Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/27/1998 01:06 PM House JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 390 - CHARTER MARRIAGES                                                     
Number 0039                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the first item of business would be a                 
revisit of HB 390, "An Act relating to marriage; and amending Rules            
54 and 56, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure."  Before the committee,            
but not yet formally adopted, was Version Q (0-LS1062\Q,                       
Lauterbach, 2/26/98).                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY, sponsor, referred members to the fourth             
paragraph of a letter dated February 27, 1998, from Terri                      
Lauterbach, legislative counsel.  He indicated at the previous                 
hearing Mr. Zangri of Vital Statistics had requested a change so               
that anybody who currently had a marriage license in Alaska could              
come to them and opt for a new license.  Representative Kelly                  
stated, "If you'll look in that bottom paragraph, they point out               
some real difficulties in that, as far as equal protection                     
problems, because we need to recognize marriages from other states.            
And there's really no way that they can.  And the alternative,                 
which is to say we'll only recognize Alaskan marriages, we'd                   
probably end up having to defend that in court."                               
Number 0138                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLY told members that although he thought the                 
provision was a good idea, he could certainly live without it.  He             
suggested a conceptual amendment on page 2, line 1.                            
CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that there was a written amendment to cover               
that, which specified the amendment was to Version Q and which                 
     Page 2, Lines 1-15,                                                       
          Delete all material and all additional references                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLY affirmed that was the right one.                          
Number 0186                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES offered that as Amendment 1.                    
REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ objected, saying it was for equal               
protection purposes.                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that is why they are taking it out.                  
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ disagreed, saying it leaves him in a spot             
that the other members aren't in.  He explained, "As the only                  
single person here, speaking on behalf of all single Alaskans, I'd             
just like to say it's not really fair that we have to make this                
difficult choice about testamentary or charter marriage.  And those            
of you who have already entered into that holy state of matrimony              
don't have to make that choice."                                               
Number 0304                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLY asked whether they need to make references to             
any possible collateral amendments that would go along with that.              
He said he wasn't 100 percent sure there wouldn't be any.                      
REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CROFT noted the technical matter of deleting               
"(a)".  He asked whether the effect of the bill would be that a                
couple could enter into a new charter marriage but could not go                
from a testamentary marriage into a charter marriage.                          
REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said yes.                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked, "So you could get a divorce and                
then come back and get it straightened out the second time?"                   
REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said that is correct.                                     
CHAIRMAN GREEN added, "Any marriage subsequent to the passage of               
the bill."                                                                     
Number 0353                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said that was actually recommended, but he had            
thought it was a little overly complicated.                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN suggested that is the effect.  He asked whether the             
objection was maintained.                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said yes.                                             
Number 0416                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN requested a roll call vote.  Voting for adoption of             
Amendment 1 were Representatives James, Bunde and Green.  Voting               
against it were Representatives Berkowitz and Croft.                           
Representatives Porter and Rokeberg were absent.  Therefore,                   
Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 3-2.                                      
REPRESENTATIVE KELLY advised members he had no objection to the                
next amendment, relating to licensed clinical social workers.                  
Number 0442                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES offered Amendment 2, her own amendment, which             
     Page 3, line 13:                                                          
          After associate insert:                                              
               "licensed clinical social worker"                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed out that it adds licensed clinical social               
workers to the people qualified to do the counseling.  He asked                
whether there was any objection.  There being none, Amendment 2 was            
Number 0522                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether there were questions or further                   
discussion, then indicated HB 390 would be held until later in the             
HB 390 - CHARTER MARRIAGES                                                     
Number 1046                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN announced that for the second time that day, the                
committee would take up HB 390, "An Act relating to marriage; and              
amending Rules 54 and 56, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure."  He                
noted that they had not yet adopted the proposed committee                     
Number 1046                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to adopt Version Q [0-LS1062\Q,             
Lauterbach, 2/26/98] as a work draft.  There being no objection, it            
was so ordered.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to move HB 390, Version Q, as               
amended, from the committee with individual recommendations and                
attached fiscal note(s).                                                       
Number 1130                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.                                             
CHAIRMAN GREEN requested a roll call vote.  Voting to move the bill            
from committee were Representatives Rokeberg, James, Bunde and                 
Green.  Voting against it were Representatives Croft and Berkowitz.            
Representative Porter was excused.  Therefore, CSHB 390(JUD) moved             
from the House Judiciary Standing Committee by a vote of 4-2.                  

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