Legislature(1999 - 2000)
03/22/1999 01:08 PM House JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE March 22, 1999 1:08 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Joe Green Representative Norman Rokeberg Representative Jeannette James Representative Lisa Murkowski Representative Eric Croft Representative Beth Kerttula MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Pete Kott, Chairman COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to initiatives regarding natural resources belonging to the state. - MOVED HJR 3 OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to initiative and referendum petitions. - MOVED CSHJR 7(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 25 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to a petition for an initiative or referendum regarding fish or wildlife. - MOVED CSHJR 25(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 103 "An Act relating to civil actions by municipalities and certain public corporations and prohibiting certain civil actions by them against firearms or ammunition manufacturers and dealers." - MOVED CSHB 103(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 3(RLS) "An Act relating to the crimes of murder, solicitation to commit murder in the first degree, conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide; relating to homicides of children; relating to registration as a sex offender or child kidnapper; relating to the crime of interference with custody of a child or incompetent person; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED HCS CSSB 3(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 3 SHORT TITLE: CONST. AM: WILDLIFE INITIATIVES SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) BUNDE Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 1/19/99 16 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/99 1/19/99 16 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 1/19/99 16 (H) RESOURCES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 1/27/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 1/27/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 1/27/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 2/01/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 2/01/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 2/01/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 2/05/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 2/05/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 3/03/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 3/03/99 (H) MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE 3/03/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 3/05/99 357 (H) RES RPT 2DP 2NR 1AM 3/05/99 357 (H) DP: MORGAN, HARRIS; NR: KAPSNER, MASEK; 3/05/99 357 (H) AM: OGAN 3/05/99 357 (H) FISCAL NOTE (GOV) 3/05/99 358 (H) REFERRED TO JUD 3/17/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 3/17/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 3/22/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HJR 7 SHORT TITLE: CONST AM: INITIATIVE/REFERENDUM PETITIONS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) WILLIAMS Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 1/19/99 17 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 1/19/99 17 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 2/11/99 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 2/11/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 2/11/99 (H) MINUTE(STA) 2/18/99 (H) MINUTE(STA) 2/19/99 (H) STA AT 3:30 PM CAPITOL 102 2/19/99 (H) MINUTE(STA) 2/23/99 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 2/23/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 2/23/99 (H) MINUTE(STA) 2/25/99 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 2/25/99 (H) MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE 2/25/99 (H) MINUTE(STA) 2/26/99 318 (H) STA RPT COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE(STA) 3DP 2DNP 1AM 2/26/99 318 (H) DP: JAMES, WHITAKER, HUDSON; 2/26/99 318 (H) DNP: SMALLEY, KERTTULA; AM: OGAN 2/26/99 318 (H) FISCAL NOTE (GOV) 2/26/99 318 (H) REFERRED TO JUD 3/05/99 377 (H) COSPONSOR(S): DAVIES 3/12/99 444 (H) COSPONSOR REMOVED: DAVIES 3/17/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 3/17/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 3/22/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HJR 25 SHORT TITLE: CONST. AM: FISH & WILDLIFE INITIATIVES SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) OGAN Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 3/08/99 389 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 3/08/99 390 (H) RES, JUD, FINANCE 3/15/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 3/15/99 (H) MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE 3/15/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 3/16/99 467 (H) RES RPT 5DP 3NR 3/16/99 467 (H) DP: OGAN, WHITAKER, HARRIS, BARNES, 3/16/99 467 (H) MASEK; NR: SANDERS, KAPSNER, MORGAN 3/16/99 467 (H) FISCAL NOTE (GOV) 3/16/99 467 (H) REFERRED TO JUD 3/17/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 3/17/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 3/22/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 103 SHORT TITLE: LIABILITY RELATING TO FIREARMS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) DYSON, Austerman, Halcro Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 2/19/99 260 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 2/19/99 260 (H) CRA, JUDICIARY 2/24/99 308 (H) COSPONSOR(S): AUSTERMAN 3/09/99 (H) CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124 3/16/99 (H) CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124 3/16/99 (H) MOVED CSHB 103(CRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE 3/16/99 471 (H) CRA RPT COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE(CRA) NT 5DP 2NR 3/16/99 471 (H) DP: DYSON, HALCRO, HARRIS, MORGAN, 3/16/99 471 (H) MURKOWSKI; NR: JOULE, KOOKESH 3/16/99 471 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCRA) 3/16/99 471 (H) REFERRED TO JUDICIARY 3/17/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 3/17/99 (H) SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD 3/22/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: SB 3 SHORT TITLE: CRIMES OF MURDER & CHILD MURDERS SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) HALFORD, Phillips, Donley, Green, Leman, Taylor, Pearce, Lincoln, Kelly Pete, Kelly Tim, Ward, Miller, Mackie; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Cissna Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 1/19/99 13 (S) PREFILED RELEASED - 1/8/99 1/19/99 13 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 1/19/99 13 (S) JUD, FIN 1/22/99 (S) JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 1/22/99 (S) MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE 1/22/99 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 1/25/99 76 (S) JUD RPT 3DP 1NR 1/25/99 76 (S) DP: TAYLOR, HALFORD, ELLIS;NR: TORGERSON 1/25/99 76 (S) FISCAL NOTE (COR) 1/25/99 76 (S) INDETERMINATE FN (ADM-2) 1/25/99 76 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LAW) 2/02/99 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 2/02/99 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 2/02/99 135 (S) FIN RPT 9DP 2/02/99 135 (S) DP: TORGERSON, PARNELL, PHILLIPS, GREEN, 2/02/99 135 (S) PETE KELLY, ADAMS, WILKEN, LEMAN, DONLEY 2/02/99 135 (S) PREVIOUS INDETERMINATE FNS (ADM-2) 2/02/99 135 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (LAW) 2/02/99 135 (S) PREVIOUS FN (COR) 2/16/99 (S) RLS AT 11:40 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 2/16/99 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 2/17/99 269 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR AND COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE NEW TITLE 2/17/99 269 (S) PREVIOUS FN (COR) 2/17/99 269 (S) PREVIOUS INDETERMINATE FNS (ADM-2) 2/17/99 269 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (LAW) 2/18/99 293 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 2/18/99 294 (S) RLS COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 2/18/99 294 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 2/18/99 294 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 3(RLS) 2/18/99 294 (S) COSPONSOR(S): PEARCE, LINCOLN, PETE 2/18/99 294 (S) KELLY, TIM KELLY, WARD, MILLER, MACKIE 2/18/99 294 (S) PASSED Y19 E1 2/18/99 295 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 2/18/99 297 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 2/19/99 248 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 2/19/99 248 (H) JUDICIARY, FINANCE 3/03/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 3/03/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 3/03/99 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 3/10/99 418 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): CISSNA 3/22/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 WITNESS REGISTER KEVIN JARDELL, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe Green Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 214 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4931 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on the Bess v. Ulmer case. CORY WINCHELL, Administrative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 118 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3777 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on the Bess v. Ulmer case. REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 104 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2199 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 103. VICTOR GUNN, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Senator Pete Kelly Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 510 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2327 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 103. JULI LUCKY, Researcher for Senator Rick Halford Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 121 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4958 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 3 on behalf of sponsor. ANNE D. CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General Legal Services Section-Juneau Criminal Division Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3428 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 3. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 99-16, SIDE A Number 0001 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE JOE GREEN called the House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:08 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Green, Rokeberg, Murkowski, Croft and Kerttula. Representative James arrived at 1:26 p.m. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted that Chairman Kott is absent today and that he will be the acting chairman. HJR 3 - CONST. AM: WILDLIFE INITIATIVES HJR 7 - CONST. AM: INITIATIVE/REFERENDUM PETITIONS HJR 25 - CONST. AM: FISH & WILDLIFE INITIATIVES CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN announced the first order of business in HJR 3, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to initiatives regarding natural resources belonging to the state; HJR 7, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to initiative and referendum petitions; and HJR 25, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to a petition for an initiative or referendum regarding fish or wildlife. Number 0131 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Chairman-designee Green whether it is his intention to move the bills out of committee today. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN replied yes, unless someone brings it to his intention that there is a problem with them constitutionally or legally - the purview of this committee. Whether or not they should go to the House floor is under the purview of a different committee. Number 0177 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated Representative Williams' resolution [HJR 7] has the most persuasive argument and for that reason he doesn't think the approach of Representative Bunde (HJR 3) and Representative Ogan [HJR 25] is right. Under the purview of this committee, there isn't anything unconstitutional or legally infirm about the resolutions. It is a policy choice. For those reasons, he is opposed to HJR 3 and HJR 25; HJR 7 presents a closer call. Number 0293 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI agrees that Representative Williams' resolution is very different than Representative Bunde's in terms of where the bar is set. Representative Williams' resolution talks about the collection of signatures, while Representative Bunde's resolution talks about the actual vote. They are two very distinct resolutions; and, unfortunately, since they were lumped together at the last hearing they are being viewed as the same. Number 0367 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA stated all three resolutions present significant policy problems. House Joint Resolution 3 and HJR 25 present issues that should be discussed at a constitutional convention, especially since HJR 25 fully removes something that the public had been able to do previously. She also has concerns about HJR 7. Number 0430 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN asked Representative Kerttula whether she feels that none of the three resolutions pose a legal problem, but instead a policy call. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA replied HJR 3 and HJR 25 may have legal problems and should be part of a constitutional convention. It won't be known, however, until the end of the "court case." Number 0461 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI stated she is not certain whether the committee has adopted the proposed committee substitute. It was indicated in the affirmative that the committee adopted it at the last hearing. Number 0505 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move HJR 3 from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). REPRESENTATIVE CROFT objected. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Green, Rokeberg and Murkowski voted in favor of the motion. Representatives Croft and Kerttula voted against the motion. The motion failed by a vote of 3-2. House Joint Resolution 3 failed to move from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. Number 0619 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN called for a brief at-ease at 1:17 p.m. and called the meeting back to order at 1:26 p.m. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted the arrival of Representative James. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted, in failing to pass HJR 3 out of committee, it is still before the committee. He asked Representative Croft to explain his objection. Number 0653 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated he is not positive that the initiative process is broken. There have been initiatives on the ballots that he has agreed with and there have been initiatives on the ballots that he has disagreed with. But, it has generally worked to effect the will of the people. There isn't a two-thirds voting requirement of the people for the other provisions and he is not convinced that it should be a requirement for natural resources. If there is something broken, it seems to be how an initiative gets to the ballot rather than requiring a super majority for one particular area. In addition, he is worried that if all three resolutions go to the ballot it will be very confusing. If any of the approaches have merit, it is a permutation of HJR 7. He maintained his objection. Number 0743 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA agrees with Representative Croft. She reiterated she has constitutional concerns about HJR 3 and HJR 25 because they completely remove a right, especially HJR 25, and there might need to be a constitutional convention rather than an amendment. Number 0815 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN indicated the objection is maintained. A second roll call vote was taken. Representatives Green, Rokeberg, James and Murkowski voted in favor of the motion. Representatives Croft and Kerttula voted against the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 4-2. House Joint Resolution 3 was so moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. Number 0857 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA stated there was quite a bit of testimony indicating that 10 percent of those who voted in the preceding general election within each house district would be difficult to meet. She has empathy with ensuring that the entire state is involved in the process, but nobody wants to see the process close down. She offered an amendment to change "10 percent" to "2 percent". CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN objected for discussion purposes. Number 0925 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES shares the same concern, but 10 percent is too high and 2 percent is too low. She is not sure what the figure should be, however. The right number is somewhere between 1 person from each house district and 10 percent. She would accept something bigger, but she will not vote for 2 percent. In addition, it only calls for 30 out of the 40 house districts. The less difficult districts to travel to could be used to get the signatures. Number 1019 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted that the average turnout is about 5,000 per district or lower which would only be 500 signatures. He is reluctant to allow the current system because it allows the Rail Belt to have so much influence. The bar should also be high enough so that the ballots are not cluttered each year with resolutions. He maintains leaving it at 10 percent. Number 1145 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI likes Representative Williams' suggestion of going to all areas of the state. Other states require 8 percent with a signature gathering period of 90 to 150 days. Although 10 percent may be higher, there is a one-year period to collect signatures here in Alaska. She is concerned about the outside organizations that have targeted Alaska as a cheap place to get something on a ballot. It is not like years ago when everybody in the neighborhood was packing around a petition. Nowadays, petition gathers are paid good money and are organized by outside corporations. She supports HJR 7 and is comfortable with going as high as 10 percent. Number 1272 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN called for a brief at-ease at 1:38 p.m. and called the meeting back to order at 1:40 p.m. Number 1278 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that this pertains to both initiatives and referendums which are important rights. He doesn't know how receptive the public will be on restricting its power to decide issues via the initiative process and correct the legislature via the referendum process. The referendum process is an area that the legislature ought to be very careful before touching, given that it is the public's last recall on what the legislature does. Maybe, there ought to be a policy of not touching it. It is not used very often and when it is, it is obvious that the people feel seriously that the legislature has erred. He said, "It may not be for us to tell them how they get that done." Number 1358 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that referendum is referred to in Article XI, section 5 of the state constitution, and the resolution only deals with Article XI, section 3. Number 1387 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated it is important to recognize that Alaska has 365 million acres of land with a very small population of which nearly half lives in the Anchorage Bowl. That calls for outreach to ensure the folks in the less populated areas are not left out, even though this might not be a good idea for other states. Once an initiative is on the ballot and it represents those in the Anchorage Bowl, it will pass, and the rest of the votes from the rest of the people will mean nothing. She still thinks 10 percent is too high, especially since there is a low voter turnout in some of the rural areas and it will be some time before there are more people in those areas. Number 1587 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked Representative James what was the discussion in the House State Affairs Standing Committee regarding the percentages. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied it was similar to today's discussion, but there wasn't the same type of public testimony. There was a motion to make it 5 percent, but it didn't pass. The committee decided on 10 percent. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked Representative James whether the original bill called for 15 percent. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied yes. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted that the objection is maintained. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Green, Rokeberg and James voted against the motion. Representatives Murkowski, Croft and Kerttula voted in favor of the motion. The motion failed by a vote of 3-3. Number 1668 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to move CSHJR 7(STA) from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). REPRESENTATIVE CROFT objected. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Green, Rokeberg, James and Murkowski voted in favor of the motion. Representatives Croft and Kerttula voted against the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 4-2. The CSHJR 7(STA) was so moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. Number 1747 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN called for a brief at-ease at 1:50 p.m. and called the meeting back to order at 1:51 p.m. Number 1750 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move CSHJR 25(JUD) from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). REPRESENTATIVE CROFT objected. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that there is legitimate concern about HJR 25, but the people are smart enough to sort it out. The distinction between the aerial wolf hunt and the wolf snaring initiatives prove that point. The people were able to see the difference between prohibiting an act that didn't comport with a fair chase and protecting a lifestyle choice. He doesn't believe that taking it off the plate is appropriate. Number 1825 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated there is no comparison between the two initiatives because shooting wolves from an airplane was already illegal. The people couldn't tell the difference. The advertisements influenced the votes and didn't have anything to do with reality. To say that the people can sort it out is a good argument, if there is a level playing field for both sides. The boards are the best system to manage fish and game, until someone can come up with a better one. The initiative process is not it. There are flaws with the initiative process. It doesn't have a public process. It doesn't have the committees and the testimony that the legislative process has. She sympathizes with the folks that want to do something and the legislature simply doesn't listen to them so they turn to the initiative process. She supports that as a method of passing statutory law, but the valuable resources such as fish and game need the public, committee and legislative processes. "If we want to have a better system of managing fish and game, then we should statutorily change the management--the whole management, not just specific management of specific game and specific fish." Number 1944 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA noted that this is a representative democracy and the initiative process is probably the cleanest and most public oriented part of it because once an initiative is on the ballot everybody has the right to vote on it. She is concerned about restricting that process since people in Alaska feel strongly about natural resource issues. It is also ironic to see the people who supported "the resolution" that failed coming in to change the process. Number 1983 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES understands that this is a representative form of democracy, but the representative part of government is "out the window" when going to an initiative because each district loses its voice when the "water is muddy." Once an initiative is on the ballot, the votes are in Anchorage. "I don't if you heard that or not, but that's where they are." REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA replied she heard the testimony. Number 2029 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG favors HJR 25 because Article VIII, section 2 of the state constitution clearly sets forth the legislature's responsibility in providing for the utilization, development and conservation of all natural resources belonging to the state for the maximum benefit of the people. The power is reserved to the legislature. He said, "I'm very concerned that the type of initiatives that have occurred...And, I think the point's well taken that with enough money and the changing demographics in this state where people don't have the traditions of hunting and fishing and gathering that we've had here for years, that we would put in jeopardy to a very large investment by an outside interest group that could gradually change our culture. And, I'm not willing to take that risk entirely. Notwithstanding the sound arguments on the other hand for the voice of the people. And, Mr. Chairman, I think that this--if we don't do something it could be the end of commercial fishing in the state of Alaska. If you look at the number of commercial fishers versus the growing power and importance of sport fishery, and I think justifiably so in certain instances, but if we end up by ballot box animal husbandry and theological choices, I think we're going to be wronged." He will vote yes. Number 2098 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI is concerned that HJR 25 is closer to a revision of the constitution as opposed to an amendment. It is completely taking away the ability of the people to vote on fish and wildlife issues. It takes the state closer to the need for a constitutional convention. She is not comfortable with that. Number 2141 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN called for a brief at-ease at 2:00 p.m. and called the meeting back to order at 2:02 p.m. Number 2148 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted that Representative Murkowski brings up a very good point. He referred to a memorandum from Legislative Legal Services dated March 19, 1999 which states that all three resolutions are constitutional as a method of eliminating initiatives, and that they probably won't go to the point that the state supreme court went to in Bess v. Ulmer. Number 2212 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated the Bess case affected several parts of the constitution. She asked what other part of the constitution would HJR 25 affect. Number 2233 KEVIN JARDELL, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe Green, Alaska State Legislature, stated that testimony on Bess v. Ulmer indicates it is difficult to determine what will be a revision and what will be an amendment. There were three constitutional amendments before the Alaska Supreme Court, and it found that two were amendments and one was a revision. The revision on a scale of 1 to 10 of how much it affects the constitution was a 10. It affected almost every aspect of the constitution. The four-part test, the extent that it affects the whole constitution and a person's understanding of the implications of an amendment, was laid down in that case. Number 2299 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Jardell whether any constitutional amendment with any degree of controversy would be challenged in court prior to going to the ballot because of the Bess case as a matter of course. MR. JARDELL replied it is safe to say that the supreme court could find factual determinations to make a decision on a challenge. It is really hard to allow Bess to determine which resolution should go forward. It is a preliminary case and it will take further case law to narrow down what is a revision and what is an amendment, unless the supreme court gives a bright-line test, which is not expected. Number 2347 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted the only thing that could dissuade counsel from introducing lawsuits is the Senate Finance Standing Committee. Number 2373 CORY WINCHELL, Administrative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott, Alaska State Legislature, stated that the memorandum dated March 19, 1999 from Legislative Legal Services talks about the powers enumerated by the legislature and the Bess decision. The courts have been slicing away at the initiative process in regards to natural resources, fish, and wildlife for about 20 years now. They have made inroads. The courts didn't want ballot-box voting for allocation issues such as fish stocks, mining, natural resources, etc. The memorandum indicated, based on legal precedent available in this state, that the legislature has the power to propose a constitutional amendment that would, if approved by the people, reduce the power of the people to enact laws relating to fish and game by initiative. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted it sounds Draconian. Number 2451 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move CSHJR 25(JUD) from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). REPRESENTATIVE CROFT objected. TAPE 99-16, SIDE B Number 0001 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT continued. There is confusion on the Bess case because of expansiveness. The prisoners' rights proposed amendment affected everything. The supreme court eliminated the sentence that said, "No provision of this constitution may be interpreted to require the State to recognize or permit marriage between individuals of the same sex.", in the marriage proposed amendment. The redistricting proposed amendment affected nine different provisions of the state constitution, but the supreme court said it was understandable. Therefore, he is not sure whether there will be that much trouble with this case. It is not going to be a huge burden. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted that the objection is maintained. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Green, Rokeberg, James and Murkowski voted in favor of the motion. Representatives Croft and Kerttula voted against the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 4-2. The CSHJR 25(JUD) was so moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. Number 0080 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN called for a brief at-ease at 2:12 p.m. and called the meeting back to order at 2:15 p.m. HB 103 - LIABILITY RELATING TO FIREARMS CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN announced the next order of business is HB 103, "An Act relating to civil actions by municipalities and certain public corporations and prohibiting certain civil actions by them against firearms or ammunition manufacturers and dealers." CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN indicated that the committee will take up CSHB 103(CRA), and called on Representative Fred Dyson, sponsor of the bill. Number 0111 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON, Alaska State Legislature, stated HB 103 is an Act that will prohibit political subdivisions from suing firearm manufacturers for the misuse of legally manufactured and distributed firearms. Six to seven cities have sued firearm manufacturers and are seeking judgment to cover the cost of the misuse of firearms. House Bill 103 is virtually the same as SB 77 which is on the way to the Senate floor. House Bill 103 will get to the House floor at roughly the same time, if this committee concurs with it. Number 0173 VICTOR GUNN, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Senator Pete Kelly, Alaska State Legislature, noted that HB 103 and SB 77 are companion bills. They are identical in language and mirror each other. They were created in response to the lawsuits brought by municipalities throughout the United States against gun manufacturers to recoup damages from the illegal use of their products. Enfolded by recent tobacco lawsuits, municipalities are attempting to supplement their general fund with lawsuits directed at deep pockets - the manufacturers - for what they consider politically incorrect products. They claim that manufacturers allegedly have conspired to flood markets outside the cities with strict gun laws knowing that they will reach the cities through a black market. Further, the manufacturers are supposedly producing more powerful guns in order to increase their sales. It is obvious that the aim is to bankrupt the gun company by suing them for medical costs and monetary damages of gun related crimes. This litigation circumvents constitutional limits as well as democratic debate. The gun control movement thinks it can win without passing laws or winning elections. By using litigation to raise prices and to drive manufacturers out of business, gun controllers can reduce access to firearms without confronting the Second Amendment. Reasonable people see the clear intent in using the court to accomplish what any gun lobbyist has been unable to achieve in federal and state legislatures. This clear abuse of the tort liability system seeks to use potentially bankrupting lawsuits to force makers of legal, but politically incorrect, products to quit. The intent of this legislation is to prevent local governments from seeking reimbursements for the cost of gun related violence from businesses engaged in the lawful manufacture, sale, design or marketing of firearms or ammunition. It is not the intent of this legislation to prevent bringing an action for breach of contract or warranty purchased by a political subdivision or local government authority. Gun related manufacturing is a legal enterprise producing quality products that are lawfully and safely used by thousands of Alaskan for hunting, sport, recreation and protection. It really has more to do with the people than the guns. It's easier to blame the manufacturer than to have people take responsibility for their actions. In a nationwide survey of registered voters conducted by the American Firearms Council, 92 percent say that cities or states should not sue gun makers as a means to stop violence; and, 67 percent say that enforcing current laws against using firearms is more effective in addressing criminal violence than limiting the number of firearms an individual may purchase. He noted that the survey was done in October of 1998 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. Number 0341 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT referred to Representative Dyson's amendment and stated he is concerned that it would prohibit a lawsuit for a manufacturing defect such as shoddy metal. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated he was told by the bill drafter that poor workmanship is covered under breach of warranty. The amendment makes it clear. Number 0396 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether there was a case with a judgment against a gun manufacturer in Connecticut. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied there was a case with judgment in Brooklyn. It is subject to appeal. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what was the amount of damages. MR. GUNN replied $550,000 against 15 manufacturers. Number 0423 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT is concerned about unintended consequences. While no manufacturer should be liable for simply selling a lawful product that somebody misuses, there are appropriate legal theories for selling something for specific illegal purposes. The seller of a car is generally not liable in the case of a hit-and-run, but if that car is sold for a specific illegal purpose, the seller could be held liable. It almost crosses the line into criminal conspiracy. He said, "You cannot just hold Ruger liable for the fact that some criminals use Ruger, but if I come to a gun dealer and say, 'I want to kill the Pope.' Is that special Popemobile--what armaments can I--exactly do I use and what armor are piercing. And, they sell me exact tailored things that are only appropriate for a specific purpose with full knowledge of that purpose, you're not only criminally liable, but I think you probably should be civilly liable." It is a lawful sale, but the ultimate purpose was unlawful. It is related to the lawful sale, manufacture, design, or marketing of firearms, but it is not related to a negligent design, breach of contract, or breach of warranty. He asked Representative Dyson why the bill says "a person", if it is meant to stop municipal or governmental lawsuits. Number 0521 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied it seems that knowingly supplying equipment for a crime is accessory before the fact which is covered in other parts of state and probably federal law. Number 0539 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that Representative Dyson is right. A person on those facts could be criminally liable, but would be immune under this section from civil liability. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated that person would be prosecuted under different sections. MR. GUNN noted the bill was heard in two other committees that both amended it to include other than municipalities such as a person. It was felt that the word "lawful" covered a conspiracy to sell a product for unlawful means. It isn't the intent to encourage unlawful acts by gun manufacturers. There is no "smoking gun" like in the tobacco suits. In those suits, there were misleading memorandums and intent by the manufacturers to mislead the public to believe that their product was not harmful. There hasn't been anything like that in this legislation. In fact, "it" says that the product is designed to be dangerous, but it is designed for lawful purposes: sport, recreation and protection. The intent of the bill is to prevent frivolous lawsuits against firms that manufacture a lawful product. Number 0658 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether it is correct that a number of suits have been filed because of the Brooklyn case on behalf of municipalities. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON cited: New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Bridgeport, and Miami Dade. Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and San Francisco are coming. Several states are starting to limit the liability suits like Alaska. Number 0709 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN asked Representative Dyson whether any of those cases have gone to settlement. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied the Brooklyn case has been awarded and is now under appeal. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN called for a motion to adopt Representative Dyson's amendment. Number 0709 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT made a motion to adopt Amendment 1 [1-LS0503\D.1, Ford, 3/19/99]. There being no objection, it was so adopted. It reads as follows: Page 1, lines 9-10 Delete "for negligent design" Insert "resulting from a negligent design, a manufacturing defect" Number 0764 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated he continues to worry about unintended consequences because the bill is drawn so broadly. Number 0848 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Representative Dyson whether this is based on handguns and not other firearms. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied he is not sure that handguns were specifically selected. The inference that many of the crimes are created by handguns is logical, but in times past it was traditional to use shotguns and Tommy guns, for example. Number 0883 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Representative Dyson and/or Mr. Gunn whether they have read any pleadings in court cases specifically directed at handguns or are they directed at firearms in general. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied the manufacturers that were being sued produced firearms not just handguns. He doesn't believe that the suits were specific to handgun. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he is concerned that including the manufacturer and seller brings liability problems. What about a situation where a youth picks up a weapon in a gun shop and inadvertently shots someone? There would be immunity in that case which is not the intent of the bill. Number 0940 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN wondered whether the language "lawful sale" is the seller. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA stated it is being limited to the negligent design or manufacturing defect. According to her research, one-third of unintended shootings are when a child fires a loaded gun or when somebody discharges a gun believing that it wasn't loaded. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN said that is negligence of the parent. Number 1016 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what is "lawful marketing". CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN stated, if the owner of a shop loads a gun and something happens, then there is negligence, but it shouldn't fall back on the manufacturer of the firearm. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted the bill says "or seller". CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted a seller would not be exonerated, if that seller negligently loads a gun and allows somebody to shot it. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated the language is drafted disjunctively. It sets up a separate criteria for sellers. It doesn't read "and/or"; it reads "or". REPRESENTATIVE JAMES noted "or" means both of them. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted "or" means either one of them. It is disjunctive, not conjunctive. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN said the fact that it reads "or" means that there doesn't have to be all of those for a cause of action. Number 1130 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated part of the difficulty is the wording "related to" - Page 1, line 8. It is very broad. It doesn't say "solely based on" or "primarily concerning". It could be written with less comprehensive language to accomplish its primary goal. The lawful sale of a lawful product without anything more can't form the basis of liability for a car or gun or whatever. The fact that a person might use it for an illegal activity is not a basis of reliability against the seller or manufacturer. Anything peripherally related to any of these things and anything otherwise irresponsible can be immunized. Number 1224 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA noted it is especially so because of the exception sentence - lines 9-10. It tries to get the exemption to the immunity back up to the seller. Number 1253 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Representative Dyson why the seller vis-a-vis a retailer is included when it seems the actions are against manufacturers not retailers. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied the huge retailers in the country are considered to be deep pockets, and the small arms manufacturing industry is not doing well. The totality of the business is around $1.4 billion. He cited Fred Meyers, Sears and Roebuck, and K-Mart as deep pockets. Traditionally, the trend in court is to go after them, and they don't want to be improperly sued. When he bought a firearm at Fred Meyers the clerk would not put the ammunition on top of the counter and the firearm at the same time. The clerk walked with him out to the parking lot and handed him separate bags. Number 1421 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN suggested changing the language "related to" with "predicated on" - Page 1, line 8. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated it depends on how substantial that relationship has to be. "Related to" is 1 percent, "based solely on" is 100 percent, "primarily" is... He doesn't want to slow the bill down, but he wants it to reflect what the majority within the committee wants it to do. Number 1508 MR. GUNN stated the language is the exact wording of a Georgia law that passed its legislature and was signed into law by its governor. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted it was passed without the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES noted Alaska is different. Number 1549 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG understands that there is a public policy demand to immunize the sellers as well. But, the language is a little too broad as it relates to the retailer. He is not real comfortable with it, but he is very supportive of the bill itself. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN asked Representative Rokeberg whether the word "predicated" relieves some of his concern. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied not really. It is the nexus between the act of selling and marketing that a whole plethora of different scenarios can come into play causing injury. Unless it can be separated and replaced with a different standard such as a higher level of negligence, there could be a lot of personal injury cases. Number 1649 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN asked are the sellers at risk of liability when automobiles are recalled because of a defective design? "We want to make sure that the seller, unbeknownst to a flaw in the design, is not going to be held reliable because he's a deep pocket." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated the seller shouldn't be responsible for a manufacturer problem. "It is not the act of selling per se, it's the act of being a merchandiser for manufactured merchandize is what we're trying to get at." Number 1700 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated it seems that Representative Rokeberg is dwelling on the term "marketing". She wondered whether "faulty marketing" could be included in the language just amended. That might not be the best term, but something like that to relieve his concern. Number 1745 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA stated as the bill is written now she thinks a loaded gun left on a counter that a child picks up would be covered by this statute when it is clearly negligent behavior. And, that's not the intent of the bill. Number 1801 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated this doesn't preclude a seller from being sued for negligence in leaving a loaded weapon where a child could misuse it. This only immunizes a seller against being sued through the business of selling it. He offered the language "based on" as an alternative for the language "related to". In addition, it wouldn't do a disservice to his intention to strike the word "marketing" from the bill. "And, frankly, as a certifiable gun nut, I am uncomfortable about some of the marketing that goes on in the firearm manufacturer that tends to be the approach. If you look at some of the quasi-underground books that are marketed on how to get anybody and how to do urban sniper fire against your enemies and convert your weapons into fully automatic, change you identity and how to escape, you know. Some of that stuff makes me uncomfortable." His suggestions are not an amendment, just respectful suggestions. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN noted there is still the word "sale". REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied, and properly so. Number 1960 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated is seems that the committee is trying to separate the products from the actions. In other words, the product itself is exempt, but what is done with the product is not. Maybe, there is language that can separate the products and the actions. Number 1998 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that is precisely his point. It's the manufactured item that he's been talking about. He suggested language, "(indisc.) manufacturers or a retailer of that manufactured firearm or ammunition". It would focus the act on revolving around the handgun/firearm. It's not the act of selling that's immunized. "You're only a conduit, if you're a wholesaler or retailer. You're not the manufacturer. And, I think in the theory here is the creation of and manufacture of firearms that's causing the damage." CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN stated he would accept that, except the word "dealer" is included in the title. If the intent is to keep the dealer in the bill, he would suggest two paragraphs - one to deal with the manufacturer and one to deal with the dealer. It is too difficult to include both in one paragraph. Number 2100 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that typically a distributor is liable for a defective product, even if there isn't any negligence. A distributor has the right to go after a manufacturer in that case. The language, "based on", suggested by Representative Dyson solves most if not all of his concerns. Number 2156 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA stated adding the language, "or to the reckless endangerment by retailers", to line 8 would take care of her concern, as well as Representative's James and Rokeberg. If somebody put a loaded gun on a counter and a child picked it up, there wouldn't be a bar from suing. Number 2198 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated adding that language doesn't let them go back to the manufacturer. Number 2275 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT made a motion to delete the language "related to" on line 8, and insert the language "based on". There being no objection, it was so moved. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT made a motion to include the language "or" on line 8 between the words "manufacture," and "design,". There being no objection, it was so moved. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN asked whether there is still concern with gross negligence of the seller, or is this enough to allow the intention of the AS 09.65.155. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he thinks so. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES noted by taking "marketing" out... Number 2448 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI noted the title still refers to dealers. The committee is talking about two separate things. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN stated, unless it is made very, very cumbersome, would it be better to have two separate... TAPE 99-17, SIDE A Number 0001 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN continued. Can negligent endangerment cover everything a seller might do? he asked. That's what the committee is after. Number 0014 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA noted that reckless endangerment is a higher standard than just negligence. She would feel more comfortable with just negligence because of that argument, but at least it would cover some of the worst cases of somebody leaving a loaded gun lying around. Number 0069 MR. JARDELL stated using the language, "based on the lawful sale", a cause of action wouldn't be based on the sale. There is an argument of relating an action to the sale with using the language, "related to the lawful sale". In the case of the language, "based on the lawful sale", the cause of action would be based on the negligent handling of the weapon. It would fix the problem of ancillary negligence. General negligence would still be there as long as it's not based on the actual sale. The New Orleans case and several others have included the dealers in an attempt to get them to stop selling the firearms through legal fees. Saying that they should have known that these person were going to use the weapons or they put an unusually large number on the street. There are some reasons to include dealers, and there are some reasons to preclude blanket immunity for negligent handling of firearms. Number 0223 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA stated, with that testimony on the record as the intent, she is comfortable with it. Number 0241 MR. GUNN pointed out that one of the lawsuits in New Orleans includes the people who sell firearms which is why marketing is included in the bill. Number 0270 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT made a motion to move CSHB 103(CRA), as amended, from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). There being no objection, CSHB 103(JUD) was so moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. CSSB 3(RLS) - CRIMES OF MURDER & CHILD MURDERS CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN announced the next order of business is CSSB 3(RLS), "An Act relating to the crimes of murder, solicitation to commit murder in the first degree, conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide; relating to homicides of children; relating to registration as a sex offender or child kidnapper; relating to the crime of interference with custody of a child or incompetent person; and providing for an effective date." Number 0330 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt the proposed House committee substitute for CSSB 3, Version 1-LS0028\H, Luckhaupt, 3/9/99 as a working document. There being no objection, it was so adopted. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG explained the proposed House committee substitute raises the offenses to felonies and deletes misdemeanors under AS 11.41 - page 3, lines 20-22. Number 0418 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked whether the sponsor agrees with the changes. Number 0432 JULI LUCKY, Researcher for Senator Rick Halford, Alaska State Legislature, stated the sponsor agrees with the changes made to the proposed House committee substitute. Number 0518 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to consider Amendment 1 [1-LS0028\H.2, Luckhaupt, 3/12/99]. There being no objection, it was before the committee. It reads as follows: Page 3, line 20: Delete "AS 11.41" Insert "AS 11.41.100 - 11.41.300 or 11.41.410 - 11.41.458" Page 3, line 22: Delete "AS 11.41" Insert "AS 11.41.100 - 11.41.300 or 11.41.410 - 11.41.458" REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG explained the amendment excludes the crimes of custodial interference in the first and second degrees. The sponsor is lukewarm on the idea, so he thought it should be discussed by the committee. Number 0588 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated "it" was already limited to a felony and now this amendment takes out custodial interference as well. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated custodial interference in the first and second degrees is still a felony. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated all of the misdemeanors have already been taken out and this amendment would take out a couple of the felonious custodial interferences. Number 0616 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated "we" didn't want to delete Section 5 because it is an important fix for the Department of Law. He said, "I guess my concern was, if you have--if you have a case that come up with the DWI plus custodial interference makes you into--or the--you have a death on a DWI death, it raises it to second-degree murder. And that's where I..." Number 0659 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked Representative Rokeberg, if her husband takes her kids to Turkey for six years and goes underground with them, whether it would still be considered a felony. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied not under the intent of SB 3. Number 0711 MS. LUCKY stated the amendment would take out felony custodial interference, as well as robbery in the first degree, robbery in the second degree, extortion, and coercion. She is not sure whether that is the intent of the sponsor of the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated, if that's the case, it is a drafter's mistake. MS. LUCKY further stated the proposed House committee substitute took out custodial interference as a misdemeanor (custodial interference in the second degree), but left in custodial interference in the first degree - kidnapping one's own child and going underground, for example. A felonious custodial interference in the first degree is usually charged to get a warrant for extradition. Criminal negligence is not only drunken driving, but shaken baby syndrome, abusing a child until its death, and starving a baby. This is exactly the type of person this bill is trying to get - a history of abuse against children, acting recklessly towards children, taking a child against an order, or kidnapping a child across state lines, and then through criminal negligence kill another child through shaken baby syndrome or abuse. That's the type of person the bill is looking for. It is her understanding that somebody who takes a child on vacation would not be charged with felonious custodial interference. If somebody accidentally killed that child through drunken driving, that would not fit into the fact-pattern of this section of the bill. The sponsor believes that taking out custodial interference waters down this section of the bill. The sponsor is also concerned about the other sections that the amendment deals with that are obviously a drafting error. Number 0891 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN asked Representative Rokeberg which of the numbers he didn't want in the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied the amendment was intended for AS 11.41.320 and 11.41.330. MS. LUCKY noted that AS 11.41.330 would have already been taken out of the bill with the misdemeanor change. The only substantive custodial interference change would be in AS 11.41.320. The sponsor would want to include the following felony offenses: AS 11.41.500, 11.41.510, 11.41.520 and 11.41.520. Number 0943 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG withdrew his amendment. Number 0978 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA made a motion to consider Amendment 2 from the attorney general's office. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG objected. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN called on Anne Carpeneti from the Department of Law to explain the amendment. Number 1003 ANNE D. CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Legal Services Section-Juneau, Criminal Division, Department of Law, stated the amendment would avoid costly litigation in the future. It defines "conviction" to include a person convicted of a sex offense then given a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) for that conviction for the purposes of sex offender registration. In 1994, when the legislature adopted the sex offender registration Law, it went back to 1980 to gather those who were convicted of a sex offense and required them to register for 15 years after their depravation of parole was finished. The Department of Public Safety defined conviction in regulation to include those convicted of a sex offense and given an SIS, but in 1988 the legislature changed the law to forbid a court from giving an SIS to a person convicted of a sex offense. Looking back at the sentences imposed in the late 1970's and 1980's the courts gave SIS's to those convicted of a first-degree sexual assault, first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and less serious offenses. An SIS was originally designed and practically imposed on people who have been convicted of less serious offenses, but the legislature found that sex offenders have a higher rate of recidivism. The amendment is being offered because two people have convinced the courts that they shouldn't have to register and two other judges have found that they should have to register under similar circumstances. It would be helpful to set it straight. Number 1204 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN asked Ms. Carpeneti whether the amendment would prevent the problem in the future or is it retroactive. MS. CARPENETI replied it would define conviction to exclude SIS for all those who were given SIS's in the past. It is not really necessary for the future because the law prohibits the use of SIS's now. Number 1225 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated they should have to register. He is uncomfortable with avoiding litigation, however. Number 1236 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Carpeneti whether it includes all levels of sex offenders, and what is the time period for the SIS's. MS. CARPENETI replied the sex offender registration law applied to people who were convicted or still under legal obligations prior to and after 1984. If a person was free of any legal obligation and condition before 1984, that person did not have to register. Number 1282 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG wondered whether there is a distinction between class A, B or C felonies. These people are being swept up in one big net. He asked Ms. Carpeneti whether it is correct that an SIS is not on a record after a certain period of time, if there is no wrong doing. MS. CARPENETI replied correct. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Carpeneti whether a person who has already reached that person's agreed upon SIS terms would be stuck on the sex offender registry after the fact. MS. CARPENETI replied that person should have already been registered. There isn't a distinction between the different felonies and how many people were given SIS's during that period of time. There were at least 200 people given SIS's between 1984 and 1988. Some of whom were convicted of two sex offenses and given SIS's. One of whom was convicted of three sex offenses and given an SIS for all three. Some of them were first-degree sexual abuses of a minor and second-degree sexual assaults. Number 1360 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Carpeneti whether or not at that time there were certain terms and conditions put on an SIS, and if they were not met that person would go back to jail. MS. CARPENETI replied yes. Usually, a judge imposes conditions of jail time, for example. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Carpeneti whether there would be an instance where the full force of a conviction would have been met and agreed to by both the state and individual that would get trapped in this net. MS. CARPENETI reiterated that they should have been registered this whole time, according to the law as the Department of Law interprets it. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Carpeneti, isn't that the point of the amendment? Is there a split in the cases? MS. CARPENETI replied two people have convinced the courts that they should not have to register. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Carpeneti, because they paid their debt to society? MS. CARPENETI replied there were a variety of reasons. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated he is concerned about an inequity. He said, "It seems to me that it's who they're going to throw this net out and capture--get if they've already in essence have completed their debt to society and all of a sudden because of the retrospective aspect of the law, they're being asked to do something and then they've already completed their routine in which their actual offense is lifted off the record, if that's if--if I'm not mistaken." Number 1475 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN stated the intent is to get those people anyway. They slipped through because of a couple of liberal judges. Number 1487 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated she wants to get everybody on this list who ought to be on it. But, she finds it difficult to make legislation to change court cases. She asked Ms. Carpeneti whether anything will happen to those four cases. MS. CARPENETI replied they are on appeal. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Ms. Carpeneti, if the law is changed with this amendment, will it affect their appeal. MS. CARPENETI replied, "I hope so." She hopes that the court will be instructed to see the clarification in the law to require people who were convicted in the 1980's and who were given an SIS to be registered. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Ms. Carpeneti to explain how the amendment is a clarification as opposed to a change in the law. MS. CARPENETI replied when the sex offender registration law was passed in 1994, the legislature gave the Department of Public Safety the authority to adopt regulations to implement it. As part of the regulations, the definition of conviction included every finding of guilt that was not turned over by a court including pleas, and findings of guilt by a court or jury. This amendment takes that definition and puts it in statute. It also includes an intent section to clarify the confusion evident by the judges that made those decisions. Number 1608 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA noted that the person is still convicted. For every change of plea that she has done, the person understood that he/she was convicted, that they had an opportunity under the SIS to go back, but the conviction still stood. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN stated that person wouldn't be registered. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA replied at this point the courts are split. The amendment is to clarify the conviction. Number 1656 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated AS 12.63.020 says if it's not an aggravated sex offense, it is only 15 years from the date of conviction. If it's an aggravated sex offense, it is a lifetime obligation, and in that case that person is caught in the net. If a person is clean for 15 years, then that person can drop of the list. MS. CARPENETI stated, if a person does not check in with the Department of Public Safety or a police department every year to update information in the registry, then that person doesn't get credit for that year. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated if a court has determined that they don't have to, then they wouldn't be charged for... MS. CARPENETI said correct. Number 1740 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Carpeneti what constitutes an SIS. Would a conviction be removed from the books upon completion of the conditions? MS. CARPENETI replied when a SIS is imposed a person has to fulfill the obligations that a court has imposed, but a conviction really isn't removed from every single aspect. "12.55.085 specifically provides that you cannot get an SIS if you have a prior conviction and it also provides that convictions in terms of that section of whether--so whether or not you have a prior conviction includes conviction where you were given an SIS. So, if you're convicted of a theft as a young person and were given an SIS and provided--did everything you were suppose to do and got your conviction off the record, and ten years later if you committed another theft, under the law of SIS's the court could go back--has to go back and look at that. And, you can't get another one because conviction for purposes of law of SIS does not include an SIS provision." Number 1851 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that Megan's Law has withstood constitutional tests at the U.S. Supreme Court level, but many states have a two tier system where the severity of a sex offense is balance with the crime and the length time on a registry. Alaska doesn't have that. Therefore, a sex offender convicted of assault in the fourth degree is in the same boat of a sex offender that committed assault in the first degree. He takes exception to that as a matter of public policy. He asked Ms. Carpeneti whether there would be a distinction in terms of severity when that net is thrown back out. He also asked Mr. Carpeneti whether the net would be thrown back over offenders who have completed their conditions. In addition, a person in that case would have to say that he/she has never been convicted, but that he/she is on a sex offender registry when completing a job application, for example. It is a weird set of circumstances. Number 1920 MS. CARPENETI replied Alaska does have a two tier sex offender registration program. People convicted of an aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping are required to register for life, even if it a first offense. People convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, and people convicted twice of any sexual offense also have to register for life. People convicted of other sexual offenses have to register for 15 years. In addition, she has never believed that a person can answer truthfully about a conviction on a job application, even if through an SIS that conviction has been set aside. Number 1990 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether the sponsor has any objection to this amendment since it piggybacks SB 62. MS. LUCKY replied the sponsor does not have an objection to the amendment. Number 2038 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG withdrew his objection. CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN asked whether there is further objection. There being none, Amendment 2 was so adopted. Number 2062 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move the proposed House committee substitute for CSSB 3, as amended, from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). There being no objection, HCS CSSB 3(JUD) was so moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. ADJOURNMENT Number 2181 CHAIRMAN-DESIGNEE GREEN adjourned the House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting at 3:37 p.m.