Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1994-02-11 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1994-02-11                     House Journal                      Page 2346
HB 465                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 465 by the House Rules Committee by request of                  
the Governor, entitled:                                                        
"An Act relating to the establishment, modification, and                      
enforcement of support orders and the determination of parentage               
in situations involving more than one state; amending Alaska Rule              
of Administration 9; amending Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 82;               
and providing for an effective date."                                          
was read the first time and referred to the State Affairs, Judiciary and       
Finance Committees.                                                            
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
Fiscal note, Dept. of Revenue, 2/11/94                                         
Zero fiscal note, Department of Health & Social Services, 2/11/94              
The Governor's transmittal letter, dated February 11, 1994, appears            
"Dear Speaker Barnes:                                                          
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am     
transmitting a bill relating to the Uniform Interstate Family Support          
Act and the repeal of the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support            
The bill would repeal the laws currently found in AS25.25, the                 
Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA), and                     
replace them with a new Uniform Act, the Uniform Interstate Family             

1994-02-11                     House Journal                      Page 2347
HB 465                                                                       
Support Act (UIFSA), with minor modifications.  Two provisions of              
the bill also have the effect of amending Alaska Rule of Civil                 
Procedure 82 and Alaska Rule of Administration 9.  (See secs. 6 and            
7 of the bill.)  Under art. IV, sec. 15, of the Alaska Constitution, the       
legislature may change a court rule governing "practice and                    
procedure."  Although the bill has the effect of amending a court rule         
relating to filing fees that is designated as an "administrative" rule, I      
believe that the rule affects individuals' substantive rights regarding        
access to our justice system and, therefore, is one that the legislature       
is authorized to change.  Additionally, the provision that has the effect      
of amending the administrative rule is an integral part of UIFSA.              
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act was drafted to update                
URESA.  The bill, like URESA, applies to those actions relating to the         
establishment, modification, and enforcement of support orders and the         
determination of parentage in situations where the parties reside in           
more than one state.                                                           
A major feature of UIFSA is that it does not require reciprocity of            
laws between states in order to take action under its provisions.  In          
order to ease the transition between URESA and UIFSA, the bill                 
recognizes substantially similar state laws as equivalent to UIFSA for         
purposes of interstate actions.  (See proposed AS25.25.101(7) and            
(16).)  The bill also contains its own long arm jurisdiction provision         
providing the home state of a supported family the maximum possible            
opportunity to secure personal jurisdiction over an absent parent.             
The bill promotes, to the extent possible, the premise of continuing,          
exclusive jurisdiction over support orders.  Under the law as it exists        
under URESA, multiple orders for child support often result.  UIFSA            
seeks to limit the existence of multiple support orders by limiting the        
circumstances under which subsequent support orders may be entered             
in states other than the initiating state.                                     
The bill also recognizes the growing use of administrative procedures          
in addition to or in place of judicial proceedings in the establishment        
and enforcement of support orders.  The bill does not confer new               
authority on Alaska's child support enforcement agency, but it does            
recognize the authority otherwise conferred on the agency and support          
enforcement agencies of other states.  The bill specifically recognizes        

1994-02-11                     House Journal                      Page 2348
HB 465                                                                       
the child support enforcement agency's authority to act in interstate          
cases in the same manner in which it may act in intrastate actions.            
UIFSA was prepared by the National Conference of Commissioners on              
Uniform State Laws, which has approved and recommended it for                  
enactment in all the states.  Although it was first adopted by that            
conference in the summer of 1992, it has already been enacted in eight         
states.  There are indications that it will be introduced in as many as        
25 states this year.  It has been endorsed by the United States                
Commission on Interstate Child Support and the American Bar                    
Association, and the bill has the support of Alaska's child support            
enforcement agency.                                                            
I urge prompt consideration and passage of this bill.                          
										Walter J. Hickel