Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/10/1995 01:06 PM House JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         March 10, 1995                                        
                           1:06 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Brian Porter, Chairman                                         
 Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Con Bunde                                                      
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Cynthia Toohey                                                 
 Representative David Finkelstein                                              
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 Representative Bettye Davis                                                   
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 HJR 1:   "Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State             
          of Alaska relating to repeal of regulations by the                   
          PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                              
 HB 188:  "An Act creating the crime of indecent viewing                       
          and photography."                                                    
          PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                              
 HB 32:   "An Act relating to administrative proceedings involving             
          a determination of eligibility for a permanent fund                  
          dividend or authority to claim a dividend on behalf of               
          PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                              
 HB 90:   "An Act changing the date that the legislature convenes in           
          the years following a gubernatorial election."                       
          PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                              
 HB 28:   "An Act relating to the possession of weapons within the             
          grounds of or on the parking lot of preschools,                      
          elementary, junior high, and secondary schools or while              
          participating in a school-sponsored event; requiring the             
          expulsion or suspension of students possessing deadly                
          weapons on school grounds; and relating to school lockers            
          and other containers provided in a public or private                 
          school by the school or the school district."                        
          PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                              
 HB 200:  "An Act reassigning responsibility for the custody of                
          persons pending their arraignments, commitment to the                
          custody of the commissioner of corrections, or admission             
          to a state correctional facility, and authorizing the                
          commissioner of corrections to employ guards for                     
          emergencies on the same basis as the commissioner of                 
          public safety, as partially exempt service employees; and            
          providing for an effective date."                                    
          PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                              
 HJUD - 03/10/95                                                               
 HB 25:  "An Act revising Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal                    
         Procedure, relating to discovery and inspection in criminal           
         proceedings, to adopt the comparable federal rule."                   
         SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS                                                  
 Speaker of the House                                                          
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 208                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2689                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HJR 1                                         
 CHUCK ACHBERGER, Executive Director                                           
 Juneau Chamber of Commerce                                                    
 124 West 5th Street                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  586-6420                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HJR 1                              
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE                                                   
 House of Representatives                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 404                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-4925                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of CSHB 188                                      
 MELINDA GRUENING, Aide                                                        
 Representative Green                                                          
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 24                                                        
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-4931                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 32                            
 DEBORAH VOGT, Deputy Commissioner                                             
 Department of Revenue                                                         
 P.O. Box 110400                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0400                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2300                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 32                            
 WENDY HUGHES, Permanent Fund Dividend Specialist                              
 Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                              
 Department of Revenue                                                         
 P.O. Box 110400                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0400                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2323                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 32                            
 DOROTHY GARRETT, Aide                                                         
 Representative Bettye Davis                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 430                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-3875                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 90                                         
 SHEILA PETERSON, Special Assistant                                            
 Commissioner's Office                                                         
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 West 10th Street, Suite 200                                               
 Juneau, AK 99801-1894                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2803                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 28                            
 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director                                           
 National Education Association                                                
 114 2nd Street                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  586-3090                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 28                            
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General                                      
 Criminal Division                                                             
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0300                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-3428                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on CSHB 28                          
 JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant                                              
 Commissioner's Office                                                         
 Department of Corrections                                                     
 240 Main Street, Suite 700                                                    
 Telephone:  (07)  465-4640                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 200                             
 LEUITENANT TED BACHMAN, Manager                                               
 Community Jails, Department of Public Safety                                  
 117 West 4th Avenue                                                           
 Anchorage, AK 99502                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  258-8892                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 200                           
 DENNY DEWITT, Aide                                                            
 Representative Eldon Mulder                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 411                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2647                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 200                           
 REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER                                                   
 State Capitol, Room 411                                                       
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2647                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 200                                        
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HJR 1                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PHILLIPS, Rokeberg, Brice, Green,               
             Williams, Therriault, G.Davis, Ogan                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/06/95        16    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        16    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        16    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 01/18/95        73    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): GREEN                               
 02/07/95              (H)   MINUTE(ARR)                                       
 02/14/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519                       
 02/14/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/23/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/28/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/28/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 03/01/95       519    (H)   STA RPT  3DP 2NR                                  
 03/01/95       519    (H)   DP: JAMES, PORTER, GREEN                          
 03/01/95       519    (H)   NR: ROBINSON, WILLIS                              
 03/01/95       520    (H)   FISCAL NOTE (GOV)                                 
 03/01/95       520    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LAW)                            
 03/01/95       546    (H)   FINANCE REFERRAL ADDED                            
 03/08/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 03/08/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 03/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 BILL:  HB 188                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: INDECENT PHOTOGRAPHY                                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MACKIE, Porter, Phillips, Robinson,             
             Navarre, Green, James, Kubina, Elton                              
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 02/20/95       419    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/20/95       419    (H)   JUDICIARY, FINANCE                                
 02/22/95       456    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA                              
 02/23/95       469    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ELTON                               
 02/27/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/27/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 03/06/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 03/06/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 03/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 BILL:  HB 32                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: PFD ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS                                   
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN                                           
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/06/95        29    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        29    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        29    (H)   STA, JUD, FIN                                     
 02/07/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/07/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/09/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/13/95       333    (H)   STA RPT  CS(STA) 5DP 2NR                          
 02/13/95       333    (H)   DP: JAMES, PORTER, GREEN, ROBINSON,               
 02/13/95       333    (H)   DP: IVAN, WILLIS                                  
 02/13/95       333    (H)   FISCAL NOTE (REV)                                 
 03/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 BILL:  HB 90                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS, Foster, MacLean, Mackie,               
             Nicholia, Elton, Finkelstein, Robinson, Davies, Kubina,           
             James, Toohey                                                     
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/17/95        51    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/17/95        52    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 01/27/95       163    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): FOSTER, MACLEAN                     
 01/30/95       180    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): MACKIE, NICHOLIA                    
 01/30/95       180    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ELTON, FINKELSTEIN                  
 02/01/95       210    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ROBINSON, DAVIES                    
 02/01/95       210    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA, JAMES                       
 02/03/95       242    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): TOOHEY                              
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/09/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/14/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 519                       
 02/14/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/21/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/21/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/22/95       443    (H)   STA RPT  7DP                                      
 02/22/95       444    (H)   DP: PORTER, GREEN, IVAN, ROBINSON                 
 02/22/95       444    (H)   DP: WILLIS, OGAN, JAMES                           
 02/22/95       444    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LAA)                            
 03/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 BILL:  HB 28                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE, Rokeberg, Green, Toohey, Kott,           
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/06/95        28    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        28    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        28    (H)   HES, JUD, FIN                                     
 01/18/95        75    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): GREEN                               
 01/20/95       104    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): TOOHEY                              
 01/27/95       161    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOTT, ELTON                         
 02/14/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 02/14/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/21/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 02/21/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/22/95       440    (H)   HES RPT  CS(HES) NEW TITLE 4DP 2NR                
 02/22/95       440    (H)   DP: ROKEBERG, G.DAVIS, BUNDE, TOOHEY              
 02/22/95       440    (H)   NR: ROBINSON, BRICE                               
 02/22/95       440    (H)   2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (DPS, DOE)                    
 03/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 BILL:  HB 200                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: CUSTODY OF PRISONERS                                             
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 02/27/95       488    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/27/95       488    (H)   JUDICIARY, FINANCE                                
 03/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 BILL:  HB 25                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: CRIMINAL DISCOVERY RULES                                         
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PARNELL, Porter, Green, Bunde, Toohey           
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/06/95        27    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        27    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        27    (H)   JUDICIARY, FINANCE                                
 01/18/95        75    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): GREEN                               
 01/19/95        89    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BUNDE                               
 01/27/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 01/27/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 01/30/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 01/30/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 02/01/95              (H)   FIN AT 01:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                 
 02/06/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/06/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 02/08/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/08/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 02/13/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/13/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 02/15/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/17/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/22/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/22/95              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 02/27/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 03/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-28, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 The House Judiciary Standing Committee was called to order at 1:06            
 p.m. on Friday, March 10, 1995.  A quorum was present.  CHAIRMAN              
 BRIAN PORTER stated that the following bills would be heard:  HJR
 1, CSHB 188, CSHB 32, HB 90, CSHB 28, and HB 200.                             
 HJUD - 03/10/95                                                               
 HJR 1 - REPEAL OF REGULATIONS BY LEGISLATURE                                
 REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS, bill sponsor, introduced HJR 1.  She            
 explained that this joint resolution is a proposal to place a                 
 constitutional amendment before the voters of the State of Alaska             
 on the 1996 general election ballot.  The amendment would permit              
 the legislature to repeal regulations promulgated by state agencies           
 that do not properly implement state statutes.  Although many                 
 resolutions do conform to, and accurately implement the laws passed           
 by the legislature, there are an increasing number of situations              
 where regulations imposed on the citizens of this state do not.  In           
 many cases, legislative directives are ignored, or regulations are            
 promulgated that go far beyond the scope of what the legislature              
 intended.  As you know, once regulations go into effect, they have            
 all the full force and effect of law.  This is the case, even                 
 though regulations are promulgated by agency bureaucrats who do not           
 have to answer to the voters.  The Alaska Constitution provides a             
 system of checks and balances among the three branches of                     
 government.  The people of Alaska have their own check on                     
 government through the voting booth, the initiative process, and              
 final authority over amendments to the constitution.  However, one            
 area that is beyond access to the people's voice, is the tremendous           
 volume of administrative regulations which are developed by the               
 state agencies.  These regulations affect every aspect of our                 
 people's lives, yet the people are virtually powerless to change              
 them.  This constitutional amendment proposed in HJR 1 will provide           
 people a reasonable avenue to seek the repeal of improper                     
 regulations.  This issue has been before the voters three different           
 times, and prior efforts to persuade the voters to support similar            
 amendments have failed.  Nevertheless, a better campaign                      
 presentation, clear ballot language, and the current popular                  
 support for regulatory reform will allow us to bring this                     
 constitutional amendment, and make it a reality.  Now, more than              
 ever, Alaskans understand how regulations affect their daily lives,           
 and the support of this ballot proposition brings state regulations           
 closer to the people.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN asked what has happened since                
 1986.  He remembered this being on the ballot since 1986.                     
 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS said it has not been on the ballot since              
 1986.  It has been on the ballot three times, 1986 being the last             
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked what happened to this in the last            
 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS answered that it went all the way through             
 and died on the Senate floor on the last day of session.  It                  
 received a vote of 14 to five, but needed 15 votes, because it is             
 a constitutional amendment.                                                   
 Number 100                                                                    
 CHUCK ACHBERGER, Executive Director, Juneau Chamber of Commerce,              
 was also representing the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.  He               
 said they support HJR 1.  The cost of regulations in Alaska is                
 becoming one of the biggest costs of doing business.  While                   
 regulations are necessary, some make no sense; or worse yet, are              
 being used by regulatory agencies as blunt instruments against                
 business.  The act of writing regulations is often without public             
 input, with an eye to making life easier for the regulator than for           
 the citizen.  This is just human nature.  What is truly disturbing            
 is that when regulatory agencies set out to protect you, me and the           
 environment, an individual's bias often takes the regulation away             
 from the intent of the law that was passed.  In doing so, they                
 become the lawmakers.  HJR 1 would provide some recourse for both             
 you, the lawmakers, and myself, as well as to the business                    
 community, to correct some of these digressions; and in doing so,             
 return the making of the laws to those who are elected.                       
 CHAIRMAN PORTER read a resolution from the State Chamber of                   
 Commerce  into the record:                                                    
 "Whereas Alaska is competing in a global economy in increasingly              
 competitive areas working to attract industry and business                    
 worldwide, and whereas the perception of Alaska as a favorable                
 place to do business is vital to its success in this competitive              
 arena, and whereas excessive and burdensome regulation constrains             
 and discourages business; therefore be it resolved that the Alaska            
 State Chamber of Commerce asks the Administration and the State               
 Legislature to focus its efforts toward creating a regulatory,                
 economic environment, supportive of business development which                
 encourages business to locate and grow in Alaska.                             
 "And be it further resolved that the Alaska State Chamber also asks           
 the Legislature and the Administration to provide for oversight to            
 assure that regulations are producing effective results which                 
 follow legislative intent."                                                   
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there was anyone else who wished to                  
 provide testimony.  Hearing none, he closed the public hearing on             
 HJR 1.                                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY made a motion to pass the resolution            
 out of committee with individual recommendations.  Seeing no                  
 objection, HJR 1 was moved.                                                   
 HJUD - 03/10/95                                                               
 HB 188 - INDECENT PHOTOGRAPHY                                               
 Number 180                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN PORTER explained that HB 188 had been previously heard by            
 the Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 6.  They had discussed               
 rules for security surveillance systems.  He felt the committee               
 substitute would address everyone's concerns.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE, bill sponsor, described the changes              
 made in the committee substitute.  The first change is on page 1,             
 line 5.  The word "and" was changed to "or", making it read,                  
 "...the viewing or photography..."  The second change was on lines            
 7 and 8, adding the words, "...notice of the viewing or photography           
 was posted."  That met Representative Mackie's concern about the              
 dressing room situation, because if Nordstrom posted a sign warning           
 that customers were being viewed in the dressing rooms, public                
 outcry would probably get rid of the viewing altogether.  At least            
 there is opportunity for somebody to be aware in those situations.            
 It is good compromise language.                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER added that the "and" being changed to "or"                    
 addressed a concern voiced by Randall Burns of the Alaska Civil               
 Liberties Union (ACLU).  Mr. Burns felt this would make it clear we           
 were not intending to prohibit someone's viewing of a picture for             
 crime prevention purposes.                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY made a motion to adopt the committee            
 substitute, Version 20-G, dated 3/8/95.  Seeing no objection the              
 committee substitute was adopted.                                             
 Number 225                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY asked if this wording would force a bank or           
 liquor store to post notice of a surveillance system in the lobby.            
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE said no, because the only thing this bill               
 addresses are instances where a person has the expectation of                 
 Number 270                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN'S only problem with this bill was            
 in making a portion of the violation a felony.  He did not object,            
 though, understanding there are a lot of different views on                   
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to move the bill with                     
 individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes.  Seeing no                  
 objection, it was so ordered.                                                 
 HJUD - 03/10/95                                                               
 CSHB 32 - PFD ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS                                    
 Number 340                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN, bill sponsor, introduced CSHB 32.  Sponsor              
 "HB 32 addresses a serious problem with the number of appeals filed           
 after an applicant is denied a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), and             
 the length of time that it takes to process those appeals.  As of             
 January 1, 1995 there were approximately 9,740 appeals pending, the           
 highest number since the PFD program's inception.  One district 10            
 resident is still waiting to be heard almost 2 years after filing,            
 and there are people who have waited even longer for their appeals            
 to be processed and resolved.  Processing such a large number of              
 appeals is costly as well as being unfair to those who have a                 
 legitimate claim.  Currently there are 10 permanent full time                 
 employees in the PFD Division and one appeals officer in the                  
 commissioner's office working on processing the appeals, yet there            
 are still almost 10,000 appeals pending, with no end in sight.                
 Part of the problem is that it only costs a 32 cent stamp to file             
 an appeal.  Many people who clearly do not meet the qualifications            
 for receiving a dividend protest their denial simply because they             
 have the opportunity to do so at no risk to themselves.  The 1994             
 denial rate was 64%.  In years prior to 1994 the percentage rate of           
 denials has been significantly higher.                                        
 "HB 32 would implement a $25 filing fee for individuals protesting            
 the denial of their PFD application (the department will adopt a              
 regulation to allow indigent individuals to be exempt from the                
 fee).  The filing fee would be refundable if their appeal is                  
 successful, and non-refundable if the denial is upheld.  It is                
 anticipated that the implementation of a filing fee would                     
 discourage clearly unqualified individuals from appealing, thereby            
 reducing costs which are deducted from the amount of the dividend,            
 and making the appeals process significantly shorter for legitimate           
 MELINDA GRUENING, Aide to Representative Green was called forward             
 to answer questions on CSHB 32.                                               
 Number 415                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked for clarification on the definition of             
 indigent.  He himself did not know it until he was actually well              
 along in his career, but he had fallen below the poverty line for             
 a large portion of his life, and nobody had told him.  For that               
 reason, he questioned whether or not the indigent clause would be             
 a reasonable guideline.                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated they wanted to get away from an                   
 arbitrary application of the cost.  Having an established                     
 definition would suffice.  It certainly eliminates any question               
 about whether or not you are indigent or not.                                 
 CHAIRMAN PORTER felt that including the indigent qualification was            
 probably a requirement.                                                       
 MS. GRUENING answered that was correct.  The Supreme Court has                
 ruled that any fee the state has, has to include an indigent                  
 clause.  Initially, in the bill, we left it up to the department to           
 define indigent.  In the last committee of referral, which was                
 State Affairs, they felt very strongly that we should establish               
 what the criteria would be, and not leave it up to the department.            
 Working with the department, they said they needed something that             
 was very nonsubjective, and easy to verify.  These federal                    
 guidelines are put out by the Department of Health and Human                  
 Services once a year and are  published in the Federal Register in            
 April.  They have a special adjustment for Alaska, taking our                 
 higher cost of living into account.  This standard is also used in            
 determining eligibility for Public Defenders, Fish and Game                   
 reduction of fees, and for Public Assistance benefits.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE asked if the $25 fee came close to the               
 cost of processing, or if the cost was more of an attempt to                  
 discourage people from appealing.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied they felt the amount was high enough             
 to act as a discouragement for frivolous appeals, but not so high             
 as to eliminate people who were thinking they had a borderline                
 legitimate appeal.                                                            
 Number 500                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN thought it would be helpful to know the            
 amount of money spent on appeals by the department.                           
 DEBORAH VOGT, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Revenue, did not             
 have the figures, but could say that the department has employed at           
 least one hearing officer full time to handle PFD appeals.  They              
 have employed a number of hearing officers, all of whom had spent             
 a portion of their time on PFD appeals.  Those people have been at            
 a range 25 in the past.  We are in the process of restructuring the           
 section so that they will now be range 22's.  She stated that $25             
 would be minimal in comparison to the actual cost of handling an              
 appeal through review and informal hearings.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN was concerned about the cost being that            
 Number 550                                                                    
 WENDY HUGHES, Permanent Fund Dividend Specialist III, Department of           
 Revenue, explained that she is a range 18 who overlooks all of the            
 cases.  There are two PFD Specialist II's, at range 16, who present           
 appeals in formal hearings in front of the hearing officer for the            
 division, and they also carry an informal case load.  There are six           
 PFD Specialist I's, at range 13, who hold informal conferences.               
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY asked if it would be harmful to raise           
 the cost to $50.                                                              
 Number 570                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN answered that when they had a higher fee in              
 the bill, they experienced negative feedback from people, saying              
 the amount was too high to pay.  The idea was to exclude people who           
 might be in that small percentage who had been denied a PFD in                
 error.  That is why we lowered the fee to $25.  That amount was               
 basically given to us by the department itself.                               
 There was a short discussion on whether or not people would be                
 inclined to try and declare themselves as indigent, if the cost of            
 appeal was any higher than $25.                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN felt that raising the cost would be                
 helpful to weed out people who were not actually Alaska residents.            
 He offered an amendment changing the amount from $25 to $50.  There           
 was an objection and a roll call vote was taken.  Representatives             
 Finkelstein and Vezey voted yes.  Representatives Bunde, Toohey,              
 Green and Porter voted no.  Amendment Number 1 failed, four to two.           
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN then offered Amendment Number 2, which             
 would not limit the appeal cost, but would leave the amount of the            
 cost up to the discretion of the department.  There was an                    
 objection, and a roll call vote was taken.  Representatives                   
 Finkelstein and Bunde voted yes.  Representatives Toohey, Vezey,              
 Green and Porter voted no.  Amendment Number 2 failed, four to two.           
 Number 800                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to move CSHB 32 out of                    
 committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal                 
 notes.  Seeing no objection, it was so ordered.                               
 TAPE 95-28, SIDE B                                                            
 HJUD - 03/10/95                                                               
 HB 90 - CONVENING LEGISLATURE AFTER GOV. ELECTION                           
 Number 000                                                                    
 DOROTHY GARRETT, Aide to Representative Davis, introduced the bill.           
 Sponsor Statement:                                                            
 "It is now nine years since the President and Congress of the                 
 United States declared Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday a               
 National Holiday.                                                             
 "Ironically, in Alaska, this holiday falls on the opening day of              
 the Session in the year following a gubernatorial election.  This             
 not only means that the Alaskan Legislators are not able to pay               
 proper homage to this great leader, but the hundreds of state                 
 workers who act as back-up staff are impacted as well.                        
 "I propose that this particular Session day be changed to the                 
 following Tuesday.  This would bring Alaska into line with the                
 other 48 states that observe this Holiday.                                    
 "I would like to quote the Executive Proclamation issued by                   
 Governor Walter J. Hickel,:                                                   
 "Dr. King is remembered for his tireless dedication to                       
 achieving, through peaceful means, freedom and equal rights                   
 for all people, and for making the promise of democracy truly                 
 an inalienable right for all members of society."                             
 "Surely as elected legislators it is our responsibility to set an             
 example to the millions of people who have benefited from the                 
 dreams and promises of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."                           
 MS. GARRETT noted that this bill would actually save the state                
 There was a discussion on whether or not Martin Luther King, Jr.'s            
 birthday was a paid holiday, or one of those holidays that                    
 employees receive flex time for.                                              
 MS. GARRETT clarified that it is a state holiday.                             
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that the problem is, this holiday is not                
 recognized by the legislature.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY offered Amendment Number 1, which would have             
 the legislature start meeting on the second Monday of January,                
 every year.                                                                   
 There was an objection, and a roll call vote was taken.                       
 Representative Vezey voted yes.  Representatives Finkelstein,                 
 Bunde, Toohey, Green and Porter voted no.  Amendment Number 1                 
 failed, five to one.                                                          
 Number 240                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to move HB 90 out of committee.           
 Seeing no objection, it was so ordered.                                       
 HJUD - 03/10/95                                                               
 HB 28 - POSSESSION OF GUNS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY                               
 Number 250                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE, sponsor of HB 28, introduced the bill.                  
 Sponsor statement:                                                            
 "The increasing trend towards violence and guns in schools across             
 the nation is the reason the Federal Gun Free Schools Act was                 
 passed by Congress.  This act requires a school system, as a                  
 condition of receiving federal education funds, to implement a                
 program for the control of guns and weapons in schools.  HB 28 will           
 put Alaska into compliance with the mandates of the Federal Gun               
 Free Schools Act.                                                             
 "The possession of deadly weapons and defensive weapons on school             
 grounds, in parking lots adjacent to public or private schools, and           
 while participating in school events is prohibited by HB 28.                  
 However, a person can obtain permission from the chief                        
 administrative officer of a school to carry a prohibited weapon               
 into a school.  This provision will allow a school to use an                  
 existing gun range or continue functions within a school that                 
 require the legal use of a deadly or defensive weapon.                        
 "HB 28 provides for a one year expulsion or suspension of a student           
 that possesses a weapon on school grounds.  However, in instances             
 of disabled or special education students the school administrator            
 is granted the ability to modify the mandatory expulsion or                   
 suspension.  Additionally, this legislation requires an annual                
 statistical report to the Department of Education regarding the               
 number of students expelled and the types of weapons involved.                
 This provision will improve the way many school districts keep                
 weapons reports.  Both of these provisions are for compliance with            
 the Gun Free Schools Act.                                                     
 "This legislation allows school locker searches in order to                   
 determine compliance with school regulations and state laws.  The             
 policy of locker searches must be posted in prominent locations               
 throughout the school.                                                        
 "Alaska must comply with the Federal Gun Free Schools Act by                  
 passing this legislation, or our schools will lose needed federal             
 dollars.  However, the most important reason for passing this                 
 legislation is, schools cannot work well when students and teachers           
 are concerned about their safety.  The educational process stops              
 when people are afraid.  Although a wide range of underlying social           
 ills contribute to violent incidents, children with guns and                  
 weapons in our schools is a strong catalyst for governmental                  
 action.  I urge your favorable consideration of HB 28."                       
 Number 300                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked how this differs from existing statute,            
 and also wondered what was wrong with existing statute.                       
 CHAIRMAN PORTER answered there was someone from the Department of             
 Law who could answer that shortly, but he called the witnesses in             
 the order they had signed in.                                                 
 Number 325                                                                    
 SHEILA PETERSON, Special Assistant, Commissioner's Office,                    
 Department of Education, endorsed what Representative Bunde                   
 indicated is the Gun Free School Act that was passed in federal               
 law.  It does require each state to have a statute by October 20,             
 which would expel a student if it is determined the student has               
 brought a gun to school.  If we do not have a state law in place at           
 that time, 99 million dollars of federal funds will be in jeopardy.           
 Section 6 of HB 28 does address this and she urged the passage of             
 this bill.                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if she would like to attempt to answer             
 his question.                                                                 
 MS. PETERSON stated that as far as the expulsion of students goes,            
 currently, school boards can adopt a policy, and several school               
 boards have done so, to expel a student for up to a year for                  
 bringing a gun to school.  This bill puts it into state law that              
 schools must have this policy.                                                
 CHAIRMAN PORTER added, "As is the federal mandate."                           
 MS. PETERSON said that was correct.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that school policies vary throughout              
 the state, and this would make the policy consistent statewide.               
 Number 375                                                                    
 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director, National Education                       
 Association, made a short statement in support of the bill.  They             
 believe it is important for Alaska to make a statement that we                
 expect our schools to be safe, gun-free zones, and that children              
 need not be fearful of what may take place in a hall or classroom,            
 as far as weapons are concerned, during the course of the day.  He            
 also believed those who originated the bill had exhibited foresight           
 in the area of locker searches.  If this becomes law, the school              
 would have the opportunity to look into those lockers and see what            
 is in them.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated the locker search provision would beat            
 the constitutional challenge, as signs would be posted, and                   
 searched would be conducted randomly.  These searches could not be            
 misinterpreted as being arbitrary and capricious.                             
 Number 455                                                                    
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law,                  
 Criminal Division, answered various questions.  Right now,                    
 possessing weapons on school grounds is a class B misdemeanor.                
 What this bill does is elevate that act to a class A misdemeanor.             
 On page 2 of the bill, subsection (7)(c), allows a person 21 years            
 of age or older to possess an unloaded firearm if the person is               
 traversing school premises in a rural area for the purpose of                 
 entering public or private land that is open to hunting.  She                 
 believed this was the result of an amendment request in an earlier            
 committee.  She added that while officials have the right to search           
 lockers, they do not have the right to search day packs, without              
 just cause.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if schools would be allowed to use                
 metal detectors.                                                              
 MS. KNUTH answered that yes, they would.  Metal detectors have been           
 held to be a reasonable search, because they do not identify what             
 is in the pack, only that there is metal, which is the weapon that            
 you are looking for.                                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked what hearing and appeal process              
 would be required prior to expulsion.                                         
 MS. KNUTH answered that due process does apply.  Requirements                 
 include that there be notice, and an opportunity to be heard.  She            
 was not sure what standard of evidence is used in the hearing.                
 Number 560                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if you could suspend them in the             
 mean time.                                                                    
 MS. KNUTH was not familiar with that area.                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked Ms. Peterson if leaving the section in             
 that allows for a person 21 years of age or older to cross the                
 school grounds, in order to get to a hunting ground, as would be              
 the case in some rural areas; would still keep the state in                   
 compliance with federal law.                                                  
 MS. PETERSON said the federal law requires the states to have a law           
 on the books that will expel a student for up to one year, if that            
 student brought a gun to school.                                              
 MS. PETERSON added that the federal definition of a weapon does               
 exclude a rifle that is used for recreational or cultural purposes.           
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked again, for the record, if would be in              
 compliance with the federal law if we kept this section in.                   
 MS. PETERSON confirmed that we would be in compliance with federal            
 law as long as we kept Section 6 in, which provides for expulsion.            
 CHAIRMAN PORTER offered an amendment.  On page 2, line 15, after,             
 "within the" add "building".  After the second "of", add a comma.             
 Add the same conforming amendment on Page 3, line 2.  Seeing no               
 objection, the amendment was adopted.                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY offered Amendment Number 2.  This would delete           
 Section 3.                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE objected.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said the effect would be to leave existing               
 statute in place, which would make the possession of a weapon on              
 school grounds, to be a misconduct involving weapons in the fifth             
 degree, as opposed to being classified as misconduct in the fourth            
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE observed that under current law, it is a                 
 greater offense to take a pair of brass knuckles into a bar, than             
 it is to take a gun onto school grounds.  Somehow, he felt that was           
 backwards of what it should be.  He argued against the amendment.             
 He would rather see it raised to a higher level of concern.                   
 CHAIRMAN PORTER requested a roll call vote.  Representative Vezey             
 voted yes.  Representatives Bunde and Toohey voted no.                        
 Representative Finkelstein passed.  Representatives Green and                 
 Porter voted no.  Representative Finkelstein voted no.  Amendment             
 Number 2 failed, five to one.                                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made the motion to move CSHB 28 (JUD), as                
 amended, from committee, with individual recommendations.  Seeing             
 no objection, the bill passed.                                                
 HJUD - 03/10/95                                                               
 HB 200 - CUSTODY OF PRISONERS                                               
 Number 700                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN PORTER read the title of the bill and announced that since           
 the bill sponsor had stepped out of the meeting, they would start             
 taking testimony.                                                             
 JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant, Commissioner's Office, Department           
 of Corrections, explained that the effect of this bill would be to            
 transfer the operation of community jails, of which there are 15              
 across the state, to the Department of Corrections for their                  
 operation management under contract with the municipalities that              
 had these jails.  There are no fiscal notes attached to this bill.            
 The department would speak on behalf of it.  They feel that the               
 Department of Corrections is an appropriate place for the operation           
 of these facilities.  He was not yet familiar with the details.               
 Although there is no fiscal note showing operating funds for these            
 contract jails in the FY 96 budget, that amount would be the same             
 whether they were operated by the Department of Corrections, or by            
 the Department of Public Safety.  The only extra costs would be               
 39.3 thousand dollars for start up costs to assist in negotiating             
 the contracts which would take effect July 1.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if this would impact the problem the               
 Department of Corrections has with jail space.                                
 MR. SHRINER said it would not affect the amount of space.  The                
 people who are in these facilities are in there for relatively                
 short periods of time, generally pending transfer, either to a                
 larger holding facility, or to serve a short sentence for a DWI, or           
 something like that.                                                          
 Number 825                                                                    
 LEUITENANT TED BACHMAN, Alaska State Troopers, Department of Public           
 Safety, manages the community jails.  He gave an overview of the              
 functions of the operation.  There are currently 15 facilities                
 throughout the state which are all owned and operated individually            
 by local communities.  They are contracted by the state to provide            
 jail services, not only for the communities for which they are in,            
 but for the surrounding communities as well.  They are utilized by            
 local police departments, the State Troopers, and everyone who has            
 a need to care for prisoners.  The current program is being                   
 operated at fiscal year 93 levels.  About two years ago, there was            
 a task force formed by the Governor which was made up of all groups           
 of people who deal with the programs; from the legislature, to the            
 contractors, to members of all the departments affected by this               
 program.  This task force took a comprehensive look at the entire             
 program and made recommendations as to how it should be operated.             
 The program has been in existence for over 20 years.  It originated           
 in the, then, Division of Corrections, within the Department of               
 Health and Social Services, and was originally designed to provide            
 pre-arraignment or first-24-hour holding facilities for rural                 
 areas.  Once persons were arraigned, they could be transferred into           
 the major areas into a state owned institution.  As the years went            
 by, the courts and every other part of the criminal justice system            
 moved out into those rural areas, and those facilities then became            
 pretrial, post-trial, and sometimes even facilities that held                 
 sentenced people.  They have evolved much further than just pre-              
 arraignment facilities.  During the late 70's the Department of Law           
 reviewed the program, and made the recommendation that facilities             
 that were used for pre-arraignment only, should be transferred to             
 DPS.  And those facilities used beyond the pre-arraignment                    
 situations should be maintained by the Division of Corrections,               
 which is now the Department of Corrections.  At that time we                  
 inherited all of the facilities that existed, but they have changed           
 dramatically since then.                                                      
 Number 850                                                                    
 DENNY DEWITT, Aide to Representative Eldon Mulder, said, as it has            
 been explained, the purpose of HB 200 is to implement the                     
 recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Community Jails.              
 What is happening, is that the administrative structure of who                
 operates community jails is being moved from DPS to Corrections.              
 This bill simply enables that.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER arrived and also provided information             
 on his bill.                                                                  
 TAPE 95-29, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if this might be a window of opportunity           
 to initiate a privatization of a portion of our corrections                   
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said that was a good question which they had            
 been discussing in their subcommittee, and planned to continue                
 spending a lot more time on.  Privatization has proven to be a                
 possibility, and a cost saving measure throughout the country.  Our           
 contract in Arizona is for $59 a day, per person.  That includes              
 making a profit and amortization of their debt.  When you compare             
 apples to apples in Alaska, we are well over $150.  Privatization             
 outside works, but you have to have some factors built in there.              
 One factor is scale.  The institution down there is a 500 bed                 
 facility.  In Alaska, he believed we only have one facility nearing           
 that magnitude, so the scale does not fit.  The second thing that             
 plays into it is the health care costs.  The individuals sent to              
 Arizona were picked partially for the fact that they did not pose             
 any outstanding major medical problems.  We are keeping most of the           
 high maintenance prisoners.                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER continued, stating that in the interest of              
 where we go from where we are at; he had a go ahead from the                  
 Commissioner and the Governor to continue looking at privatization            
 of certain facilities within the state.  As you know, institutions            
 are bulging at the seams, so we are going to look at the                      
 possibility of private facilities.  He felt communities should be             
 willing and able to pick up some of the cost for incarceration in             
 their villages.  This is something they plan to pursue through AML            
 and through their committee.  A good number of people like the idea           
 of "three strikes, you're out" and bringing adolescents up into               
 adult court for heinous crimes.  They like getting tough with                 
 crime.  But getting tough with crime has a cost.  Right now, some             
 of us are paying for that cost, and others are not.  It is worthy             
 of discussion.                                                                
 CHAIRMAN PORTER mentioned that these facilities were built with               
 state funds and given to the municipalities.  The people staffing             
 these facilities are municipal employees who often have other                 
 municipal duties, besides the guard or matron duties at the jail.             
 So the state is subsidizing that a little bit.  They do not adopt             
 their own municipal crime codes, so all prisoners are charged under           
 state code, which makes them the state's responsibility, rather               
 than the communities' responsibility.  The communities are not                
 contributing a dime.  This has to stop.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move HB 200 out of committee            
 with individual recommendations and fiscal notes.  Seeing no                  
 objection, the bill moved.                                                    
 The House Judiciary Committee adjourned at 2:30 p.m.                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects