Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/18/1994 03:00 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HB 291 - CONSUMER PROTECTION INTERN PROGRAM                                  
                                                                               
  Number 394                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JERRY SANDERS, prime sponsor for HB 291, read the                       
  following sponsor statement:  "This bill provides for a                      
  program for University of Alaska students to work with the                   
  fair business practices section of the Department of Law.                    
  The program will provide university credit and invaluable                    
  experience for the students plus a stipend.  The student                     
  interns will be involved with the fair business practices                    
  section of the Department of Law.                                            
                                                                               
  "In recent years, the fair business practices section of the                 
  Department of Law has been cut from 13 to 3 people.  The                     
  student interns will be able to assist in developing cases                   
  and providing needed follow-up on other cases and in return                  
  will receive valuable experience in the world of business                    
  and business law.  This program will also provide hands-on                   
  experience in business ethics for the students.                              
                                                                               
  "Alaskans are being ripped off nightly by unscrupulous                       
  telemarketers primarily based in the lower forty eight.                      
  Victims, especially in the remote bush areas of the state                    
  have little practicable recourse.  Alaska has a                              
  telemarketing law that makes the crime a felony with the                     
  possibility of extradition of offenders and serious fines.                   
  Currently, telemarketing enterprises who violate the law are                 
  merely sent a copy of the law and regulations.                               
                                                                               
  "Without the availability of additional staff, vulnerable                    
  members of our constituency will not be protected, because                   
  laws do not enforce themselves."                                             
                                                                               
  REP. SANDERS  referred to the two committee substitute                       
  changes:  1) On page 1, line 8, delete "must" and add "may"                  
  and 2) on page 1, line 11, delete "may not participate for                   
  more than one semester."  He explained attending more than                   
  one semester would allow the student more time for                           
  experience and learning.                                                     
                                                                               
  REP. BUNDE moved to adopt the committee substitute for HB
  291.                                                                         
                                                                               
  (Chair Toohey then turned the gavel over to Rep. Bunde to                    
  preside over the remainder of the meeting.  Chair Bunde                      
  indicated for the record that Rep. Kott arrived at 3:40                      
  p.m.)                                                                        
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if students were interested in                             
  participating in this internship.                                            
                                                                               
  REP. SANDERS responded it was his understanding that                         
  students had expressed interest in the program.                              
                                                                               
  Number 486                                                                   
                                                                               
  ALLISON ELGEE, Statewide Budget Director, University of                      
  Alaska, said the university system supports this type of                     
  internship programs. She said there are cooperative                          
  agreements with several agencies regarding different intern                  
  programs.  She stated there is currently no agreement with                   
  the Department of Law's consumer protection program because                  
  their staffing level is not adequate to provide for                          
  supervision.  She said interns are required to be supervised                 
  by an attorney, although the attorney need not be present on                 
  a full-time basis.  She said legislation is not necessary to                 
  establish the intern program;  the problem lies with                         
  staffing at the Department of Law.  She concluded by saying                  
  internships presently do not involve stipends.                               
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if not having a stipend would be                           
  detrimental in getting students involved in the program.                     
                                                                               
  MS. ELGEE said if only one internship paid a stipend and the                 
  other programs did not, this could be a problem.                             
                                                                               
  REP. G. DAVIS said this is the third intern program he is                    
  aware of and wondered if the universities are moving in the                  
  direction of developing more internship programs.                            
                                                                               
  MS. ELGEE said she did not know but could find out.                          
                                                                               
  Number 553                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. G. DAVIS asked if it was possible to hold the program                   
  during the summer months.                                                    
                                                                               
  MS. ELGEE said she did not know if the paralegal program was                 
  offered during the summer, but she could find this out as                    
  well.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 568                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE recommended passage of the committee substitute                  
  without the fiscal note, so this internship would be on the                  
  same footing as other intern programs.                                       
                                                                               
  Number 576                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. TOOHEY wondered if it was legal to include the fiscal                   
  note.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 583                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE said he thought it was legal but it would set a                  
  precedent.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 588                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. ELGEE referred to page 1, line 11, "and shall receive a                  
  stipend" and said the fiscal note reflects the language in                   
  the legislation, so the legislation itself would need to be                  
  modified.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 590                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. TOOHEY asked if it was wise to put an amount in the                     
  bill, and asked if the word "stipend" could be used instead                  
  of a specific amount.                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 597                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE mentioned the other programs do not receive any                  
  stipend and it might be wiser to strike that last sentence.                  
                                                                               
  Number 600                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. KOTT asked if legislative interns receive a stipend.                    
                                                                               
  MS. ELGEE answered in the affirmative.  She added that none                  
  of the other paralegal programs receive stipends.                            
                                                                               
  Number 611                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. KOTT said the reason for the stipend is to defray costs                 
  in coming to Juneau, and asked if travel would be involved                   
  in this program.                                                             
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE said he thought the program would take place                     
  locally.                                                                     
                                                                               
  REP. TOOHEY asked what the stipend amount was for the                        
  legislative intern program.  After some discussion she was                   
  informed the stipend was $3,000 to $3,500 per person per                     
  session.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 622                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for the pleasure of the committee.                         
                                                                               
  Number 632                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. G. DAVIS moved to pass committee substitute for HB 291                  
  to the Finance Committee with individual recommendations                     
  with the accompanying fiscal note.                                           
                                                                               
  Number 636                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE stated he would object, and called on Rep.                       
  Vezey.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 637                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY said other intern programs are funded through the                 
  university system and do not get special appropriations.                     
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-56, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 042                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY continued by saying he had nothing against the                    
  consumer protection intern program, but thought it could be                  
  implemented with the regulations that are currently on the                   
  books.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 045                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE said this bill expresses legislative intent to                   
  see the program realized and possibly the funding as well.                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE stated there was a motion before the committee                   
  and before calling the roll he asked Rep. Sanders for a                      
  wrap-up.                                                                     
                                                                               
  REP. SANDERS said he had no problem deleting the last                        
  sentence referring to the $1,000.                                            
                                                                               
  REP. G. DAVIS withdrew his motion to allow for amendments if                 
  so desired.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 065                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for the pleasure of the committee.                         
                                                                               
  Number 067                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. TOOHEY pointed out the Department of Law would be                       
  delighted to implement an internship program and she                         
  wondered what would prevent this if the $1,000 stipend was                   
  removed.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 073                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY made a motion to amend the committee substitute                   
  by striking the last sentence.                                               
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE hearing no objection to the amendment, adopted                   
  the amendment, striking the sentence that referred to the                    
  stipend.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 081                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY moved to adopt a zero fiscal note for HB 291.                     
                                                                               
  Number 082                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE hearing no objection, adopted a zero HESS                        
  Committee fiscal note.  Chair Bunde asked for the pleasure                   
  of the committee.                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 086                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY moved to pass committee substitute for HB 291 as                  
  amended from the HESS committee with individual                              
  recommendations.                                                             
                                                                               
  Number 089                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE asked that a roll call be taken.                                 
  Representatives Bunde, G. Davis, Vezey, and Kott voted yea                   
  and Representative Toohey voted nay.  Chair Bunde declared                   
  that HB 291 passed out of committee with the accompanying                    
  fiscal note.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 096                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE brought HB 422 to the table and stated that                      
  since there had already been considerable discussion on this                 
  bill, he would like to wrap it up and call for a vote.                       

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