Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

02/12/2009 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 63(STA) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HJR  3-CONST.AM:NO GAMING WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL                                                                              
8:47:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
JOINT   RESOLUTION  NO.   3,  Proposing   an  amendment   to  the                                                               
Constitution  of the  State of  Alaska  requiring an  affirmative                                                               
vote of the people before any  form of gambling for profit may be                                                               
authorized in Alaska and setting other requirements.                                                                            
8:47:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  presented                                                               
HJR 3  as co-prime  sponsor.   He  said  the proposed  resolution                                                               
would require  a statewide  vote of the  people to  legalized any                                                               
form  of  gaming  or  gambling  for  profit.    Furthermore,  any                                                               
municipality  or organized  borough could  vote independently  on                                                               
the  matter.   If there  were  an affirmative  statewide vote  to                                                               
legalize gambling  or gaming, Homer,  for example, could  vote to                                                               
make  it illegal  in  its  locality.   The  resolution would  not                                                               
interfere  with  anything  that   is  currently  legal,  such  as                                                               
charitable  gaming   and  lotteries.     He  offered   to  answer                                                               
CHAIR LYNN  asked about statewide  lotteries such as are  held in                                                               
other states.                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  said he hesitates to  answer, because he                                                               
does not know  how far current charitable gaming  and lottery law                                                               
goes,  but he  reiterated that  the resolution  would not  change                                                               
anything that is currently legal.                                                                                               
CHAIR  LYNN  mentioned  a  recent  lottery  that  had  unintended                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD said, "That  is currently legal under the                                                               
law that  we have now,"  but said "It  didn't turn out  very well                                                               
for anybody -  even the winner."   He said he would  take a close                                                               
look at that to consider some form of modification.                                                                             
8:51:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD, in  response  to Representative  Gatto,                                                               
said the tradition  of splitting the pot at  high school football                                                               
games, since  already established, would  not be affected  by the                                                               
proposed  resolution.    In  response   to  another  example,  he                                                               
reiterated that  those gaming  laws already set  up would  not be                                                               
affected by HJR 3.                                                                                                              
8:54:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked if the  bill would change the current                                                               
situation  involving gaming  on  cruise ships.    He offered  his                                                               
understanding that "the  collection of part of that  tax does not                                                               
give a permit for that within the state."                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD responded  that the issue seems  to be an                                                               
unclear  part of  law.   He revealed  his intent  to introduce  a                                                               
separate bill to stop collecting  tax on the gambling which takes                                                               
place  on cruise  ships.   However, he  said that  is a  separate                                                               
CHAIR  LYNN said  he doesn't  think the  committee wants  to talk                                                               
about that issue while discussing HJR 3.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD concurred.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON requested  the  bill sponsor  get a  legal                                                               
opinion  regarding the  possible impact  of HJR  3 on  the cruise                                                               
ship industry and gambling on cruise ships in particular.                                                                       
CHAIR LYNN said  he thinks that would  be a good idea.   He noted                                                               
that  HJR  3  would  be held  for  further  consideration  beyond                                                               
today's discussion.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  offered his belief that  a legal opinion                                                               
has  already been  obtained when  similar  legislation was  heard                                                               
last year.                                                                                                                      
CHAIR LYNN asked Representative Crawford to check into it.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  said he  thinks  cruise  ship gambling  is                                                               
regulated by federal government.                                                                                                
8:57:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON talked  about  the effect  of gambling  on                                                               
various  classes  of  people,  noting   that  after  the  initial                                                               
interest  by  many  wears  off,  those  who  become  addicted  to                                                               
gambling tend  to be those without  jobs.  She said  studies have                                                               
shown that  people will  spend their  grocery money  on gambling.                                                               
She  opined that  addictive gambling  destroys families,  and she                                                               
said the proposed  resolution is a good one.   She concluded that                                                               
Alaska is better off the way it is currently.                                                                                   
CHAIR  LYNN concurred.    He noted  that  he is  one  of the  co-                                                               
sponsors.   He named  the co-prime  sponsors and  co-sponsors and                                                               
invited others to join in sponsorship of the resolution.                                                                        
9:00:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN  related that  he  is  from Iowa,  which                                                               
currently  has more  forms  of legalized  gambling  of any  state                                                               
other than Nevada.  He said  recently there has been a task force                                                               
studying the  effects of  gambling, and  studies are  now showing                                                               
that 6  percent of Iowans  are now gambling addicts  and gambling                                                               
might  actually  be costing  the  state  more  money than  it  is                                                               
bringing in.  He expressed concern  that Alaska could end up with                                                               
more  than 6  percent  of its  population  addicted, because  "in                                                               
remote areas of the state there's very little entertainment."                                                                   
CHAIR LYNN talked about the cost of gaming to families.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN spoke  of gambling  machines in  grocery                                                               
stores which have resulted in  shoppers leaving the store without                                                               
having bought any groceries.                                                                                                    
9:03:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO observed that  Nevada is successful with its                                                               
gambling because  it "mines" California.   He stated  his support                                                               
of the proposed resolution.                                                                                                     
9:05:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  announced that he  would be hearing  public testimony                                                               
at another time.                                                                                                                
9:05:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD expressed  appreciation for  House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee's hearing  the resolution early in the                                                               
session so that  it might be approved before the  rush at the end                                                               
of session.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  LYNN   assured  Representative  Crawford  that   when  the                                                               
sponsors  are ready  to  discuss the  bill  again, the  committee                                                               
would place that hearing "close to the top of the list."                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  mentioned  studies conducted  in  South                                                               
Carolina and  North Dakota  which show that  for every  dollar in                                                               
tax money  that gambling brings in,  the state pays out  about $3                                                               
in social  services monies to  counteract the ills caused  by the                                                               
gambling.  He said that does  not even take into account the rate                                                               
of  suicide,   bankruptcy,  domestic  violence,   and  alcoholism                                                               
increasing the closer  the proximity to a casino.   He stated, "I                                                               
can't  see any  advantage to  anybody, other  than the  owners of                                                               
these  casinos and  electronic gaming  machines.   It's a  fool's                                                               
paradise, and  it's not  something that  we need  in Alaska.   In                                                               
fact, it's something  that we need to do everything  in our power                                                               
not to bring in."                                                                                                               
9:08:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN announced that HJR 3 was held over.                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
2-12-09 CS for HB 63 (STA).pdf HSTA 2/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
2-12-09 FAX Final CS for HB 63.doc HSTA 2/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
HB63-DOC-OC-02-09-09.pdf HSTA 2/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
HB063-DPS-CDVSA-02-12-2009.pdf HSTA 2/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
HB 63 Sectional Analysis.pdf HSTA 2/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
HB 63 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 2/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 63