Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/24/2003 03:40 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 24, 2003                                                                                         
                           3:40 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 11(FSH) am                                                                               
Relating to Alaska Wild Salmon Week, June 30 - July 4, 2003.                                                                    
     MOVED CS HCR 11(FSH) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 63                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to municipal property taxation in annexed and                                                                  
detached areas; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
          HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                        
SENATE BILL NO. 46                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to stalking and to violating a protective                                                                      
order; and amending Rules 4 and 65, Alaska Rules of Civil                                                                       
Procedure, and Rule 9, Alaska Rules of Administration."                                                                         
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 1                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to stalking and to violating a protective                                                                      
order; and amending Rules 4 and 65, Alaska Rules of Civil                                                                       
Procedure, and Rule 9, Alaska Rules of Administration."                                                                         
     MOVED HB 1 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 109(STA)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to the limitation on payment of state treasury                                                                 
warrants; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
     MOVED CSHB 109(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
HCR 11 - No previous action to record.                                                                                          
SB 63 - See CRA minutes dated 2/26/03.                                                                                          
HB 1 - No previous action to record.                                                                                            
HB 109 - No previous action to record.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Alaska State Capitol, Room 418                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor HCR 11                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mary Jackson                                                                                                                    
Staff to Senator Thomas Wagoner                                                                                                 
Alaska State Capitol, Room 427                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 63                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mary Griswold                                                                                                                   
Homer, AK 99603                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 63                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Dan Bockhorst                                                                                                                   
Local Boundary Commission                                                                                                       
Department of Community & Economic Development                                                                                  
550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3510                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 63                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Darroll Hargraves                                                                                                               
Chair, Local Boundary Commission                                                                                                
Department of Community & Economic Development                                                                                  
550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3510                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 63                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Douglas Stark                                                                                                               
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 63                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol, Room 416                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor HB 1                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mary Wells                                                                                                                      
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 1                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Linda Sylvester                                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol, Room 102                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 109                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Joe Thomas                                                                                                                      
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 109                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Rachel Lewis                                                                                                                    
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
PO Box 110400                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0400                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 109                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-21, SIDE A                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS called the Senate State Affairs Standing                                                                   
Committee meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. Present were Senators                                                                   
Dyson, Guess and Chair Gary Stevens.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
The first order of business was HCR 11.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                 HCR 11-ALASKA WILD SALMON WEEK                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLY WOLF, bill sponsor, read the sponsor                                                                       
statement:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska is  the largest  commercial wild  salmon fishery                                                                    
     in  the  world and  employs  more  than 29,000  people.                                                                    
     Nearly 95 percent of all  commercially caught salmon in                                                                    
     the US  are harvested  in Alaska.  In the  last decade,                                                                    
     state salmon  harvests totaled more than  $4.5 billion,                                                                    
     making salmon extremely vital to Alaska's economy.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     For both  visitors and Alaskans,  the sport  of fishing                                                                    
     is one  of the  most popular  activities in  the state.                                                                    
     Last  year,  approximately  448,000 resident  and  non-                                                                    
     resident licenses were issued for sport fishing.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Beyond the importance of  commercial and sport fishing,                                                                    
     salmon has  been a  nutritional source  for generations                                                                    
     of  Alaskans  and  is  a  large  part  of  the  state's                                                                    
     heritage. Rich  in Omega  3 oils,  salmon is  a healthy                                                                    
     food  that can  help lower  cholesterol and  reduce the                                                                    
     risk of heart disease.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     HCR 11  would proclaim July  2, 2003 as  'Alaska Salmon                                                                    
     Day.'  This  proclamation  will  recognize  the  salmon                                                                    
     industry  as a  huge part  of all  Alaskan's lives  and                                                                    
     raise  public   awareness  of  one  of   Alaska's  most                                                                    
     important industries  by promoting and  celebrating the                                                                    
     catching and eating of salmon.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS noted the  Lieutenant Governor asked for it to                                                               
be Alaska Salmon month, Representative  Wolf asks it to be Alaska                                                               
Salmon Week  and the  resolution speaks of  Alaska Salmon  Day on                                                               
July 2, 2003.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF replied the CS  \I.A version calls for a week                                                               
of celebration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED  DYSON made a motion  to move CSHCR 11  \I.A version                                                               
from committee with individual  recommendations and attached zero                                                               
fiscal note. There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          SB  63-MUNICIPAL ANNEXATIONS AND DETACHMENTS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MARY  JACKSON, staff  to Senator  Thomas Wagoner,  explained this                                                               
bill  was  introduced  as  a  result  of  the  contentious  Homer                                                               
annexation that  raised the question  of when the taxation  of an                                                               
annexed area  would begin.  This bill  remedies the  question and                                                               
sets it in statute.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The  Local  Boundary  Commission (LBC)  reviewed  original  draft                                                               
legislation in  September 2002 and recommended  additional issues                                                               
be addressed  in the bill. The  new LBC concurred with  the bill,                                                               
but requested  it be  expanded to  include new  incorporations as                                                               
well. The bill was amended and the proposed CS is the product.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS asked  for a  motion to adopt  the CS  as the                                                               
working document.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS made a motion  to adopt CSSB 63 \H version                                                               
as the working document. There was no objection.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. JACKSON explained the LBC  supports the \H version that makes                                                               
the following changes:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
    · Section 1 extends the same time restrictions for annexed                                                                  
     areas in the current bill to newly incorporated areas.                                                                     
    · The CS deletes the immediate effective date that was in                                                                   
      the original bill.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
In  addition, the  LBC asked  for intent  language and  the legal                                                               
department  was  in  the  process of  drafting  an  amendment  to                                                               
accommodate the request.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS  said  he  would hold  the  bill  until  the                                                               
amendment was available, but he  would take public testimony that                                                               
day.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MARY GRISWOLD from  Homer testified in support of  the CS because                                                               
it clarifies  in statute in  cases of  incorporation, annexation,                                                               
and detachments that  property taxes accrue in  full each January                                                               
1.  It's consistent  with existing  policy across  the state  for                                                               
assessing property and adding new property to the tax rolls.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
With many  annexations there is  also a  corresponding detachment                                                               
from  another government.  Using January  1 as  a cutoff  date to                                                               
establish  value  and   jurisdiction  provides  less  disruption.                                                               
During the  transition period, the  government that  is providing                                                               
services  can be  appropriately  compensated  through a  contract                                                               
agreement worked out in the transition plans.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
If the  LBC was able  to direct  municipalities to levy  taxes on                                                               
property  within their  jurisdiction as  of any  date other  than                                                               
January 1,  serious conflicts could  arise. Also, adopting  SB 63                                                               
without including incorporations risks  multiple taxation when an                                                               
area within a  service area of an  organized borough incorporates                                                               
as a city before July 1. If  the city levies taxes in the initial                                                               
year  following incorporation  while  the taxes  in the  detached                                                               
area of the borough remain in  effect, the property owners in the                                                               
new city would be taxed twice.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DAN BOCKHORST, staff  to the LBC, advised the  commission wrote a                                                               
letter  to  the Chair  expressing  three  concerns regarding  the                                                               
original legislation. Two were addressed  in the CS and the third                                                               
issue is the subject of  the proposed amendment Ms. Jackson spoke                                                               
to. He  preferred to defer  his comments until the  amendment was                                                               
available for review.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DARROLL HARGRAVES  said he  sent a  letter to  the Chair  on 4/23                                                               
addressed satisfactorily in the CS.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS acknowledged the letter was in the  file   and                                                               
advised the  committee would  take action on  the bill  when they                                                               
had the intent language from Legislative Legal.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR. DOUGLAS STARK from Homer testified in support of SB 63.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS held SB 63 in committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
              HB   1-STALKING & PROTECTIVE ORDERS                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHERYLL  HEINZE,  bill sponsor,  paraphrased  the                                                               
sponsor statement:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     HB  1  closes  a   dangerous  loophole  in  the  Alaska                                                                    
     statutes, by allowing  unacquainted victims of stalking                                                                    
     to enjoy  the security of a  judicial protective order.                                                                    
     Current law  provides protection  to those  in domestic                                                                    
     situations and minor children,  but enjoins the victims                                                                    
     of strangers  from equal  protection of  the law.  HB 1                                                                    
     allows the  victims of  stalking to  seek and  obtain a                                                                    
     protective  order in  cases of  stalking  that are  not                                                                    
     crimes   involving   domestic    violence.   The   bill                                                                    
     streamlines the process for  public safety and judicial                                                                    
     practitioners   by    harmonizing   the    arrest   and                                                                    
     notification  procedures  to  mirror those  already  in                                                                    
     place for  domestic violence situations. The  bill adds                                                                    
     the crime of violation of  a child protective order and                                                                    
     of a  violation of  a stalking protective  order; these                                                                    
     changes also reflect existing practitioner procedures.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There were no questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MARY WELLS testified via teleconference  from Anchorage to relate                                                               
a story  about a  man who  stalked her  family for  a three-month                                                               
period in  2001. Because the man  was not a relative  or domestic                                                               
partner, she had no legal  standing to obtain a protective order.                                                               
This bill would remedy that loophole.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE stated  she, too,  was stalked  during her                                                               
campaign.  It was  a terrifying  experience and  the police  were                                                               
unable to offer any real help.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS  said there isn't any  protection unless there                                                               
is a family connection.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS  replied it goes farther  than that. There                                                               
isn't any protection unless it  is a domestic violence situation,                                                               
which makes it very restrictive.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked for a motion.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  made a  motion to  move HB  1 from  committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached  zero fiscal notes. There                                                               
being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
         HB 109-TREASURY WARRANTS/LAPSED APPROPRIATIONS                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
LINDA  SYLVESTER,   staff  to  Representative   Bruce  Weyhrauch,                                                               
explained this  bill was  introduced at  the request  of Governor                                                               
Murkowski  and would  help the  Department  of Administration  by                                                               
updating certain accounting procedures.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
State warrants currently  become stale dated after  two years and                                                               
claims for  payment of  these warrants must  be done  through the                                                               
supplemental  budget process.  HB  109 drops  the  time from  two                                                               
years to  six months  and, instead of  being handled  through the                                                               
supplemental budget process,  all stale dated checks  would go to                                                               
the unclaimed property  fund. The process would  be expedited and                                                               
the funds  could be  presented to  the claimant  at any  time. In                                                               
addition, miscellaneous claims  that are older than  one year are                                                               
also addressed and would no  longer be paid from the supplemental                                                               
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JOE   THOMAS,   State   Accountant   with   the   Department   of                                                               
Administration, advised he was available  to answer questions. HB                                                               
109 would expedite  the payment process for  stale dated warrants                                                               
and miscellaneous claims.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS asked if  money from stale dated  warrants is                                                               
transferred to the Unclaimed Property Section.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMAS  explained the current  process is that a  stale dated                                                               
warrant stays  in the general fund.  When a claim is  made, money                                                               
must  be appropriated  for  that  claim to  be  paid.  If HB  109                                                               
becomes  law, monies  from stale  dated checks  and miscellaneous                                                               
expenses would be  turned over to the  Unclaimed Property Section                                                               
and  they  would  publish  the  names  of  those  with  unclaimed                                                               
property.   The individual  could then  come forward  and receive                                                               
payment.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  asked if  the money  stays in  the Unclaimed                                                               
Property Section forever.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMAS deferred the question to Rachel Lewis.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
RACHEL LEWIS,  Administrator of  the Unclaimed  Property Program,                                                               
said this bill brings the process  in line with AS 34.45.230. Any                                                               
un-cashed state,  local or municipal government  checks should be                                                               
turned over to  the Alaska Department of Revenue  after one year.                                                               
This hasn't  worked because the  stale date for those  checks was                                                               
two years.  HB 109 would stale  date checks after six  months and                                                               
agencies  would  then get  a  list  of  stale dated  warrants  to                                                               
review. The Unclaimed Property Program  would then receive a list                                                               
of names to publish and they would keep the data in perpetuity.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Not all unclaimed money is claimed  and Alaska is able to use the                                                               
money  until   the  claimant  comes  forward.   She  advised  she                                                               
typically  transfers 75  to 80  percent  of the  monies into  the                                                               
general fund and the balance is kept to pay claims.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON asked what this amounted to in a year.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEWIS  replied approximately $3  million in cash  and because                                                               
they are  able to liquidate  stocks and bonds after  three years,                                                               
she probably sells  $.5 million in securities  every three years.                                                               
She estimated she  transfers between $3 million and  $5 million a                                                               
year into the general fund.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON asked if they receive other types of assets.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEWIS said  they don't get tangible property  other than safe                                                               
deposit contents.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked if interest accrues on unpaid warrants.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEWIS advised  they only  pay  interest if  they receive  an                                                               
interest bearing  account and  they would  pay interest  on those                                                               
for  up  to  ten  years.  Savings accounts  are  about  the  only                                                               
accounts of  that type,  but they do  pay dividends  and proceeds                                                               
from stocks that accrue while held in the original format.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked for a motion.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS made a motion to move HB 109 from                                                                        
committee with individual recommendations and attached zero                                                                     
fiscal note. There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Gary Stevens adjourned the meeting at 4:30 p.m.                                                                           

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