Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/13/2000 01:15 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 311 - NO SOC SEC. NUMBER REQ'D ON HUNT/FISH LICENSE                                                                        
TAPE 00-59, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                              
HOUSE  BILL NO.  311, "An  Act eliminating  a  requirement that  a                                                              
social security number  be provided by an applicant  for a hunting                                                              
or sport fishing license or tag."                                                                                               
Number 0011                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN  COGHILL,  JR.,   Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                              
sponsor  of HB 311,  explained that  the bill  simply repeals  the                                                              
social security  [number] requirement  in relation to  hunting and                                                              
sport   fishing  licenses   or  tags.      The  federal   Personal                                                              
Responsibility  and Work  Opportunity Reconciliation  Act of  1996                                                              
requires  the  state  to  supply social  security  numbers  for  a                                                              
variety of  different licenses:   drivers' licenses,  occupational                                                              
licenses, professional  licenses, recreational  licenses, marriage                                                              
licenses, divorce  decrees, paternity  orders, support  orders and                                                              
death  certificates.   However, many  people in  his district  had                                                              
complained  to him  about the  requirement for  a social  security                                                              
number  on hunting  and fishing  licenses;  his subsequent  search                                                              
resulted in this bill.  There is  a federal mandate to "chase down                                                              
deadbeat dads," Representative Coghill  noted.  The reason for the                                                              
bill  is related  somewhat  to  privacy  because many  people  are                                                              
concerned about giving their social  security number to a [hunting                                                              
or fishing  license] vendor  - such as  a gun shop  or mom-and-pop                                                              
grocery store  - that doesn't know  the parameters in  relation to                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  pointed out that the larger  issue is that                                                              
many  people don't  like social  security numbers  being used  for                                                              
identification purposes  at all.   However, he had  introduced the                                                              
bill  to  take on  just  the  hunting and  fishing  license  issue                                                              
because that  is the  only area  in Alaska  now "vendored  out" to                                                              
collect  social  security  numbers,  and there  is  probably  less                                                              
professional security  involved.   A social security  number could                                                              
be lying around and accessible; even  though there is a blackened-                                                              
out spot on the  [application], the impression is  still there and                                                              
the information  is still accessible.    New Mexico had  removed a                                                              
similar requirement  for hunting and fishing licenses  a year ago,                                                              
he noted, without any significant  challenge to that action, under                                                              
the  same [federal]  law.   This  current bill  simply repeals  AS                                                              
Number 0164                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT  asked Representative  Coghill whether any  money is                                                              
tied to the federal mandate.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said it is debatable.   The whole Personal                                                              
Responsibility and  Work Opportunity Reconciliation  Act has money                                                              
attached  to it,  but it  has been  challenged in  court in  other                                                              
states,  especially in  relation  to providing  a social  security                                                              
number as identification  for a driver's license.   That number is                                                              
not  supposed to  be used  for identification,  he  noted, but  he                                                              
doesn't  want to  take on  the whole  system  at this  point.   He                                                              
believes  that the  best place  to  start is  hunting and  fishing                                                              
[licenses] because of the security issue.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL noted  that other  types of licenses  that                                                              
require  a   social  security  number   "are  under   pretty  good                                                              
professional care,"  with no direct access to those  numbers.  The                                                              
drafter of the bill [Terri Lauterbach,  Legislative Legal Counsel]                                                              
has  indicated that  the bill  could  result in  a challenge  with                                                              
regard to  the federal money.   However, he believes  that doesn't                                                              
necessarily have  to occur.   "I think  just having those  hunting                                                              
and fishing licenses  in these various different  vendors is cause                                                              
enough," he added.                                                                                                              
Number 0257                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked how  much money [the bill] would put                                                              
at risk and why there would not be a problem.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  replied that  42 U.S.C. 666(a)(13)  is the                                                              
law  that  requires   a  state  to  comply.     According  to  Ms.                                                              
Lauterbach,  noncompliance  could   possibly  jeopardize  [funding                                                              
because of] that code.                                                                                                          
Number 0280                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT  asked Representative Coghill  whether he had                                                              
an opinion from Ms. Lauterbach.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL offered to  provide it  to members.   [The                                                              
memorandum  from  Ms. Lauterbach  to  Representative  Ogan,  dated                                                              
March  23,  1999,  was  provided  soon  afterwards.    The  bottom                                                              
paragraph read:                                                                                                                 
     The state  may choose  to be out  of compliance  with 42                                                                   
     U.S.C. 666(a)(13).  Such an  action would jeopardize not                                                                   
     only  the  federal  funds  received  for  child  support                                                                   
     enforcement efforts  but also federal funds  received as                                                                   
     block  grant money  for the TANF/ATAP  program under  AS                                                                   
     47.27.  The Department of Revenue  and the Department of                                                                   
     Health   and   Social  Services   could   provide   more                                                                   
     information  about these amounts  and/or the  likelihood                                                                   
     of  federal  sanctions, or  you  could authorize  me  to                                                                   
     contact  them   on  your  behalf  in  regard   to  these                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said he thinks that it is  "worthy of some                                                              
significant challenge"  because of  the privacy issue  and because                                                              
of the  way that  Alaska has  chosen to  have hunting and  fishing                                                              
licenses vended.                                                                                                                
Number 0297                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked whether a person's  social security                                                              
number is actually on a license or is blacked out.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL   indicated  that,  according   to  Alaska                                                              
Department of  Fish and  Game (ADF&G) personnel,  the top  copy of                                                              
the application contains the person's  social security number, and                                                              
there  is  a  blacked-out  section  on the  carbon  copy.    [This                                                              
statement was  corrected a  short while  later; see Number  0347.]                                                              
Testimony has  indicated, however,  that a social  security number                                                              
can still be read very easily from that.                                                                                        
Number 0324                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA asked  whether the  person and the  ADF&G                                                              
are the only ones who are actually  supposed to have a copy of the                                                              
application with the social security number on it.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL affirmed that.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA suggested  that the forms could be changed                                                              
so that  a social security  number isn't  readable on  a duplicate                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asserted that requiring a  social security                                                              
number as  identification for a hunting  and fishing license  is a                                                              
misuse of the number.                                                                                                           
Number 0347                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT  asked whether that  social security number  is used                                                              
primarily for child support issues and cases.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  replied, "Yes."  He corrected  his earlier                                                              
statement   by  saying,  "To   answer  Representative   Kerttula's                                                              
question, it  has to  be that the  agency would  retain a  copy of                                                              
that number, if  that's the intended purpose. ...  It must be that                                                              
the vendor's  copy is the only  one blacked out."   Representative                                                              
Coghill said  it had  been almost  a year since  he had  talked to                                                              
ADF&G  personnel about  this.   He  restated that  it [the  social                                                              
security  number] is primarily  used for  identification  to track                                                              
down those who haven't paid their child support.                                                                                
Number 0390                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  asked   whether  there  have  been  any                                                              
financial repercussions  to New  Mexico in  terms of [the  federal                                                              
government's] withholding  of child support,  Temporary Assistance                                                              
to Needy Families (TANF) monies or anything like that.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL   replied,  "No,  they  haven't   had  any                                                              
repercussions from removing it."                                                                                                
Number 0413                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI noted  that the  committee recently  had                                                              
heard  a bill  relating to  the issuance  of  hunting and  fishing                                                              
licenses electronically,  with perhaps a "kiosk-type  of concept."                                                              
She wondered  whether that type of  a system would  alleviate some                                                              
of  Representative Coghill's  concerns  because it  would be  more                                                              
Number 0445                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  surmised that  it would be that  much more                                                              
secure, but,  logistically and  practically, the  state is  a long                                                              
way from that.  Furthermore, it would  not alleviate his objection                                                              
to using  a social  security number  for identification  purposes.                                                              
When  he first  began this  journey,  Representative Coghill  told                                                              
members, he  did not realize the  degree to which it  was required                                                              
by  the  U.S.  code.    However,   he  finds  that  this  bill  is                                                              
appropriate because [social security  numbers provided for hunting                                                              
and fishing licenses] are probably less secure than other uses.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT  said he doesn't want to risk  the money, but                                                              
it does  irritate him that  [the federal government]  is requiring                                                              
this.  He inquired whether an effective  date would be possible so                                                              
that the legislature can watch what happens to New Mexico.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  at  first  said  he  would  resist  that.                                                              
However, because the  forms for hunting and fishing  licenses have                                                              
already been printed  [for the current year], it  may cost less to                                                              
have a later  effective date.  "So,  I would be open  to that," he                                                              
Number 0565                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT  said he had  heard the opposite  argument in                                                              
relation  to a bill  that would  require  a change  in a form  for                                                              
voter information;  in other words,  it would be cheaper  to delay                                                              
the  effective  date in  order  to use  up  the old  forms  before                                                              
switching to the new ones.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL responded  that it  would be agreeable  to                                                              
the ADF&G.  When he had talked to  ADF&G personnel, they said that                                                              
providing  a social  security number  is  a "hot  button" for  the                                                              
department,  and they would  rather not  deal with  it or  have to                                                              
print other  forms.  He added,  "My reply was, 'Simply  just don't                                                              
ask them to put it on there; it's not required anymore.'"                                                                       
Number 0603                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT replied that Representative  Coghill's suggestion is                                                              
possible if the clerk who sells the  license advises the purchaser                                                              
of that.   He pointed  out, however, that  these clerks may  be 16                                                              
years  old.    Chairman  Kott noted  that  a  positive  aspect  of                                                              
including  an  effective date  of  2001  would be  preventing  the                                                              
establishment  of  two  classes  of individuals:    1)  those  who                                                              
already  had applied for  and received  licenses, providing  their                                                              
social security numbers in doing  so; and 2) future applicants who                                                              
would  discover somehow  that there  is  no need  to provide  that                                                              
number.    It  would  be  more  beneficial,  he  thinks,  to  keep                                                              
everybody under the same scheme.                                                                                                
Number 0644                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  conveyed  concern that  his  constituents                                                              
would say he  "wimped out" for extending [the  current system] for                                                              
another year,  even though  it makes more  sense practically.   He                                                              
wondered  how  much  money  it would  take  to  print  a  circular                                                              
indicating that, as  of a certain date, a person  does not need to                                                              
provide  a social  security  number  to apply  for  a hunting  and                                                              
fishing  license.    Furthermore,   maybe  the  state  should  act                                                              
proactively instead  of watching to see what happens  to the state                                                              
of New Mexico.  Other states are  watching this issue, Michigan is                                                              
going through the  process right now, and there  are several court                                                              
cases  going.   He  concluded  that  being proactive  is  probably                                                              
better than waiting to see [what happens elsewhere].                                                                            
Number 0717                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  KOTT suggested  that even  with  an immediate  effective                                                              
date, if  this were  to pass  both houses  quickly, most  Alaskans                                                              
would have already purchased a fishing licenses.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL acknowledged  that as  a practical  reason                                                              
for  extending the  effective date.   He  said he  could take  the                                                              
political "heat"  for that, although  this was no "small  stir" in                                                              
his district.                                                                                                                   
Number 0790                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT  OGAN, Alaska State Legislature,  came before                                                              
the committee to testify in support  of HB 311 as a cosponsor.  He                                                              
told  members  that sometimes  it  is  not worth  capitulating  to                                                              
federal demands placed  upon a state's sovereignty.   He explained                                                              
that   he  had   taken   action  the   previous   year  that   was                                                              
misinterpreted; he  had voted to concur with the  Senate's changes                                                              
to [HB 344], which required a person  to provide a social security                                                              
number.  Although not in support  of the bill itself, he had heard                                                              
about it from constituents - many  of whom are adamant hunters and                                                              
fishermen - when he got home.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  said this is an issue of privacy.   The state                                                              
constitution  has   a  strong  privacy   clause  that   gives  the                                                              
legislature the  authority to implement it, although  they haven't                                                              
done so but have left it up to the  courts for interpretation.  He                                                              
again  suggested that  sometimes  it is  worth  walking away  from                                                              
federal money, although he hopes  that isn't necessary.  The Child                                                              
Support Enforcement  Division [Department  of Revenue] is,  in his                                                              
opinion, the most  out-of-control state agency;  his office fields                                                              
many complaints about them.  Representative  Ogan pointed out that                                                              
there  are some  "deadbeat  mothers" as  well,  and it  is more  a                                                              
matter of parents who don't support  their children, regardless of                                                              
what sex  they are.  He  asked that members  pass the bill  out of                                                              
the committee.                                                                                                                  
Number 0935                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  KOTT recalled  that most  of the concerns  he had  heard                                                              
regarding  [HB 344]  had related  to providing  a social  security                                                              
number for a  driver's license.  He suggested that  the request to                                                              
provide a social security number  is a circular problem because in                                                              
order  to get  a hunting  and  fishing license,  a  person has  to                                                              
provide  identification, which  most often  is a driver's  license                                                              
that includes the social security number.                                                                                       
Number 0962                                                                                                                     
AL WEATHERS testified  via teleconference from Cordova  in support                                                              
of HB  311.  He  told members  that he won't  allow himself  to be                                                              
identified by  a number.   A law requiring  that would make  him a                                                              
criminal, and  probably would overwhelm  the criminal system.   He                                                              
urged members to pass the bill.                                                                                                 
Number 1043                                                                                                                     
ERIC   WEATHERS,   JR.,  Commercial   Fisherman,   testified   via                                                              
teleconference from Cordova in full  support of HB 311.  A fourth-                                                              
generation Alaskan,  he asked that commercial fishing  permits and                                                              
drivers' licenses be  added to the bill.  He noted  that he hasn't                                                              
been  able to  find  in federal  law a  requirement  to provide  a                                                              
social security number for identification  purposes other than for                                                              
a  commercial drivers'  license or  a  welfare program.   In  that                                                              
regard, he is  not a commercial driver or a  welfare recipient and                                                              
will not become  one.  Taking money from the  government, he said,                                                              
makes a person a servant.  He cannot  and will not give his social                                                              
security  number to  anyone;  at  the same  time,  without one  he                                                              
cannot purchase  a driver's  license, fishing  license or  hunting                                                              
license.  Referring  to testimony of Al Weathers,  his brother, he                                                              
urged members to  keep those who choose to support  themselves out                                                              
of jail.                                                                                                                        
Number 1099                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Mr. [Eric]  Weathers whether he applies                                                              
for and receives the Alaska permanent fund dividend (PFD).                                                                      
MR. WEATHERS  replied that  he hasn't  in the  past.  However,  he                                                              
applied for one  this year and is having problems  with it because                                                              
the [Internal  Revenue Service (IRS)]  withholds about  30 percent                                                              
if a person does not have a social security number.                                                                             
Number 1130                                                                                                                     
DENNY KAY  WEATHERS, testifying  via teleconference  from Cordova,                                                              
explained that  31 percent  is withheld from  the PFD if  a person                                                              
does not have a  social security number.  That person  then has to                                                              
apply to the IRS to have it returned.                                                                                           
MR.  [ERIC] WEATHERS  added  that he  had just  opted  out of  the                                                              
social security  system and the PFD  [program] about two  to three                                                              
years  ago.  He  has since  reapplied  for it [a  PFD] but  hasn't                                                              
received it yet.                                                                                                                
Number 1179                                                                                                                     
MS. [DENNY]  WEATHERS testified  that HB 311  is a great  piece of                                                              
legislation.    She requested  that  it  be amended,  however,  to                                                              
include  non-commercial  drivers'   licenses,  commercial  fishing                                                              
permits, and  crew licenses.   She pointed  out that  a commercial                                                              
fishing permit  includes a person's social security  number, birth                                                              
date and name.   A commercial fishing permit must  also go through                                                              
a series of people for processing,  some of whom are not even part                                                              
of  the state.    In  that regard,  there  is  no security.    She                                                              
suggested that  HB 344  was passed under  duress from  the federal                                                              
government,  which  leads her  to  believe that  legislators  were                                                              
opposed to  it from the  beginning and  felt that they  were being                                                              
MS. WEATHERS referred  to her written testimony and  a copy of the                                                              
"CRF"  report   from  Congress,  which  she  said   illustrates  a                                                              
chronological  development  of  the  use of  the  social  security                                                              
number from 1935 to 1986.  She noted  that the 1986 requirement is                                                              
the only  one that she  could find in  relation to  the Commercial                                                              
Motor Vehicle  Safety Act  of 1986, which  gives the  Secretary of                                                              
Transportation authority to require  the state to include a social                                                              
security  number  on commercial  vehicle  licenses.   She  further                                                              
indicated  that  the  state  is only  required  to  get  a  social                                                              
security  number  from those  who  receive federal  benefits,  are                                                              
blood donors, or are seeking a commercial vehicle license.                                                                      
MS. WEATHERS noted  that Michigan and New Mexico  do not require a                                                              
social security number for identification;  from what she has been                                                              
told, [those  states] have  not lost any  of their federal  money.                                                              
Furthermore,  the people of  Montana currently  are working  on an                                                              
initiative   to  repeal   their  state   social  security   number                                                              
[requirement], as well  as a lawsuit against the  state for taking                                                              
away  their  privacy  and  forcing  them "into  a  number."    Ms.                                                              
Weathers  said  the  reason that  the  federal  government  cannot                                                              
mandate a state to collect a social  security number from everyone                                                              
is because  the federal constitution  will not allow it  under the                                                              
Tenth  Amendment.   The  person  handling social  security  number                                                              
issues in North Carolina has indicated  that state isn't requiring                                                              
a person's social  security number for identification  to obtain a                                                              
learner's permit or driver's license, she reported.                                                                             
MS.  WEATHERS told  members that  many  [Alaskans] do  not have  a                                                              
social security number; therefore,  when they apply for something,                                                              
they are told that they cannot have  it.  When she went to reapply                                                              
for  her  driver's   license,  for  example,  she   was  handed  a                                                              
memorandum  that said  a  person must  provide  a social  security                                                              
number.  As a  result, she had to turn her driver's  license over,                                                              
which she  said makes  her a  criminal.   Ms. Weathers  challenged                                                              
members to  look for a  federal law that  requires a state  to ask                                                              
for a social  security number.   She can understand that  a person                                                              
would  need a  social security  number  to apply  for a  federally                                                              
issued "thing,"  she said;  however, someone  applying only  for a                                                              
state-issued "thing" should not be  forced into providing a social                                                              
security number.                                                                                                                
Number 1677                                                                                                                     
MARK  CHRYSON,   Chairman,  Alaskan   Independence  Party   (AIP),                                                              
testified   via  teleconference   from   the  Mat-Su   Legislative                                                              
Information Office  (LIO), noting that  the AIP is  the number-one                                                              
third  party  in  the United  States.    Regarding  Representative                                                              
Murkowski's comment  about electronically obtaining  a hunting and                                                              
fishing  license and  HB  273, Mr.  Cryson  cautioned  that as  an                                                              
Internet  service provider  he can  affirmatively  say that  there                                                              
would not be  any security.  Any  information put on a  website is                                                              
public  domain and  can  be accessed  by a  third  party; in  that                                                              
regard,  if the committee  passes  HB 273, he  believes that  they                                                              
will have no choice but to pass HB 311.                                                                                         
MR. CRYSON told  members that the Privacy Act of  1974 indicates a                                                              
social security  number cannot be  required unless it was  done so                                                              
prior to 1974.  His driver's license  reads 000-00-0000, he noted,                                                              
and he  has until  2003 before he  has to  worry about  whether to                                                              
continue to  have a state-issued  driver's license  or to go  to a                                                              
Native group and  have a driver's licensed issued  by them; Native                                                              
groups, he explained, don't require  a social security number.  He                                                              
emphasized that  people need  their privacy.   Alaska is  the only                                                              
state  that  has   the  right  to  privacy  spelled   out  in  its                                                              
constitution; he encouraged committee  members to live up to their                                                              
oath in that regard.                                                                                                            
Number 1922                                                                                                                     
JAMES GARHART testified via teleconference  from the Mat-Su LIO as                                                              
a  private citizen.   The  issue  of providing  a social  security                                                              
number to  obtain a driver's license  has been in court,  he said.                                                              
The biggest  problem is that magistrates  are reluctant to  make a                                                              
decision because  they will  have to decide  in favor  of privacy.                                                              
Section  7  of  Public  Law 93-579,  known  as  the  Privacy  Act,                                                              
basically  says  that  anybody  can  ask a  person  for  a  social                                                              
security number, but a federal, state  or local agency cannot deny                                                              
a person  a right, benefit  or privilege  for refusal  to disclose                                                              
his/her number.                                                                                                                 
MR.  GARHART pointed  out that  Article  VIII, Section  3, of  the                                                              
state  constitution says,  "Wherever  occurring  in their  natural                                                              
state, fish, wildlife,  and waters are reserved to  the people for                                                              
common use."  It doesn't say to provide  a social security number.                                                              
The agents  of the  state refuse  to issue  him a fishing  license                                                              
because he  will not violate  the terms  of his contract  with the                                                              
Social  Security Administration  and provide  his social  security                                                              
number,  Mr. Garhart  said.   When he  goes fishing,  he could  be                                                              
cited and possibly  suffer penalties.  However, when  he signed up                                                              
for a social  security number, it  was clearly spelled out  in the                                                              
contract   that  it   was  not  to   be  used   for  purposes   of                                                              
identification; it  stated so, in  big, bold, blue letters  on the                                                              
back of the card.                                                                                                               
MR. GARHART  said he has never  changed the terms of  the contract                                                              
with the Social Security Administration,  and they have never sent                                                              
him anything  indicating the terms  of the contract  have changed.                                                              
Therefore,  he  feels that  using  a  social security  number  for                                                              
identification  purposes  is  an  improper  use  of  that  number,                                                              
punishable with a fine, imprisonment  or both.  He doesn't want to                                                              
commit  a  crime  in order  to  get  a  privileged-status  fishing                                                              
license,  he said.    Furthermore, when  he  went to  apply for  a                                                              
fishing  license, he  noticed that  there were  three copies,  but                                                              
only one was blacked out - the copy  that the vendor retains.  One                                                              
copy would  go to  him and the  other would go  to the  ADF&G, but                                                              
typically  their copies  aren't  transferred  to [the  department]                                                              
daily.   In that way,  a social security  number is  available for                                                              
the clerks and anyone else.                                                                                                     
MR.  GARHART offered  his opinion  that this  whole issue  started                                                              
with the  federal government's attempt  to blackmail the  state by                                                              
threatening to withhold funds.  He  recalled that when the federal                                                              
government did something similar  in relation to a helmet law, the                                                              
Hickel-Coghill  Administration told  [the  federal government]  to                                                              
"take their  helmet law  and stick it";  as a result,  the federal                                                              
government  did not pull  any funds.   Mr.  Garhart likened  it to                                                              
standing up to the school yard bully.                                                                                           
MR. GARHART turned  attention to the state's  constitutional right                                                              
to  privacy, suggesting  that legislators  have taken  an oath  to                                                              
uphold the constitution; he believes  that passing HB 311 would be                                                              
in  line with  upholding  that oath.   He  further  stated that  a                                                              
fishing license  is the  same as  a driver's license  if it  has a                                                              
person's social security number and  name on it:  anyone could use                                                              
it for  identification and apply  for credit cards, and  so forth.                                                              
Mr. Garhart  said he  has heard  many stories  of people  who have                                                              
tens of  thousands of  dollars in credit  card bills  because they                                                              
had  lost  their  drivers' licenses  with  their  social  security                                                              
numbers on them.                                                                                                                
Number 2260                                                                                                                     
MR.  GARHART  noted  that  this is  the  judicial  committee,  and                                                              
proposed that the  only comprehensible judicial action  is to move                                                              
HB  311  out   with  a  unanimous  recommendation   for  approval.                                                              
Regarding  an effective  date, federal  regulations indicate  that                                                              
individuals  who  are  asked  to  provide  their  social  security                                                              
numbers  must  be informed  of  whether  providing the  number  is                                                              
mandatory or voluntary, he added.   In that regard, an agent would                                                              
only have  to advise  a person  that requiring  a social  security                                                              
number has been repealed, and that it is now a voluntary act.                                                                   
[The  rest of  Mr.  Garhart's  testimony is  almost  indiscernible                                                              
because of a fire alarm that went  off while he was testifying and                                                              
subsequent discussion.   Because of the fire alarm,  the committee                                                              
was at ease from 2:52 p.m. to 3:01 p.m.]                                                                                        
TAPE 00-60, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0061                                                                                                                     
BARBARA   MIKLOS,   Director,  Central   Office,   Child   Support                                                              
Enforcement Division (CSED), Department  of Revenue, testified via                                                              
teleconference  from Anchorage.    She told  members that  welfare                                                              
reform legislation,  passed by  Congress in 1996,  is part  of the                                                              
Social Security  Act.  Section  466(a)(13) of the  Social Security                                                              
Act indicates that  each state must have in effect  laws requiring                                                              
the procedure  for the  use of a  person's social security  number                                                              
for any  recreational license to  be recorded on  the application.                                                              
In that regard, the legislature had  passed HB 344 about two years                                                              
ago to meet the requirement.                                                                                                    
MS. MIKLOS  reported that as far  as the division can  tell, there                                                              
is no definition  of "recreational license" in  statute.  However,                                                              
in  consulting with  the federal  government, they  said it  means                                                              
recreational  hunting  and fishing  licenses.    For that  reason,                                                              
subsistence and  personal use licenses  are excluded.   Ms. Miklos                                                              
noted  that when  HB 344 was  passed,  there was  a great deal  of                                                              
deliberation  and concern,  but the  federal  government told  the                                                              
state it would  lose approximately $77 million -   $14 million for                                                              
child support and  $63 million for public assistance.   Ms. Miklos                                                              
said that is why HB 344 was ultimately passed.                                                                                  
MS. MIKLOS explained that when Congress  passed welfare reform, it                                                              
was  their  intent to  help  give  more  tools for  child  support                                                              
enforcement  because they wanted  those who  "got off welfare"  to                                                              
have  resources.   Those  tools  have  been  very helpful  to  the                                                              
division in collecting  additional money.  She  reported, however,                                                              
that  the data  from  a hunting  or fishing  license  is not  that                                                              
useful because  by the  time the  division obtains  a copy  of the                                                              
license, the data has probably already  changed.  The division has                                                              
many  better  ways of  getting  data  about  those who  owe  child                                                              
support.    In her  mind,  she  said,  it is  important  that  the                                                              
requirement be maintained so that there isn't a loss of funding.                                                                
MS.  MIKLOS  offered to  work  with  the  committee in  trying  to                                                              
determine a  way to  delete the requirement  of a person's  social                                                              
security  number for  a recreational  license so  that it  doesn't                                                              
hurt the funding.   However, the requirement of  a person's social                                                              
security  number   for  other  licenses   is  really   helpful  in                                                              
collecting child  support.   In closing, Ms.  Miklos noted  that a                                                              
congressman has  introduced legislation to delete  the requirement                                                              
to provide  a social  security number  for recreational  licensing                                                              
from the  Social Security  Act.   That is  the best proposal,  she                                                              
said, because then  the state wouldn't have to worry  about a loss                                                              
of funds.                                                                                                                       
Number 0355                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  asked Ms. Miklos whether  Idaho had lost                                                              
its  funding   in  relation   to  social   security  numbers   and                                                              
recreational licenses.                                                                                                          
MS. MIKLOS replied that there were  many provisions of the federal                                                              
welfare  reform  Act  with  which Idaho  indicated  it  would  not                                                              
comply.   As  a  result,  Idaho had  received  a letter  from  the                                                              
federal  government threatening  to  pull its  funding; the  Idaho                                                              
legislature,   in  response,  passed   necessary  legislation   to                                                              
preclude that.   Meanwhile, Alaska  was deliberating on  its bill.                                                              
After consulting  with Idaho, Alaska  passed a bill that  only met                                                              
the minimum requirements of the federal government.                                                                             
Number 0488                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  KOTT asked  Ms. Miklos  to reiterate  what the  monetary                                                              
loss would be.                                                                                                                  
MS. MIKLOS  replied that it would  be about $14 million  for child                                                              
support and $63 million for public assistance.                                                                                  
Number 0517                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Ms. Miklos  whether she is aware of the                                                              
two  states that  have passed  legislation in  relation to  social                                                              
security numbers and recreational licenses.                                                                                     
MS.  MIKLOS replied,  "No."   She said  she didn't  know that  New                                                              
Mexico had actually repealed its  law, but she would look into it.                                                              
She wondered  whether  Michigan was  one of the  states that  fell                                                              
behind  in its  time line,  when the  federal law  was passed,  in                                                              
relation to  when its  legislature meets.   She restated  that the                                                              
division is  not really  using the  information provided  from the                                                              
recreational  licenses, and  she is  aware that  it is creating  a                                                              
great deal  of problems and controversy  in the state.   Wisconsin                                                              
and Minnesota are having trouble with the issue as well.                                                                        
Number 0611                                                                                                                     
RYNNIEVA MOSS,  Staff to Representative John Coghill,  Jr., Alaska                                                              
State  Legislature, came  before the  committee on  behalf of  the                                                              
sponsor.    She handed  out  a  document  from New  Mexico  titled                                                              
"Minutes of  the State  Game Commission  Meeting, April  8, 1999";                                                              
she indicated it related to the philosophy  behind the decision to                                                              
repeal the collection of social security  numbers for recreational                                                              
licenses.  She noted that it had  been a situation in which prison                                                              
inmates were tabulating the collected data.                                                                                     
Number 0716                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  KOTT,  indicating  there  were  no  further  testifiers,                                                              
closed the meeting to public testimony.                                                                                         
Number 0722                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CROFT told fellow  members that  he would  like to                                                              
have an effective date to allow the  legislature to fully see what                                                              
is happening in other states, and  to allow the finance committees                                                              
to plan for a potential $77 million  gap in funding.  An effective                                                              
date of 90 days  from now would be when the legislature  is not in                                                              
session, he  noted.  An  effective date  of July 1,  2001, doesn't                                                              
meet the concern  of starting on the first of January  so that all                                                              
licenses have  the same requirement,  but he thinks that  the main                                                              
concern is related to the potential monetary loss.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT  proposed an effective date of  July 1, 2001,                                                              
as an amendment [Amendment 1].                                                                                                  
Number 0822                                                                                                                     
MS. MOSS pointed out that Representative  Coghill had more in mind                                                              
the calendar year because of the  way hunting and fishing licenses                                                              
are  issued.   The  state  has  also  admitted  that there  is  no                                                              
compelling interest  in collecting  social security  numbers [from                                                              
recreational   licenses].      She   requested,   on   behalf   of                                                              
Representative  Coghill, that  the  effective date  be January  1,                                                              
Number 0858                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CROFT responded that  he is not  stuck on  July 1,                                                              
2001, but it  makes more sense.   An effective date of  January 1,                                                              
2001, doesn't  seem to help the  legislature because it  is before                                                              
session.  Most  people agree that this is an  onerous requirement.                                                              
Even Ms. Miklos has indicated that  the CSED does not use the data                                                              
from the recreational  licenses that much, and there  are a lot of                                                              
people  in  the state,  including  himself,  who are  angry  about                                                              
having to provide  a social security number.  The  main reason the                                                              
legislature  had passed  HB 344 under  duress  was because  of the                                                              
money.  It boils  down to a money issue, which is  why he wants to                                                              
tie the effective date to the fiscal  year, not the calendar year.                                                              
Number 0913                                                                                                                     
MS.  MOSS responded  that  New  Mexico  and Michigan,  which  have                                                              
"called  the  feds' bluff,"  have  not  had any  repercussions  or                                                              
threats from the federal government  in relation to funding, and a                                                              
whole year has passed for New Mexico.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE   CROFT  replied   that   the  federal   government                                                              
sometimes  works slowly  and could  be preparing  a "hammer."   In                                                              
that  regard,  it would  be  prudent  to have  a  somewhat-delayed                                                              
effective  date  that fell  on  a  "calendar  year," so  that  the                                                              
legislature would have an idea on what might happen.                                                                            
Number 0991                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT  offered a friendly  amendment to Amendment 1  of an                                                              
effective date of  January 1, 2001, which he believes  would avoid                                                              
any protection issues and would give the legislature some time.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT  agreed that an effective date  of January 1,                                                              
2001, would  give time, but it  wouldn't give the  legislature the                                                              
ability to do anything about it without a special session.                                                                      
Number 1029                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT  replied that  an effective  date should  not impact                                                              
those who  issue the licenses.   It is  unfair and  inequitable to                                                              
require only  half of  the citizens to  provide a social  security                                                              
number [during the changeover year].                                                                                            
Number 1055                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CROFT pointed out  that there  already is  a group                                                              
who won't provide a social security  number, and who will continue                                                              
to not  provide it.   Furthermore,  an effective  date of  July 1,                                                              
2001, would  work well for hunting  season, but it would  not work                                                              
as well for fishing season.                                                                                                     
Number 1076                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  told fellow  members that she  doesn't think                                                              
the state will lose any money.                                                                                                  
Number 1108                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CROFT indicated  an effective  date of January  1,                                                              
2001, is  fine.  If the "hammer  falls," he said,  the legislature                                                              
would be in session shortly thereafter "to do a quick fix."                                                                     
Number 1124                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked:  Why  not make the  effective date                                                              
January 1,  2002?  In  that way, more  time would have  elapsed so                                                              
that there would  be more security about what might  happen to the                                                              
$77 million.                                                                                                                    
Number 1140                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT responded that he had  heard from the sponsor that a                                                              
January 1,  2002, date would not  be acceptable.   Furthermore, he                                                              
thinks  that  an effective  date  is  making  a statement  to  the                                                              
federal  government  that  the state  is  no  longer going  to  be                                                              
blackmailed.    He suspects  that  the legislation  introduced  in                                                              
Congress to eliminate  this requirement will happen  this year; he                                                              
believes the issue is that important.                                                                                           
Number 1191                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA objected  to the amendment to Amendment 1.                                                              
She specified  that she wants to  keep the effective date  as July                                                              
1, 2001.                                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN KOTT requested a roll call  vote.  Representatives James,                                                              
Croft, Green and Kott voted "yea."   Representatives Murkowski and                                                              
Kerttula voted "nay."  Therefore,  by a vote of 4-2, the amendment                                                              
to Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                                     
Number 1241                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT asked  whether there was any objection  to Amendment                                                              
1,  as  amended.   There  being  no  objection,  Amendment  1  was                                                              
Number 1254                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CROFT made a  motion to move  HB 311,  as amended,                                                              
from  the  committee  with  individual   recommendations  and  the                                                              
attached negative fiscal note.                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN   KOTT  stated,   for  the   record,  that   it  is   his                                                              
understanding  that  the committee  does  not  want to  delve  any                                                              
further  into eliminating  the requirement  of  a social  security                                                              
number for any other license.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  CROFT indicated that  the sponsor has  theoretical                                                              
troubles  with  providing  a  social  security  number  for  other                                                              
licenses,  but those  are  slightly different  in  that there  are                                                              
federal requirements involved.  This  issue is a different type of                                                              
duress in that it is related to funding.                                                                                        
Number 1317                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  expressed concern  that HB 311  does not                                                              
have  a  House Finance  Standing  Committee  referral,  especially                                                              
given  that  there is  a  potential  for  the  state to  lose  $77                                                              
million.  At the same time, she doesn't  want to hold the bill up.                                                              
Number 1352                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT  agreed with Representative  Murkowski.  He  said he                                                              
is  sure that  the last  committee of  referral will  see that  it                                                              
belongs in the House Finance Standing Committee.                                                                                
Number 1367                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  commented that she sees no reason  to have a                                                              
person's social security  number on a recreational license.   As a                                                              
tax  preparer, she  has  come into  contact  with individuals  who                                                              
don't want to use their social security  numbers for anything, but                                                              
she thinks that they don't have a  clue as to what would happen if                                                              
they didn't use  their social security numbers and  birth dates to                                                              
identify themselves.  In fact, even  while using a social security                                                              
number, a person can get "mixed up"  with others; there are people                                                              
born with the same  name on the same date, for  example, which can                                                              
cause unsolvable  problems.  In that  regard, she is not  in favor                                                              
of  removing a  person's social  security number  from a  driver's                                                              
license, unless she can be convinced otherwise.                                                                                 
Number 1441                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA said she  thinks this  is a concern  with                                                              
regard to the social security number  per se, not really a concern                                                              
in relation  to privacy.  The  committee has heard  testimony that                                                              
the  data provided  from  the recreational  licenses  is not  that                                                              
helpful.  She  also thinks that the legislature  should not behave                                                              
too  cavalierly about  the  threat of  a loss  of  $77 million  in                                                              
funding.  She spoke in support of  having a House Finance Standing                                                              
Committee referral.                                                                                                             
Number 1468                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT asked whether there  was any objection to the motion                                                              
to move HB  311, as amended, from  the committee.  There  being no                                                              
objection,  CSHB  311(JUD)  was moved  from  the  House  Judiciary                                                              
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects