Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/27/1994 09:10 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE April 27, 1994 9:10 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Loren Leman, Chair Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chair Senator Robin Taylor MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Jim Duncan Senator Johnny Ellis COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 47(FIN) "An Act relating to primary elections and to the delivery of the primary ballots to persons making application for them when, by operation of political party rule, two or more primary ballots must be provided to the public; preventing a voter from changing the voter's party affiliation within 30 days of a primary election when two or more primary ballots must be provided to the public; and annulling a related regulation; and providing for an effective date." HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 34 Declaring June 5 - 11, 1994, as Alaska Garden Week. CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 351(FIN) am(efd add) "An Act relating to permits for the carrying of a concealed handgun; providing for local option elections in municipalities and established villages to prohibit the possession of a concealed handgun under a permit; and relating to the possession of weapons; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 417(JUD) am "An Act relating to the possession of weapons within the grounds of or on the parking lot of preschools, elementary, junior high, and secondary schools or while participating in a school-sponsored event; and relating to school lockers and other containers provided in a public or private school by the school or the school district." HOUSE BILL NO. 518 "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association; and providing for an effective date." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION HB 47 - No previous senate committee action. HCR 34 - No previous senate committee action. HB 351 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/25/94. HB 417 - No previous senate committee minutes. HB 518 - No previous senate committee minutes. WITNESS REGISTER Lynda Giguere, Aide Representative Hudson State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-6827 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HCR 34 Portia Babcock, Aide Senate State Affairs Committee State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-2095 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on HB 351 C.E. Swackhammer, Deputy Commissioner Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200, Juneau, AK 99811-1200 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on HB 351 Representative Jeannette James State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HB 351 Representative Con Bunde State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-3759 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HB 417 Vernon Marshall NEA-Alaska, Inc. 114 2nd St., Juneau, AK 99801¶586-3090 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of HB 417 Phillip R. Volland, President Alaska Bar Association 211 H. St., Anchorage, AK 99501¶276-5231 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on HB 518 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-32, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at 9:10 a.m. Number 007 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 47 (ABSENTEE BALLOTS - PRIMARY ELECTIONS) as the first order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman asks the pleasure of the committee. Number 011 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to discharge HB 47 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 017 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HB 47 released from committee with individual recommendations. Number 018 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HCR 34 (ALASKA GARDEN WEEK) as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls Ms. Giguere. Number 024 LYNDA GIGUERE, Aide to Representative Hudson, states HCR 34 is introduced by Representative Hudson every year on behalf of the Juneau Garden Club. The resolution is to recognize the importance of gardening, especially here in Juneau. Number 032 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is any objection to the discharge of HCR 34. SENATOR TAYLOR asks how long Representative Hudson has been in the legislature. (There is general consensus that Representative Hudson has been in the legislature for about eight years.) SENATOR TAYLOR states the only reason he asks, is that a resolution costs the state about 17,000$. Senator Taylor says the same thing can be accomplished with a citation. (Senator Taylor's figure of 17,000$ for the cost of a resolution is questioned by the chairman.) MS. GIGUERE responds that Representative Hudson attempted to establish Alaska Garden Week as an annual event, but it didn't get done. Ms. Giguere tells Senator Taylor she will pass on his comments to Representative Hudson. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is any further discussion on HCR 34. Number 055 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to discharge HCR 34 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 056 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HCR 34 released from committee with individual recommendations. Number 058 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 351 (PERMIT TO CARRY CONCEALED WEAPONS) as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman notes that at the last meeting, a committee substitute and three amendments to HB 351 were adopted. There is now a new cs, which addresses two other changes. The chairman asks Ms. Babcock to explain the changes that were made to the bill. Number 070 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to adopt the new committee substitute for HB 351. Number 074 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, states the new cs for HB 351 has been adopted. Number 077 PORTIA BABCOCK, Aide to the Senate State Affairs Committee, states that there were six changes incorporated into the new cs. Ms. Babcock reviews those changes. Number 130 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if anyone in the public wishes to testify. The chairman calls Mr. Swackhammer to testify. Number 132 C.E. SWACKHAMMER, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Public Safety (DPS), states the most significant change made to HB 351 is the October 1st enactment date. The problems the department foresees are, one, the Department of Law has to review regulations, and that will take time. Secondly, Mr. Swackhammer sees no way that the department will be able to fill the two commission positions by October 1st. Number 157 CHAIRMAN LEMAN responds that the enactment date was changed to October 1st, because of comments from members of the public. Those comments indicated that people didn't mind not being able to carry a concealed weapon until January 1, 1995, but they wanted to be able to submit applications before January 1, so that permits could be issued by January 1, 1995. The chairman asks Mr. Swackhammer if if there is any way to make that idea work. Number 165 MR. SWACKHAMMER replies that DPS will implement the provisions of HB 351 as quickly as possible and to the best of their ability. Mr. Swackhammer does not anticipate a great number of regulations; it is simply the regulation process itself which takes time. Mr. Swackhammer lists some of the things that will have to be done to implement HB 351. CHAIRMAN LEMAN states DPS will have four complete months, from the time the legislature acts, to implement HB 351. Number 199 SENATOR TAYLOR asks what will occur in the instance when a municipality opts out, since the permit is actually a state-wide permit. MR. SWACKHAMMER says he will defer to Representative James on that question. Number 210 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, prime sponsor of HB 351, states she does not know the answer to that question. She wonders whether opting out would only mean that the people who lived in that district would not be allowed to apply for a concealed weapon permit, or if it would not allow any person with a permit to carry in that area. Representative James says the bill is not very specific regarding local opt out, and thinks the legislature would have to get a legal interpretation on that provision. Number 220 SENATOR TAYLOR states he asks because on page 10 and 11 of HB 351, it states a person with a concealed weapon permit may not carry a concealed weapon in a village or municipality that has prohibited possession. Number 222 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responds that was the intent of the legislation. Number 230 SENATOR TAYLOR asks where the committee is in coordinating drivers licenses and concealed carrying permits. Number 235 MR. SWACKHAMMER replies the renewal theme appears first on page 7, line 28. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Senator Taylor what, specifically, was his question. An upper limit for the initial fee and the renewal fee was added to HB 351. SENATOR TAYLOR responds he was looking for initial time and renewal. Number 250 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to amend the renewal period to five years. He asks for that amendment so that concealed carrying permits can be coordinated with driver's licenses. Number 262 CHAIRMAN LEMAN restates Senator Taylor's motion: on page 3, line 22, delete four, insert five. The chairman asks if there are any comments on the amendment. Number 268 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES states she would support a five-year permit, but coordinating driver's license renewals and concealed carry permit renewals would be a very hard thing to do. Number 278 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states he understood Senator Taylor's amendment as simply allowing for coordination sometime in the future. Number 283 MR. SWACKHAMMER states Senator Taylor's amendment would change the fiscal impact of HB 351 slightly. More importantly, though, the way the bill is written, a holder of a permit would only have to go through competency training once every ten years. SENATOR TAYLOR replies he intends to ask for an amendment changing competency training to once every five years also. Number 304 MR. SWACKHAMMER states he would support the retraining or refresher course. Number 309 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is any discussion or objection to Senator Taylor's amendment requiring renewal of concealed carry permits from once every four years, to once every five years. Hearing no objection, the chairman states amendment #4 has been adopted. Number 313 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to amend on page 6, line 28, eliminate the words, "second time and every other...". Senator Taylor comments that won't work. SENATOR MILLER advises Senator Taylor to just drop the words, "for the second time and every other renewal thereafter...". SENATOR TAYLOR says that language will work. Number 325 CHAIRMAN LEMAN restates amendment #5, by Senator Taylor, dropping the language, "for the second time and every other renewal thereafter...". CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is any discussion or objection to the amendment. Hearing none, the chairman states he will object to the amendment. SENATOR TAYLOR asks the chairman to discuss the amendment. Senator Taylor asks the chairman if he wants the training to go to once every ten years, which would be the effect of the amendment failing. CHAIRMAN LEMAN replies he would like the training requirement to be once every ten years. SENATOR MILLER asks for an at ease. Number 333 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states the committee will stand at ease. Number 335 CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the Senate State Affairs Committee back to order. The chairman states amendment #5 is before the committee. The chairman asks that the role be called on the adoption of amendment #5. Amendment #5 is approved by a vote of 2 yeas, 1 nay, and 2 absent, with Senators Miller and Taylor voting in favor of the amendment, Chairman Leman voting against the amendment, and Senators Duncan and Ellis absent. Number 340 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to adopt amendment #6. On page 5, line 5, add language stating, "been ordered by a court to complete...". Senator Taylor's intent is that people voluntarily submitting to alcohol treatment not be penalized. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is any comment regarding amendment #6. Number 358 MR. SWACKHAMMER comments he understands Senator Taylor's intent. Number 360 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if that same conceptual amendment would apply to paragraph (15). SENATOR TAYLOR responds he is not willing to go along with that one. If a person is using illegal substances, they've got other major problems that they wouldn't get a permit for anyhow. Number 365 MR. SWACKHAMMER asks how "ordered" would be defined. Would that be by a court order? SENATOR TAYLOR states "ordered" would be defined as court ordered. Number 373 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if anyone wishes to comment on amendment #6. Number 378 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to adopt amendment #6. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is discussion or objection to amendment #6. Hearing none, the chairman states amendment #6 has been adopted. Number 382 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge HB 351 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 384 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HB 351 released from committee with individual recommendations. Number 387 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 417 (POSSESSION OF FIREARMS IN SCHOOL LOCKERS) as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman announces there is a committee substitute. Number 390 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to adopt SCS CSHB 417(STA) in lieu of CSHB 417(JUD) am. CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, states the committee substitute has been adopted. The chairman calls the prime sponsor to testify. Number 394 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE, prime sponsor of HB 417, states HB 417 will change the penalty for having a firearm on school grounds from a class b to a class a misdemeanor. A school administrator could exempt persons for purposes such as participating on a rifle team. HB 417 would also allow for the searching of school lockers, with prior notification. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE states that the amendment the chairman referred to deleted a provision allowing a person to traverse school grounds with an encased, unloaded weapon if that person was on their way to go hunting. This is not allowed under federal law. Hunters can be accommodated by simply getting permission from the school administrator, or a representative of the administrator. There was some concern that in rural areas that people coming to and from hunting might pass by the school. If the hunter is traversing a right of way, this law does not apply. If, for whatever reason, school children need to carry guns while travelling to and from school for protection from wildlife, they can do so if they get permission from the school administrator. Number 425 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there are any questions. SENATOR TAYLOR asks Representative Bunde if his committee (House Health, Education & Social Services Committee) is currently holding hearings on senate bills. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE responds that his committee is shut down and is not having any hearings. SENATOR TAYLOR asks Representative Bunde if there are any senate bills in his committee at this time. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replies he has one senate bill by Senator Zharoff, which is in the process of being waived from committee. SENATOR TAYLOR comments he discovered yesterday that all house committees are shut down and not moving any legislation, with the exception of the House Finance Committee. Number 435 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there are further questions for Representative Bunde. Hearing none, the chairman calls Mr. Marshall to testify. VERNON MARSHALL, NEA-Alaska, states NEA-Alaska supports HB 417. He has no further testimony. Number 440 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if anyone else wishes to testify on HB 417. Hearing none, the chairman asks the pleasure of the committee. Number 441 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge HB 417 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 442 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HB 417 released from committee with individual recommendations. Number 445 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HB 518 (EXTEND ALASKA BAR ASSOCIATION), and asks if there is anyone from the sponsor's office (House Judiciary Committee) who wishes to testify on HB 518. Hearing none, the chairman calls Mr. Volland to testify. Number 450 PHILLIP VOLLAND, President, Alaska Bar Association, states HB 518 incorporates the recommendation of the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee that the Alaska Bar Association continue its function as regulator of attorney practice in Alaska. Mr. Volland states the association supports the bill and urges its' passage. Mr. Volland relates information he thinks is helpful in understanding the importance of both what the Alaska Bar Association does and moving HB 518 from the Senate State Affairs Committee. Number 502 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Volland if five years is the normal cycle for the Alaska Bar Association. Number 503 MR. VOLLAND responds it is a four year cycle, plus one year for winding down operations. Number 506 SENATOR TAYLOR thanks Mr. Volland for his excellent presentation. Senator Taylor expresses concern that it will appear that the legislature, by having to pass legislation allowing the Alaska Bar Association to continue to operate, has some say in the Alaska Bar Association and the governance of attorneys. The legislature really has nothing to say about the Alaska Bar Association; the association derives its' authority from the court system, not the legislature. Having the legislature vote on legislation to continue the operation of the Alaska Bar Association stems from a time when public funds were used for the operation of the association. Senator Taylor thinks that since public funds are no longer used to operate the association, the Alaska Bar Association should not have to come to the legislature for authority in operating. Number 525 MR. VOLLAND responds it has always been a debate among the profession as to whether the legislature must authorize the operation of the Alaska Bar Association. However, Mr. Volland personally believes it is good for the association to have to answer to the public in some way. Mr. Volland does think it odd that the association has to answer to the legislature, since the association operates pretty well on its' own. Number 532 CHAIRMAN LEMAN thinks it is good for the legislature and the organizations to have to communicate with each other. The chairman asks Mr. Volland what role the Alaska Bar Association plays in the State Judicial polls. MR. VOLLAND replies the association does not play a roll in the statewide judicial polls. Number 548 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Volland if he is aware of any efforts to blackball some people who apply to judgeships. Number 550 MR. VOLLAND responds he is not. Mr. Volland states the poll itself is sufficiently detailed in identifying the respondents background and experience with a particular judge, that the Judicial Council is able to sort out those things in its' evaluation of judges. Most attorneys believe that judges shouldn't be evaluated on single issues or single cases; what attorneys want is a fair chance before a judge and nothing else. Number 565 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Volland if he can suggest any ways that the legislature can help the Alaska Bar Association do its' job. MR. VOLLAND replies he cannot think of any. Number 568 SENATOR TAYLOR makes additional comments regarding the relationship of the legislature, the Alaska Bar Association, and the Court System. Number 579 SENATOR TAYLOR continues his comments regarding the relationship between the legislature, the Alaska Bar Association, and the Court System. TAPE 94-32, SIDE B Number 576 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge HB 518 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 572 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is anyone else to testify on HB 518. Hearing none, the chairman orders HB 518 released from committee with individual recommendations. Number 568 CHAIRMAN LEMAN adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting at 10:05 a.m.