Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/11/1993 03:00 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SJR 27: FEDERAL FISHING VESSEL SAFETY RULES Number 060 CHAIRMAN HUDSON brought up SJR 27 and explained that this bill was the companion bill to HJR 33 passed out of the Labor and Commerce Committee previously. Number 075 REP. MULDER moved for passage of SJR 27 with a zero fiscal note and unanimous consent. No objections were heard, it was so ordered. Number 100 REP. KAY BROWN testified as PRIME SPONSOR of HB 54. Rep. Brown explained that the bill was introduced to address privacy issues due to the advances of technology. REP. BROWN further explained that the bill would protect Alaskan's individual privacy rights in two important areas: - it would provide caller identification "line blocking" services without charge to telephone utility customers; and - it would require telephone utilities to offer customers an opportunity to avoid telemarketing solicitations. REP. BROWN added that additions and amendments to Alaska statutes provided by this legislation would make it clear that a citizen's right to individual privacy included the right to be protected from unethical, abusive, or annoying misuse of telephones and monitoring and recording equipment. REP. BROWN suggested that Section 2 of SJR 27 be deleted as the more information in opposition to this particular section comes in. This section concerns eavesdropping. REP. BROWN then outlined the sectional analysis. (The sectional analysis is on file in the committee room.) Number 281 REP. MULDER asked Rep. Brown if she would comment on the criticism brought up in the Securities Industry Association letter dated March 5, 1993, which stated, "The FCC further noted that, ultimately, this option combines the disadvantages of maximum cost to all participants with minimal potential effectiveness, and therefore is not a suitable means of accomplishing the goals of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act." Number 302 REP. BROWN responded that the congressional author of the bill, as well as consumer groups, were not happy with the way the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented the bill. She further noted that the bill provided that the person choosing the options pays them. REP. BROWN explained that the telemarketers are saying that it is too much of a problem to keep up with the updated information regarding who does not wish to be called and who can. REP. BROWN suggested that it would actually be a benefit to the telemarketers to know who wanted to be called and who didn't. Number 333 REP. MULDER asked how often the list would be updated. REP. BROWN responded the list would be noted in the telephone book that comes out once or twice a year. Number 358 REP. PORTER asked how many states offer this service, how much it costs, and how much it would cost here. REP. BROWN suggested that there were other people who would be testifying on the subject who may have that information. Number 390 REP. PORTER raised the concern that under the exceptions for telephone solicitation the language would allow for telemarketers to simply open up the conversation with a couple of questions and circumvent the intent of the law. Number 395 REP. BROWN answered that she believes the language used as the definition of solicitation was clear enough to cover that concern. Number 403 REP. HUDSON inquired what the penalty would be if someone called another party who had indicated they did not want to be called. REP. BROWN replied that the attorney general could bring action and fine at the rate of $200.00 or actual damages, whichever is greater. The court could also award punitive damages, court costs, and attorney fees, or whatever else it deemed reasonable. REP. SITTON stated that he appreciated the motivation driving this bill as he believes privacy is the issue of the decade. Rep. Sitton indicated his concern that the eavesdropping portion of the bill was deleted. Number 433 REP. BROWN replied that federal law provides with one party's consent for the conversation to be taped. She added that wiretapping is carefully regulated. Number 468 MELLIE TERWILLIGER testified via teleconference that she was concerned about having hers or anyone else's conversations recorded without their knowledge. Number 501 REP. PORTER added that a law enforcement officer cannot use a tape recorded conversation in court against an individual unless he obtains a warrant first.