Legislature(1995 - 1996)
10/05/1995 09:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 338 & SB 177 (CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMIT AMENDMENTS) REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, Chair of the House State Affairs Committee, called the joint meeting of the Senate and House State Affairs Committees to order in the Anchorage Legislative Information Office conference room at 9:00 a.m. In her opening remarks, Chair James noted she sponsored the original legislation relating to permits for the carrying of a concealed handgun, which was signed into law in July 1994, and HB 338 and SB 177 are revisions to that legislation. Chair James outlined the following revisions contained in HB 338: 1. Deletes the fingerprint requirement and substitute a criminal background record check of available state and federal databases. 2. Deletes FBI investigation and change department's time limit for approval from 15 to 30 days. 3. Deletes requirement to qualify with specific action types and calibers of handguns. 4. Changes residency requirement from one year to 90 days. 5. Changes application fee cap from $125 to $65; change renewal fee cap from $50 to $25. 6. Changes demonstration of competence with a handgun to require one of the following: (1) successful completion of a: (a) Hunter or firearms education course or hunter or firearms safety course approved by the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Public Safety, or similar agencies of another state; (b) National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course; (c) Firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement, university or college, or private or public institution or organization of firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Alaska Department of Public Safety; (d) Law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, or a division or subdivision of a law enforcement or security enforcement; and (e) Firearms safety or training course or class conducted by a state certified or National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor. (2) Presentation of evidence of experience with a handgun, equivalent to any of the courses or classes above, through participation in organized shooting competition or military service; (3) Presentation of evidence that the applicant is licensed or has been licensed to carry a handgun in this state, unless the license has been revoked for cause. 7. Deletes from the definition of "competence" the ability to place in a life size silhouette target 7 out of 10 shots at 7 yards and 6 out of 10 shots at 15 yards. 8. Adds to list of convictions which would prohibit qualification for a concealed handgun permit: "In a public or private place, the person challenges another to fight or engages in fighting other than in self-defense." 9. Changes the list of places where a concealed handgun may not be carried: A concealed handgun may be carried in a building which houses a state or federal office as long as it is not carried into the state or federal office itself. 10. Provides that a copy of laws and regulations is provided with each application form. 11. Also contains a few other minor language changes. Number 090 CHAIR JAMES then opened the meeting to public testimony from witnesses present in Anchorage, as well as witnesses waiting to testify from the participating legislative teleconference sites, and she requested that witnesses limit their testimony to three minutes. Sandy Perry-Provost, representing the Department of Public Safety, and Carla Timpone, staff to Representative Robinson, informed the committee they were present at the Juneau teleconference site monitoring the meeting. Number 110 The first witness to testify was Jack Phelps who worked with the sponsor in the drafting of the original concealed handgun legislation. JACK PHELPS of Anchorage, representing himself, stated he is a life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), as well as an instructor certified by the Department of Public Safety to provide the training that is specified in the current law for a concealed carry permit. MR. PHELPS said when the original legislation was being put together, while it enjoyed tremendous widespread support, including the support of a number of police officers, there was difficulty with the higher levels of the Department of Public Safety in their concerns with the legislation, however, their response to the new law has been very good. He encouraged members to assure the department that the revisions to the law are not in any way criticisms of the department with respect to their enforcement of the law. Speaking to a technical concern with the legislation, Mr. Phelps said that in current law, the demonstration of competency is demonstrated to the department at the time of application through a certificate issued by the trainer. Paragraphs (2) and (3) of Section 7 require the presentation of evidence, but there is no requirement that any evidence of training be presented to the department if it is being done under subsection (a). The result is that it provides that there is still a certificate that has to be presented at renewal, but not a certificate that has to be presented at initial application, unless using a couple of alternatives: evidence of experience, or the reciprocity section. He is concerned that in existing subsection (c), where it requires certificate of confidence for renewal, the section that would prohibit from including identifying information about handguns owned is taken out. He urged that the deleted language in Section 3, subsection (d) which provides that the permit must specify action types, remain deleted, but not to delete the prohibition against specifying handguns owned. He also offered to provide alternative language to the committee that addresses the problems he had outlined. Number 205 WAYNE ROSS of Anchorage, representing himself, stated he is a director with the National Rifle Association and that he holds a concealed weapons permit from the state of Alaska. He pointed out that despite his NRA training, his military training, his 35 years of experience with firearms, he still had to sit through a very long 12 hours to get a permit in Alaska. MR. ROSS expressed his appreciation for the original concealed weapons permit legislation, and said HB 338 is a good step forward to clean the bill up substantially. However, he said he disagrees with Mr. Phelps' comment about the cooperation from the Department of Public Safety, because he believes the Knowles Administration has an anti-gun agenda, which he believes is evident from the regulations. He suggested retaining the law that provides that the regulations can't be more stringent than the laws that were enacted by the legislature. He pointed out there is a lawsuit pending which challenges the current regulations, but he believes the new legislation will help rectify that situation. Number 250 HARRY BUCILLI of Anchorage, owner of a fingerprinting business and a former police officer, said there have been some negative comments on fingerprinting, and a lot of people feel that it is an infringement on their personal rights, etc., but fingerprinting is also a protection for the people that do carry handguns. He said a comment was made that the FBI does not need a set of fingerprints to identify an applicant's criminal background, but he believes they are needed. A name check by the FBI is only done if a set of prints is so bad that they cannot be identified. Also, a name check, basically, is about 20 percent accurate. He said the fingerprints are used to look for people, and he cautioned that if that is taken away, anybody is going to be able to get these permits and he does not want a convicted felon being issued a permit. Number 300 BERNARD GOODNO, testifying from Delta Junction, stated the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. He said the Supreme Court has made all kinds of rulings and they have said the state cannot take a secured liberty, which is a constitutional right and turn it into a privilege, issue a license and then can punish an individual if he believes he is exercising a constitutional right. He believes the permit system is illegal and should be repealed. Number 325 GENE CARLEY of Anchorage, stated his support for the reductions in the application fee cap and the renewal fee cap, pointing out that many people are on fixed incomes and have limited means. He observed that no one who has demonstrated himself clearly and beyond any question to be law abiding and to be observant of the general rules of society under which we live is trusted by this state government to wear a concealed firearm into state buildings, offices, etc., which shows a terrible distrust by the government of what the government has demonstrated are law-abiding citizens. Also, while he does not like the idea of fingerprints, he believes they are a reasonable necessity in the case of concealed handgun permitting. Number 375 TIM SCHRAGE of Anchorage, stated he is a permit holder and a small business owner who depends on his concealed weapon, not only for his personal safety, but for the safety of his business as well. Every day he makes a trip to the bank, but when he gets to the bank, he has to leave his weapon inside his vehicle, which places it in a position where it could be stolen and used by someone who doesn't have a permit. He said he has a fundamental problem with that; he has proven that he is a legitimate law-abiding citizen, yet he can't carry his weapon 100 yards to the bank. He also noted that under current law, he can't eat in most restaurants if he has his weapon on him because they have beverage dispensary licenses. It was pointed out that the law provides that he can carry that weapon into such an establishment if the weapon is not loaded. Number 470 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER pointed out that there may be a problem with federal law as it relates to banks, notwithstanding what the state law does. REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN commented that he is also a concealed handgun permit holder and he, too, is uneasy about leaving his gun in his locked vehicle because of the possibility of it being stolen. Number 525 BOB PARKERSON, testifying from the Mat-Su Legislative Information Office (LIO), stated he had faxed his testimony to the committee, but he did want to address his concern that fingerprinting goes to the FBI and they know the reason for the fingerprinting, which he does not believe is any of their business and that it is an invasion of privacy. However, he believes the training classes that are given for carrying a concealed weapon are extremely important and that aspect should be retained in the law. He would also like to see reciprocity with other states concerning permits. Number 585 LADD MCBRIDE, testifying from Fairbanks as a private citizen, stated his support for the revisions in HB 338 and SB 177, as well as any additional changes that would reduce the inconvenience and cost to those law-abiding citizens who wish to carry concealed weapons. He hopes the changes will send a message to the bureaucrats that their interpretations of the statutes passed by the legislature will be tempered with not only common sense, but to take care not to overstep the intent of the statutes. He reminded the committee to keep in mind that they are regulating the law- abiding citizens and cannot regulate the criminal who would probably not apply for this permit to begin with. Number 625 LEONARD SCHULTZ, testifying in Anchorage, stressed the importance of giving the authorities what they need to strike down criminals. He believes law enforcement needs all the tools they can get to take care of crime and to protect the public. He voiced his opposition to changing the fingerprinting provision in the law. Number 658 ALLAN COUSENS, testifying in Anchorage, stated he and his wife are permit holders and that it cost them approximately $300 in fees to get those permits. He spoke highly of the training classes. However, he suggested a change be made to the Alaska law so that a person who is approved to carry a concealed weapon can carry that weapon anywhere. He spoke to the inconvenience of having to leave his weapon in his vehicle when going to a bank, etc. Also, he would like to see the part of the law which gives municipalities or villages the ability to enact legislation to prohibit the carrying of a concealed weapon changed because he believes the law should be consistent statewide so that if he has a permit to carry a weapon in Anchorage, he can also carry that weapon anywhere else in the state. TAPE 95-29, SIDE B Number 001 R.G. HOHNSTEIN, testifying in Anchorage, stated he has been a military instructor, but he believes Governor Knowles and others in law enforcement are against firearms. He spoke in favor of fingerprinting and being the given the ability to carry a concealed weapon when going to a financial institution. He believes the requirement for a hunter or education course should be expanded to include a course on personal protection. He also believes the size of the targets should be smaller with some kind of time limit. Number 042 ROBERT NESVICK, JR., a retired state trooper and former police chief of the Annette Island Reserve testifying from Ketchikan, requested consideration of adding an amendment that honorably retired law enforcement officers, with the appropriate identification issued from their department, be exempt from the permit process and be able to continue carrying the weapon they have carried over the years while they were working. He pointed out that Oregon and California currently allow this and there may be other states as well. He also noted that the U.S. Congress, with SB 960 and HB 218, is considering doing this on a nationwide basis for current and retired law enforcement officers. He also encouraged that the current qualification requirements in the permitting process still be required every five years to keep the person qualified. Number 070 RUSSELL KELL, testifying in Anchorage, said a letter to Senator Green from the Department of Public Safety does not point out that the state of Vermont, which has a similar population to Alaska, has absolutely no permit requirement, but they do allow the carrying of concealed weapons. He said they don't seem to have any significant problem in catching criminals without fingerprinting all the people that decide to carry handguns. He stated he is more concerned with the probable crimes at Ruby Ridge or Waco as a threat to our society than he is from citizens who may be criminals. He suggested that if the Department of Public Safety is concerned with reciprocity they could suggest an amendment to the law that would allow a citizen of Alaska who wants reciprocity to submit fingerprints. Number 110 DOUGLAS VANWINGERDEN of Wasilla, testifying from the Mat-Su LIO, voiced his support for the revisions to the permit fees, which he believes are currently too high. He also believes that the restrictions relating to where individuals can carry handguns is putting the honest law-abiding citizen at a disadvantage; he has already proven that he is a law-abiding citizen when going through the process to obtain that permit. Number 120 MIKE MASTERS of Soldotna, testifying from the Soldotna LIO, agreed with the previous speaker's comments. He said he has a permit, but the restrictions in the current law on where he can carry a concealed handgun have discouraged him, in most cases, from carrying one, and he suggested making it less restrictive. Number 135 JIM CHAPMAN of Soldotna, testifying from the Soldotna LIO, concurred with earlier testimony that the current fees are too high and that places where handguns can be carried is too restrictive. He also believes that as long as an individual qualifies he should be able to have that permit for life instead of having to renew it every five years. Number 145 RAY CARR of Kenai, testifying from the Soldotna LIO, stated that as an instructor, his main concern is the training. He does not believe that the hunter or firearm education course will help for concealed carry because they don't go into handguns, or drawing, etc. He believes the training should be specific for someone carrying a concealed handgun. Number 155 EMERY CUPPLES of Anchorage stated he paid $122 to the State Trooper licensing division to get his concealed handgun permit and he is completely happy with the way the system is right now. However, he wanted to go on record that if the legislation gets passed, the state of Alaska owes him $57. He believes that if the law is going to be changed, it should be made fair for everybody that has complied. He questioned what's the good of a concealed handgun permit if it can't be packed all of the time. He also spoke in support of fingerprinting. Number 210 BRUCE OCKRASA of Anchorage, a NRA member and instructor, stated people have a lot of different rights. He said if an individual goes to a handgun show and buys a gun, within a couple of hours it is legal for the individual to walk out of there with the gun. He questioned why there is such a great difference in requirements in being able to own a gun and then being able to carry that gun in your pocket. He believes education is advantageous and should be encouraged, but that it should not be legislated. Number 250 CHUCK MAXSON of Anchorage voiced support for cutting the cost of obtaining a concealed handgun permit. However, as a former gunner's mate in the U.S. Navy, he believes training for some people is unnecessary if they have had previous weapons training. He suggested keeping in the fingerprinting requirement. Number 271 CLYDE BROUMLEY of Wasilla stated he was an employee of the Department of Corrections, but that he was testifying on his own behalf. He believes that it is the individual's responsibility to be proficient, not the state's responsibility to ensure that, and that fingerprinting is unnecessary. He expressed his appreciation for the legislation, stating he believes it is on the right track. Number 310 CHUCK PARKER of Anchorage stated his support for the revisions in HB 338 and SB 177. He stated his strong objection to fingerprinting because it is an invasion of an individual's privacy, and he believes the restrictions on where a concealed handgun can be carried should be reduced. Number 326 MICHAEL COONS of Palmer stated he was testifying on behalf of himself and his wife and that he would submit written testimony for the record. He questioned why 15 days was being added on to the department's time limit for approval when other states can do an NCIC check in 45 seconds. He also questioned if engaging in fighting, which is being added to the list of convictions which would prohibit qualification for a permit, would be a felony conviction. He spoke in support of the revised training requirement, which he said will reward those who have already taken firearms training courses by not requiring an additional cost. For those who have not had any firearms training, these revisions will help in a statewide firearms safety overall with minimal cost to the applicant. Number 390 EUGENE MURPHY, an Anchorage attorney speaking on his own behalf, said he flinches when he hears the terms "concealed weapons" and "concealed weapons permit" because those permits are only for handguns. He pointed out that one of the anomalies of the law is that it allows an individual, when licensed, to carry a heavy caliber handgun, but not such a thing as a hunting knife or other things defined as a deadly weapon. He urged that reciprocity be considered and adopted. He also stated it is wrong that a person who has only been charged with a crime have his permit lifted, because our society has this presumption of innocence. He urged that it be changed to a person must be convicted of such a crime before having the permit lifted. He also urged that retired police officers not be given special privileges for carrying concealed handguns. Number 552 ROBERT WISEMAN of Soldotna, testifying from the Soldotna LIO, stated his belief that the legislation would be a great disservice to all Alaskans, because it would go a long way in taking so much of the integrity out of the program that so many worked so very hard for. He noted he is a NRA certified instructor for the firearms safety course, and he invited any interested persons to participate in the course, attend the classes because they would see why this NRA class requires a 12-hour course and why this integrity needs to be maintained. He also urged working toward reciprocity for the concealed carry program. Number 630 JIM DORE of Anchorage pointed out that Vermont's law relating to the right to carry a concealed handgun involves no permit, no fee and no background check; the people there are free to defend themselves as they see fit. He also pointed out that Alaska's Constitution states that the individual's right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed. He stated should any restrictions be put on Alaskans' right to carry arms, legislators would be violating their oath of office. Therefore, the current law is unconstitutional and must be repealed, he said. Number 662 GENE EMERY of Anchorage stated he is a federal firearms dealer and he must submit fingerprints for federal firearms, and he thinks the fingerprint requirement should be kept for anybody that cannot show where they have got their fingerprints on file. Speaking as a senior citizen, he believes the permit for a senior citizen should be free just like the hunting and fishing permit, and that it should be for life. He said senior citizens are the most subject victims of crime, and the requirements for them should be brought down to the senior citizens that may be sick in bed, confined to wheelchairs, etc., but who still have the physical ability to use a gun. TAPE 95-30, SIDE A Number 038 RAY WOODMANSEE of Anchorage spoke to his concern with the restrictions of where a concealed weapon can be carried. Although he agrees that guns and alcohol do not mix, he finds it an imposition to have to leave his weapon in the car when he goes into any number of restaurants in town that serve alcohol. He suggested it could be further defined to the point where nobody can carry a concealed weapon if they are drinking at all. Number 060 STUART REDER of Anchorage said that the utility of the permit process for up close self-defense is severely undermined by the restrictions on where a gun can be carried. He said we have the permit to demonstrate that we are law-abiding citizens who are competent to handle a handgun. Number 085 DAVID MARSHALL, testifying from the Ketchikan LIO, stated that he is the manager of a sports retail shop in Ketchikan that also sells firearms. He said the shop received an ATF news release from San Francisco saying that concealed handgun permit requirements meet the requirement of the Brady Bill, which allows a person who has a handgun permit to purchase a gun over the counter. However, he said the problem he came across is that he has no way of telling him how to do it, and he suggested putting some guidance into the legislation giving some guidance as to how to go about issuing the handgun to the person. He also suggested the legislation should contain a provision relating to specific training in the area of handgun safety such as for security guards. Number 120 BOB LOCHMAN, a retired Alaska State Trooper and a NRA certified firearms instructor testifying in Anchorage, stated he basically supports the revisions to the law, but does have concern with two areas of the current statute. One is with the restriction of having to leave the handgun in a parked car if entering a bank, a public building, etc. His other area of concern is that he thinks the system costs too much in time and money for the individual trying to get a permit. He questioned why a concealed carry permit needs so much identification and costs so much more than a drivers license. Number 186 DOROTHY BROUMLEY of Wasilla, testifying from the Anchorage LIO, said she worked the graveyard shift at a 7-11 and was held up by a young man with a knife. He told the police his intention was to get the $25 that was in the cash register and then he was going to kill her so there would be no witnesses. She recently quit her job, shortly after a young lady was killed in Fairbanks. She does not believe there should be so many regulations on her ownership and use of a gun; she believes they should be the simplest regulations that will still provide the state with the safety it needs to have. She stated her support for the revisions in the legislation. Number 220 ROBERT HILLIKER, testifying from Delta Junction, stated he appreciates what's trying to be accomplished with the legislation, however, he believes Alaskans are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Alaska Constitution the right to keep or own and carry arms. He believes that state governments do not have the right to take individuals' rights and make them a privilege and charge money for it. Also, there should not be restrictions on where an individual may carry a concealed handgun. Number 255 MICHAEL PAOLETTI of Anchorage stated he has been a permit holder for approximately seven months, and he pointed out that he has to remove his concealed and loaded handgun and leave it in his unattended vehicle several times during his daily activities. He also pointed out that he knows couples who would like to apply for permits, but are unable to because of the costs. He does a lot of camping and often uses the Alaska Marine Highway as a means of transportation, and he finds the restriction of not being able to carry his concealed handgun an inconvenience. Number 295 RANDY SMITH of Anchorage, a certified NRA instructor, stated his support for HB 338 and SB 177, and believes they address many of the problems the program has had in the past, the biggest problem being the restrictions on where a concealed handgun can be carried. He noted that as an instructor he has denied and not given course completion certificates to a few individuals strictly because of where their heads are at. He said many people do not understand what the law is, and, because of that, there is a real need for them to take the concealed carry class. He also believes that people with military experience should be required to take the concealed carry courses, because military training with firearms is 100 percent different than training to carry a concealed handgun in civilian life. He emphasized that having all the restrictions on where a concealed handgun can be carried is really taking away from the spirit of having a concealed carry. Number 375 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Smith what he thinks can be done that will encourage people to take the class, whether or not they are interested in carrying a concealed handgun, because there is some very valuable information in the class on personal protection. MR. SMITH responded, basically, through education, and this state needs to push firearm safety. It is estimated there is a firearm in approximately 85 percent of the homes in the state of Alaska. The state needs to push organizations or entities like the Anchorage School District to provide training for firearm awareness and firearm safety in the elementary schools and the junior highs. He added that he encourages couples to take his class, and he thinks it is really important that if there is a firearm in the home, that as many people in that home that are going to be exposed to that firearm have the information and the training that the class provides. Number 427 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked Mr. Smith if he was in opposition to the portion of the bills that would eliminate the requirement for a demonstration of physical competency with a firearm. MR. SMITH acknowledged that was correct. He thinks it is very important that people demonstrate that physical competency with an instructor. He believes it is important that the instructors have the ability to sit there and make sure an individual is handling that gun safely. Number 400 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Mr. Smith if he is in opposition to reciprocity because there are other states that don't require the kind of scrutiny that is required in Alaska. MR. SMITH responded that he is opposed to reciprocity with states that don't require the kind of scrutiny that is required in Alaska, but he doesn't have a problem with the states that do have the training requirements. Number 475 CHAIR JAMES pointed out that most of the people that live in this country are responsible, and she questioned if it is necessary to put them at a disadvantage because some aren't. MR. SMITH responded it was a very complex question, but he pointed out that when a person applies for his first drivers license, there is a requirement that a written test be passed, as well as getting behind the wheel and demonstrating driving competency. He said a drivers license is a privilege and the concealed carry permit is a privilege under the state law. The Constitution gives people the right to keep and bear arms, but it does not specify bearing those arms concealed. Number 518 SENATOR DAVE DONLEY said the question has come up about how many hours of training is really necessary, and asked if Mr. Smith thought it could be shortened. MR. SMITH answered that the requirement is 12 hours, and the NRA course they teach is a 12-hour course. However, he ends up teaching about 13 1/2 hours to cover all the material that he thinks is necessary and his students find that is necessary for them to understand what is going on. Number 570 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN commented that looking at this from a rural perspective and the small villages he represents, it is common knowledge that every family carries firearms of some type for hunting and subsistence purposes. However, his concern is the impact he sees coming to those areas because of their isolation from centers like Anchorage and Fairbanks where this training is available. CHAIR JAMES agreed it is a difficult issue to address, but it is one that needs to be addressed in some way. Number 646 JAMES CLARK of Wasilla, testifying in Anchorage, stated he has taken the NRA course and has a concealed handgun permit. He has been a minister and a missionary for a number of years ministering in the villages of Chalkyitsik and Fort Yukon. He has carried a firearm as a pilot as a survival need. He has been accosted by intoxicated people and has been threatened, but he has never had to draw a firearm or even infer that he was carrying a firearm. He believes this country has been a nation of freedoms, not a nation of restrictions, and laws are designed for protection sake, not for restriction sake. The more restrictions there are, the more probability there is that any given person, at some point in time, will become a law violator almost inadvertently. TAPE 95-30, SIDE B Number 004 Continuing his testimony, Mr. Clark said he admires Senator Green's outline of what her modification to the Senate bill is because it sets forth simplicity, not complexity. Number 055 DREW VILLANI of Anchorage commended the committee for holding the meeting because he believes it is an issue everybody should be concerned about. He believes in the individual's right to keep and bear arms, and he also believes the fingerprinting rule is essentially defacto registration. He said he agrees with the provision in the bill that allows concealed carry into air terminals where it is not prohibited by the posting of signs because the people who work there and the people who go to conduct lawful business at the terminal should not be precluded from the right to defend themselves. Number 120 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted that the one issue heard throughout the testimony has been the fact that people are having problems with the restrictions of where they can carry a concealed weapon, and he believes there are some appropriate changes in this legislation. Number 128 SENATOR BERT SHARP expressed his appreciation for the informative testimony presented to the committee and said SB 177, which is in the Senate State Affairs Committee would probably be scheduled for a hearing early in the upcoming legislative session. Number 158 CHAIR JAMES said when she filed the original concealed handgun legislation, she felt that whether people were in danger out there or not, if they felt they were in danger, they ought to be able to have a way of protecting themselves. Her intent was that people who feel that they need to protect themselves ought to have a way of doing it. However, her biggest concerns about the whole thing are that it is too expensive and it does take a lot of time. Those people who really want to take advantage of the concealed carry are people who work and don't have all that time and their paycheck isn't big enough to cover all of these things. The most vulnerable people are the senior citizens, disabled and young working mothers, and those are the areas where the cost factor has not been addressed. She added that she is interested in hearing from people any time on these issues and in making any changes that are necessary and proper. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the joint committee, CHAIR JAMES adjourned the meeting at approximately 12:00 p.m.