Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

05/03/2006 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 442 HEALTH CARE DECISIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 442(JUD) am Out of Committee
+= HB 190 REQUIRED ID FOR PURCHASING ALCOHOL TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB SCS 190(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 322 SAFE SURRENDER OF BABIES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 322(JUD) am Out of Committee
+= HJR 9 URGE CONGRESS HONOR EXXON VALDEZ JUDGMENT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SJR 17 COLLECT MORE EXXON VALDEZ SPILL DAMAGES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
        HJR 9-URGE CONGRESS HONOR EXXON VALDEZ JUDGMENT                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:33:18 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced HJR 9 to be up for consideration.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SUZANNE  HANCOCK,  Staff   to  Representative  Gabrielle  LeDoux,                                                               
introduced the resolution. More than  11 years after the original                                                               
jury verdict, the plaintiffs are  still waiting for resolution of                                                               
the  lawsuit.  The  resolution   would  urge  the  United  States                                                               
Congress  to  respect  the  judicial  process  and  refrain  from                                                               
enacting any  legislation that would  reduce or delay  payment of                                                               
the punitive damages awarded to  more than 32,000 plaintiffs as a                                                               
result of the  oil spill. ExxonMobil has  sought to substantially                                                               
reduce the  punitive damages they  are due  to pay for  the Exxon                                                               
Valdez  oil  spill.  HJR  9  urges Congress  to  let  the  courts                                                               
determine the matter.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:34:58 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. HANCOCK directed  committee members to a  lengthy timeline of                                                               
litigation in their bill packets.  The litigation has been in the                                                               
district courts, the Ninth Circuit  Courts, and the United States                                                               
Supreme Court.  If Congress were  to get involved, it  would take                                                               
the issue out of courts and  the resolution is meant to encourage                                                               
them not to intervene.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  Ms. Hancock  whether there  really was                                                               
any   threat   of   Congress   excusing   ExxonMobil   from   its                                                               
responsibility.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANCOCK responded there was  concern about efforts being made                                                               
in Washington D.C. to effect a release of responsibility.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  said  so  far,  no  one  has  sought  any  active                                                               
participation in 15 years.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hancock responded, "To the best of my knowledge."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS speculated that people were more apt to make the                                                                  
oil company pay more than less. He speculated that the Ninth                                                                    
Circuit Court was going to decide the punitive damages soon.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH indicated he was not up to date on that                                                                          
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS suggested that the committee roll SJR 17 and HJR 9                                                                
together and present it as one resolution.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:38:22 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS held the HJR 9 in committee.                                                                                      

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