Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1994-02-11 Senate Journal

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1994-02-11                     Senate Journal                      Page 2790
SB 302                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 302 BY THE SENATE 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.                                                        
Fiscal note from Department of Revenue and zero fiscal note from               
Department of Health and Social Services published today.                      
Governor's transmittal letter dated February 11:                               
Dear Mr. President:                                                            
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 Act.                                                                
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             
Support Act (UIFSA), with minor modifications.  Two provisions of              

1994-02-11                     Senate Journal                      Page 2791
SB 302                                                                       
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            
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           

1994-02-11                     Senate Journal                      Page 2792
SB 302                                                                       
recognizes the child support enforcement agency's authority to act in          
interstate cases in the same manner in which it may act in intrastate          
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