Legislature(2007 - 2008)BELTZ 211

04/01/2008 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 227 DIVEST INVESTMENTS IN SUDAN TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 227 Out of Committee
+ SB 228 MUNICIPAL LAND USE REGULATION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 196 HANDLING MATTERS AFTER A PERSON'S DEATH TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 196(STA) Out of Committee
+ SB 198 ELECTION VIOLATIONS: STAT OF LIMITATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SSSB 198 Out of Committee
+= HB 92 JURISDICTION OF OMBUDSMAN: VICTIMS RTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 92 Out of Committee
+ HB 351 CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMIT: FINGERPRINTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 351(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 1, 2008                                                                                          
                           9:04 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Gary Stevens, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                              
Senator Con Bunde                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 198                                                                                      
"An Act  extending the statute  of limitations for the  filing of                                                               
complaints with  the Alaska  Public Offices  Commission involving                                                               
state   election  campaigns;   and  extending   the  statute   of                                                               
limitations  for   prosecutions  of  violations  of   the  Alaska                                                               
Election Code."                                                                                                                 
     MOVED SSSB 198 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 92                                                                                                               
"An  Act removing  the victims'  advocate  and the  staff of  the                                                               
office of victims' rights from  the jurisdiction of the office of                                                               
the ombudsman in the legislative branch."                                                                                       
     MOVED HB 92 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 196(JUD)                                                                                                  
"An  Act relating  to the  handling of  matters after  a person's                                                               
death."                                                                                                                         
     MOVED SCS CSHB 196(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 351(JUD)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to submission  of fingerprints by applicants for                                                               
a  concealed  handgun  permit; and  providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     MOVED CSHB 351(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 227                                                                                                             
"An Act relating  to certain investments of  the Alaska permanent                                                               
fund,  the  state's  retirement  systems,  the  State  of  Alaska                                                               
Supplemental Annuity Plan, and the deferred compensation program                                                                
for state employees in companies that do business in Sudan, and                                                                 
restricting those investments."                                                                                                 
     MOVED SB 227 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 228                                                                                      
"An Act relating to and permitting certain uses and occupancies                                                                 
of real property that do not comply with changes made to                                                                        
municipal land use ordinances."                                                                                                 
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 198                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ELECTION VIOLATIONS: STAT OF LIMITATIONS                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) WIELECHOWSKI, THOMAS                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
01/16/08       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/4/08                                                                                
01/16/08       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/08       (S)       STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
03/20/08       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/20/08       (S)       Failed To Move Out Of Committee                                                                        
03/20/08       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/28/08       (S)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS                                                                
03/28/08       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/01/08       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  92                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: JURISDICTION OF OMBUDSMAN: VICTIMS RTS                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) SAMUELS, STOLTZE                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/12/07                                                                               
01/16/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/07       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/20/07       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/20/07       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/24/07       (H)       STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                            
03/24/07       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
03/24/07       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/26/07       (H)       STA RPT 5DP 1DNP                                                                                       
03/26/07       (H)       DP:   JOHNSON,    JOHANSEN,   GRUENBERG,                                                               
                         COGHILL, LYNN                                                                                          
03/26/07       (H)       DNP: DOLL                                                                                              
04/03/07       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
04/03/07       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
04/03/07       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/04/07       (H)       FIN RPT 6DP 4NR                                                                                        
04/04/07       (H)       DP: GARA, FOSTER, HAWKER, THOMAS,                                                                      
                         STOLTZE, MEYER                                                                                         
04/04/07       (H)       NR: CRAWFORD, NELSON, KELLY, CHENAULT                                                                  
04/13/07       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/13/07       (H)       VERSION: HB 92                                                                                         
04/16/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/16/07       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
05/03/07       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
05/03/07       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
05/09/07       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
05/09/07       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/09/07       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/01/08       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 196                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HANDLING MATTERS AFTER A PERSON'S DEATH                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
03/14/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/14/07       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
04/04/07       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/04/07       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/04/07       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/10/07       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/10/07       (H)       Moved CSHB 196(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/10/07       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/11/07       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 5DP 1NR                                                                                
04/11/07       (H)       DP: GRUENBERG, LYNN, COGHILL, HOLMES,                                                                  
                         RAMRAS                                                                                                 
04/11/07       (H)       NR: SAMUELS                                                                                            
04/20/07       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/20/07       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 196(JUD)                                                                                 
04/23/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/23/07       (S)       L&C, STA, JUD                                                                                          
02/21/08       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/21/08       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/21/08       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/06/08       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/06/08       (S)       Moved   SCS   CSHB   196(L&C)   Out   of                                                               
                         Committee                                                                                              
03/06/08       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/10/08       (S)       L&C RPT SCS   3DP  SAME TITLE                                                                          
03/10/08       (S)       DP: ELLIS, BUNDE, DAVIS                                                                                
04/01/08       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 351                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMIT: FINGERPRINTS                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) COGHILL                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/06/08       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/08       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/11/08       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/11/08       (H)       Moved CSHB 351(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/11/08       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/13/08       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 7DP                                                                                    
02/13/08       (H)       DP: DOOGAN, LYNN, COGHILL, DAHLSTROM,                                                                  
                         SAMUELS, HOLMES, RAMRAS                                                                                
02/20/08       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
02/20/08       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                               
02/28/08       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
02/28/08       (H)       Moved CSHB 351(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/28/08       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
02/29/08       (H)       FIN RPT CS(JUD) 10DP                                                                                   
02/29/08       (H)       DP: HAWKER, CRAWFORD, JOULE, GARA,                                                                     
                         NELSON, STOLTZE, THOMAS, KELLY, MEYER,                                                                 
02/29/08       (H)       CHENAULT                                                                                               
03/12/08       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/12/08       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 351(JUD)                                                                                 
03/14/08       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/14/08       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
04/01/08       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 227                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DIVEST INVESTMENTS IN SUDAN                                                                                        
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) FRENCH                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
01/16/08       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/08       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/01/08       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MICHELE SYDEMAN, Staff                                                                                                          
to Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 198                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE ANDERSON, Administrator                                                                                                   
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions about SB 198.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BILL WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 198                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BILL STOLTZE                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 92.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RALPH SAMUELS                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 92.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE HANSEN, Interim Director                                                                                              
Office of Victims Rights                                                                                                        
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions about HB 92.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LINDA LORD-JENKINS, Ombudsman                                                                                                   
Alaska Office of the Ombudsman                                                                                                  
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions about HB 92.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAY RAMRAS                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 196.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JANE PIERSON, Staff                                                                                                             
to Representative Ramras                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 196.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
STEVE GREER, Attorney                                                                                                           
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in favor of HB 196.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
KAREN LIDSTER, Staff                                                                                                            
to Representative John Coghill                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 351.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DIXIE HOOD, Family Therapist                                                                                                    
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in favor of SB 227.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HELENA FAGAN                                                                                                                    
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in favor of SB 227.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL BURNS, CEO                                                                                                              
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation                                                                                               
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke against SB 227.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PAT GALVIN, Commissioner                                                                                                        
Alaska Department of Revenue                                                                                                    
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in favor of SB 227.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH BOCK, Volunteer                                                                                                         
Save Darfur Anchorage                                                                                                           
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in favor of SB 227.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MAX CROES                                                                                                                       
Sudan Divestment Task Force/Genocide Intervention Network                                                                       
Washington D.C.                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in favor of SB 227.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LESIL MCGUIRE  called the  Senate  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to order  at  9:04:14  AM. Senators  McGuire,                                                             
Bunde, Stevens,  and French  were present at  the call  to order.                                                               
Senator Green arrived later.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        SB 198-ELECTION VIOLATIONS: STAT OF LIMITATIONS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of SB 198.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:04:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHELE  SYDEMAN, Staff  to Senator  Bill Wielechowski,  said the                                                               
sponsor substitute to  SB 198 retains the core  provisions of the                                                               
original bill, which  extends the statute of  limitations for the                                                               
Alaska Public  Offices Commission (APOC)  from one year  to four.                                                               
It  also  repeals  a  statute governing  the  Department  of  Law                                                               
prosecutions of campaign  finance violations. It will  have up to                                                               
five  years  to  carry  a  criminal  prosecution.  The  following                                                               
sections  of the  original bill  were deleted  based on  previous                                                               
committee discussions: Section  1, which restricted post-election                                                               
fundraising; Section 3, which limited  excess campaign funds that                                                               
can be  given to a  political party;  and Section 5,  which would                                                               
have increased  the civil penalty  for lobbyists.  Those sections                                                               
were removed to focus on the core mission.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:06:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE  asked about  the five-year  limit, because  line 9                                                               
says four years.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYDEMAN  said   Section  1  changes  the   APOC  statute  of                                                               
limitations  to four  years, and  Section 2  repeals AS15.56.130,                                                               
which refers  to criminal prosecutions of  campaign finance laws.                                                               
There have  only been a handful  of those in several  decades. If                                                               
the  one-year statute  is repealed,  there is  a five-year,  more                                                               
general,  statute  of  limitations  for  this  type  of  criminal                                                               
violation that already exists in law.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:07:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said there was  an amendment from  the legislative                                                               
ethics  committee  making  the  bill  consistent  with  the  bill                                                               
supported by APOC. "It was  [Ms. Joyce Anderson's] belief that we                                                               
should make both  the ethics statute of limitations  and the APOC                                                               
statute of limitations consistent."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  moved Amendment  1, labeled  25-LS1102\L, Bullard,                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   Page 1, line 1:                                                                                                              
        Delete "extending"                                                                                                    
        Insert "relating to"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
   Page 1, line 2, following "campaigns;":                                                                                    
        Insert "relating to the statute of limitations for the                                                                
   filing of complaints with the Select  Committee on Legislative                                                             
   Ethics;"                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   Page 1, lines 5 - 12:                                                                                                        
        Delete all material and insert:                                                                                         
      "* Section 1. AS 15.13.380(b) is amended to read:                                                                     
        (b)  A [MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION, THE COMMISSION'S                                                                      
   EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OR A]  person who believes a  violation of                                                               
   this chapter or  a regulation adopted  under this  chapter has                                                               
   occurred or is occurring may file  an administrative complaint                                                               
   with the  commission within  five years  [ONE YEAR]  after the                                                           
   date of the alleged  violation. If a member  of the commission                                                               
   has filed the complaint, that member may  not participate as a                                                               
   commissioner in any proceeding of the  commission with respect                                                               
   to the complaint. The  commission may consider a  complaint on                                                               
   an expedited basis or a regular basis. The time limitations of                                                           
   this subsection do  not bar proceedings  against a  person who                                                           
   intentionally  prevents  discovery  of  a  violation  of  this                                                           
   chapter.                                                                                                                 
      * Sec. 2. AS 24.60.170(a) is amended to read:                                                                           
        (a)  The committee shall consider a complaint alleging a                                                                
   violation of this  chapter if  the alleged  violation occurred                                                               
   within five [TWO] years before the date  that the complaint is                                                           
   filed with  the  committee  [AND,  WHEN  THE  SUBJECT  OF  THE                                                               
   COMPLAINT IS A FORMER MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE, THE COMPLAINT                                                               
   IS FILED WITHIN  ONE YEAR AFTER  THE SUBJECT'S  DEPARTURE FROM                                                               
   THE LEGISLATURE]. The committee  may not consider  a complaint                                                               
   filed against  all  members of  the  legislature, against  all                                                               
   members of one house  of the legislature, or  against a person                                                               
   employed by  the legislative  branch of  government after  the                                                               
   person  has  terminated  legislative   service.  However,  the                                                               
   committee may reinstitute  proceedings concerning  a complaint                                                               
   that  was   closed  because   a  former   employee  terminated                                                               
   legislative  service  [OR   BECAUSE  A  LEGISLATOR   LEFT  THE                                                               
   LEGISLATURE] if  the former  employee [OR  LEGISLATOR] resumes                                                               
   legislative service, whether as  an employee or  a legislator,                                                               
   within five [TWO] years after the  alleged violation. The time                                                           
   limitations of this subsection do not  bar proceedings against                                                               
   a person who intentionally  prevents discovery of  a violation                                                               
   of this chapter."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
   Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
   Page 2, following line 6:                                                                                                    
   Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                             
        "(b)  AS 24.60.170(a), as amended by sec. 2 of this Act,                                                                
   applies to  complaints alleging  violations  of AS 24.60  that                                                               
   occurred                                                                                                                     
             (1)  within two years before the effective date of                                                                 
   sec. 2 of this Act; or                                                                                                       
             (2)  on or after the effective date of sec. 2 this                                                                 
   Act."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   Reletter the following subsection accordingly.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
   Page 2, line 8:                                                                                                              
        Delete "sec. 2"                                                                                                         
        Insert "sec. 3"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said  Amendment 1 deletes lines 5  through 12, and                                                               
that is related  to APOC. So it restates the  APOC provisions and                                                               
then it adds the ethics provisions; is that how it works?                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:09:18 AM                                                                                                                    
JOYCE  ANDERSON, Administrator,  Select Committee  on Legislative                                                               
Ethics, said Amendment  1 adds the language that  the time limits                                                               
do  not  bar  proceedings  against  a  person  who  intentionally                                                               
prevents discovery of a violation.  "That has been added for APOC                                                               
language, and it's  also in the ethics statute." It  is making it                                                               
consistent, not  only with  the statute  of limitations  for four                                                               
years, but  also with  the language  in both  the ethics  and the                                                               
APOC statutes.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said Amendment 1 adds  to the APOC bill and ethics                                                               
provision, which makes the two consistent.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said that is correct.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked, "Does it  mean that there's not a limitation                                                               
of four years?"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said yes, if  there was an intentional prevention of                                                               
discovery.  Recent cases  included an  intentional prevention  of                                                               
discovery of a violation, which could go beyond the four years.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS asked her to explain it.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON said  if  there  was a  corruption  case where  the                                                               
offender  intentionally prevented  discovery of  some act,  there                                                               
would  be no  statute  of  limitations. Then  both  APOC and  the                                                               
ethics committee  could initiate  a complaint. For  example, APOC                                                               
now  has a  one-year statute  of limitations,  and was  unable to                                                               
initiate   any   kind   of  investigation   regarding   [Governor                                                               
Murkowski's Chief  of Staff] Jim  Clark. This would  have allowed                                                               
the committee to look at that issue.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:12:15 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDE asked  if  intentionally  preventing discovery  is                                                               
like tampering with evidence in a criminal case.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  said it would have  to be violation under  the code                                                               
of APOC or  ethics, "so it would  actually have to be  one of the                                                               
areas of  the conflict  of interest, or  whatever, in  the ethics                                                               
code, and as  well as the APOC statutes,  which cover campaigning                                                               
law and financial disclosures."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BUNDE   asked  if  the   current  one-year   statute  of                                                               
limitations gets waived for intentional prevention of discovery.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said no.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BUNDE said  there  are honest  mistakes.  This is  about                                                               
falsifying or destroying evidence.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  said that could be  an example, but it  would be at                                                               
the discretion  of APOC and the  ethics committee to look  at how                                                               
egregious it was.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BUNDE  asked  if  the  decision  of  whether  there  was                                                               
intentional prevention of  discovery would be made  by the ethics                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said yes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE  said he has  no question about the  present ethics                                                               
committee,  but  he might  with  later  committees. Why  are  you                                                               
asking for this?                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  said it has been  in the ethics statute  for years,                                                               
and she wants to make  things consistent between ethics and APOC.                                                               
It was added to the APOC statute in some House committees.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:15:17 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE surmised that it exists  in the ethics law, and now                                                               
it will  be in  the APOC  arena. Who  makes the  determination if                                                               
there was intentional prevention of discovery?                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said APOC will.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE said, "They become judge, jury, and executioner."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE said  there was no objection to  the amendment, but                                                               
the committee can continue the debate.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN moved  to rescind the action  on adopting Amendment                                                               
1 for the purposes of allowing further debate.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH objected  and said  the debate  can occur  on the                                                               
bill itself  or in the context  of the rescinding motion.  It did                                                               
happen quickly. He withdrew his objection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Amendment 1 was rescinded.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE moved Amendment 1 again.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  objected. If she  had known  it was in  the ethics                                                               
provision she would have complained.  It appears there is no time                                                               
limit. How can  the state have the  right to go back  and look at                                                               
something after four years?                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:17:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. ANDERSON said because it is in statute.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN said it isn't in  statute. "If you have a four-year                                                               
time limit,  how do you  … have the ability  to go back  and look                                                               
and determine if something is wrong? To me it is off the table."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said  it is already in the ethics  statute but not                                                               
APOC.  If  APOC  got  a  tape from  a  1980  election  showing  a                                                               
candidate shredding  checks and changing names  and amounts after                                                               
a campaign event, APOC would say  it is beyond the four years and                                                               
the offenders would  get away with it, but they  wouldn't if this                                                               
were on the  books. If it was just someone  making a mistake when                                                               
filling  out a  form, the  case is  closed after  four years.  An                                                               
honest candidate won't be harassed.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:20:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDE said  APOC  has been  helpful to  him  and he  has                                                               
confidence in the office, but "you  do get a group of five people                                                               
discussing   the  possibility   of   an   ethics  violation   and                                                               
intentionally  preventing  discovery  of  a  violation,  and  the                                                               
ethics area seems  … more of a gray area  that would require this                                                               
group discussion.  But now we  are going  to … some  future APOC.                                                               
And, who makes that decision,  one person?" Could the director of                                                               
APOC   say  something   was  intentional   with  no   statute  of                                                               
limitations? Criminal law  has very few offenses  without one. He                                                               
said he is  not much of a  record keeper. A person  that is long-                                                               
retired will need to keep  all APOC records. The ethics committee                                                               
has  five members,  but APOC  is one  person. He  understands the                                                               
goal, but the two organizations are vastly different.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:23:03 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GREEN  said  Section  1 is  vastly  different  than  the                                                               
sponsor  substitute.  There has  not  been  enough discussion  on                                                               
this. There are implications she is not comfortable with.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  withdrew Amendment 1.  She will give  Ms. Anderson                                                               
time to  discuss this  idea with  other members.  It goes  to the                                                               
Senate Judiciary Committee next.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  moved  to  report SB  198  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS objected to hear what the bill does.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said it is  Version L, and  it is the  basic four-                                                               
year statute of limitations on APOC complaints.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:25:47 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BILL WIELECHOWSKI  said  the bill  goes  to the  finance                                                               
committee, not  judiciary. It extends the  statute of limitations                                                               
for APOC  from one year to  four years, and the  criminal statute                                                               
of limitations goes to five years. That is all it does.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS  said  this  bill is  very  similar  to  Senator                                                               
Therriault's bill that already passed out of committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said it also  extends the  criminal statute                                                               
of limitations.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:26:55 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GREEN asked where it says five years.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  said repealing  Section  2  makes it  five                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE said it goes to the default of five years.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  said, "We  technically  had  the motion,  and  it                                                               
carried  and  we passed  it  out."  SSSB  198  was moved  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at ease at 9:28:21 AM.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
         HB  92-JURISDICTION OF OMBUDSMAN: VICTIMS RTS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:30:13 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of HB 92.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:30:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BILL  STOLTZE, Alaska  State Legislature,  said he                                                               
and Representative Samuels are cosponsors  and have been involved                                                               
with  the  Office  of  Victims   Rights  (OVR)  for  many  years.                                                               
Representative Samuels was a  citizen advocate and Representative                                                               
Stoltze was  on staff with  the legislative when  the legislation                                                               
was crafted. It was patterned after  the ombudsman office - "as a                                                               
stand-beside organization." The director of  OVR is selected by a                                                               
bipartisan process that  requires a super majority vote.  It is a                                                               
consensus  position like  the ombudsman.  Last year  there was  a                                                               
jurisdictional skirmish  between the two offices.  The intent for                                                               
the OVR was  to have jurisdiction granted by  the legislature. HB                                                               
92 clarifies that  intent to avoid litigation  between one branch                                                               
of the  legislature and another.  There are many reasons  why the                                                               
two are separate.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:32:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   RALPH   SAMUELS,   Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
concurred,  and  said  the  OVR  was  created  as  a  specialized                                                               
ombudsman for the victims of crime  only. A person can easily see                                                               
the  inherent conflict  if one  office presided  over the  other.                                                               
About 40 percent  of complaints to the ombudsman  come from jail,                                                               
and all of the complaints to  the OVR come from victims. Creating                                                               
it was  a several-year  process, including where  to house  it. A                                                               
victim may  file against the district  attorney, public defender,                                                               
public  safety,  or  police.  He  fixed that  as  a  freshman  by                                                               
allowing  OVR to  look at  law  enforcement. A  complaint from  a                                                               
victim will go against one of  the agencies, so the OVR shouldn't                                                               
be  housed  in  the  Department  of Law  "because  you  would  be                                                               
complaining against your  boss, possibly." "If you put  it in the                                                               
Department   of   Administration,   all   roads   lead   to   the                                                               
commissioner, including  the public  defender and OPA  [Office of                                                               
Public Advocacy]."  It ended  up in the  legislative branch  as a                                                               
separate ombudsman for  victims of crime. The OVR  answers to the                                                               
legislature just  like the ombudsmen.  There could be  a conflict                                                               
of the same ombudsman representing  the rapist and his victim, so                                                               
he  wanted a  clear line.  It is  clearer to  the public  and the                                                               
victim to  not even have the  appearance of a conflict,  and that                                                               
is the purpose of HB 92.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:35:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE said this  was the implementing agency for                                                               
the  constitutionally  created   Victims  Rights  Amendment.  The                                                               
people  of  Alaska  overwhelmingly  endorsed  that  amendment  to                                                               
Alaska's constitution.  There were  the inherent problems  of the                                                               
District Attorney's  (D.A.) office -  they just have a  hard time                                                               
regulating themselves because they  are always working hard. This                                                               
agency was  viewed as very important.  The substantive difference                                                               
between  the ombudsman  and the  OVR is  the direct  link to  the                                                               
constitution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:36:56 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GREEN said  she cosponsored the OVR bill  and never heard                                                               
it  called  an ombudsman's  office.  It  raises the  question  of                                                               
institutional competency  when the  ombudsman lacks  that special                                                               
legal  knowledge  necessary  to investigate.  She  doesn't  think                                                               
there are  any limitations on  what the  ombudsman can do  to get                                                               
assistance. She would prefer not to  see "a sentence like that to                                                               
denigrate  another sister  agency."  [OVR] was  placed under  the                                                               
legislature  because no  one  wanted  a new  line  item in  their                                                               
budget. "If  you want to  address the issue  of what can  or what                                                               
should the ombudsman investigate, because  I think the genesis of                                                               
this  problem  actually has  to  do  with the  representation  of                                                               
prisoners." That  is the way to  address the problem. There  is a                                                               
system of  appeals, courts  and internal ways  to correct  it. "I                                                               
don't know  if the Office of  Victims Rights ever reports  to us,                                                               
except for their  little report they do." Attempts  are made each                                                               
year for  the legislature to  exert authority over  the ombudsman                                                               
in the budget process, but she  doesn't know if that is done with                                                               
OVR. She would like to hear from both.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:39:10 AM                                                                                                                    
KATHERINE  HANSEN, Interim  Director, Office  of Victims  Rights,                                                               
Anchorage, said the  OVR has two functions, and one  is to act as                                                               
an  ombudsman for  victims, and  the other  is to  advocate as  a                                                               
lawyer  for crime  victims  who  ask and  to  provide free  legal                                                               
advice on crime victim issues.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked if OVR actually goes to court.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HANSEN  said  yes,  and  they  file  briefs  and  facilitate                                                               
communication with the prosecutors and the police.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked if the role is an observer.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANSEN  said crime victims have  statutory and constitutional                                                               
rights. Sometimes OVR will speak on  behalf of the victim at bail                                                               
hearings and at  sentencing. "We are not a party,  but victims do                                                               
have a special role in the criminal process."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked if the court lists OVR as their attorney.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANSEN said yes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:41:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE asked  if a criminal can get a  public defender and                                                               
the state pays  for the lawyer, and the OVR  balances that with a                                                               
state-appointed lawyer for a victim without substantial means.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANSEN said that is a good  way to phrase it. The OVR gathers                                                               
documents  and  represent  the crime  victim.  It  has  certified                                                               
attorneys   with   prosecution   or  substantial   criminal   law                                                               
experience. "If  they're unhappy with  the outcome, then  they go                                                               
to the  ombudsman and there is  a risk of them  getting documents                                                               
they shouldn't  be getting." There  also may be confusion  of who                                                               
is  making  the  final  decision.  When  the  OVR  statutes  were                                                               
drafted,  the  intent was  for  a  specialized office  for  crime                                                               
victims that would have some teeth and would be the final say.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:43:02 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HANSEN said  there  are several  things  that the  ombudsman                                                               
cannot  access  that  OVR can,  such  as  criminal  investigation                                                               
records  from cold  cases.  If  a crime  victim  later asked  the                                                               
ombudsman for  a review, the  OVR couldn't statutorily  turn over                                                               
that information.  There are  things that the  OVR gets  that the                                                               
ombudsman doesn't.  If the ombudsman  were investigating  OVR, it                                                               
would be contrary to statute to turn over information.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN asked  if a  person can  sign over  access to  the                                                               
records.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANSEN  said AS24.55 would  have to be  substantially revised                                                               
to allow the  ombudsman to oversee the OVR. The  easiest and best                                                               
thing  to do  for the  crime victim  is to  have the  specialized                                                               
knowledge of the  OVR looking at the issues and  making the final                                                               
decision on what  action is needed to improve the  system and the                                                               
circumstances for  that crime victim.  The reason this  bill came                                                               
up  is a  case with  an  active criminal  investigation that  OVR                                                               
looked at to  see if it was viable for  prosecution. OVR has that                                                               
expertise and  works with the  DA's office on helping  to explain                                                               
that  determination to  the crime  victim. To  have a  non-lawyer                                                               
without experience in criminal investigation  take it and oversee                                                               
it would be unhelpful.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:45:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH said he has  been thinking about the institutional                                                               
competence  argument.  There  may  be a  legitimate  issue  about                                                               
whether  one   agency  should  oversee  another   one,  but  that                                                               
particular argument is very unpersuasive  to him. The DA's office                                                               
is ultimately  the one  that decides on  whether to  prosecute or                                                               
not, "and … if you're unhappy  with that decision, go complain to                                                               
an  ombudsman." Ombudsmen  aren't  experts in  any single  field.                                                               
They are  good at  looking at  both sides and  they tend  to make                                                               
good  judgments. They  will almost  always have  to defer  to the                                                               
institutional competence  of the agency they  are overseeing. The                                                               
idea that  there is a  decision too  complex for someone  else to                                                               
review is not something he embraces.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LINDA LORD-JENKINS,  Ombudsman, Alaska  Office of  the Ombudsman,                                                               
Anchorage,  said she  appreciates  Senator  French's comments  on                                                               
institutional competence.  There are two attorneys  on staff that                                                               
have been  involved in criminal  defense issues. The  matter that                                                               
brought this  to a  head was  characterized as  whether or  not a                                                               
sexual assault of  a young woman was viable  for prosecution. The                                                               
complainant said  it had to  do with  how the police  treated the                                                               
victim.  She was  fully  aware  that it  wasn't  a viable  matter                                                               
because both the alleged victim  and the alleged perpetrator were                                                               
mentally handicapped. Her office assured  her that it wouldn't be                                                               
prosecutable, but  she was  more concerned  about how  the victim                                                               
was handled  by the police. Her  allegation was that OVR  did not                                                               
go beyond talking  to the police. She wanted them  to look at how                                                               
handicapped victims  are treated,  which is important  in today's                                                               
society.  There is  a movement  to get  better treatment  for the                                                               
handicapped  and  disabled from  police  officers  and the  court                                                               
system.  The   ombudsman  wanted  to   know  from  OVR   who  the                                                               
investigator talked to. All the  accounts are that the victim was                                                               
re-victimized  and kept  up almost  24 hours  being interrogated,                                                               
and she had  very limited communication capabilities  and she was                                                               
not allowed to  have a family member with  her. The interrogation                                                               
started  at  three  a.m.  The  complainant  alleged  it  was  not                                                               
reasonable treatment of a handicapped  victim. "We wanted to know                                                               
what the  non-attorney investigator looked  at and talked  to. We                                                               
do  understand  that  there  are   records  that  we  don't  have                                                               
statutory access to,  but we also do not provide  records that we                                                               
acquire from any agency to any complainant."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:50:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  LORD-JENKINS said  that is  a longstanding  policy. If  they                                                               
want records  from agencies  her office directs  them to  file an                                                               
open record request,  but it does not act as  a conduit. "We mark                                                               
the records that  we get from complainants and  agencies, so that                                                               
simply  does not  happen." OVR  was modeled  after the  ombudsman                                                               
statute. Her  concern is that OVR  statute does not allow  OVR to                                                               
provide  specific information  about  its  investigations to  the                                                               
legislature. The  statute provides  for confidentiality,  and she                                                               
believes  OVR does  have access  to that  statute. If  her office                                                               
doesn't have oversight over OVR, then who does?                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE asked about other  cases where the ombudsman felt a                                                               
need to review the activities of OVR.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. LORD-JENKINS  said there  was one other  case dealing  with a                                                               
person who  felt he was a  crime victim. Her office  referred him                                                               
to OVR  and he  said that  OVR had  not responded  reasonably. He                                                               
alleged that he  was turned over to the troopers  by OVR. "He did                                                               
not provide  sufficient information. There  were a lot  of issues                                                               
there, but  we did ask the  questions. We have not  conducted any                                                               
formal investigations of  OVR as defined in  our statutes." Since                                                               
HB 92 was filed the  ombudsman has been referring complainants to                                                               
the director  and to the  bill sponsors. "We  said if you  have a                                                               
problem with  how OVR  is responding, these  two people  are very                                                               
interested in OVR  and they would be good people  for you to also                                                               
talk to. But we route them through the process first."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:53:00 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE said he encouraged  her to do that. The legislature                                                               
has an ombudsman role for  their constituents. He asked about the                                                               
ombudsman  having  the  perpetrator  and  the  victim  under  its                                                               
jurisdiction and working at cross purposes.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LORD-JENKINS  said 25  percent of  the ombudsman  caseload is                                                               
inmates  complaining about  the Department  of Corrections.  Less                                                               
than 0.5 percent  might be filed against  a prosecuting attorney.                                                               
It is  possible that the  ombudsman would  get a defendant  and a                                                               
victim, but  that has never  happened. If there were  a conflict,                                                               
she  would assign  one to  one office  and the  other to  another                                                               
office and  put up a wall  between them. When the  ombudsman gets                                                               
complaints,  the  people have  attorneys  and  there is  a  court                                                               
process, "and  we route them to  their attorneys." If there  is a                                                               
complaint that the attorney is  not adequately representing them,                                                               
the ombudsman has  no jurisdiction over a private  attorney and a                                                               
limited review of a public  defender. The ombudsman has no access                                                               
to  attorney/client  records,  but  the  client  can  waive  that                                                               
privilege.  The  allegation would  have  to  be incompetence  and                                                               
abuse of discretion. "We do route  people to the court process if                                                               
they  believe  that  their  attorney  is  not  representing  them                                                               
adequately.  We tell  them  they  have the  option  of filing  an                                                               
ineffective  assistance of  council  motion."  But the  ombudsman                                                               
doesn't go in and address  whether or not in-court representation                                                               
is adequate. She  has questions whether the  bar association does                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. LORD-JENKINS said she has  a legal opinion that was generated                                                               
by in-house council  asking if the bar  association actually does                                                               
respond to  ineffective assistance complaints. The  conclusion is                                                               
that they generally  don't respond well because  of limited staff                                                               
time. If  there was  a complaint  from a  defendant that  OVR was                                                               
acting  inappropriately, "and  I think  that's what  we might  be                                                               
getting  at here.  I think  that  I would  probably decline  that                                                               
because  OVR  has  a  statutory  obligation  to  represent  crime                                                               
victims."  There are  a lot  of in-court  solutions to  defendant                                                               
complaints  of  OVR  acting  improperly.   She  can't  fathom  an                                                               
instance where that might happen.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:57:09 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDE asked  if  this disagreement  evolved  out of  one                                                               
incident.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LORD-JENKINS said  that  is her  assessment.  Prior to  this                                                               
disagreement  the ombudsman  office  requested  records from  OVR                                                               
regarding a complaint against the  DA's office. OVR was unable to                                                               
resolve the  questions that  a burglary victim  had, but  OVR had                                                               
documents on  the case.  The victim  authorized the  ombudsman to                                                               
obtain the documents, and OVR  initially declined and then sought                                                               
a  legal  opinion. Legislative  Legal  Services  opined that  the                                                               
ombudsman did have  the right to request the  documents. OVR then                                                               
provided them. It was evidence  at that point; it wasn't criminal                                                               
records,  but it  was  information that  her  office needed.  The                                                               
ombudsman didn't  have a complaint against  OVR. "We periodically                                                               
get  comments/complaints about  OVR,  and generally,  like we  do                                                               
many  complaints,  we  route  people   into  their  process,  and                                                               
frequently  they  don't  come  back  because  their  process  has                                                               
resolved their complaints."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:59:13 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE  said he  is confused because  she said  she cannot                                                               
have complete  access to information at  OVR, but she can  if the                                                               
victim provides a release?                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.   LORD-JENKINS  said   she   believes  that   attorney-client                                                               
privilege belongs to  the client, and the client  can waive that.                                                               
If OVR has records of  active criminal complaints, OVR has argued                                                               
that it  cannot provide the  records to the ombudsman.  She won't                                                               
argue with that,  but there are some records that  she could get,                                                               
like OVR  records of  contact with the  complainant -  notes from                                                               
interviews with  complainants. In  her view,  those would  not be                                                               
classified as criminal investigation  records. "I believe that we                                                               
have access to those."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE  asked if she would  like to have oversight  of OVR                                                               
even though she cannot get complete information.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. LORD-JENKINS  said she believes  she has oversight  over OVR.                                                               
All agencies should have oversight.  If the ombudsman is removed,                                                               
OVR will have no oversight. That is why she is opposing HB 92.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:01:16 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR MCGUIRE said the OVR is  staffed with attorneys that have a                                                               
professional code of conduct. The bar oversees that system.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS said  he sees  there being  two ombudsman                                                               
offices. If a victim doesn't  like an OVR decision, the ombudsman                                                               
is saying  they will make a  decision, but where does  it stop if                                                               
that decision  is unacceptable?  There is  no oversight  over the                                                               
ombudsman.  He gets  complaints about  the ombudsman  all of  the                                                               
time. "And  quite frankly I look  at most of them,  and it's sour                                                               
grapes  - they  did the  investigation  and you  didn't get  your                                                               
way."  It is  similar at  the  OVR and  he views  them as  sister                                                               
agencies. HB 92  is simply saying they are  separate agencies. If                                                               
it is set  up that the ombudsman gets complaints  about OVR, then                                                               
there will have  to be something set up for  complaints about the                                                               
ombudsman. He wholeheartedly agrees with Senator Green's remark.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:03:08 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  GREEN said  it  did  not sound  like  the ombudsman  was                                                               
questioning the  work of OVR, but  just what was observed  at the                                                               
police station.  "Maybe they don't consider  that their purview."                                                               
Are we addressing a problem that doesn't exist?                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  said there  is  the  ombudsman investigating  the                                                               
victim's ombudsman, and who investigates them? It is circular.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS said  he has  had legislation  that would                                                               
give in-court  standing to  OVR but couldn't  get past  the legal                                                               
tangling of  evidentiary rule.  He was  constantly trying  to get                                                               
access  for  the victims  into  the  system. He  was  [personally                                                               
involved] in  the system before there  was OVR, and he  didn't go                                                               
to the  ombudsman; he  would yell  at Susan  Parks. There  was no                                                               
avenue of  where a victim  could go  to get legal  advice without                                                               
hiring an attorney.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN said that problem is solved.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:05:23 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS said  it  was solved,  but  now we  allow                                                               
people to  bypass OVR's decisions.  "You will end up,  over time,                                                               
deteriorating that. And maybe it will  never happen again … but I                                                               
think we're  better safe than  sorry with drawing the  line right                                                               
now and saying we've got two agencies."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked when OVR began to be called an ombudsman.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE said the term  was used frequently, and it                                                               
was modeled  after the  ombudsman statute.  That was  the intent.                                                               
The  constitutional  amendment  was   passed  in  1994,  and  the                                                               
ombudsman  office wasn't  effective  implementing  it because  it                                                               
didn't  have the  expertise. OVR  was not  only an  ombudsman but                                                               
almost a  foreign language translator for  victims. The defendant                                                               
had an  attorney, "and  certainly the  prosecutor was  there, but                                                               
they were on a  roll of -- sometimes dealing a  lot with a victim                                                               
was counterproductive in  many ways." But it  is important, given                                                               
the  constitutional  amendment. "This  was  really  to bring  the                                                               
victim  out of  the  shadow of  justice."  Creating the  separate                                                               
agency was the only way to do that.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:07:53 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR BUNDE  said it is a  turf battle, and he  moved to report                                                               
HB  92   from  committee  with  individual   recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).  There being no objection,  HB 92 passed                                                               
out of committee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
         HB 196-HANDLING MATTERS AFTER A PERSON'S DEATH                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:08:48 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration  of HB 196. [Before the                                                               
committee was CSHB 196(JUD).]                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at ease at 10:09:06 AM.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:10:11 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JAY RAMRAS, Alaska  State Legislature, said HB 196                                                               
is an  excellent update on  wills and  related material. It  is a                                                               
little esoteric. Concerns of Senator  Bunde were taken care of in                                                               
the Senate Labor and Commerce  committee. The issue of anatomical                                                               
gifts is related, and he is prepared to roll HB 420 into HB 196.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:12:30 AM                                                                                                                   
JANE  PIERSON,  Staff  to  Representative  Ramras,  said  HB  196                                                               
clarifies  and  updates  Alaska  statute  governing  estates.  It                                                               
provides a  penalty clause for  contesting a will  or instituting                                                               
other proceedings even if probable  cause exists. This will align                                                               
wills with  revocable trusts, which  are often used in  wills. It                                                               
amends AS13.16.680  (a) to change  the statement in  an affidavit                                                               
to  be  used  by  a  decedent's  successor  to  collect  personal                                                               
property  in a  small  estate.  It was  changed  in the  previous                                                               
committee with an  amendment by Senator Bunde. It  will raise the                                                               
limit from  $15,000 to  $100,000 for  personal property.  It will                                                               
also  count for  $100,000 in  vehicles.  The bill  also lays  out                                                               
protections   for  benefits   paid  under   life  insurance   and                                                               
retirement plans, so debtors cannot get into that money.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:14:39 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  said Version  K  includes  anatomical gifts.  She                                                               
declared a conflict because she has a bill on the Senate side.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BUNDE  moved to  adopt  the  committee substitute  (CS),                                                               
labeled  25-LS0447\K,   as  the  working  document.   Hearing  no                                                               
objections, Version K was before the committee.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said her father  is on  the Life Alaska  board and                                                               
advocates organ and tissue donations.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:15:46 AM                                                                                                                   
STEVE  GREER,  Attorney, Anchorage,  said  Section  1 of  HB  196                                                               
conforms to current  trust laws. Sections 2 and 3,  which are the                                                               
subjects of  the labor and  commerce amendment, raise  the amount                                                               
whereby  it is  not necessary  to go  through a  probate process.                                                               
Currently if  someone dies with more  than $15,000, it has  to go                                                               
through probate, and that was entirely  too low. It is $50,000 in                                                               
Oregon  with  a  provision  for real  estate.  Washington  has  a                                                               
provision  dealing solely  with  personal property,  and that  is                                                               
$100,000. There  is concern  that by raising  it to  $100,000, it                                                               
could  be abused  by beneficiaries.  For example,  a bad  brother                                                               
goes  into a  bank  with  the affidavit  and  gets  the money  to                                                               
himself.  But  that affidavit  procedure  cannot  occur until  at                                                               
least 30  days after death, and  someone could be appointed  as a                                                               
personal  representative   by  then  and  render   the  affidavit                                                               
procedure  moot. A  person can  go back  to the  court and  get a                                                               
personal representative  appointed and get  an order to  turn the                                                               
money over.  But if the  money is gone, it  is gone. It  was felt                                                               
that it  was a bit high,  and $50,000 is an  amount that everyone                                                               
can  live with,  although no  one  really objects  to the  higher                                                               
amount. Section 4 is very important,  and he gave an example of a                                                               
person  with a  business calamity  who had  life insurance  for a                                                               
spouse and  child. Currently,  if the money  is paid  directly it                                                               
would be  exempt from creditor claims,  but if the money  is paid                                                               
to  a minor  child in  trust,  there is  no provision  protecting                                                               
those proceeds. So Section 4 fills that void in law.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:19:43 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH  said  Section 1  makes  Alaska  consistent  with                                                               
trusts, but it is reversing a long-standing provision.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GREER  said  Section  1  is really  a  penalty  clause.  For                                                               
example, if  "a decedent wanted  to leave property solely  to one                                                               
child to the  exclusion of the other child …  but they're leaving                                                               
the  child who  isn't to  receive  as much,  let's say  a sum  of                                                               
$25,000.  What this  does, if  the  decedent chose  to include  a                                                               
incontestability clause, which says that  if the person who is to                                                               
receive  the lesser  amount --  and this  was the  choice of  the                                                               
decedent -- were to contest this  thing, and if they were to lose                                                               
… then they are being put to  the test because they very well may                                                               
lose the  $25,000 amount  that they  would otherwise  receive. On                                                               
the  other  hand,  if  it  turns  out  that  the  will  was  done                                                               
fraudulently or under  duress, and the will is  thrown out, then,                                                               
of course,  this clause doesn't  apply at all." California  has a                                                               
similar  provision. This  was part  of  Alaska's uniform  probate                                                               
code that  was enacted in  the early  1980s, and there  have been                                                               
many, many  changes made in  the code  by other states.  "We have                                                               
decided this  year that … we  should bring this in  line with our                                                               
present  trust statutes,  which  have been  brought current  with                                                               
other states."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:22:08 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  why it  wouldn't apply.  The bill  says it                                                               
will  apply  even  if  probable cause  exists.  "If  I  institute                                                               
proceedings  because I  think  there's been  fraud,  and a  judge                                                               
finds there's  probable cause to  support my belief  that there's                                                               
been fraud," it says the penalty provision is enforceable.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GREER  said in that case,  the will would be  thrown out, and                                                               
the incontestability clause would have  no force at all. Probable                                                               
cause and winning the case  are two different standards. A person                                                               
who  contested and  lost would  be penalized  for having  brought                                                               
that  cause  of action.  It  is  meant  to prevent  needless  and                                                               
miscellaneous litigation that sometimes  occurs when people don't                                                               
get what they think they are entitled to.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH said  he still  has great  concerns. It  seems to                                                               
prevent people  from having an  opportunity to have  their claims                                                               
heard, and it  makes them walk away when there  is probable cause                                                               
to believe there is something wrong with the will.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:24:24 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  GREER said  he does  his estate  planning through  revocable                                                               
trusts and  not wills. "I would  like to avoid the  whole probate                                                               
process to  begin with."  He is  part of a  group trying  to keep                                                               
Alaska's  laws current  with other  states. The  group wanted  to                                                               
make  will laws  conform to  trust laws.  He understands  Senator                                                               
French's point  and can't dispute  it. But there is  a protective                                                               
provision. It does  put the aggrieved party to the  test. If they                                                               
have a strong  case and prevail, the will gets  thrown out. It is                                                               
meant to prevent cases brought about  for harassment or to try to                                                               
hold the estate hostage.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said it is  a difficult  issue, and she  noted the                                                               
business  of attracting  individuals who  want enforceability  in                                                               
wills.  It is  likely  that they  want the  provisions  to be  as                                                               
enforceable  as  possible. Mr.  Greer  would  like to  draw  more                                                               
business to  Alaska and stay  competitive with other  states. But                                                               
if  you were  the  person who  didn't get  what  you thought  you                                                               
should, you wouldn't like this provision.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:26:52 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR BUNDE said  it is a turf battle. The  final wishes of the                                                               
deceased  should  have  precedence. Someone  in  a  dysfunctional                                                               
family should be able to write someone out of a will.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE moved to report  the Senate committee substitute to                                                               
HB  196,  labeled  25-LS0447\K, from  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations  and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There  being  no                                                               
objection, SCS CSHB 196 (STA) passed out of committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 10:28:57 AM.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
         HB 351-CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMIT: FINGERPRINTS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MCGUIRE announced  consideration  of HB  351. [Before  the                                                               
committee was CSHB 351(JUD).]                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:30:27 AM                                                                                                                   
KAREN LIDSTER,  Staff to Representative John  Coghill, said there                                                               
is new  technology so  the statutory requirement  of two  sets of                                                               
fingerprints in  applying for  a concealed  handgun permit  is no                                                               
longer necessary.  One set is  all that the Department  of Public                                                               
Safety  (DPS)  needs. The  DPS  asked  that the  fingerprints  be                                                               
submitted on their form rather than the FBI-approved card.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:31:17 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH asked if it is one set of ten fingers.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. LIDSTER said yes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN  moved  to  report  HB  351  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, CSHB 351(JUD) passed out of committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
               SB 227-DIVEST INVESTMENTS IN SUDAN                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of SB 227.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:32:27 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH, Sponsor, said SB 227  is as easy to understand as                                                               
any Sunday school  lesson. There is genocide  happening in Sudan.                                                               
Genocide is  the deliberate extermination  of ethnic  or national                                                               
groups. The U.S. State Department  and President Bush have called                                                               
it  genocide,  and   it  is  being  conducted   by  the  Sudanese                                                               
government.  Tens   of  thousands  of  human   beings  have  been                                                               
murdered.  Our  duty is  clear.  We  must  not allow  any  Alaska                                                               
dollars  to further  this terror.  SB 227  takes the  approach of                                                               
targeted divestment. Divestment works.  In 1997 the United States                                                               
declared sanctions  against the Sudanese government  and got them                                                               
to  drop  their  support  for  terrorists  and  to  cooperate  on                                                               
counter-terrorism. The  focus in this  bill is on  companies with                                                               
active  business operations  in Sudan.  Not one  U.S. company  is                                                               
doing business  there and hasn't  since 1997 when  sanctions were                                                               
put  into  place.  Fourteen   states  including  Texas,  Arizona,                                                               
Kansas,  Florida, and  North  Carolina  have targeted  divestment                                                               
laws aimed at Sudan. Detractors  acknowledge the righteousness of                                                               
the cause but point to two  problems. One is a slippery slope: if                                                               
Sudan, why  not tobacco  or South  Africa? But  this case  is not                                                               
that  one.  There is  a  large  difference between  genocide  and                                                               
smoking  cigarettes.  We  should  all  agree  not  to  invest  in                                                               
companies that are helping a  government kill their own citizens.                                                               
The second argument is that it  will cost money. Costs are wildly                                                               
overstated.  No one  at this  table would  knowingly invest  in a                                                               
company that is sponsoring genocide. Why do so as a state?                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:34:48 AM                                                                                                                   
DIXIE  HOOD, Family  Therapist,  Juneau, said  she  has been  the                                                               
beneficiary  of the  permanent fund  dividend,  and she  supports                                                               
humanitarian  concerns over  possible profits.  The international                                                               
boycott  in  South  Africa helped  end  apartheid.  She  supports                                                               
restricting state investments in  Sudan until human rights abuses                                                               
in Darfur have stopped and not resumed for 12 months.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:36:15 AM                                                                                                                   
HELENA  FAGAN, Juneau,  said the  facts in  Sudan are  clear. She                                                               
will  give  a brief  history  of  her  family  to point  out  her                                                               
personal devotion  to this  cause. Her mother  lived in  the Lodz                                                               
ghetto  of Poland  and was  then moved  to Auschwitz  and Bergen-                                                               
Belsen. Her great grandparents were  gassed in a truck and dumped                                                               
in the  mass graves of  Chelmno. Her  grandfather died in  a work                                                               
camp. Her  grandmother died  in the  Auschwitz gas  chambers. Her                                                               
mother is  part of a  network of  survivors who worked  to create                                                               
the holocaust  memorial in Portland,  Oregon. Ms.  Fagan traveled                                                               
with her  mother to all the  death camps in Poland  and collected                                                               
soil  to deposit  in the  foundation  of the  memorial. The  soil                                                               
holds ashes  and bones  fragments. The mass  grave sites  she saw                                                               
were as  large as  football fields.  Her mother  spoke publically                                                               
many  times  about  her experiences,  including  for  Pillars  of                                                               
America.  Every  time  she  spoke she  had  nightmares,  but  she                                                               
continued  so that  people --  especially young  people --  could                                                               
hear what happens when hatred grows and is fed by indifference.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. FAGAN said her mother is 78  and has decided that she is done                                                               
speaking.  "So  I  figure  that  now  it's  my  turn  to  speak."                                                               
Indifference  killed  her  family  as much  as  hatred  did.  Her                                                               
grandfather tried to get his family  out of Poland for years, and                                                               
nobody would  help. The  United States wouldn't  let him  in even                                                               
though he  had money  and appropriate  paperwork. Her  mother was                                                               
allowed  to enter  America many  months after  she was  liberated                                                               
from Bergen-Belsen  on a  stretcher and  too emaciated  to stand.                                                               
During the  past month,  while people are  killed in  Darfur, she                                                               
has heard state leaders speak of  why they hesitate to support SB                                                               
227. The director of the  permanent fund says that financial gain                                                               
is his  directive, and  by divesting someone  else will  just buy                                                               
in. "But I  also believe that we can have  financial gain without                                                               
contributing  to suffering,  and I  believe that  we must  not be                                                               
indifferent to genocide and hatred."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:39:50 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. FAGAN said when she told  her mother that she was testifying,                                                               
her  mother thought  she  was  wasting her  time.  She wants  the                                                               
committee to prove her wrong and pass SB 227.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:40:40 AM                                                                                                                   
MICHAEL BURNS,  CEO, Alaska  Permanent Fund  Corporation, Juneau,                                                               
said he  sincerely appreciates  the motivation  that led  to this                                                               
bill  and   is  profoundly  disturbed  by   the  incomprehensible                                                               
situation  in  Darfur. It  is  the  legislature's prerogative  to                                                               
direct investments of the permanent  fund, and if asked to divest                                                               
it will do so.  He said to think carefully. In  30 years the fund                                                               
has been invested for the  financial benefit of Alaskans. Placing                                                               
a social investment directive on  the fund would be a significant                                                               
change  to  the core  mission.  The  prudent  course is  to  make                                                               
investment  decisions   based  only  on  economics.   "After  the                                                               
question  of  prudence  is  the  question  of  efficacy.  We  are                                                               
concerned  by  the  prospect  of  placing  a  socially  motivated                                                               
directive on  the permanent fund  that will have some  costs when                                                               
we have not  seen definitive proof that  these divestment efforts                                                               
are or  have been  effective." He provided  a review  the effects                                                               
that  divestment from  South Africa  had on  the decision  to end                                                               
apartheid. Those researchers said it  was other forms of pressure                                                               
that  caused the  South African  government to  change. The  U.S.                                                               
treasury  and state  department are  trying  to bring  an end  to                                                               
genocide in  Darfur. SB 227  is a significant decision  that will                                                               
impact Alaska's investments well into the future.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:43:12 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BURNS  said the two  departments spoke to the  Senate Banking                                                               
Committee  in Washington.  The common  theme was  that individual                                                               
divestment  policies  at  the  state   level  will  hinder  their                                                               
efforts. Studies of the sovereign  wealth funds of the world rank                                                               
the  permanent  fund in  the  upper  decile for  best  practices,                                                               
including making investment decisions only on financial grounds.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE asked about the  constitutional language from which                                                               
Mr. Burns  takes his direction.  There is other  legislation that                                                               
considers  assets of  the state  not  available for  initiatives.                                                               
Assets are supposed to be used for the good of Alaskans.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS said  the constitution only requires  the protection of                                                               
the  corpus and  that  25  percent of  the  revenue  goes to  the                                                               
permanent fund.  Everything else  is statutory,  which now  is to                                                               
invest for maximum return while protecting the principal.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:46:33 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  if  he  has read  some  of the  divestment                                                               
materials. Three companies have changed  operations in Sudan as a                                                               
result of  divestment. One is  CHC Helicopter Corporation  -- the                                                               
largest provider  of helicopter  services in the  global offshore                                                               
oil and gas industry. It  recently ceased all business operations                                                               
in  Sudan because  of  concerned investors.  The  other is  Rolls                                                               
Royce,  which sells  oil  equipment to  Sudan.  It announced  its                                                               
decision  to  leave   citing  increasing  humanitarian  concerns.                                                               
Siemens  pledged   to  pull  out   of  the  country   because  of                                                               
divestment.  The Brooking  Institute said:  In the  view of  some                                                               
analysts  divestment  campaigns  may prove  more  effective  than                                                               
sanctions. He asked if that changes Mr. Burns' view of efficacy.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  said he was  not aware and  has not seen  that report.                                                               
Embarrassing a  government that  is taking part  in this  kind of                                                               
activity is difficult.  They are beyond it. "I  don't think we're                                                               
going to jawbone these people into doing the right thing."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked if he disputes it.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS said he didn't he just wasn't aware of it.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked  him to reconsider in the light  of the fact                                                               
that three  major corporations have  ceased operations  there. If                                                               
corporations don't  help the Sudanese  government kill  their own                                                               
citizens, the  government wouldn't be able  to do it. He  said he                                                               
means no  harm to Mr.  Burns, but it is  a reality on  the planet                                                               
being  done with  the  help of  corporations  that supply  bolts,                                                               
trucks, and machinery to keep it going.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:49:36 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR BUNDE  said the efficacy  thing bothers him.  His limited                                                               
understanding  is that  the  weapon  of choice  for  Africa is  a                                                               
machete and  doesn't involve  Rolls Royce.  If Alaska  limits its                                                               
investment will  it keep the  leaders from having lunch,  or will                                                               
the poor people who are being abused have less food?                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS said  he  was  not aware  of  the  two companies  that                                                               
Senator French discussed. If Alaska  divested its holdings in the                                                               
four or  five companies, he  doesn't know what effect  that would                                                               
have on  anything. If  Alaska sells, someone  else will  buy. How                                                               
does that harm the company and therefore harm the government?                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE  said he would very  much like to see  the genocide                                                               
stop, but it  would be boots on the ground  by the United Nations                                                               
and  African nations  to stop  it. Over  years, divestment  might                                                               
have an  impact. But  how many  people will  die in  the interim?                                                               
There are quicker ways to protect these people.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:51:51 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH  said  the  bill  is not  aimed  at  any  company                                                               
providing humanitarian aid or anyone  importing food or lighting.                                                               
It is targeted divestment.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked  how  Mr. Burns  would  figure  out  what                                                               
companies the fund would divest if this bill passes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS said  there are lists available, but  he hasn't thought                                                               
it through. He would have to  deal with the fund's managers. Some                                                               
holdings are  in the index funds.  "You're either in an  index or                                                               
you're not in the index." "If you  invest in an index fund of the                                                               
S&P 500, you are in the  S&P 500 with billions of other dollars."                                                               
The  S&P  498  has  a   custom  benchmark  and  that  is  managed                                                               
differently at a  different expense level. "That's  what we tried                                                               
to reflect in the fiscal note."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  said, "When you  use the  word S&P you  know that                                                               
this S&P  doesn't include any  targeted companies." Not  a single                                                               
U.S. company is doing business there.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:54:02 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BURNS  said he  should have  used AEFA  [Europe, Australasia,                                                               
and Far East index]. "I stand corrected."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PAT  GALVIN,  Commissioner,  Department   of  Revenue,  said  the                                                               
administration  supports SB  227.  The bill  properly reflects  a                                                               
proactive  action  against genocide  in  Darfur  by divesting  in                                                               
companies that profit from those  activities. The situation is an                                                               
ongoing human  tragedy and  Alaska has an  opportunity to  take a                                                               
stand against  those atrocities.  Congress and the  Department of                                                               
State  have labeled  it genocide,  and that  is an  unprecedented                                                               
situation. "With that legislation  there [was] also language that                                                               
would  tend  to  shield,  potentially, the  decisions  of  social                                                               
investing  that  may otherwise  be  subject  to potential  claims                                                               
based  upon  other  precedent,  and   we  are  working  with  the                                                               
Department of  Law to look  at how that congressional  action may                                                               
affect  decisions, absent  the passage  of  this legislation,  to                                                               
allow the  administration to actually  take certain  actions with                                                               
regard  to divestiture  that would  still be  compliant with  the                                                               
state investment laws."  There are areas of  the legislation that                                                               
should be amended  and he wants to work with  the sponsors in the                                                               
finance committee "to  try to eliminate some of  the burdens with                                                               
regard  to  the machinery  of  how  this  bill would  affect  the                                                               
divestiture, in  order to minimize  some of the costs  that don't                                                               
change the core  principal of affecting the  divestiture of state                                                               
funds in this  manner." There may be some  additional language to                                                               
shield some of the investment  decisions that Alaska can't really                                                               
manage and  affect, such  as passive  investments and  some index                                                               
funds.  They should  be shielded  from  this. The  administration                                                               
would like to work with the bill sponsors on it.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:57:36 AM                                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER  GALVIN said  it  is a  difficult  decision and  the                                                               
state has avoided it in the  past. But the situation in Darfur is                                                               
unique so the  state can avoid a slippery slope  and still ensure                                                               
that state funds are not invested in  a way to have any chance of                                                               
contributing to the suffering in Darfur.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH BOCK,  Volunteer, Save Darfur  Anchorage, said  last year                                                               
Congress  passed  the  Sudan Accountability  and  Divestment  Act                                                               
prohibiting  any company  from receiving  any contracts  with the                                                               
federal government  because of their complicity  with the ongoing                                                               
genocide. The  act also  encourages states  to adopt  policies of                                                               
targeted divestment. It opens the  door for every state to divest                                                               
from  the  foreign  oil,  mining and  power  companies  that  are                                                               
providing  documented substantial  support to  the government  of                                                               
Sudan  in  its  genocidal  campaign.  Currently  24  states  have                                                               
adopted  or are  considering  divestment  policies. When  Arizona                                                               
joined  this group  last month,  all 90  lawmakers supported  the                                                               
legislation. It  is now Alaska's  turn. SB 227 would  require the                                                               
permanent  fund and  the Alaska  Retirement  Management Board  to                                                               
implement  targeted  divestment,  which would  mean  selling  off                                                               
holdings  in companies  that have  been  indentified by  multiple                                                               
international  organizations as  having documented  complicity in                                                               
the  Darfur  genocide.  "We  sell   those  foreign  holdings  and                                                               
purchase holdings in American companies  that are genocide free -                                                               
it's  that simple."  The  permanent fund  has  about $22  million                                                               
invested in  six foreign companies  that are linked  to genocide.                                                               
China is  the majority  shareholder of two  of them,  Sinopec and                                                               
Hong Kong.  China is also  the leading  small arms dealer  to the                                                               
Sudan government. China  sold $55 million worth of  small arms to                                                               
Sudan from  2003 to 2006  that have  been used by  the government                                                               
against its citizens. This is the  first time in history that the                                                               
U.S. Congress  and president  have labeled  genocide while  it is                                                               
occurring.  Targeted divestment  isn't about  sacrificing profits                                                               
for  the  greater  good.  There   are  many,  many  genocide-free                                                               
investments that are equally profitable.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:01:07 AM                                                                                                                   
MAX CROES, Sudan Divestment Task  Force and Genocide Intervention                                                               
Network, Washington  D.C., said his organization's  mission is to                                                               
power individuals  and communities  with tools to  stop genocide.                                                               
He said  the Sudanese  government is a  global anomaly;  it lacks                                                               
the ability to  produce capital, and it relies  solely on foreign                                                               
corporations  for  technology and  capital  to  develop its  oil.                                                               
Targeting these  corporations effects  change inside  the country                                                               
by pressuring  the government. It  works. Nine  corporations have                                                               
withdrawn or  substantially altered their policies  inside Sudan.                                                               
In reference to sovereign wealth  funds, some of the largest have                                                               
elected to  adopt investment policies that  reflect financial and                                                               
moral  obligations.   The  Norwegian  government   pension  fund,                                                               
Australian future  fund, and New Zealand  superannuation fund are                                                               
all in this category. Sovereign  wealth funds are responsible for                                                               
preserving their resources for future  generations, but they also                                                               
have  responsibility  to  preserve  a world  that  is  good.  The                                                               
permanent fund's  actions would not  be out of line  from similar                                                               
funds.  This is  not a  permanent policy;  there are  four sunset                                                               
provisions including  if the genocide  ends and if  the president                                                               
or Congress assert that divestment  policies interfere with their                                                               
ability to make foreign policy.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:04:01 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH  moved  to  report SB  227  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS objected to say he  wishes he knew more about the                                                               
Darfur issue.  His knowledge of  the holocaust is better,  and he                                                               
can't help but think that if  we had done something about that in                                                               
1941, some of the suffering  would have stopped. He questions the                                                               
legislation,  but it  is an  issue  worth discussion,  and he  is                                                               
willing to move it to the next committee for that purpose.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said she  echoes those  thoughts and  the slippery                                                               
slope and  how SB 227  would work in  a practical sense.  But she                                                               
has  woken up  at night  on this  issue, and  saying nothing  and                                                               
doing nothing during times of atrocity makes us responsible.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS removed  his objection, and SB 227  passed out of                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair McGuire adjourned the meeting at 11:06:06 AM.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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