Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/12/2010 01:30 PM Senate JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 287(JUD) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 355(JUD) Out of Committee
                  SB  46-CHILD SUPPORT AWARDS                                                                               
VICE-CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI announced  the consideration  of SB  46.                                                               
The  bill was  heard  previously. [CSSB  46(HSS)  was before  the                                                               
1:45:20 PM                                                                                                                    
DOROTHY  SHOCKLEY, staff  to Senator  Albert Kookesh,  introduced                                                               
herself and noted  there was a new committee  substitute (CS) for                                                               
the committee to consider.                                                                                                      
VICE-CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI said  he'd take  public testimony  while                                                               
the CS was copied and distributed.                                                                                              
ALLEN  BAILEY,  Attorney,  Anchorage,  said he's  been  a  family                                                               
attorney for  about 26 years.  He is  chair of the  child custody                                                               
committee  of  the  American Bar  Association  (ABA)  family  law                                                               
section, and  a former member  of the ABA Commission  on Domestic                                                               
Violence. He said  he is representing himself as  a family lawyer                                                               
whose practice consists primarily of  child custody cases most of                                                               
which  are   related  to  violent  relationships.   He  told  the                                                               
committee that  before getting Civil  Rule 90.3, the  practice of                                                               
family law  frequently consisted  of primary  parents effectively                                                               
agreeing to receive  lower child support in order  to continue to                                                               
provide care  for their  children. At the  same time,  there were                                                               
parents who were  willing to sell their time  with their children                                                               
in exchange for lower amounts of  child support. That is not good                                                               
public policy, he said.                                                                                                         
1:48:58 PM                                                                                                                    
He  related  that   his  experience  in  36   years  of  drafting                                                               
legislation is that  some people for selfish  purposes attempt to                                                               
modify state laws  to benefit themselves and others  like them in                                                               
a  manner that  is a  disadvantage  to others.  The problem  with                                                               
making a statute  of what now embodies Alaska Civil  Rule 90.3 is                                                               
that the rule  would be subject to the vagaries  of the political                                                               
VICE-CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  assured  him  that  that  was  not  the                                                               
sponsor's intent.                                                                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL asked  him to tell the committee  about the rule-                                                               
making process in the court.                                                                                                    
MR.  BAILY said  his  understanding is  that  the Alaska  Supreme                                                               
Court justices appoint a committee  to make recommendations as to                                                               
prospective changes in  the court's rule. Most  of the appointees                                                               
are attorneys  who are expert  in the  area of child  custody and                                                               
child support litigation.  He said it's been  his experience that                                                               
the change process in the Alaska  Civil Rules is much more finely                                                               
tuned than the change process in some legislation.                                                                              
1:53:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL said  he agrees that they are  two very different                                                               
bodies that both  make policy so there will always  be a tension,                                                               
but the  Constitution gives primary  authority of making  laws to                                                               
the Legislature. He  appreciates that the court sees  how the law                                                               
interacts at the practical level, but  the court also has its own                                                               
internal politics.                                                                                                              
VICE-CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  for  a motion  to  adopt the  new                                                               
committee substitute (CS).                                                                                                      
1:55:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  moved  to  adopt  CS for  SB  46,  labeled  26-                                                               
LS0279\T, as the working document.                                                                                              
VICE-CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  objected  for discussion  purposes  and                                                               
asked Ms. Shockley to explain the changes.                                                                                      
MS. SHOCKLEY  said on page 6,  lines 24-25 and again  on line 27,                                                               
the phrase  "and cash  medical support" was  deleted. On  page 7,                                                               
line  20,  the phrase  "For  purpose  of establishing  a  monthly                                                               
support obligation  for healthcare  expenses," was  inserted. The                                                               
rest of  subsection (e) remains the  same. On page 7,  line [29],                                                               
"medical  cost"  was  deleted  and  "health  care  expenses"  was                                                               
Page 8,  line [4],  following "oath"  the phrase  "accompanied by                                                               
documentation  verifying the  statement"  was  inserted; page  8,                                                               
line   6,   following   "This    statement"   the   phrase   "and                                                               
documentation" was  inserted; and  page 8, line  9, a  period was                                                               
placed  after the  word  "modify"  and the  phrase  "and must  be                                                               
accompanied by documentation verifying the income." was deleted.                                                                
1:58:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Page  9,  line  [2],  "court"  was  deleted  and  "tribunal"  was                                                               
inserted. Page 10, line 15,  "tribunal." was deleted and "court."                                                               
was  inserted. Page  10, line  13, following  the word  "all" the                                                               
word "court" was inserted.                                                                                                      
VICE-CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI asked if these are technical changes.                                                                   
MS. SHOCKLEY answered yes.                                                                                                      
VICE-CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI closed public testimony and announced he                                                                
would hold SB 48 in committee.                                                                                                  
2:02:24 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Vice-Chair Wielechowski adjourned the meeting at 2:02 p.m.                                                                      

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