maximum sentence allowable forces a judge to actually incarcerate             
 more frequently when there isn't opportunity to do the type of                
 probationary activities that will often times turn a person around.           
 Senator Taylor thinks HB 313 is an excellent idea.                            
                                                                               
 Number 142                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division,                  
 Department of Law states the Department of Law very much supports             
 HB 313.  It is something the department knows judges would like to            
 have as an option during sentencing.  Many judges have trouble                
 deciding whether a person should have suspended imposition of                 
 sentence in 90 days or 10 days.  So the judges enter a conviction             
 of record that cannot be removed from the defendants record,                  
 because that enables the judge to give a defendant a years                    
 probation.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH states the Public Defender's Office, the Office of Public           
 Advocacy, the Court System, and the Department of Law all support             
 HB 313.                                                                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if anyone else wishes to testify on HB 313.               
                                                                               
 Number 170                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge HB 313 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 172                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HB 313 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 178                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 248 (ASSIST & PROTECT VULNERABLE ADULT)           
 as the next order of business before the committee.  The chairman             
 calls Commissioner Usera to testify.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 183                                                                    
                                                                               
 NANCY BEAR USERA, Commissioner, Department of Administration says             
 she will make a brief statement about both SB 248 and SB 250.  She            
 states SB 248 and SB 250 are two of a three bill package from the             
 governor affecting senior's programs.                                         
                                                                               
 SB 248 has no fiscal note in terms of new funds; however, it does             
 represent a transfer of funds from the Department of Health &                 
 Social Services to the Department of Administration.  It is part of           
 the effort to consolidate senior's programs into one department.              
 COMMISSIONER USERA states SB 250 is the reorganization of the                 
 commissions that deal with senior's programs.  There is no fiscal             
 note associated with SB 250.                                                  
 (the discussion returns to SB 248.)                                           
 Number 218                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER USERA says the administration is really anxious to see           
 these bills move through the legislative process.                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is any committee discussion.                     
                                                                               
 Number 229                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR says he has a question regarding page 4 of SB 248,             
 where it states gross negligence is the only standard upon which              
 compensatory damages may be awarded.  Senator Taylor thinks that is           
 out of line.  Why should there be a lesser standard in this                   
 circumstance than that which anyone else would have to meet?                  
                                                                               
 Number 242                                                                    
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER USERA states that was an amendment that was made in              
 the Senate Health, Education & Social Services Committee by the               
 committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 253                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asks if the administration takes a position on this            
 language.                                                                     
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER USERA says the administration found that language                
 acceptable based on the discussion at the time the amendment was              
 made.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asks that an amendment to SB 248 be made on page 4.            
 Delete, on line 4, beginning with "A person may not..." through               
 "..personal injury." on line 12.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 268                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states he is suggesting that amendment because if              
 someone misuses their office or their position, they should be                
 liable.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 284                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states he opposes that amendment.  The chairman asks           
 if anyone in the public wishes to comment on the amendment.  The              
 chairman asks Commissioner Usera if the language Senator Taylor is            
 proposing to delete was in the original bill.                                 
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER USERA replies that the language was not in the                   
 original bill, but was added by the Senate Health, Education &                
 Social Services Committee.                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if the objection to the amendment is                      
 maintained.                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states he still objects to the amendment and asks              
 that the role be taken.                                                       
                                                                               
 The amendment is adopted, 3 yeas, 2 nays.  Voting in favor of the             
 amendment are Senators Taylor, Ellis, and Duncan.  Voting against             
 the amendment is Chairman Leman and Senator Miller.                           
                                                                               
 Number 304                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states that on page 11 there is a further immunity             
 provision, but he will not ask for deletion of that provision.                
 SENATOR LEMAN asks if there are any further amendments or                     
 discussion.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 310                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge SB 248 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 311                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders SB 248 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 313                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 250 (REVISE OLDER ALASKANS COMMISSION)            
 as the next order of business before the committee.  The chairman             
 calls Ms. Meiners to testify.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 317                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARY LOU MEINERS, State Chairperson, American Association of                  
 Retired Persons Legislative Committee commends the administration             
 for their work on senior's programs, but takes objection with the             
 provision in SB 250 on page 3, lines 12 and 13, which gives the               
 governor the power to appoint the chair of the Older Alaskans                 
 Commission.  The AARP feels that since the governor appoints all              
 the members of the commission, the commission itself should be able           
 to choose its' chairperson.  Otherwise, the AARP is in favor of SB
 250.                                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 335                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Ms. Meiners if she thinks her concern is really            
 that important.                                                               
                                                                               
 MS. MEINERS says she has received a lot of calls regarding that               
 provision, and people seem to be concerned with it.  She states the           
 people who have contacted her think it is important to retain that            
 one bit of power on the commission.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 345                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN makes a motion, based on Ms. Meiners testimony, to             
 delete section 7 if it would give the commission the power to elect           
 their own chair.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 352                                                                    
                                                                               
 CONNIE SIPE, Director, Division of Senior Services, Department of             
 Administration states if section 7 is deleted, that would enable              
 the commission to elect its' own officers and chairperson.                    
 Number 360                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Commissioner Usera and Ms. Sipe if they can                
 defend section 7.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 361                                                                    
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER USERA responds the difference of opinion on section 7            
 lies in advocacy for the program.  The Older Alaskans Commission,             
 which under SB 250 becomes the Commission on Aging has a dual                 
 mandate, not only to administer programs and establish policy, but            
 also to be an advocate for senior's programs.  The administration             
 believes that advocacy role can be better served if there is a                
 relationship between the governor and the chairman.                           
                                                                               
 Number 383                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN says it also makes sense for the senior community of           
 this state to have a different goal or policy than the                        
 administration, and that the chairman shouldn't necessarily be                
 simply a mouth-piece for the governor.                                        
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER USERA says that isn't the idea, the idea is for the              
 governor to have access to the commission.  If the chairman of a              
 commission is so identified with the prior political appointment,             
 that their access to the governor or to the processes that entails,           
 impairs their ability to do the job.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 398                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN says he has not been convinced and makes a motion to           
 delete section 7 from SB 250.                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states he thinks deleting section 7 would be                   
 preferable.  He has found that if a governor can select all the               
 members of a group, part of the selection process can be that                 
 persons appointed agree to select the person the governor wants for           
 chairperson.                                                                  
                                                                               
 413                                                                           
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER USERA says section 7 is in the administration's best             
 judgement and is their recommendation on how organizations can best           
 be managed.  Certainly, if there is a difference of opinion, the              
 administration will not attempt to hold the bill up or take great             
 exception to an amendment.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 422                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is objection to the motion to delete             
 section 7 from SB 350.  Hearing no objection, the amendment has               
 been adopted.  The chairman asks if there is further discussion on            
 SB 250.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 427                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge SB 250 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 433                                                                    
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER USERA states that on page 2, line 17, section 3 there            
 is a provision allowing the governor to appoint the pioneer home              
 chairperson also.  In the interest of consistency, the commissioner           
 brings that to the committee's attention.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 446                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN makes a motion to delete the material on line 17,              
 page 2.  Hearing no objection, the chairman notes the amendment has           
 been adopted.                                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR renews his motion to discharge SB 250 from the                 
 Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.               
                                                                               
 Number 454                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders SB 250 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 Number 456                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB  21 (MISC. GRANDPARENT VISITATION                 
 RIGHTS) as the next order of business.  The chairman calls Senator            
 Donley to testify.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 463                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DAVE DONLEY, prime sponsor of SB 21 states SB 21 would give           
 grandparents standing to ask a court for visitation rights with               
 their grandchildren.  This bill would simply give them that                   
 standing to ask for visitation rights.  SB 21 does not require that           
 visitation rights be given, it is completely up to the discretion             
 of the judge, but currently grandparents do not have the standing             
 to even ask for visitation.                                                   
 Number 471                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN notes there is one announcement he needs to make,              
 and that is that SB 273 will not be heard today in the State                  
 Affairs Committee.  The prime sponsor has asked that the committee            
 hold off on hearing the bill.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 475                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY states there has been a request by the Alaska                  
 Women's Lobby to delete section 4 of SB 21.  Senator Donley states            
 he does not have any particular objection to deleting that section.           
 Section 4 applies to mutual agreements of dissolution by both                 
 parents, and the court is not involved in that.  Some persons feel            
 that grandparents should not be involved in that process.  Senator            
 Donley thinks that the bill will be a real step forward with or               
 without that section.  He will leave that deletion up to the                  
 committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if what the pleasure of the committee is.                 
                                                                               
 Number 494                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge SB 21 from the Senate              
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
                                                                               
 Number 497                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders SB 21 released from              
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting            
 at 9:43 a.m.                                                                  
                                                                               

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