Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/13/2000 08:10 AM House STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 13, 2000                                                                                         
                            8:10 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
Representative Jeannette James, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Joe Green                                                                                                        
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Hal Smalley                                                                                                      
Representative Scott Ogan                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
Representative Bill Hudson                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 16                                                                                             
Relating to Avalanche Awareness Month.                                                                                          
     - MOVED SCR 16 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 13                                                                                              
Creating the Commission on Alaska's Future.                                                                                     
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 294(JUD), "An Act relating to the                                                                        
possession of concealed handguns and to concealed handgun                                                                       
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 444                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to nongovernmental activities of state agencies,                                                               
including the University of Alaska; and providing for an                                                                        
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
BILL: SCR 16                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AVALANCHE AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                          
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 3/17/00      2641     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 3/17/00      2641     (S)  STA                                                                                                 
 3/30/00               (S)  STA AT   3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                          
 3/30/00               (S)  Bill Postponed To 4/6/00                                                                            
 4/06/00               (S)  STA AT   3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                          
 4/06/00               (S)  Moved Out of Committee                                                                              
 4/06/00               (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                                                                         
 4/07/00               (S)  RLS AT 12:00 PM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                      
 4/07/00               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                         
 4/07/00      2928     (S)  STA RPT 4DP                                                                                         
 4/07/00      2928     (S)  DP: WARD, ELTON, PHILLIPS, GREEN                                                                    
 4/07/00      2929     (S)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (S.STA)                                                                            
 4/10/00      2950     (S)  RLS TO  CALENDAR  04/10/00                                                                          
 4/10/00      2956     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                                
 4/10/00      2956     (S)  PASSED  Y19 N- E1   SCR 16                                                                          
 4/10/00      2960     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                  
 4/10/00      2978     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 4/10/00      2978     (H)  STA                                                                                                 
 4/13/00               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
BILL: HCR 13                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMMISSION ON ALASKA'S FUTURE                                                                                      
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 5/11/99      1317     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 5/11/99      1317     (H)  STA, FIN                                                                                            
 3/27/00      2717     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): CISSNA, CROFT                                                                         
 4/13/00               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
BILL: SB 294                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONCEALED HANDGUNS                                                                                                 
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 3/21/00      2678     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 3/21/00      2678     (S)  JUD                                                                                                 
 3/27/00               (S)  JUD AT   1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                          
 3/27/00               (S)  -- Rescheduled to 3/29/00 --                                                                        
 3/29/00               (S)  JUD AT   1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                          
 3/29/00               (S)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 3/29/00               (S)  MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                         
 4/03/00               (S)  JUD AT   1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                          
 4/03/00               (S)  Moved CS(Jud) Out of Committee                                                                      
 4/03/00               (S)  MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                         
 4/04/00      2854     (S)  JUD RPT  CS 3DP SAME TITLE                                                                          
 4/04/00      2854     (S)  DP: TAYLOR, TORGERSON, HALFORD                                                                      
 4/04/00      2854     (S)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DPS)                                                                              
 4/06/00               (S)  RLS AT 11:45 AM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                      
 4/06/00               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                         
 4/10/00      2949     (S)  RLS TO CALENDAR AND 2 OR 04/10/00                                                                   
 4/10/00      2951     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                                
 4/10/00      2951     (S)  JUD CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                                                                         
 4/10/00      2951     (S)  ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                                                                      
 4/10/00      2951     (S)  READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 294(JUD)                                                                  
 4/10/00      2951     (S)  PASSED Y14 N5 E1                                                                                    
 4/10/00      2952     (S)  ADAMS NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                                                                     
 4/11/00      3010     (S)  RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP                                                                        
 4/11/00      3011     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                  
 4/12/00      3072     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 4/12/00      3072     (H)  STA, JUD                                                                                            
 4/13/00               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
JERRY BURNETT, Staff                                                                                                            
   to Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 125                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for HCR 13.                                                                    
ANGELA REAVIS                                                                                                                   
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HCR 13.                                                                                       
PAT COYNE                                                                                                                       
Sutton, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HCR 13.                                                                                       
CHRIS NOOKES                                                                                                                    
Big Lake, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HCR 13.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN KEMPLEN                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 112                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HCR 13.                                                                                         
KEVIN RITCHIE, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Municipal League                                                                                                         
217 Second Street, Suite 200                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HCR 13; presented suggestions.                                                                
JIM POUND, Acting Staff                                                                                                         
   to the Senate Judiciary Committee                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building                                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for SB 294.                                                                    
PORTIA PARKER, Aide                                                                                                             
   to Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 125                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on SB 294.                                                                            
DEL SMITH, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                  
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
PO Box 111200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 294.                                                                                       
SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 30                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on SB 294.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-33, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  JEANNETTE JAMES  called the  House  State Affairs  Standing                                                              
Committee meeting  to order at 8:10  a.m.  Members present  at the                                                              
call to order  were Representatives James, Whitaker,  Kerttula and                                                              
Smalley.   Representatives Green and  Ogan arrived as  the meeting                                                              
was in progress.  Representative Hudson was absent.                                                                             
SCR 16 - AVALANCHE AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                            
CHAIR  JAMES  announced the  first  order  of business  is  SENATE                                                              
CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION  NO.  16 Relating  to  Avalanche  Awareness                                                              
JERRY  BURNETT,   Staff  to  Senator  Lyda  Green,   Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature, read the sponsor statement for SCR 16 as follows:                                                                  
     Alaska is  avalanche country.   Each year Alaskans  lose                                                                   
     their  lives as  a result  of  avalanches.   One of  the                                                                   
     worst  years was  1999  when 14  people  were killed  by                                                                   
     avalanches in Alaska.                                                                                                      
     Senate Concurrent Resolution  16 would proclaim November                                                                   
     as  "Avalanche  Awareness  Month."    This  proclamation                                                                   
     would raise  public awareness of the  hazards associated                                                                   
     with avalanches and the opportunities  to participate in                                                                   
     avalanche  safety  training  at  the  beginning  of  the                                                                   
     winter  recreation  season.   It  is hoped  that  public                                                                   
     participation  in  avalanche  safety programs  would  be                                                                   
     increased  and that this  increased participation  would                                                                   
     result in saved lives during the winter.                                                                                   
     The  need  for  this  resolution   was  brought  to  our                                                                   
     attention   by  the   Backcountry  Avalanche   Awareness                                                                   
     Response Team (BAART).                                                                                                     
Number 0191                                                                                                                     
ANGELA  REAVIS testified  via teleconference  from the  Matanuska-                                                              
Susitna  (Mat-Su)  Legislative  Information  Office  (LIO).    The                                                              
sister of Keith Coyne, who was killed  in an avalanche in December                                                              
1999, she feels that passing SCR  16 can really raise awareness in                                                              
Alaska  for many  backcountry travelers.   She  hopes that  people                                                              
understand  how much family  members of  the dead support  raising                                                              
awareness in the general public.                                                                                                
Number 0267                                                                                                                     
PAT COYNE testified  via teleconference from the Mat-Su  LIO.  The                                                              
mother of  Keith Coyne,  she asked the  committee to  please think                                                              
about passing SCR  16 because the community had  just lost another                                                              
young man to an  avalanche.  She noted that Alaskans  need to have                                                              
awareness and need it badly.                                                                                                    
CHRIS NOOKES testified via teleconference  from the Mat-Su LIO.  A                                                              
good  friend  of Keith  Coyne  and  president of  the  Backcountry                                                              
Avalanche  Awareness  Response  Team, she  asked  the  committee's                                                              
support in  passing SCR 16  to make November "Avalanche  Awareness                                                              
Month."  She indicated  that in the wake of all  the deaths in the                                                              
last  year, Alaska  really cannot  afford  any more  deaths.   She                                                              
agreed that there  is need for more awareness,  especially because                                                              
there is no longer an avalanche warning  center in the state, even                                                              
though federal law mandates one.                                                                                                
Number 0432                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a motion  to move SCR 16 out of committee                                                              
with  individual  recommendations  and the  attached  zero  fiscal                                                              
note.   There  being no  objection, SCR  16 moved  from the  House                                                              
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               
HCR 13-COMMISSION ON ALASKA'S FUTURE                                                                                          
CHAIR  JAMES  announced  the  next  order  of  business  is  HOUSE                                                              
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION  NO. 13 Creating the Commission  on Alaska's                                                              
Number 0546                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  ALLEN KEMPLEN, Alaska  State Legislature,  said he                                                              
is  the  sponsor  of  a  resolution  creating  the  Commission  on                                                              
Alaska's  Future.  He  noted that  the reason  for putting  HCR 13                                                              
forward is  to address a number  of different issues  that bedevil                                                              
the state.  Over the past few years,  the state has been wrestling                                                              
with the difficulty of crafting a  solution to the fiscal dilemma.                                                              
In  the struggle,  an increasing  sense of  divisiveness has  been                                                              
observed among Alaskans, with Alaskans  seemingly to slowly divide                                                              
into self-interest  groups.  The media has portrayed  the struggle                                                              
as an urban-rural  divide because Alaskans are  no longer together                                                              
on what  is to  be done; the  sense of  common cause, purpose  and                                                              
vision for where Alaska wants to be has been lost.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN noted that  he had come across a good model                                                              
for Alaska  in the state of Oregon.   He had done research  on the                                                              
Oregon  model to  ascertain  how they  crafted  their program  and                                                              
whether it had been  effective.  He found that it  worked for that                                                              
state; in  fact, they  recently came out  with the 1999  benchmark                                                              
performance report,  which they call "Achieving  the Oregon Shines                                                              
Vision."   This  model, which  has  won national  awards for  good                                                              
government, might  be useful to Alaska because  Oregon's situation                                                              
is remarkably similar to the struggles  that Alaska is facing now.                                                              
Therefore,  HCR  13  would  allow the  legislature  to  create  an                                                              
"Alaska vision"  modeled after  the Oregon  program, and  it would                                                              
bring  Alaskans  together  so that  dialogue  as  neighbors  could                                                              
occur.  Out  of that would come  a sense of where Alaska  wants to                                                              
go,  what  it wants  to  achieve,  what  performance it  wants  to                                                              
attain, and how to get there.                                                                                                   
Number 0884                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER said  approximately three  years ago  the                                                              
City of  Fairbanks had  attempted something  very similar  to what                                                              
HCR  13  is proposing.    Fairbanks  had  found  that a  group  of                                                              
individuals came  to every  meeting and had  been to  every public                                                              
meeting for  many years.  It was  a disparate group.   On one hand                                                              
were  those  who  felt  that government  should  have  a  role  in                                                              
virtually every  function that  the city was  involved in;  on the                                                              
other hand  were those  who did not  want government  in anything.                                                              
There was  no compromise,  and Fairbanks  held many meetings  that                                                              
came to no conclusion.  He asked  how Representative Kemplen would                                                              
avoid a similar situation with HCR 13.                                                                                          
Number 0958                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN  replied   that  a  similar  situation  is                                                              
happening right  now in  Anchorage where a  group is  crafting the                                                              
update to the Anchorage Bowl Comprehensive  Development Plan.  The                                                              
group  had developed  a  steering group  and  a working  committee                                                              
involving hundreds  of residents.   From the subsequent  series of                                                              
meetings,  the group  did  come to  a standard  of  goals for  the                                                              
community that people had agreed  upon, and his sense from talking                                                              
to  people is  that  there is  support.   What  made the  meetings                                                              
successful was  the broadness of participation,  whereas having an                                                              
initiative  that  is enough  to  get the  activists  participating                                                              
defines just a  narrow slice of the community.   Participants must                                                              
also reflect the  broader will of the community,  which is why the                                                              
commission is structured with a steering  group but also a working                                                              
group that is fairly broad.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN  noted that  the Alaska  Humanities  Forum                                                              
held  a series  of  town meetings  last  year,  which they  called                                                              
"Principles and  Interest."  Those  meetings just focused  on what                                                              
to  do  about  the  Alaska  permanent  fund, and  it  was  a  very                                                              
informative experience.   The forum  is planning to  continue that                                                              
type of dialogue,  but other groups out there  also are organizing                                                              
themselves to  get their members to  talk about the future  of the                                                              
state.  He envisions that the commission  would build upon citizen                                                              
initiatives and work  with citizens in a real  partnership so that                                                              
all  Alaskans  come  together as  a  people.    It is  breadth  of                                                              
participation that  is most important to meetings,  he emphasized,                                                              
so that what emerges is not just  something that reflects a narrow                                                              
slice  of  a  community  but  rather  reflects  the  broadness  of                                                              
community thinking.                                                                                                             
Number 1240                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER mentioned  that  there are  many who  say                                                              
that broad-based input may be represented  by the legislature, and                                                              
perhaps the legislature  should do what Representative  Kemplen is                                                              
suggesting  by  HCR 13  because  that  is the  legislature's  job.                                                              
Representative  Whitaker  indicated  that the  legislature  should                                                              
describe a  vision for the future  of Alaska and take that  to the                                                              
people when  seeking input.   He asked  what role the  legislature                                                              
plays as Representative Kemplen envisions it.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  replied that  the legislature does  play a                                                              
very  important  role,  and in  this  commission  the  legislature                                                              
serves as the final arbiter of the  vision because there has to be                                                              
somebody  who makes  the  decisions.   He noted  that  there is  a                                                              
pervasive  citizen  distrust  of  the  legislature,  for  whatever                                                              
reasons.   As a  result, it  is difficult  for the legislature  to                                                              
make decisions on  behalf of the whole state when  the citizens do                                                              
not  trust the  legislature to  do  anything.   He suggested  that                                                              
legislators  have to  reach out and  rebuild that  sense of  trust                                                              
with citizens.   He  surmised that  part of  the problem  with the                                                              
legislature is that  it has been difficult to  develop a statewide                                                              
vision  when  representatives  are  focused  on  their  particular                                                              
geographic   areas;    he   indicated   it   is    difficult   for                                                              
representatives from  one area of  this large state  to understand                                                              
the needs of people in other regions.                                                                                           
Number 1482                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  said he understood  that six members  of the                                                              
public would know what the legislature  is doing, according to the                                                              
commission  setup.     He  asked  how  the  public   members  will                                                              
communicate legislative  trust with any effect to the  rest of the                                                              
state.    He also  asked  whether  Representative  Kemplen  really                                                              
believes that what will come out  of HCR 13, should it pass, would                                                              
make any difference.                                                                                                            
Number 1502                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN clarified  that  there are  more than  six                                                              
members  on  the  commission;  the  six  public  members  are  the                                                              
steering committee.   There is also the working  group, where much                                                              
of  the  dialogue   occurs.    The  working  group   would  invite                                                              
participation from  all parts and  segments of Alaska to  define a                                                              
common agenda.   He  envisions that from  the working  group would                                                              
come the crafting of a shared set of Alaskan values.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  remarked   that  the  idea  of  HCR  13  is                                                              
laudable, but he  is concerned because communities  hold community                                                              
council meetings and  town hall meetings but only  about one-tenth                                                              
of  1 percent  of  the population  attends,  and  perhaps only  10                                                              
percent read  about the  meetings.   He asked what  Representative                                                              
Kemplen is  going to do  differently with  HCR 13 to  energize the                                                              
populace.   He said he  sees HCR 13  as another of  many [reports]                                                              
that stack  up and gather  dust.  There  will be a  reporting back                                                              
[to  the legislature],  the legislature  will talk  about it,  and                                                              
that will be the  end of it.  He asked how  Representative Kemplen                                                              
would avoid that.                                                                                                               
Number 1611                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN   replied  that  he  would   avoid  it  by                                                              
enlisting civic  organizations in  the project  because it  is not                                                              
just a  small, elite group  of people  going out and  holding some                                                              
public hearings  about what Alaska should  be doing.  The  way the                                                              
commission is  structured, it involves active  citizen engagement,                                                              
and  it requires  or  encourages  participation  of various  civic                                                              
organizations.   The  result of  HCR 13  would be  a joining  with                                                              
other organizations  such as the  Alaska Municipal  League, school                                                              
boards, cultural groups, community  councils and Rotary Clubs; all                                                              
of  these would  be  part of  the working  group,  and they  would                                                              
include the  discussion about  the future of  this state  on their                                                              
agenda  this fall.   There would  be an  extensive dialogue  about                                                              
Alaska's future,  and it  would not be  just an isolated  group of                                                              
people  doing  a  nice  report  that  sits  on  the  shelf.    The                                                              
commission would  engage and  reach out to  Alaskans in  a serious                                                              
discussion about where Alaska is going.                                                                                         
Number 1748                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  indicated his  concern stems from  a two-day                                                              
[House]  Resources  [Committee]   meeting  that  he  had  attended                                                              
several  years  ago in  Ketchikan  when problems  began  regarding                                                              
logging  the Tongass;  there was  some  very vocal  input from  25                                                              
people because [logging]  was their livelihood.  He  said he could                                                              
not imagine  a more energized  group of  people, yet he  is afraid                                                              
that the concept  of HCR 13 is  going to follow the  same problems                                                              
the legislature has  had with all these other meetings  in that no                                                              
one is going to be able to energize the public.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  answered that if all the  legislature does                                                              
is  rely upon  various  committees  of  the commission  to  garner                                                              
support and engage people in discussion,  the legislature will not                                                              
get  very  much.    It  is  crucial   to  partner  up  with  civic                                                              
organizations and  get them to join  the initiative.   It requires                                                              
the steering  committee to  send out a  call asking for  all civic                                                              
organizations to join in this crucial  conversation about Alaska's                                                              
future and to work with the commission this fall.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  noted that during the summer  everybody is                                                              
out enjoying the  beautiful land, but when September  comes people                                                              
start  participating  in  their   organizations  again  and  start                                                              
looking for topics; this fall, each  of those organizations across                                                              
the state  could be  discussing Alaska's  future.   He noted  that                                                              
newspapers carry  organization meeting  calendars; there  would be                                                              
100 people  that are showing up  at the East Rotary  Club meeting,                                                              
for  example.   Participation would  be far-ranging  in trying  to                                                              
craft a common vision for Alaska.                                                                                               
Number 2031                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA asked if  Representative Kemplen  thought                                                              
the commission would produce a report  with graphs and percentages                                                              
like Oregon's benchmark performance report.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN said that  would be the ultimate objective.                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  commented that  to  her  the graphs  and                                                              
percentages  are  the  most  exciting  thing  about  that  report.                                                              
Although she  is not  sure how much  involvement can  be attained,                                                              
she said it is great if the legislature  can even put together the                                                              
framework  for something  like HCR  13.   She noted  that she  had                                                              
looked at  some of Oregon's  report on  page 15 regarding  tobacco                                                              
and alcohol use;  there is a measurement - from  1980 through what                                                              
appears to  be a projection  through 2010  - on the  percentage of                                                              
eighth-grade  students  who  reported   using  cigarettes  in  the                                                              
previous month.   Therefore,  it is obvious  that Oregon  has done                                                              
its  research.     She   suggested  that   kind  of   quantifiable                                                              
information  really might  help the  legislature.   She  indicated                                                              
that in  most scientific analyses  and certainly  in environmental                                                              
law,  having  no way  to  make  a reasonable  judgment  because  a                                                              
benchmark is lacking has always been  one of the biggest problems.                                                              
She emphasized  that  HCR 13  looks like  a great  idea to her  in                                                              
terms of just getting the information.                                                                                          
CHAIR JAMES asked how much HCR 13 would cost.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  said he had asked civic  organizations how                                                              
much organizing events  and posting meetings would cost.   He said                                                              
the only recent forum that he saw  was the Principles and Interest                                                              
Forum, done  by the Humanities Forum;  they had gone out  to close                                                              
to  100  community  get-togethers.    The  Humanities  Forum  also                                                              
published a report.  They had told him it only cost $250,000.                                                                   
CHAIR JAMES  reminded Representative  Kemplen  that the forum  was                                                              
discussing just  one issue,  but he is  talking about  hundreds of                                                              
Number 2215                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN replied  that  he was  also talking  about                                                              
enlisting  many other organizations  in  the development  of these                                                              
goals about where Alaska wants to go.                                                                                           
CHAIR  JAMES  recalled  that  the  second year  she  came  to  the                                                              
legislature,   the  legislature   had   established  a   long-term                                                              
financial task force; some of the  members of that task force were                                                              
the smartest and best in the state,  and they worked day and night                                                              
through the  legislative interim to  come back to  the legislature                                                              
with a report about  just how to balance the budget.   She did not                                                              
know how  much that  report cost.   Unfortunately,  when the  task                                                              
force came  back with its answer,  the public did not buy  it and,                                                              
consequently, neither did the legislature.   However, in hindsight                                                              
the task  force was probably right.   If this commission  is right                                                              
on  but the  public does  not buy  in,  it would  not happen,  she                                                              
concluded, because  the public drives  the system.   She recounted                                                              
some  of her  person  history working  with  the Community  Action                                                              
Program.  She concluded that HCR  13 is idealistic and sounds good                                                              
on paper,  but it looks  to her like  a driving issue,  and people                                                              
cannot be driven.   If an ideal world existed, HCR  13 would be an                                                              
ideal way to find answers.                                                                                                      
Number 2215                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN disagreed,  saying HCR  13 is no  idealism                                                              
but is real.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES  replied that  she has talked  with people  in Oregon,                                                              
and this is not what they are telling her.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN noted that  he has been talking with people                                                              
in Oregon  also, and perhaps Chair  James has been talking  to the                                                              
wrong people.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR JAMES  answered that  she has been  talking with  her people                                                              
and Representative Kemplen has been  talking with his, and she and                                                              
he are on different sides of the fence.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN  explained  that  HCR  13  is  a  tangible                                                              
product  and  it  has made  improvements,  but  he  admitted  that                                                              
nothing is perfect.  He said he is  not idealistic enough to think                                                              
he can create the perfect solution;  nevertheless, progress can be                                                              
made.   He envisions  that HCR 13  is progress.   Oregon  had made                                                              
progress  with  this program,  and  it  has  helped them  to  come                                                              
together,  though not  perfectly.   He said the  New England  town                                                              
meeting style  of public engagement  is not liberalism but  is the                                                              
core of what America is all about.                                                                                              
Number 2506                                                                                                                     
CHAIR JAMES  indicated that  people who live  in her  district are                                                              
interested  in their community,  and they  participate.   However,                                                              
when the process  is expanded further, fewer people  are found who                                                              
are  willing to  go  that far;  thus  some of  the  voices in  the                                                              
community get  lost in the overall  picture.  She  emphasized that                                                              
it is the legislature's job to bring  community voices to a common                                                              
goal  here in  the Alaska  legislature as  issues are  determined.                                                              
She  agreed 100  percent  with the  town  meeting process,  saying                                                              
there is probably an overall goal  to have such an organization as                                                              
HCR  13  proposes, but  she  is  not  certain  that it  should  be                                                              
sponsored by the government, which gives it a different tone.                                                                   
CHAIR JAMES  said she wants  to listen to  all the people  and get                                                              
them to  the polls  to vote.   She  recounted how  she had  sent a                                                              
letter to constituents  who had not voted a few  years ago, asking                                                              
the reasons;  most said they were  busy doing something  else, and                                                              
some would  have voted if they could  have voted for "none  of the                                                              
above."    She  said  that when  things  are  tough,  people  will                                                              
participate,  but when  things are running  smoothly, people  fade                                                              
off into the sunset.                                                                                                            
Number 2641                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY asked how much the Oregon project cost.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN replied that  he did not know but could get                                                              
that information.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY commented  that the Alaska Municipal League                                                              
(AML) could even do some research,  and maybe there have been some                                                              
other  studies  similar  to  the  Oregon  benchmark  report.    He                                                              
mentioned  that "if  you fail  to plan  then you  are planning  to                                                              
fail."   He agreed  that it  would behoove  the state to  identify                                                              
just exactly where the state is going,  how to get there, what the                                                              
costs are,  who will pay the costs,  and how much each  citizen is                                                              
going to share in  this ride.  Although HCR 13  has merit, selling                                                              
the  public on  it will  involve the  60 legislators  going in  60                                                              
different  directions,  as well  as  the  AML, city  councils  and                                                              
Chambers of Commerce, for example.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY suggested  that the ability to have private                                                              
contributions for something  like HCR 13 would be  beneficial.  He                                                              
added  that a  plan for  the future  or  a direction  needs to  be                                                              
identified and attached to the long-range  fiscal plan in order to                                                              
attract voters.  He recognized that  education can be accomplished                                                              
via the  different entities within  communities across  the state.                                                              
However, HCR  13 is not going  to happen overnight,  and hopefully                                                              
the  161 municipalities  can begin  by talking  about a  direction                                                              
that they, as  communities, can help give by doing  more than just                                                              
community  comprehensive plans.   He  again requested  information                                                              
about the Oregon figures.                                                                                                       
Number 2797                                                                                                                     
KEVIN RITCHIE, Executive Director,  Alaska Municipal League, noted                                                              
that committee  members had a copy  of a resolution passed  by the                                                              
AML Board of Directors in support  of establishing a Commission on                                                              
Alaska's Future,  which occurred after Representative  Kemplen had                                                              
talked to  several board members about  the concept.  On  April 5,                                                              
on a teleconference, the board had  passed a resolution supporting                                                              
HCR 13.   He said  the conversation that  the committee  is having                                                              
today  is interesting,  and it  would be  nice to  say that  every                                                              
committee  is right  about their  comments.  He  agreed that  many                                                              
reports stay  on the shelf and  all the things that  the committee                                                              
said are true on  both sides.  He quoted Yogi  Berra as saying "If                                                              
you  don't know  where you  are going,  you may  end up  someplace                                                              
MR.  RITCHIE  explained   that  the  interesting   thing  is  that                                                              
municipal  leaders are  really enthusiastic  about the  enthusiasm                                                              
that Alaskans  share  regarding the  future of  the state,  and if                                                              
each Alaskan is asked individually,  he/she will give input.  What                                                              
the state  has not  done is  ask Alaskans,  in a coordinated  way,                                                              
about the  vision nor  allowed all  Alaskans to interchange  their                                                              
thoughts.   He agreed that a type  of system like HCR  13 actually                                                              
could  work.   The real  question  is:   How  does government  get                                                              
people  to participate?   And  if  they do  participate, how  does                                                              
government  get leaders to  follow the  input of  the public?   He                                                              
reminded the committee that traditional ways do not work.                                                                       
MR.  RITCHIE remarked  that he  was involved  with the  long-range                                                              
financial planning  commission and went to all  of their meetings.                                                              
The  process involved  some  public hearings  but  focused on  the                                                              
judgments of  people on  the commission.   He recommended  that if                                                              
there  was a  system  like HCR  13, the  central  group of  people                                                              
coordinating it  should not consider themselves  the judgment body                                                              
but the  steering body, to make  sure that people  participate and                                                              
feel  empowered  in  that  participation.     He  recognized  that                                                              
empowerment would  be the biggest  change from the system  that he                                                              
had been involved in at that time.                                                                                              
Number 2824                                                                                                                     
MR. RITCHIE  observed that there  are ways that work  in obtaining                                                              
and   channeling  public   participation.      For  example,   the                                                              
traditional  way of  advertising a  public hearing  in a  regional                                                              
newspaper   in  the  legal   section  does   not  get   people  to                                                              
participate.   He recalled  that  in  New Stuyahok, where  the AML                                                              
had  been talking  with  people  about public  participation,  the                                                              
residents said  they got everybody  in town to participate  not by                                                              
advertising  but by  offering door  prizes;  that is  the kind  of                                                              
thinking  that really  works.   He  mentioned that  Representative                                                              
Smalley had  been involved in  a prototype long-range  fiscal plan                                                              
process held in Kenai, and rather  than just listen to the public,                                                              
there was a very organized system.                                                                                              
TAPE 00-33, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2981                                                                                                                     
MR. RITCHIE  suggested that instead  of advertising an  event, for                                                              
example, the legislature should consult  the voter list and take a                                                              
random  sample  right   off  the  registered  voter   list.    The                                                              
legislature could send  a letter to the voters and  then call them                                                              
to say they  had been chosen   randomly from the  entire community                                                              
to help make decisions.  He acknowledged  that an allegation could                                                              
always  be made that  an event  should be  a generally  advertised                                                              
event, and it is  good to invite everybody, but there  needs to be                                                              
some assurance that  there is going to be a  representative sample                                                              
of folks  present.   He remarked that  there are different  things                                                              
that can be done and the AML would  be excited about doing HCR 13.                                                              
He explained  that the reason  the AML  only had one  hearing last                                                              
year was because  political events about revenue-sharing  overtook                                                              
the  AML, and  other communities  were  not willing  to hold  more                                                              
hearings [about  that] as opposed to  other things that  had to be                                                              
done at  that time.   He concluded that  the AML would  be excited                                                              
about participating  in a process, and he does not  believe it has                                                              
to be totally state- or local-government-centered.                                                                              
Number 2921                                                                                                                     
CHAIR JAMES observed that she has  put together many brainstorming                                                              
sessions  and workshops,  and they  did come up  with some  really                                                              
good  ideas.   She has  found that  in the  political process,  if                                                              
people  get wind that  something  is going to  happen about  which                                                              
they are interested, they will call  their friends and all come to                                                              
the meeting,  thus becoming the majority  at the meeting.   Noting                                                              
that   Representative   Kerttula  had   raised   the  subject   of                                                              
statistics, Chair James said legislators  love statistics but they                                                              
cost  money.   In  fact, administrative  chores  are  a result  of                                                              
demands  for  statistics  from the  legislature  and  the  federal                                                              
CHAIR JAMES said  she has little confidence in  polling because it                                                              
depends on how  the questions are asked.   Nevertheless, gathering                                                              
statistics and polling  are necessary as a society.   However, the                                                              
value  and  cost   are  the  measurements  of   whether  gathering                                                              
statistics is worth the cost.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN responded  that the legislature is facing a                                                              
significant  challenge in  the state  regarding how  to meet  real                                                              
needs in  a fiscally sound  manner, and in  a way that  the public                                                              
will support.   He agreed  with Chair  James that not  many people                                                              
participate  and those  who do  participate have  their own  well-                                                              
defined agendas.   He noted that there is an  increasing isolation                                                              
from one  another caused by technology.   People are in  their own                                                              
little worlds  because of television  and computers, and  there is                                                              
no connection  being built between  neighbors.  He  suggested that                                                              
loss of  a sense of statewide  community is the  biggest challenge                                                              
that Alaska faces.  He emphasized  that the Commission on Alaska's                                                              
Future  would reach  out and  engage Alaskans  in true  discussion                                                              
about community.  [HCR 13 was held over.]                                                                                       
SB 294-CONCEALED HANDGUNS                                                                                                     
Number 2662                                                                                                                     
CHAIR JAMES announced the next order  of business is CS FOR SENATE                                                              
BILL  NO.  294(JUD),  "An  Act  relating   to  the  possession  of                                                              
concealed handguns and to concealed handgun permits."                                                                           
JIM POUND, Acting Staff to the Senate  Judiciary Committee, Alaska                                                              
State  Legislature,  presented  the  sponsor  statement  for  CSSB
294(JUD).  He  told members that [Alaska's concealed  handgun law]                                                              
has been one of the most successful  "concealed carry" programs in                                                              
the United States.   That success is based on  the original intent                                                              
of  the  legislation  to  allow  only  knowledgeable,  law-abiding                                                              
citizens  to obtain  state permits  to  carry concealed  handguns.                                                              
However, there are several recurring  problems with implementation                                                              
and management of the state's program.   He believes the bill will                                                              
improve  and  streamline  the  process   to  obtain  and  renew  a                                                              
concealed handgun permit.                                                                                                       
Number 2630                                                                                                                     
MR.  POUND informed  the committee  that the  bill will  eliminate                                                              
some cumbersome and unnecessary language  written into the statute                                                              
in that  applicants will  no longer  be required  to have  a sworn                                                              
application  and permit holders  will be  allowed to submit  their                                                              
renewal applications  up to  60 days, rather  than 30  days, after                                                              
expiration.   It will also give  the agency more time  to complete                                                              
the renewal process  before the expiration date;  a new photograph                                                              
will be required every ten years,  instead of every five (the same                                                              
as for  a state  driver's license);  and new  thumbprints will  no                                                              
longer  be required  during  the  renewal process  because  prints                                                              
never change.                                                                                                                   
MR. POUND noted  that the bill also  makes changes to some  of the                                                              
training  and education  statutes,  streamlining  the process  and                                                              
making  reciprocity  with  other  states  more  attainable.    The                                                              
applicant will be required to provide  evidence of completion of a                                                              
handgun or  firearms safety  course, but  the bill eliminates  the                                                              
more subjective requirement by eliminating  the specific statutory                                                              
definition  of  "competence,"  which   is  causing  problems  with                                                              
reciprocity and/or  recognition with other states.   He added that                                                              
Alaska State  Troopers now will be  authorized by statute  to help                                                              
teach  handgun courses,  which  may generate  additional  revenue.                                                              
Mr. Pound pointed  out that CSSB 294(JUD) makes  the statute apply                                                              
equally to all citizens statewide  and clarifies the standards for                                                              
recognition of permits from other states.                                                                                       
Number 2518                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noticed that  CSSB 294(JUD) drops the language                                                              
on page 1, line 14, and page 2, lines  1 and 2, where it says "and                                                              
the  possession did  not occur  in a  municipality or  established                                                              
village  in  which   the  possession  of  concealed   handguns  is                                                              
prohibited under."   He asked whether that drops  the provision of                                                              
law that allows a municipality to prohibit concealed handguns.                                                                  
MR. POUND replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN surmised  that  the language  was dropped  in                                                              
order  to comply  with the  uniform application  principle in  the                                                              
MR. POUND answered again in the affirmative.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  noted that another  part of CSSB  294(JUD) is                                                              
"successful   completion  of   a  handgun   course"  rather   than                                                              
"competence with handguns."  Himself  a permit holder, he recalled                                                              
that the most  helpful thing to him in the permitting  process was                                                              
the videos about situations regarding  when and when not to shoot,                                                              
and when it is appropriate to use  deadly force.  He asked if that                                                              
kind of training is still going to  be required in the course.  He                                                              
voiced his  understanding that the  bill would not require  that a                                                              
person re-qualify with a handgun.                                                                                               
Number 2408                                                                                                                     
MR. POUND  replied that  as he  understands it,  the basic  course                                                              
itself will be maintained but the  actual shooting portion may not                                                              
be maintained.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN mentioned that,  frankly, he  thinks it  is a                                                              
God-given  right   to  be  able   to  defend  oneself   against  a                                                              
perpetrator of  a crime who is  bent on harming another  person or                                                              
that person's  family.   He indicated it  would be nice  if people                                                              
could shoot  straight, and it  is probably in their  self-interest                                                              
to do  that, but not  everybody is going  to be a  handgun expert.                                                              
He  emphasized that  having the  right  to defend  oneself on  the                                                              
street should be  prevalent over how well a person  can handle the                                                              
gun;  a  person ought  to  be  able  to brandish  the  weapon  and                                                              
hopefully dissuade  someone from causing harm.   Anyway, he added,                                                              
in an  assault situation  a person usually  is close enough  to be                                                              
effective with  a weapon.  He  called the bill  great legislation.                                                              
He then  asked for  help in understanding  reciprocity  with other                                                              
Number 2318                                                                                                                     
MR. POUND replied that now Alaska's  only reciprocity agreement is                                                              
with Texas because the laws are very  similar; by changing some of                                                              
this legislation,  Alaska will  be able  to have reciprocity  with                                                              
some other  states as  well; which  states Alaska  will deal  with                                                              
depends upon negotiations down the line.                                                                                        
Number 2297                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  asked  about Vermont,  where  everybody  can                                                              
carry concealed  [firearms]  and they do  not need  a permit.   He                                                              
suggested  it is  kind  of like  Sweden  where  people are  almost                                                              
expected to  carry concealed [firearms].   He asked if  Alaska has                                                              
reciprocity with Vermont or whether  a citizen from somewhere else                                                              
carry [firearms] in Vermont.                                                                                                    
MR.  POUND answered  that he  is  not sure  what the  laws are  in                                                              
Vermont, but he would imagine they  are probably written in such a                                                              
way that a U.S. citizen visiting  in Vermont can carry a concealed                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that  he takes a different tack and he                                                              
also carries  a concealed weapon.   He explained that he  took the                                                              
handgun training  course simply to  find out whether it  was going                                                              
to be  a rubber  stamp, or  whether it  was really  going to  be a                                                              
requirement that  a person know how  and when to use the  gun.  He                                                              
was  very  impressed with  the  legal  aspect,  which was  a  full                                                              
portion of  the course.   He indicated  that repeating  the course                                                              
probably  should  be required  upon  renewal because  some  people                                                              
forget.   He recalled  that a young  lady in his  class had  a .32                                                              
[caliber handgun]; she  did not know how to load  it or unload it,                                                              
and she could  not hit the target,  but the trainer did  teach her                                                              
how to aim.  Representative Green  suggested that it is imperative                                                              
to keep the proficiency  test in the requirements  in order to get                                                              
a permit because  he is terrified to think that someone  can get a                                                              
concealed carry [gun permit] and not know how to shoot.                                                                         
Number 2189                                                                                                                     
MR. POUND  indicated his belief  that the proficiency  requirement                                                              
is one  of the primary  glitches in the  reciprocity aspect  of SB
294.  He  mentioned that most  states with concealed  carry [laws]                                                              
do not require proficiency.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN reiterated that it is a big mistake.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  remarked that  CSSB  294(JUD)  says that  it                                                              
drops competence  [requirements]  with handguns,  but it  does say                                                              
"successful  completion of  a handgun  course."   He asked  if the                                                              
Department  of Public  Safety (DPS)  has  regulatory authority  to                                                              
write what that phrase means, which he assumes they can.                                                                        
Number 2149                                                                                                                     
MR. POUND replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN surmised,  on  Representative Green's  point,                                                              
that DPS could write regulations  saying that part of the criteria                                                              
of "successful completion of a handgun  course" is that the person                                                              
be able to hit what he/she is shooting at.                                                                                      
MR. POUND  answered that  the regulation  process could  certainly                                                              
handle that criteria.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN asked  if, by  writing the  statute with  the                                                              
phrase "successful  completion of a  handgun course", it  makes it                                                              
easier for reciprocity.   He recognized that competency  and being                                                              
able to hit the target could be required by regulation.                                                                         
MR. POUND replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
Number 2107                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY  said understood that under  CSSB 294(JUD),                                                              
Alaska State Troopers will now be  authorized or may be authorized                                                              
by  statute to  help  teach handgun  courses,  which can  generate                                                              
additional  revenue.   He  asked  whether  this revenue  would  be                                                              
tagged program  receipt money  or is a  designated fund.   He also                                                              
asked  whether  this  is  on [troopers']  own  time  or  would  be                                                              
overtime, and  inquired as to when this would happen.                                                                           
MR. POUND answered  that he is not really familiar  with that part                                                              
or how that  portion is going to  be set up.  He suspects  that it                                                              
would be  done through the  regulation process, he  added, because                                                              
CSSB 294(JUD) does not specifically  address how it is going to be                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY inquired if  discussions were held with DPS                                                              
prior to that little clause being put into the bill.                                                                            
MR. POUND replied that as far as  he understands, there were prior                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY asked where  the National Rifle Association                                                              
(NRA) stands on this issue.                                                                                                     
Number 2044                                                                                                                     
MR. POUND  answered that  the NRA  is very much  in support  of SB
REPRESENTATIVE  SMALLEY  asked  whether  Mr.  Pound  could  get  a                                                              
statement from the NRA.                                                                                                         
MR. POUND replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY said he thought  it would be good to attach                                                              
the statement to SB 294.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN noted  that driver's  license permits  could                                                              
really be streamlined if proficiency  were not required.  He asked                                                              
Mr.  Pound  if  the Senator  had  thought  about  doing  something                                                              
MR. POUND answered that such streamlining is not on the agenda.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  asked which  communities  have  actually                                                              
forbidden concealed weapons.                                                                                                    
MR. POUND replied  that he is not sure, but he  thinks some of the                                                              
smaller communities have forbidden concealed weapons.                                                                           
Number 1992                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA mentioned  that there is a section in CSSB
294(JUD) about  renewals and  asked how  renewals work  right now.                                                              
She  indicated that  a permit  holder  can keep  using an  expired                                                              
permit  if   the  renewal   process  has   been  delayed   due  to                                                              
circumstances not under the control of the applicant.                                                                           
MR. POUND answered  that presently the renewal is  almost the same                                                              
as  the  initial  process:    the  person  has  to  have  a  sworn                                                              
application, provide a new photograph  and thumbprint, and pay the                                                              
fee.   He  informed the  committee that  CSSB 294(JUD)  eliminates                                                              
some of  the steps:   an  individual will  not have  to get  a new                                                              
photograph or  thumbprint but just has  to pay the fee.   He added                                                              
that the original statute says that  if a person's handgun license                                                              
expired today and he/she was caught  tomorrow carrying a concealed                                                              
weapon, that individual would be in trouble.                                                                                    
Number 1936                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  said she cannot think of  another example                                                              
where a renewal works this way.   She inquired if the person could                                                              
wait until  the last minute  and still  be timely in  submitting a                                                              
renewal.   She  added  that then  the  department  would not  have                                                              
enough time to  process the renewal quickly enough.   She asked if                                                              
the person could still use the expired license.                                                                                 
MR. POUND replied that if the person's  license was expiring, they                                                              
now  would have  a 60-day  window  to still  be legal  to carry  a                                                              
concealed weapon until the departmental [paper]work comes back.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA asked  if he  could think  of an  example                                                              
where something like that is allowed right now.                                                                                 
MR. POUND answered that he could not think of an example.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  stated his understanding that the  law said a                                                              
person could not  apply sooner than 60 days before  the expiration                                                              
date.  He  explained that he  had applied shortly after  that, and                                                              
had received his permit after his  other one had expired, so there                                                              
was a week  or two when he did  not have a license.   He explained                                                              
that the  law said  that if a  person had  the renewal  receipt in                                                              
his/her  possession, the  police would honor  the receipt  because                                                              
there  were  so  many people  applying  that  the  department  was                                                              
Number 1848                                                                                                                     
MR.  POUND  commented  that  most people  had  applied  for  their                                                              
initial  permits immediately  after the  law was  passed, and  the                                                              
permits all  expire at  the same  time.    Therefore, there  was a                                                              
rush on the department in that area.                                                                                            
CHAIR JAMES agreed that it is a good  idea to have a little bit of                                                              
a cushion of  60 days for renewal,  and it is appropriate  to have                                                              
an extension.                                                                                                                   
PORTIA  PARKER,   Aide  to  Senator   Lyda  Green,   Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature, clarified that under  current law, a person can apply                                                              
for renewal  90 days prior to the  expiration of the permit.   She                                                              
noted that  the impetus for the  legislation was the  problem with                                                              
renewals,   which  took   a  long   time   and  were   cumbersome.                                                              
Furthermore, DPS  was backlogged, so  even though people  tried to                                                              
get  their  permits  renewed,  they  had  expired  permits  simply                                                              
because the  department did not get  the permits to them  in time.                                                              
Therefore, the  exemption was put  into CSSB 294(JUD) to  say that                                                              
if a person has  done everything he/she is supposed  to do and for                                                              
some the  reason the department has  not returned the  permit, the                                                              
person can still  carry the expired permit although  it has passed                                                              
the expiration date.                                                                                                            
MS. PARKER indicated  that on page 7 and 8,  specific criteria are                                                              
listed for  recognizing other  permits.  She  said the  problem is                                                              
that  17 states  were  recognized when  the  first law  originally                                                              
passed.  Later, someone either reviewed  the law or interpreted it                                                              
differently; as a result, only Texas  is recognized for carrying a                                                              
permit in  Alaska.  Therefore,  CSSB 294(JUD) clearly  states that                                                              
if a person  is permitted from  another state which  requires that                                                              
the person  be at  least 21  years of  age and  eligible to  own a                                                              
handgun, and that the person must  have completed a handgun safety                                                              
course and  be subject  to a fingerprint  criminal record  search,                                                              
then that person  can carry [a concealed handgun]  in Alaska.  Ms.                                                              
Parker noted  that even though anyone  can carry a  gun, concealed                                                              
or openly, for any  reason in Vermont and does not  need a permit,                                                              
that person  would not be allowed  to carry [a  concealed handgun]                                                              
in Alaska because of SB 294 criteria.                                                                                           
CHAIR JAMES asked if Ms. Parker knew  of any communities that have                                                              
opted out of the "concealed carry" law.                                                                                         
MS. PARKER replied  that only one community, Haines,  has tried to                                                              
opt out, and it was defeated on a 4-1 vote.                                                                                     
Number 1431                                                                                                                     
DEL  SMITH,  Deputy Commissioner,  Department  of  Public  Safety,                                                              
noted that  Lieutenant Hudson  was online  for the more  technical                                                              
aspects because  he administers  this program.   Mr. Smith  agreed                                                              
with  Mr.  Pound  that  Alaska has  one  of  the  most  successful                                                              
concealed handgun laws  in the country.  There  are 12,000 permits                                                              
and very few problems with the people  who hold permits.  He added                                                              
that there are no problems as a result  of the requirements placed                                                              
upon  acquiring a  permit.   However,  the thumbprint  requirement                                                              
upon renewal of  12,000 permits has proven to  be problematic and,                                                              
in  retrospect, the  department is  not sure  that the  thumbprint                                                              
accomplishes much.                                                                                                              
MR. SMITH  stated that  there are  a few things  in the  bill that                                                              
might  be tweaked,  but as  to the  reciprocity issue,  he is  not                                                              
entirely  sure upon  what  criteria the  lieutenant  at that  time                                                              
based his assessment  in granting reciprocity to 17  states.  Upon                                                              
reviewing  reciprocity  under  Lieutenant   Hudson's  purview  and                                                              
creating  a matrix, it  was found  that Texas  was the only  state                                                              
that actually  met the criteria  of Alaska.   He added  that Texas                                                              
had copied the Alaska law, which he finds interesting.                                                                          
MR.  SMITH  noted that  Arizona,  Oklahoma  and maybe  some  other                                                              
states allow  an unlimited  amount of  misdemeanor convictions  as                                                              
long as a  person is not violent.   However, Alaska law  limits it                                                              
to two class  A misdemeanors within  six years; and any  more than                                                              
that  precludes  a  person  from   carrying  a  concealed  weapon.                                                              
Therefore, he  mentioned that in the department's  interpretation,                                                              
Arizona's law  is not as strict  as Alaska's.  He  emphasized that                                                              
"dumbing down"  Alaska's law  in order  to meet requirements  from                                                              
other  states for  people to  carry concealed  handguns in  Alaska                                                              
does not  necessarily mean  that the  other state  is going  to be                                                              
reciprocal to Alaska.                                                                                                           
Number 1201                                                                                                                     
CHAIR JAMES suggested  perhaps Alaska should be  more lenient like                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted that Section  7 of CSSB 294(JUD) changes                                                              
the  qualification  of carrying  the  caliber,  but it  does  keep                                                              
intact subsection  (a), which says  "An applicant for a  permit to                                                              
carry  a  concealed   handgun  shall  provide  a   certificate  of                                                              
successful completion of a handgun  course that is approved by the                                                              
He asked if Mr.  Smith perceives that the department  will approve                                                              
a course  that does not  require some qualification  for shooting.                                                              
He  surmised that  although qualification  for  shooting is  being                                                              
taken out  of the law  to help  reciprocity, the department  could                                                              
require, by regulation, competence in shooting.                                                                                 
MR. SMITH replied that he certainly  would argue for competence in                                                              
shooting.   However,  in  the preparation  of  regulations, as  he                                                              
understands it, the  department could not be more  strict than the                                                              
law is; the department  is just interpreting the  law and applying                                                              
it to the everyday world.  Therefore,  if the legislation does not                                                              
say that a  person had to be  competent, then he is not  sure that                                                              
the  department could  require  competency -  but  he would  argue                                                              
personally and professionally that  it is important.  He clarified                                                              
that he  would certainly try  to write competency  into regulation                                                              
but he  does not  know if  the department  would be successful  in                                                              
upholding the regulation if someone complained.                                                                                 
Number 1037                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN   noted  that  part  of  the   section  being                                                              
eliminated  requires competence  with  a certain  action type  and                                                              
caliber. He  asked if Mr.  Smith is saying  that a  handgun course                                                              
would not  involve shooting.  He  further noted that the  law does                                                              
not  say that  the course  has to  teach which  end of  a gun  the                                                              
bullet comes out  of.  He asked if the department  could not write                                                              
a regulation to cover that concern  because it is not written into                                                              
the  law.     He  explained   that  he   is  surprised   that  the                                                              
administration is  not going to interpret statute  with regulation                                                              
because that is generally what the administration does.                                                                         
Number 0947                                                                                                                     
MR. SMITH  agreed, adding  that he  would want  to put  competency                                                              
into   regulation;   however,   he    remembers   that   the   NRA                                                              
representative's  testimony in  the  [Senate] Judiciary  Committee                                                              
and the  representative's conversations  with Mr. Smith  privately                                                              
were to the effect  that a number of states do  not require actual                                                              
firing of  the weapon; the NRA  representative had argued  that it                                                              
is not  necessary, and some instructors  in the state  have argued                                                              
that too.  He  added that other instructors have  that they do not                                                              
care what  the law says  - no student  will leave without  showing                                                              
competence.   He reiterated  that he would  try to get  competency                                                              
written into regulation  but it is entirely possible  that someone                                                              
might object and stop the regulation.                                                                                           
CHAIR JAMES recalled  that the issue, when the bill  was passed in                                                              
the beginning, was a handgun course  similar to the NRA's personal                                                              
protection handgun course.   Lawmakers knew what that  was at that                                                              
time; therefore, anything in that  course had to be in any handgun                                                              
course or else  the course would not qualify for  acceptance.  She                                                              
explained that she  is troubled about people not  having even shot                                                              
their guns; however,  she does not have so much of  a problem with                                                              
people from  other states because  if a person from  another state                                                              
has a concealed handgun license and  they come here, he/she surely                                                              
must have shot  a gun.  She  commented that she could  not believe                                                              
that somebody would  get a permit in another state  without having                                                              
shot a gun and come here seeking reciprocity rights.                                                                            
CHAIR JAMES  mentioned  that action type  is extremely  important,                                                              
too. She  indicated that just cocking  an automatic is  a struggle                                                              
for her.   She  prefers a revolver  with which  she can  shoot her                                                              
target without  a lot of trouble.   She added that the  gun's size                                                              
is  not nearly  as  important to  her  as the  action  type.   She                                                              
suspects that maybe  the NRA would change the  personal protection                                                              
class, Chair  James said, but if  that were the case, it  might no                                                              
longer qualify  as a  class under CSSB  294(JUD).  She  reiterated                                                              
that she is a little uncomfortable  that the bill does not require                                                              
competency.  She does not have a  problem with not requiring other                                                              
states to  have the same kind  of class that Alaska  requires, but                                                              
wants to ensure that Alaska has a  class that requires competency.                                                              
She asked  whether CSSB  294(JUD) includes  a class that  requires                                                              
competency and  whether, in  the writing of  the bill,  Alaska has                                                              
changed its competency requirement.                                                                                             
Number 0677                                                                                                                     
MR.  SMITH replied  that CSSB  294(JUD)  eliminates the  mandatory                                                              
requirement  to  demonstrate  competency  with a  handgun  and  to                                                              
qualify with an action type or maximum  caliber handgun.  He noted                                                              
that if  Alaska recognized Arizona's  permit, a person  could come                                                              
up here  for 120  days and  carry a concealed  handgun based  upon                                                              
his/her Arizona permit.  He commented  that he would not know what                                                              
Arizona's permit requirements  were, even though he  would look at                                                              
their  law,  because  their regulation  would  just  say  "handgun                                                              
course" - and whether that requires firing, who knows?                                                                          
CHAIR  JAMES explained  that  she certainly  supports  reciprocity                                                              
because  she  wants to  be  able to  carry  [a handgun]  in  other                                                              
states; she mentioned Florida in particular.                                                                                    
MR.  SMITH  responded  that  Alaska  has  not  recognized  Florida                                                              
because a person  in Florida can apply through the  mail to obtain                                                              
a  concealed  handgun permit;  Florida's  law  does not  sound  as                                                              
strict as Alaska's.                                                                                                             
Number 0539                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  JAMES indicated  there  have been  no  handgun problems  in                                                              
Florida,  either,   and  history  shows  that  people   who  carry                                                              
concealed handguns are not a problem.   She emphasized that she is                                                              
trying to find the mentality behind  the legislation as opposed to                                                              
the emotional  fear as to what might  be out there.   She said she                                                              
had used Florida  as an example because if a person  ever needed a                                                              
gun, Florida would be the place.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GREEN   indicated   he  cannot   understand   why                                                              
reciprocity  should  be  increased   by  dropping  the  competency                                                              
requirement.   He reminded the committee  that the example  he had                                                              
spoken of happened  in Alaska:  this woman, who  was his neighbor,                                                              
had come to  the handgun class with  a loaded weapon that  she did                                                              
not know  how to use.   To allow somebody  to obtain a  license in                                                              
the state  under those circumstances  is no less  detrimental than                                                              
allowing someone  to read a driver's  manual and then claim  to be                                                              
able  to drive a  car.   He himself  has a  driver's license  from                                                              
Alaska, which  he can use  to drive in  all other states  [because                                                              
possessing  a driver's  license implies  driver  competency].   He                                                              
asked why the  committee cannot approach reciprocity  of concealed                                                              
carrying of  a gun in the  same manner:   as long as a  person can                                                              
demonstrate proficiency.   He asked  why the committee  would want                                                              
to drop  competency regarding  something so important,  especially                                                              
in view  of the  fact that  even the  waiting period  to obtain  a                                                              
handgun has been increased.                                                                                                     
Number 0253                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  JAMES said  Representative  Green ought  to  file a  formal                                                              
complaint against  the handgun instructor if incompetency  is such                                                              
a problem with  him, because in the original bill  it was required                                                              
that  the lady  would have  had to  train with  an instructor  who                                                              
would then authorize  her to obtain a permit.  She  agreed that it                                                              
is a serious issue.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  replied that is what he had  said.  He noted                                                              
that the woman  had learned to use  her gun in the course,  but it                                                              
was a  course that required  that she  show competency.   Although                                                              
when she  finished the  course, she could  shoot it,  she probably                                                              
had not used it since then and would  not be able to pass the test                                                              
now  because  she  has  not  practiced.     He  pointed  out  that                                                              
competency was in the original law,  which is why he had voted for                                                              
it.   He stated that it  is a bad,  bad idea to  start diminishing                                                              
requirements now in SB 294.                                                                                                     
Number 0132                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN remarked  that maybe  handguns should  not be                                                              
sold to people  unless they have  taken a course.  He  said people                                                              
can carry guns right  out in the open with impunity.   He referred                                                              
back to  the constitutional  right to keep  and bear arms  and the                                                              
God-given  right,  in his  opinion,  to  defend oneself  or  one's                                                              
family from attack.   He explained that the right  to bear arms is                                                              
an overriding concern,  and if competency were a  problem in other                                                              
states, Alaska  would hear about  it from President  Bill Clinton,                                                              
who he said was  going around the country telling  everybody about                                                              
the evil of handguns.                                                                                                           
TAPE 00-34, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0026                                                                                                                     
MR. SMITH said he is a little concerned  that Representative Green                                                              
thinks the department  is pushing SB 294, when in  fact it is not.                                                              
He stated that SB  294 came about as a result of  a hearing in the                                                              
Senate Judiciary  Committee.   He reiterated  that the  department                                                              
administers the  handgun program, and he  is trying to do  it in a                                                              
way that serves the people of the  state and implements the law in                                                              
the way that  the department understands  it to be.  He  hopes the                                                              
committee recognizes that over the  past five years the department                                                              
has  been very  diligent  in trying  to do  that  in working  with                                                              
folks.  He  acknowledged that there  are a number of  concerns, as                                                              
he has expressed  here, and he administers the program  as best he                                                              
can, based upon the law.                                                                                                        
MR. SMITH  informed  the committee  that he thinks  some of  these                                                              
things are  going too far because  he does not know  that Alaska's                                                              
law  should  be gutted  to  meet  a standard  for  outside  states                                                              
regarding   reciprocity,   although   he   does   recognize   that                                                              
reciprocity  is  a  problem,  as  was brought  up  at  the  Senate                                                              
Judiciary Committee hearing.  He  emphasized that he believes that                                                              
the  department   is  interpreting  the  strictness   of  the  law                                                              
correctly, and the department's hands  are tied as long as that is                                                              
the situation.                                                                                                                  
Number 0145                                                                                                                     
SENATOR  ROBIN   TAYLOR,  Alaska  State  Legislature,   said  CSSB
294(JUD)  was a  result of  hearing from  many people,  especially                                                              
Lieutenant Hudson,  who indicated he  was having a  difficult time                                                              
because  so  many Alaskans  became  licensed  when the  law  first                                                              
passed; now each  of those people is due for renewal  within a 30-                                                              
day  period, so  Lieutenant Hudson  is flooded  with requests  and                                                              
SENATOR  TAYLOR  said  that  Representative  Green  is  absolutely                                                              
correct  regarding  competency.     Many  people  out  there  have                                                              
purchased handguns  but probably  do not  know much about  handgun                                                              
operation.   He  commented that  he is  sure that  the loaded  gun                                                              
became  a major point  of instruction  for all  the class  members                                                              
when the woman  showed up for class  with one.  He  mentioned that                                                              
the Senate  Judiciary Committee had  heard testimony  from several                                                              
different instructors  and had received letters  from others which                                                              
showed that there  is not a course offered in  Alaska where actual                                                              
firing  on the range  is not  used.   He indicated  that the  only                                                              
people probably  exempt from this  requirement are  retired police                                                              
officers,  military  personnel or  others  who can  demonstrate  a                                                              
clear level of training, education  and significant use.  He noted                                                              
that the instructor  has to sign off on each  person; before doing                                                              
that, the  instructor is  going to make  certain those  people are                                                              
Number 0451                                                                                                                     
SENATOR  TAYLOR remarked  that  people who  are  authorized to  be                                                              
instructors -  both in the  Alaska State  Troopers and out  in the                                                              
private sector  - are  very conscientious.   However, he  admitted                                                              
that  such information  does  not address  Representative  Green's                                                              
question about reciprocity.   He asked how there  can be assurance                                                              
that  a person  coming to  Alaska  from another  state would  have                                                              
exactly the same  level of training that Alaska  requires; he said                                                              
there is  no good answer,  and the answer  must be left up  to the                                                              
expertise of  Lieutenant Hudson and  others who are  administering                                                              
the program to  really review the effective aspects  of competency                                                              
that  are   required  in   other  states   before  Alaska   grants                                                              
Number 0559                                                                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR  reported that he  and Lieutenant Hudson  had tried                                                              
an additional amendment  for the bill, which was  going to attempt                                                              
to forget about all the different  standards because two standards                                                              
that exactly line  up will never be found.   Lieutenant Hudson had                                                              
suggested -  which Senator  Taylor thought made  a lot of  sense -                                                              
that if a state  granted reciprocity to Alaska,  then Alaska would                                                              
grant reciprocity  to that  state.   However, Senator Taylor  said                                                              
that  when discussing  the  amendment  with his  colleagues,  they                                                              
found  it might  go  a  little beyond  some  of the  criteria  and                                                              
standards in  the original  law; he was  not comfortable  in going                                                              
quite that far.   He suggested that the amendment  would have been                                                              
based on  common sense and easy  to administer, and it  would have                                                              
provided to other  states the incentive to allow  Alaskans who are                                                              
licensed to carry concealed [handguns] in those states.                                                                         
SENATOR  TAYLOR  reiterated  that  he  does  share  Representative                                                              
Green's concern,  and that  is why  handgun classes are  required.                                                              
He  noted that  he  had recently  visited  the  police academy  in                                                              
Sitka, where  he spoke  with the gun  instructor.  The  instructor                                                              
was going  to make certain  that a few  people in that  course did                                                              
not  graduate because  the instructor  was  concerned about  their                                                              
flippant attitudes;  instead, the instructor was  going to require                                                              
those few  people to  start thinking  a little  more about  it and                                                              
come back  again.  Senator  Taylor commented  that he  has respect                                                              
for  the people  who are  putting  on these  courses because  they                                                              
really are  concerned, and they are  very careful about  whom they                                                              
license  and whom  they  do not  license.   In  contrast, in  many                                                              
states  a person  can  literally  swing  by the  county  sheriff's                                                              
office,  pay ten  dollars and  obtain  a permit.   Senator  Taylor                                                              
mentioned that he had done a lot  with CSSB 294(JUD) and hopes the                                                              
reduction was not too much, thereby causing the bill to fail.                                                                   
Number 0741                                                                                                                     
CHAIR JAMES said she has shared and  listened to the same concerns                                                              
that Representative  Green has expressed.  She noted  that she had                                                              
changed her position on that issue  [reciprocity] strictly because                                                              
of problems.   She explained that  when they lived in  Oregon, her                                                              
husband  had  obtained  a concealed  handgun  permit,  which  just                                                              
required filling out  an application.  He obtained  another permit                                                              
after  moving to  Washington.   And when  he came  to Alaska,  the                                                              
first  thing he  wanted to  look  into was  obtaining a  concealed                                                              
handgun  permit.   However, he  could not  get one,  which is  the                                                              
reason that  she had  filed legislation  in the beginning  because                                                              
she  thought  Alaska  should  have  a  concealed  handgun  permits                                                              
CHAIR  JAMES noted  that she  had not  heard of  any damage  being                                                              
caused by  those folks in Oregon  or Washington who  had concealed                                                              
handgun permits, nor has all of the  concealed handgun legislation                                                              
passed by  states resulted  in problems for  the states.   Even if                                                              
people had  never handled a  gun before they  went to a  class, no                                                              
problems  have arisen.   She  is  convinced, she  said, that  some                                                              
fears are just caused by many different  personal experiences that                                                              
people have had.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted that the  committee is about to lose its                                                              
quorum and said he would like to move the bill if he could.                                                                     
Number 0931                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  JAMES  replied that  there  is  an amendment  to  consider.                                                              
Noting that  the bill would go  to the House Judiciary  Committee,                                                              
she surmised that the amendment could be done there.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN pointed out  that the bill  would have  to be                                                              
moved first but that the committee had just lost its quorum.                                                                    
CHAIR  JAMES  said  a  quorum  was   not  necessary  to  adopt  an                                                              
MS. PARKER  indicated the amendment  changes a section to  make it                                                              
consistent with other  changes already made in  another section of                                                              
CSSB 294(JUD).  The change has to  do with the initial application                                                              
no  longer requiring    a certified  signature  under oath.   A  a                                                              
person still has  to attest that everything in  the application is                                                              
true to the best of that person's  knowledge, and that if a person                                                              
is untruthful on the application,  the permit can be revoked.  She                                                              
commented that the  sponsor wanted to make that change  to make it                                                              
a little  bit easier for people,  but it still is  consistent with                                                              
all other public documents.  She  mentioned that a person could be                                                              
prosecuted  for  unsworn  falsification if  false  information  is                                                              
MS.  PARKER  referred  to  page 6,  lines  13  and  14,  regarding                                                              
renewal.  She  noted  that  it still  had  "under  oath"  in  that                                                              
subparagraph, so the corresponding  change had not been made under                                                              
renewal  as had been  done under  the original  application.   She                                                              
informed the  committee that the  amendment deletes  "under oath";                                                              
it also  puts the warning  in that  everything in the  application                                                              
document is true, to the best of  the person's knowledge, and that                                                              
if the  person  intentionally supplies  inaccurate information  or                                                              
untruths, the person can be prosecuted.                                                                                         
Number 1062                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN offered Amendment  1, 1-LS1543\H.1, Luckhaupt,                                                              
4/12/00, which read:                                                                                                            
     Page 6, lines 13-14:                                                                                                       
          Delete "shall be submitted under oath and"                                                                            
          Insert "[SHALL BE SUBMITTED UNDER OATH AND]"                                                                          
     Page 6, line 22:                                                                                                           
          Delete "and"                                                                                                          
     Page 6, line 23:                                                                                                           
          Delete "[(5)]"                                                                                                        
          Insert "[AND (5)]"                                                                                                    
     Page 6, line 23, following "AS 18.65.720":                                                                                 
          Insert "; and                                                                                                       
                         (5) the warning                                                                                      
                          listed in AS                                                                                        
CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objection.  There being none,                                                                
Amendment 1 was adopted.   [CSSB 294(JUD) was held over.]                                                                       
Number 1190                                                                                                                     
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 10:00                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects