Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/30/1994 09:07 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE March 30, 1994 9:07 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. 358 "An Act relating to the existence and functions of certain multi- member state bodies, including boards, councils, commissions, associations, or authorities; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 357 "An Act relating to certain study, publication, and reporting requirements by and to state agencies; relating to certain fees for reports; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 365 "An Act relating to the improvement of state finances and fiscal accountability by increasing fees, by collecting additional revenue, by reducing certain program expenditures by changing services or eligibility requirements for programs, by changing certain statutory limitation periods, by providing for use of certain electronic records, by making changes to state agency functions or procedures including certain reporting and planning procedures, and by authorizing extensions for state leases for real property if certain savings can be achieved; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 315(JUD) am "An Act relating to the unauthorized use of or unauthorized interference with transmission and delivery of subscription cable services; and amending the definition of the offense of theft of services and the penalties for its violation." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 323(JUD) am "An Act relating to requests for anatomical gifts and to the release of certain information for the purpose of facilitating anatomical gifts." HOUSE BILL NO. 402 "An Act requiring that an owner's motor vehicle liability insurance policy used as proof of financial responsibility designate by description or appropriate reference the motor vehicles it covers; and providing for an effective date." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 358 - No previous senate committee action. SB 357 - No previous senate committee action. SB 365 - No previous senate committee action. HB 315 - No previous senate committee action. HB 323 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 3/21/94. HB 402 - No previous senate committee action. WITNESS REGISTER Kristie Leaf, Director Boards & Commissions Office of the Governor P.O. Box 110001, Juneau, AK 99811-0001¶465-3500 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SB 358 George Smith, Deputy Director Libraries, Archives, & Museums Department of Education P.O. Box 110571, Juneau, AK 99811-0571 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of SB 358 Arbe Williams, Special Assistant Department of Labor P.O. Box 21149, Juneau, AK 99802-1149¶465-2700 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 358 Senator Dave Donley State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-3892 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 358, SB 365, & HB 402 Harry Gamble, Administrator Office of the Commissioner Department of Education 801 W. 10th St., Suite 200, Juneau, AK 99801-1894¶465-2851 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 358 Linda Rexwinkel, Budget Analyst Division of Budget Review Office of Management & Budget P.O. Box 110020, Juneau, AK 99811-0020¶465-4694 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 357 Sharon Barton, Director Division of Administrative Services Department of Administration P.O. Box 110208, Juneau, AK 99811-0208¶465-2277 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 357 Nancy Slagle, Director Division of Budget Review Office of Management & Budget P.O. Box 110020, Juneau, AK 99811-0020¶465-2178 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of SB 365 Margot Knuth, Assistant Attorney General Criminal Division Department of Law P.O. Box 110300, Juneau, AK 99811-0300¶465-3428 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 365 and HB 315 Juanita Hensley, Chief Driver Services Division of Motor Vehicles Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 20020, Juneau, AK 99802-0020¶465-4335 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 365 Eric Musser, Aide Representative Porter State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-4930 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HB 315 Representative Cynthia Toohey State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-4919 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HB 323 Jens Saakvitne Life Alaska Inc. P.O. Box 230785, Anchorage, AK 99523¶562-5433 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of HB 323 Mark Johnson, Coordinator Emergency Medical Services Division of Public Health Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110616, Juneau, AK 99811-0616¶465-3027 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of HB 323 Linda Giguere, Aide House Labor & Commerce Committee State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-6827 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HB 402 Howard Jaeger Shattuck & Grummett Insurance Agency 301 Seward St., Juneau, AK 99801¶586-2414 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of HB 402 John George National Association of Independent Insurers 9515 Moraine Way, Juneau, AK 99801¶789-0172 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of HB 402 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-21, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at 9:07 a.m. Number 009 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 358 (ELIMINATE SOME STATE MULTIMEMBER BODIES) as the first order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 015 KRISTIE LEAF, Director, Boards & Commissions, Office of the Governor thanks the committee for hearing SB 358 and says the bill is basically a governmental efficiency bill. SB 358 will do several things: first, it will eliminate nine non-functioning boards; second, it streamlines procedures associated with the Alaska Labor Relations Agencies and the Board of Parole; third, it eliminates the statutory Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA); and fourth, it eliminates the Museum Collections Advisory Committee and transfers the committee's duties to the Department of Education. MS. LEAF mentions there were two sectional analysis' submitted to the committee and there are zero fiscal notes accompanying SB 358. Ms. Leaf states she would be happy to go over any changes in more detail and answer any questions the committee might have. Number 047 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Leaf what control the state will have over the non-profit organization that will handle school activities after ASAA is eliminated. The chairman asks if the state will have the ability to over-ride a policy decision by the board if the state does not agree with the decision. Number 062 MS. LEAF responds it is her understanding that the Board of Education will not be able to serve as the board of appeal for the non-profit school activities association, and the board would have to have a separate appeal. The only relationship between the state and the association would be that school districts would contract with and belong to the association. Ms. Leaf says Mr. Gamble from the Department of Education could perhaps answer questions on ASAA. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Leaf if the Board of Appeal would then, in essence, be the school districts themselves. MS. LEAF replies the association itself would need to set up a board of appeal. Ms. Leaf says since the association is a non- profit organization and is not a state entity, the state could not set up a board of appeal. Number 095 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Leaf if the changes dealing with the Board of Parole in SB 358 are different from the changes relating to the Board of Parole in another piece of legislation currently being worked on. Number 101 MS. LEAF responds the changes in SB 358 are the same as changes addressed in the other piece of legislation. It is simply a safeguard to include that language in both bills. Number 110 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there are further questions. The chairman notes the committee now has a quorum. The chairman asks the pleasure of the committee regarding SB 358. The chairman calls the next witness. Number 122 GEORGE SMITH, Deputy Director, Libraries, Archives, & Museums, Department of Education gives the committee some background history on the Museum Advisory Committee on Acquisitions. MR. SMITH states that currently, the acquisitions committee is overseeing a very limited acquisitions budget. The entire acquisitions budget for the museum is about 50,000$. Approximately half of that money is spent on acquisitions over 1,000$, and so would be overseen by the acquisitions committee. The expenses for the required travel of the committee, as well as services and supplies, is 6,000$ per year. Staff support time equals an additional 16,000$. So about 22,000$ per year is being spent to oversee an acquisitions budget of about 25,000$. MR. SMITH states the Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums feels the internal controls in place now, make it virtually impossible for inappropriate acquisitions or deaccessions to occur. For a safeguard, SB 358 stipulates any acquisition or deaccession with a value over 1,000$ would require the signature of the commissioner of the Department of Education. Mr. Smith states the Department of Education favors passage of SB 358. Number 204 SENATOR TAYLOR asks why the provisions for the Museum Advisory Committee on Acquisitions should be left in statute, merely changing "committee" to "commissioner" and "department". Why not simply repeal the provisions and allow the commissioner to handle acquisitions and disposals. MR. SMITH replies that would be an acceptable alternative. CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the next witness. Number 225 ARBE WILLIAMS, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department of Labor states section 10 of SB 358 addresses a concern of the Alaska Labor Relations Agency. At this time, the law requires that when a Railroad Labor Relations case is at impasse, the person who previously served as mediator, then serves as arbitrator. At this point, the Alaska Labor Relations Agency uses the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in labor negotiations. However, the charter of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service stipulates that mediators cannot serve as arbitrators. The Department of Labor would like state statute changed to eliminate the requirement that the mediator of a case serves as arbitrator when a case reaches impasse. Number 255 MS. WILLIAMS addresses amendment #1 to SB 358. The Department of Labor asks that an amendment be made to the Alaska Worker's Compensation Act, expanding the Alaska Worker's Compensation Board from five panels to six panels. The department feels this is part of a solution to the critical problem facing the board. In 1983 the state was sued because it did not meet the statutory requirements for issuing decisions and orders, which is thirty days. The state lost that case and had to pay 250,000$. Right now, forty-four decisions and orders are not issued within the required thirty day time frame. The Department of Labor has received serious inquiries from prominent employee attorneys asking for statistical information on the Alaska Worker's Compensation Board response record. The department sees another impending class action suit. An increase from five panels to six has a zero fiscal note and would simply serve to speed up the hearing and review process. There is zero fiscal impact because the panels would not be meeting more frequently, they would simply be meeting sooner. Number 290 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says it is his intent to hold SB 358 and pick up amendment #1 in a committee substitute. The chairman asks if there is anyone else who wishes to testify on SB 358. Hearing none, he states the committee will set it aside until the committee has a quorum. Number 306 SENATOR DONLEY states he is concerned with allowing school boards to delegate their authority to a non-profit group to make policy decisions. In the past, the final decision came back to the state. If that authority is delegated to a non-profit to avoid the responsibility of those decisions, where do voters get accountability. Number 319 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states he is concerned with that also, and the Blomfield case comes to his mind. ASAA said they could not do what Blomfield wanted because it went against their bylaws. Number 325 SENATOR DONLEY adds Blomfield appealed through the process and were told by the Department of Education that the rules were being changed by pending legislation and Blomfield would have to start the process all over again with the new group. SENATOR TAYLOR asks where in SB 358 it refers to the Blomfield case. CHAIRMAN LEMAN replies SB 358 does not refer directly to Blomfield, but deletes any reference to the Alaska Student Activities Association (ASAA) because that group is now functioning as a non- profit organization. The section of SB 358 referring to ASAA is section 11. Number 337 SENATOR DONLEY states SB 358 was the excuse given by the Department of Education for not ruling on the appeal by Blomfield. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is anyone from the Department of Education who can respond to this. Number 342 HARRY GAMBLE, Administrator, Commissioner's Office, Department of Education says in 1987 the legislature removed the Alaska School Activities Association from the Department of Education's budget. In its place, ASAA filed articles of incorporation. At that time, ASAA began acting independently of statutes and of the department. The only connection between the department, the State Board of Education, and ASAA was that the State Board of Education continued to serve as the appeals review commission for students looking for waivers to the rules of ASAA. MR. GAMBLE says that the Department of Education now has an opinion from the Attorney General saying that ASAA and ASAA Inc. are two very separate and distinct bodies. ASAA Inc. is an entity not addressed in statute and over which the state has no control. In the view of the Department of Education, the Blomfield case is not an appealable issue. That is something that would have gone to the court. Blomfield seeks relief from one of the rules of ASAA which requires students who participate in interscholastic activities to attend the school for which they compete. Number 376 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Gamble to clarify whether it is ASAA or ASAA Inc. which is no longer in existence. MR. GAMBLE clarifies he meant to say ASAA ceases to exist. Number 379 SENATOR DONLEY wants to know why Blomfield wasn't told that the Department of Education was not the proper place to appeal. Blomfield was in fact told the Department of Education was the proper place to appeal to by ASAA Inc and by the Anchorage School Board. Number 383 MR. GAMBLE replies the State Board of Education did inform these people that this was something that was not appealable to the State Board of Education. He does not know what ASAA Inc. told them. SENATOR DONLEY states the Board of Education did not tell them it was not the proper place to appeal until after Blomfield had already appealed and waited for months and months. MR. GAMBLE says he is trying to recall that issue, and is not sure what ASAA Inc. told anyone. He says he thinks the Blomfield's asked ASAA Inc. to change the rule. Number 390 SENATOR DONLEY says ASAA Inc. told the Blomfield's the rule couldn't be changed without approval from the State Board of Education. When the Blomfield's went to the Board of Education, the board said they would not deal with the issue because they were waiting for pending legislation to pass. Number 395 MR. GAMBLE says a regulation was approved by the State Board of Education that would have changed the ASAA bylaws to allow students from private, correspondence, or homeschools to participate in the activities of public schools. The board conducted hearings and decided there was to much opposition from the public schools to proceed. In the meantime, the board also received the opinion from the Attorney General's Office saying ASAA Inc. was separate and distinct from the state, and the board did not have control over that body. Number 404 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Senator Donley if it is his opinion that passing SB 358 would do a disservice to Blomfield and people similarly situated. Number 405 SENATOR DONLEY thinks the Blomfields were denied due process based on anticipated legislative action. Senator Donley thinks the legislature should send the Board of Education a really clear message that they will not be an excuse for the board denying the Blomfields due process. Number 408 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Senator Donley if he is suggesting that the section relating to ASAA not be deleted at this time, and that it will perhaps be deleted at a future time when they have done their job. Number 412 SENATOR DONLEY says that would be his request at this point. He does not think it is fair to someone who has gone all the way through the process, done everything they were told to do by state government, and then when they reach the end, they are told that their problem will not be dealt with because the legislature is going to change the rules. Number 420 CHAIRMAN LEMAN comments that in this particular case, the only thing that happened was that the woman bringing the case happened to have sufficient resources to be able to bring the case. He has read the case, and he thinks Ms. Blomfield has been mistreated throughout the whole process. Number 424 SENATOR TAYLOR asks if there is a way to take care of the Blomfield situation and still accomplishing what the Department of Education wants to accomplish. SENATOR DONLEY says he would be open to that, and perhaps the department could make a recommendation. Number 430 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Gamble if there is anything the legislature could do to assist in solving this problem. Number 435 MR. GAMBLE responds the Blomfield case is not driving the desire to repeal the statutes relating to ASAA. The department would have to think about the chairman's question. Perhaps something can be done in statute to require schools that join a private non-profit to have that association allow private school students to participate in public school activities. Number 443 SENATOR DONLEY says that is a policy decision that there would have to be many hearings on. His problem with SB 358 is it was used as an excuse to not resolve the Blomfield case. Blomfield was entitled to a yes or no answer. Instead of an answer, they were told that the legislature was going to take it away from the department's authority, so then the department wouldn't have to deal with it. So Blomfield has wasted thousands of dollars and all this time, and the legislature was given as the excuse. Number 455 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Leaf where the reference to ASAA is in section 11 of SB 358. MS. LEAF responds it is in AS 14.07.058 and 059. CHAIRMAN LEMAN says the committee will move on to the next bill on the calendar. Number 463 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 357 (REQUIRED REPORTS OF STATE AGENCIES) as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman calls the first witness. Number 470 LINDA REXWINKEL, Analyst, Division of Budget Review, Office of Management & Budget (OMB) states SB 357 is the culmination of a study by OMB. OMB worked with departments to identify annual reports which were either duplicative and unnecessary, or could be amended to a biennial, rather than an annual report. MS. REXWINKEL states the committee has been provided with a sectional analysis of the bill. That analysis identifies bill section, statute citation, a brief summary of the report itself, and the cost the departments believe is currently associated with the production of that report. SB 357 is seen as an efficiency measure. Zero fiscal notes accompany the bill. Ms. Rexwinkel then reviews the sectional analysis. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Rexwinkel about section 11, which deletes the requirement that the Department of Military & Veteran's Affairs (DMVA) submit a report. The chairman asks if there is a provision elsewhere requiring DMVA to submit a report. MS. REXWINKEL responds it is her understanding that this reporting requirement may have been in place when DMVA was a subset of the Governor's Office. Now it is a regular department, so the actions and activities of that entity would now be covered in their regular operating budget. So having a separate report is extraneous. Number 500 SENATOR DUNCAN asks the reasoning behind section 11, making the APOC (Alaska Public Offices Commission) report on lobbying a biennial report. Senator Duncan asks what is in the annual report from APOC regarding lobbyists. Number 506 SHARON BARTON, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Administration responds she is not familiar with the content of the report, but the logic behind making the report biennial is that the APOC staff is small, and the information in the report is generally available at all times. A biennial report would relieve the staff's workload burden. Number 520 SENATOR DUNCAN says he is concerned because the report is not just a report to the legislature, but is also a report to the public. CHAIRMAN LEMAN adds perhaps the APOC report on the legislature should be biennial also. SENATOR DUNCAN says the reason for APOC's existence is public disclosure. Number 528 SENATOR TAYLOR says the only persons interested in APOC's reports are the newspapers. Perhaps we should just report the information directly to the newspapers and save money. Number 530 SENATOR DUNCAN says he is concerned with section 11, and is not sure the APOC's report on lobbying should be changed to a biennial basis. Number 532 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states he had planned to hear SB 357 today, and perhaps move the bill next Wednesday. That will give the committee a chance to become familiar with the bill. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if, relating to the language under section 31 deleting the requirement to report to the legislature every year on medical assistance, that information is made available in some other place. MS. REXWINKEL replies that information can be found in the department's regular operating budget, so the reporting requirement is duplicative. Number 549 SENATOR DUNCAN is concerned with item 4, page 4 of the sectional analysis, which states, "Repeals the annual reporting requirement by APOC to publish copies of Conflict of Interest Statements to lobbyists to facilitate the filing of their reports. Information is made available on an individual basis for lobbyists." MS. REXWINKEL responds the thought behind that item is that the Department of Administration and APOC felt that the information was already available, rather than going through the time and expense of publishing a report. Lobbyists can simply ask questions as needed, which would save the department time and effort. SENATOR DUNCAN asks Ms. Rexwinkel to clarify that this provision would not stop the publishing of a disclosure report. CHAIRMAN LEMAN replies this provision would make information available to lobbyists to help them with the filing of their reports. SENATOR DUNCAN states if that's what the provision would do, he no longer has a concern with it. He would only be concerned if it halted the publishing of a report of disclosure to the public. MS. REXWINKEL states she will follow up on Senator Duncan's concern to make sure it would not affect the publishing of a report of disclosure to the public. Number 569 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there are further questions for Ms. Rexwinkel. The chairman asks if anyone else wishes to testify. Hearing none, he announces the committee will set SB 357 aside and take up again on Wednesday. Number 574 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 365 (GOVERNOR'S OMNIBUS BILL) as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman calls the first witness. Number 576 NANCY SLAGLE, Director, Division of Budget Review, Office of Management & Budget (OMB) states SB 365 would increase fees and reduce expenses wherever practicable in state government. A sectional analysis which briefly explains each of the sections was provided to the committee... TAPE 94-21, SIDE B MS SLAGLE says she can either walk the committee through the sectional analysis or answer specific questions. Number 581 SENATOR TAYLOR wants to know why non-mutual collateral estoppel against the state is abolished, but is ok against all other parties. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks that collateral estoppel be defined. MS. SLAGLE responds it has to do with a decision that has been made in one district, and whether that decision would apply to a similar case in another district. Ms. Slagle states it is her understanding that the Department of Law believes disallowing non- mutual collateral estoppel against the state could be an extensive cost-saving measure. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is anyone from the Department of Law present who could speak to the question. Number 557 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Law states the Civil Division in the Department of Law is involved in this issue as well, and it would probably be good for the committee to hear from someone in that division as well. MS. KNUTH replies, in answer to Senator Taylor's question, the state is probably the one party involved in the greatest number of lawsuits throughout the State of Alaska. The state loses a number of cases, and the way the state decides whether or not to appeal a case is if it can live with the decision in that particular case. There are all sorts of adverse decisions against the state which the state does not feel it is important to appeal. It may be a small case, or perhaps the state even feels that the right result for that individual was reached in that decision. Probably under appeal, it would be concluded that the legal analysis by the court was unsound. But if the state needs to appeal every adverse decision, even in the smallest case, because the state would not be able to live with that decision being applied to a different, perhaps multi-million dollar case, would cause the state's litigation to skyrocket. The state would need a lot more attorneys, both in the civil side and the criminal side. The State of Alaska is uniquely situated; there is no other party in the State of Alaska sued as often as the state. Number 538 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Knuth about the language in SB 365 overriding the decision of the court in the State v. UCIDA (United Cook Inlet Drift Association) and what would be the effect of that. MS. KNUTH responds she is vaguely familiar with that case. It was a supreme court decision that said the court was now going to start applying collateral estoppel against the State of Alaska. She does not recall the specifics of the case, but could have someone from the Civil Division available for the committee. Number 532 SENATOR TAYLOR states collateral estoppel is not a new doctrine, but merely a new application by the supreme court of collateral estoppel. He states there must be a lot of commonality between two cases for collateral estoppel to be applied to the present case. Number 519 MS. KNUTH replies that is exactly the problem that was created by UCIDA. Number 512 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks what section 14, extending temporary vehicle permits from 30 days to 60 days, would accomplish. Number 505 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Safety says section 14 would allow the department to issue 60 day temporary vehicle licenses. The reason for this is many times people aren't able to get title to the car within 30 days. This keeps that person from having to come back in to get a second 30 day permit when the first expires. Number 490 SENATOR TAYLOR asks about the section that would repeal the statute relating to proof of motor vehicle liability insurance in the case of an accident; why would we want to repeal that statute. Number 484 SENATOR DONLEY notes that sections 18 through 26 deal with motor vehicle liability insurance. Number 480 MS. HENSLEY responds section 18 increases the amount of damage from 500$ to 1500$. The information the department has received from the insurance industry and the Division of Insurance indicates the average claim is about 1600$. Police departments are not able to investigate minor property damage accidents due to budgetary constraints. Section 18 would simply increase the dollar amount required to be reported. Number 465 SENATOR TAYLOR comments what this section would do is raise the ceiling of when an accident would have to be reported. Number 458 MS. HENSLEY states people driving without insurance would have their driver's licenses suspended if they were in an accident with a damage total of over 1500$, instead of a limit of 500$. Number 450 SENATOR TAYLOR says part of what the state is trying to pick up with mandatory reporting of accidents with damage of 500$ or over is people driving with suspended or revoked driver's licenses. CHAIRMAN LEMAN comments that simply scratching the finish on a car can cost 1500$. MS. HENSLEY says that is very true, and sometimes breaking a tail light on a car can be 1500$. Number 429 SENATOR DONLEY states that at the time mandatory auto insurance legislation was passed, there was a decision made not to require proof of insurance up front. One of the selling points for that was to raise registration fees to pay for a program where people would have to show proof of insurance if they were in an accident. It was a "check" to make sure people were getting insurance. If we now weaken the "check" we have, it removes one of the arguments for not having proof up front. Number 417 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Hensley how many more accidents would slip through the system if the state changes from mandatory reporting for accidents from 500$ damage to 1500$ damage. Number 414 MS. HENSLEY replies she really does not have that information. Number 410 SENATOR TAYLOR says he would like to get back to public safety concerns. He is concerned with section 43 because it would repeal that portion relating to proof of motor vehicle liability insurance in the case of an accident. Number 405 MS. HENSLEY states that is not correct. The repealer section in AS 28.22.041 would allow a person to come back within a period of time and submit proof that they purchased insurance after the fact. Ms. Hensley says she would have to read the statute to explain exactly what it would do, but it does not repeal the mandatory insurance law at all. It just takes out one paragraph which is a loophole. SENATOR DONLEY says he did not understand that explanation at all. SENATOR TAYLOR says he was confused too. Number 395 MS. SLAGLE responds that section 23 and 24 of SB 365 deal with the sections concerning proof of motor vehicle liability insurance. Those sections are not repealed from statute. SENATOR DONLEY asks why AS 28.10.108 (b) should be deleted. MS. HENSLEY replies AS 28.10.108 (b) deals with allowing commercial vehicles to have a rotating registration period, as do private vehicles. CHAIRMAN LEMAN notes that the committee is operating with time constraints today, and asks that members perhaps review their concerns about SB 365 between today and next Wednesday. Number 374 SENATOR TAYLOR says that he will just list his concerns for the department and they can then be taken up Wednesday. He has a significant concern with section 12, which would change the method of notification for cancellation, suspension, or revocation of driver's licenses from certified mail to first class mail. He thinks police officers should go out and personally serve the notices and cut the license plates off the damn car at the same time. By not sending the letter certified mail, the state cannot even prove in court that the notice was received. SENATOR TAYLOR's second concern is all the additional fees that the Department of Public Safety is asking for. He wants to know how the department is currently handling SR22's. Who is responsible for maintaining those records? Number 334 MS. HENSLEY replies the Department of Public Safety is basically not going to change any of the operation of how SR22's are handled, or how suspension of driver's licenses for uninsured motorists are handled. The only thing changing, is the department will not be issuing suspension notices for those individuals involved in accidents where the damages are between 500$ and 1,500$. MS. HENSLEY states the mandatory insurance law has worked. Before the law, the uninsured motorist rate was about 21%. In 1985, that rate went down to 7.7%. It has slowly risen over the years, and is now at about 11.9%. The department has not been excluded from the budget cuts of the last several years, and has fewer employees today. One of the things the committee should be aware of is that the house budget caps have cut out the financial responsibility program entirely from the department's budget. If that budget goes through, the Department of Public Safety will not be suspending any driver's licenses for failure to prove financial responsibility. Number 311 SENATOR TAYLOR asks Ms. Hensley what happened to the revenue stream created in 1985 by the mandatory insurance laws. That revenue stream was intended to support those positions. MS. HENSLEY responds the Division of Motor Vehicles brings 29 million dollars per year to the general fund, while at the same time receiving a budget of 7.9 million dollars. That money goes to the general fund and is not coming back to DMV. SENATOR TAYLOR asks if Ms. Hensley knows why that money is not coming back to DMV. He asks, if we add all these new fees, won't they also go into the general fund? Senator Taylor says he is fascinated to hear that is what is happening to DPS's budget on the house side, and he will do what he can to correct that. Number 277 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks personnel from DEC to be prepared to address the committee regarding the section of SB 365 that relates to them at Wednesday's hearing. The chairman announces that, in the interest of time, the committee will hold SB 365 until Wednesday's hearing. Number 266 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 315 (THEFT OF SUBSCRIPTION TV SERVICES) as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman calls the first witness. Number 251 ERIC MUSSER, Aide to Representative Porter, states HB 315 defines theft of cable services and sets out penalties for the unauthorized use or reception of cable transmission. HB 315 deals primarily with illegal converter boxes. At this time, the existing theft of services statute is very broad and makes theft of cable services unenforceable. Number 226 SENATOR TAYLOR asks, since estimation of loss is based upon a certain percentage of the current revenues from subscription cable service, that if cable companies are charging Alaskans rates 700% to 1000% higher for the same level of service found any place else in the United States, that means the actual loss would maybe be 150,000$ to 200,000$, and not 1,000,000$ estimated in the sponsor's statement. What we're really talking about are people who are ripping off the cable companies who are currently ripping us off. SENATOR TAYLOR wants to know how he could amend the bill to allow other people to go into the cable business. Number 194 MR. MUSSER responds he doesn't think that subject would fit under the title of HB 315. However, the public utility commission extension legislation will be coming to the senate soon, and that has in place some changes and would provide a vehicle for that subject. CHAIRMAN LEMAN states the Senate State Affairs Committee has changed the title in other house legislation, and would not be opposed to doing it a second time. The chairman asks Ms. Knuth from the Department of Law if she has anything to add. Number 185 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Law says, in response to Senator Taylor's comments, that the cable company has assured the Department of Law that they are passing on their losses to existing consumers. Although, when asked in a prior committee if they would reduce their monthly subscription rates if they are not sustaining these losses any more, they indicated they needed time to respond to that question. MS. KNUTH states that, from a prosecution perspective, the benefit of this legislation is that it will identify theft of cable services by the consumer as the class A misdemeanor offense, regardless of the actual monetary value of the loss. So the prosecution will not need to calculate how many months the theft of services has been occurring. Ms. Knuth thinks a class A misdemeanor offense is appropriate to the crime. At this time, the prosecutor must know exactly what the value of the theft of services was; this bill will take that part of the guessing game out of the equation. MS. KNUTH states entrepreneurial activity relating to theft of cable services will be a class C felony, which also seems to be an appropriate classification. She expects this legislation to have a more noticeable deterrent effect than what is usually seen in crime bills. This is the type of prosecution, where, if it occurs three or four or five times in Anchorage, the word is going to get out. The Department of Law expects to see a noticeable drop in theft of services. The Department of Law supports the bill and Ms. Knuth would be glad to answer any questions. Number 152 SENATOR MILLER asks if a renter hooks up a television and is not himself paying for the cable service, if that is theft of service. Number 149 MS. KNUTH replies that is not theft of service. To be engaged in theft of service, the person must engage in knowing conduct that can be proven. If a person is in a situation where they reasonably believe their landlord is providing this service as a part of the rental, the necessary mental state for this offense is not there. If there comes a point at which the renter figures out that the landlord probably isn't paying for the cable service, and the renter continues to take advantage of the service, there is a line somewhere that might get crossed. However, it is fairly common for landlords to provide cable service to apartments. Number 134 SENATOR MILLER asks how the bill would apply to people who only have one converter box, but their house is wired for more than one television. MS. KNUTH replies that is not considered theft of service either. There was technical language in HB 315 that, at one point, made it sound as though that situation would be theft of service. But the e bill has been redrafted to clearly exclude that situation. Now, under federal regulations, if a person buys one subscription, it no longer matters how many outlets a person has in their home. Number 121 SENATOR TAYLOR asks if there are any laws relating to theft of talent. MS. KNUTH responds there should be laws relating to theft of talent. SENATOR TAYLOR states the cable companies that used to operate in his area would have someone sit in a motel room in Seattle, record the programs on television, then send the tapes to Alaska. Subscribers in his area paid through the nose for this service. Senator Taylor wants to know if that shouldn't be illegal, since they were pretty much participating in theft of service also. Senator Taylor believes it should be a class A felony for cable operators involved in the stealing of talent. Number 088 MS. KNUTH says she would have to look into that question. Number 086 MR. MUSSER adds that area of discussion was raised in previous committees. There is a distinct difference between someone receiving a direct signal directly from a satellite transmission, and an individual using a device designed to receive a signal from a cable company. Number 073 SENATOR TAYLOR says the Alaska Marine Highway System used to show movies to people. The companies who owned the rights to those movies informed the state that, because passengers were charged a fee to be on board, showing those movies was part of the commercial enterprise of transporting passengers. As a consequence, the state would have to pay those companies a fee for showing movies. Senator Taylor asks Ms. Knuth if she can get back to the committee on the issue of stealing talent. Number 038 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says the committee will not be moving HB 315 today. He appreciates the comments. Number 034 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 323 (RELEASE OF CERTAIN DEATH CERT. INFO) as the next item before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman calls the prime sponsor to testify. Number 027 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY, prime sponsor of HB 323, reads the sponsor statement for the bill. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY states tissue donation to improve the quality of another's life is a consolation for those who have lost loved ones. TAPE 94-22, SIDE A Number 001 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY states HB 323 would allow tissue and organ donation facilities to obtain the pertinent information from the Department of Health & Social Services within the required time frame, allowing for successful donation. Representative Toohey reviews the process by which donation will occur. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY states the Alaska Medical Association, the Department of Health & Social Services, and the court systems are strongly supportive of this legislation. HB 323 has two zero fiscal notes, and passage in the House of Representatives was unanimous. Representative Toohey introduces Mr. Saakvitne and Mr. Johnson. Number 033 JENS SAAKVITNE, Director of Life Alaska, states that Life Alaska is a non-profit tissue procurement agency based in Alaska and serving Alaskans. Mr. Saakvitne states that Alaska had 13 organ donors in 1993. During that same time period, Alaska had a total of 87 tissue donors. Those 87 tissue donors supplied tissue for 223 transplants for Alaskans. There were approximately an additional 1,000 transplants that took place outside the State of Alaska. All tissue that is donated through Life Alaska is offered first to Alaskans, before being released outside the state. MR. SAAKVITNE states there have been eighteen donors so far in 1994. He says even when a donor card exists, Life Alaska would support the wish of the family, if the family did not want to make a donation. During a recent three day weekend when there was one donation made, there were an seven additional deaths of young persons that Life Alaska never learned about until it was too late for a donation to be made. So the intent of HB 323 is to create fuller, and in some cases, more rapid communication between the coroner's office and Life Alaska. MR. SAAKVITNE states similar tissue donation programs are in place in Colorado, California, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio. He believes there may be other states with tissue donation programs of which he is not aware. He was personally involved with the Colorado program for about eleven years. He is not aware of any complaints from families that have been contacted for donation. Only trained people contact families for donations. Mr. Saakvitne states he has taught family approach on a national basis. He describes a typical contact to the committee. Life Alaska has put some families in contact with crisis intervention, victim's for justice, and sent out vast amounts of bereavement literature to grieving families. This support from Life Alaska continues, regardless of what a families decision may be regarding donation. We would like to take steps through this legislation to make sure most families are at least given the option to make a donation. Number 125 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Saakvitne if any donations would ever be made from fetal tissue. Number 130 MR. SAAKVITNE responds no donations would ever be made from fetal tissue. Donations are made from full-term birth and on. There have been donations from several babies who were only a few weeks old. He does not see Life Alaska ever being involved in fetal tissue donation, either currently or in the future. Number 142 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Saakvitne if, in that case, it would not hurt Life Alaska's mission if the committee were to clarify that in the legislation. Number 145 MR. SAAKVITNE replies it would only hurt Life Alaska's mission insofar as to slow down the legislation. Number 148 SENATOR TAYLOR expresses concern that donor cards attached to driver's licenses do not appear to be working. Number 152 MR. SAAKVITNE responds donor cards are currently not found in most cases, even though there are laws that state hospitals, law enforcement, and medical personnel are supposed to check for donor cards. In practice, that very rarely happens. What a donor card does frequently do, is bring the issue to discussion in a family. Technically, donor cards are a legal document, and Life Alaska could go ahead and take donations based on the donor card, if the existence of the card is known. In point of fact, Life Alaska does try to make it a family decision. Number 166 SENATOR TAYLOR states he has a donor card affixed to his Alaska Driver's License, and is frustrated to hear the donor card system is not working as it should be. Number 185 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asks Senator Taylor to realize that organs have to be removed from a living body, while tissue can be removed within 24 hours after death. That is the difference between organ donation and tissue donation. Tissue is very valuable, especially small children's heart valves, bones, and corneas. HB 323 relates primarily to tissue donation. MR. SAAKVITNE states that, until two years ago, there was no tissue donation option unless a person was also an organ donor. This has changed, but it will be a long term educational process, on which Life Alaska is really working. Number 210 SENATOR TAYLOR states that information released from the coroner is what will trigger the donation process. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Johnson from the Department of Health & Social Services to testify. Number 218 MARK JOHNSON, Coordinator, Emergency Medical Services, Division of Public Health, Department of Health & Social Services states the department supports HB 323, as does the Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services. Mr. Johnson believes, with the new medical examiner system, that this process will work much better in the future than it has in the past. Number 235 SENATOR TAYLOR asks Mr. Johnson to explain how HB 323 will change things. MR. JOHNSON replies, under current statutes there are confidentiality requirements that make it more difficult to give information to Life Alaska. This will relieve the coroner's office of those requirements. Number 242 SENATOR TAYLOR states those requirements are that the coroner notify next of kin. He asks if the coroner would be able to notify Life Alaska even before it has notified next of kin. Number 256 MR. SAAKVITNE responds they could, but it has been Life Alaska's agreement and wish that Life Alaska not be given the information until a family has been contacted. That would be his worst nightmare. SENATOR TAYLOR adds Life Alaska's phone call could be the next of kin's first phone call, that is what he was getting at, and that would be really rough. MR. SAAKVITNE states currently, the only information he receives from the coroner's office is name and time of death. SENATOR TAYLOR states notification of family members is not a simplistic thing. One doesn't just make a phone call, especially when dealing with older persons who might not be able to handle the stress of hearing of the death of their child. Senator Taylor foresees potential problems with the press hounding Life Alaska for information. Number 299 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there was a reason HB 323 does not have an immediate effective date. (Apparently, there is no particular reason HB 323 does not have an immediate effective date.) CHAIRMAN LEMAN announces HB 323 will be held so the committee can do some work on it. Number 305 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 402 (PROOF OF MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE) as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman calls the first witness. Number 314 LINDA GIGUERE, Aide to Representative Hudson and the House Labor & Commerce Committee, states HB 402 was introduced at the request of the Alaska Independent Insurance Agents Association. Ms. Giguere reads the sponsor statement for HB 402. CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the next witness. Number 349 HOWARD JAEGER, Shattuck & Grummett Insurance Agency, states HB 402 would correct a problem that has arisen with SR22 drivers, and perhaps make it more economical and workable for the insurance industry. Number 355 SENATOR TAYLOR thinks the situation HB 402 attempts to solve is good, and that HB 402 should not be passed. Senator Taylor thinks policies should cover drivers, not cars. Number 367 MR. JAEGER responds he thinks the problem is, historically insurance has been sold on a per vehicle basis. SENATOR TAYLOR interjects that is so the insurance companies can charge a person for a new policy every time. Europe, Canada, and Australia do not handle insurance in that manner. MR. JAEGER replies that if perhaps the whole industry were to change, that could be done. It is done that way to so that agencies could figure out the amount of risk they were looking at and how to arrive at an exposure of the potential for loss. SENATOR TAYLOR comments he thinks the insurance industry is currently utilizing two standards upon which to determine premiums at this time. MR. JAEGER says if a person is a preferred driver, that person will be charged the same liability rate for a corvette or a chevette, but would be charged different damage rates. Number 404 CHAIRMAN LEMAN does not know if Mr. Jaeger's last comment is correct, because he is charged different liability rates on several of his vehicles. He shares some of Senator Taylor's concerns. Number 418 SENATOR TAYLOR states he likes this bill. SENATOR DONLEY says Senator Taylor cannot do what he wants to do with HB 402 under the present title, because it addresses SR22 cases. CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the next witness. Number 431 JOHN GEORGE, National Association of Independent Insurers says he will try to answer some of the questions that have been asked today. He believes there is one company that will write an operator policy, as opposed to a vehicle policy. However, if a person who has coverage on themselves loans their car to another person, that car is not insured. If the person who is loaned the car has a traditional insurance policy, that would cover them while driving any vehicle, so their coverage would cover the vehicle borrowed from someone who had an operator's policy. Traditionally, though, insurance follows the vehicle. Anyone driving that vehicle is covered, unless of course, the vehicle was stolen. MR. GEORGE states that the problem the insurance companies have, is they are required to file a form with the Division of Motor Vehicles, using DMV's wording, saying, "No matter what vehicle this person is driving, he is covered." So this person insures his 1956 volkswagen, and also drives an 18-wheeler, professionally. So the insurance company just insured the liability insurance on an 18- wheeler if that person has an accident and does not have other insurance. SENATOR TAYLOR asks if he is covered while driving a rental car. SENATOR DONLEY replies he is covered. SENATOR DONLEY adds there is a huge other side to this story. He says he went to the house to testify on HB 402 and was not allowed to testify and present the other side of the story. He makes a special request to the committee that if the bill is brought back up in committee it be specifically listed in the committee schedule. He would very much like the opportunity to present his testimony to the Senate State Affairs Committee. Number 468 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says he will put it in the committee schedule at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing, and will give Senator Donley a call also. MS. GIGUERE notes that Senator Donley testified on HB 403 in the House Labor & Commerce Committee. Number 475 CHAIRMAN LEMAN adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting at 11:16 a.m.