Legislature(1993 - 1994)

05/01/1993 10:40 AM Senate FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                           May 1, 1993                                         
                           10:40 a.m.                                          
  SFC-93, #71, Side 1 (490-end)                                                
  SFC-93, #71, Side 2 (575-475)                                                
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
  Senator  Drue  Pearce,  Co-chair, convened  the  meeting  at                 
  approximately 10:40 a.m.                                                     
  All  committee  members  (Co-chairs  Pearce  and  Frank  and                 
  Senators  Jacko, Kelly,  Kerttula,  Rieger, and  Sharp) were                 
  ALSO  ATTENDING:   Representative  Ron Larson;  Judy Mathis,                 
  aide  to  Representative  Larson;  and  aides  to  committee                 
  members and other members of the legislature.                                
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
  HB 113    -    CHARITABLE & TELEPHONIC SOLICITING/SALES                      
                 Discussion was had with Representative Larson                 
                 and  Judy  Mathis.    The  bill was  HELD  in                 
                 committee for testimony from legal staff.                     
  HB 158    -    APPROP: CONTRACT SETTLEMENT COSTS                             
                 SCS CSHB 158 (L&C) (totaling $9,075,408)  was                 
                 REPORTED OUT  of committee  with a "do  pass"                 
  HB 209    -    COMMUNITY HEALTH AIDE GRANTS                                  
                 The bill was REPORTED OUT of committee with a                 
                 "do pass" recommendation and zero fiscal note                 
                 from the Dept. of Health and Social Services.                 
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 158(L&C)                                               
       An Act  making appropriations  for contract  settlement                 
       costs   and   cost-of-living  adjustments   for  public                 
       employees  who   are  members  of   certain  collective                 
       bargaining units; and providing for an effective date.                  
  [Mechanical  problems with tape  deck.  This  portion of the                 
  minutes reflects transcription of shorthand notes.]                          
  Co-chair Pearce directed that CSHB  158 (L&C) be brought  on                 
  for  discussion.    She  then  noted  the  Senate  Labor and                 
  Commerce Committee Substitute and queried members concerning                 
  disposition of the bill.  Senator  Kelly MOVED that SCS CSHB
  158   (L&C)    pass   from    committee   with    individual                 
  recommendations.  No objection having  been raised, SCS CSHB
  158 (L&C) was  REPORTED OUT of committee.   Co-chairs Pearce                 
  and  Frank and Senators Kelly,  Rieger, and Sharp signed the                 
  committee report with  a "do pass" recommendation.   Senator                 
  Kerttula signed "no rec."  Senator Jacko  signed "Hold until                 
  264 moves."                                                                  
  HOUSE BILL NO. 209                                                           
       An Act relating to community health aide grants.                        
  Co-chair Pearce  directed  that HB  209  be brought  on  for                 
  consideration.    Senator  Rieger MOVED  that  it  pass from                 
  committee  with individual  recommendations.   No  objection                 
  having been  raised, HB  209 was  REPORTED OUT  of committee                 
  with a zero fiscal note from the Dept. of Health and  Social                 
  Services.  Co-chairs  Pearce and  Frank and Senators  Jacko,                 
  Kelly, and  Rieger signed  the committee report  with a  "do                 
  pass" recommendation.   Senators Kerttula  and Sharp  signed                 
  "no rec."                                                                    
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 113(FIN)                                               
       An Act regulating the solicitation  of contributions by                 
       charitable  organizations and  paid solicitors  and the                 
       solicitation of sales by telephonic means; and amending                 
       Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 79 and 82.                              
  Co-chair Pearce directed that CSHB  113 (Finance) be brought                 
  on for  discussion and  noted interest  in the  bill by  the                 
  Cancer Society.   Senator Kerttula attested to  instances in                 
  which  individuals   have  lost   money  to   telephonically                 
  conducted scams.   Co-chair  Pearce observed  that the  bill                 
  would provide a "cooling off" period for telemarketing.                      
  [Recording problems were  corrected at  this point in  time.                 
  The remainder of the minutes reflect tape transcription.]                    
  REPRESENTATIVE RON  LARSON, sponsor of the legislation, came                 
  before committee.   Senator Rieger  asked if the  bill would                 
  provide  for   notations  in   phone  directories   advising                 
  customers  that they  could  choose no  to  be solicited  by                 
  phone.  Representative Larson  explained that that provision                 
  was contained within legislation sponsored by Representative                 
  Brown.   While inclusion  within HB  113 was  discussed, the                 
  provision was not added.                                                     
  Senator Kelly referenced the $5,000  limitation and asked if                 
  those seeking to raise over that  amount would be subject to                 
  provisions  of  the bill.   Representative  Larson responded                 
  affirmatively.   JUDY MATHIS, aide to Representative Larson,                 
  added that reporting requirements merely consist  of filling                 
  out a registration form for filing with the Dept. of Law.                    
  As background information,  Representative Larson  explained                 
  that the bill originated  as a result of a  national meeting                 
  of the American Cancer Society.  Concern was raised, at that                 
  time,  that "look  alike organizations"  were  "ripping off"                 
  legitimate charities.  The proposed  bill is patterned after                 
  legislation enacted in  several other states to  address the                 
  problem of telephonic solicitation by  illegal means.  Under                 
  the bill,  the Dept.  of  Law would  be given  the power  to                 
  extradite illegal telephonic solicitors from out of state to                 
  Alaska for  trial.   Senator  Kelly voiced  support for  the                 
  thrust of the  legislation.  He expressed  concern, however,                 
  regarding the $5,000 limit,  suggesting that it is not  high                 
  enough.   He  spoke to  possible adverse  impact on  smaller                 
  charities  that  might not  have  the wherewithal  to become                 
  knowledgeable   of   state   regulations    and   additional                 
  bookkeeping  associated with  reporting  requirements.   Co-                 
  chair Frank concurred and questioned  whether there was need                 
  for a threshold.                                                             
  Senator Rieger referred to language at page 10, lines 20 and                 
  21,  and  advised  of his  understanding  that  a  church or                 
  religious organization would be  exempt from the legislation                 
  and able to  raise any  amount it  chooses.   Representative                 
  Larson concurred.                                                            
  Co-chair Frank inquired concerning the "cooling  off" period                 
  for  telemarketing contracts.   Judy  Mathis explained  that                 
  under bill provisions  a telemarketer  would be required  to                 
  send  a contract to  the purchaser of goods.   The sale does                 
  not become valid until the purchaser signs the contract.                     
  End, SFC-93, #71, Side 1                                                     
  Begin, SFC-71, Side 2                                                        
  A telemarketer may  not simply obtain the  customer's credit                 
  card number  over the  phone and  conclude the  transaction.                 
  This  provides  a  cooling  off  period for  purchasers  who                 
  subsequently feel they  were pressured  by the  telemarketer                 
  into buying something they did not want.                                     
  Both  Senator  Kelly  and  Co-chair  Frank voiced  need  for                 
  testimony from  staff at the  Dept. of  Law and  Legislative                 
  Legal Services regarding the effect of Alaska Rules of Civil                 
  Procedure  changes contained  within  the  bill.    Co-chair                 
  Pearce advised that  the meeting would soon  be recessed for                 
  majority  and  minority  caucuses.    She suggested  that  a                 
  teleconference  be  scheduled  with  Jim  Forbes,  Assistant                 
  Attorney General, Fair  Practices Section, Dept. of  Law, in                 
  Anchorage and that he testify  before committee later in the                 
  Co-chair  Frank  posed   an  additional  question  regarding                 
  "prohibited presentations" at page 3.  Representative Larson                 
  explained  that   the  language  is   intended  to  prohibit                 
  telemarketers  from  listing  licenses, qualifications,  and                 
  other credentials  intended  to  entice  the  customer  into                 
  buying.  Co-chair  Frank suggested  that if the  credentials                 
  and representations are valid, there should be no problem in                 
  presenting  them.    Representative  Larson noted  instances                 
  where false or misleading information is given in  an effort                 
  to establish legitimacy.                                                     
  In response to  a question from Senator  Rieger, Judy Mathis                 
  explained  that  the legislation  relates  to calls  made by                 
  telemarketers  to  customers.     It  would  not   apply  to                 
  situations  whereby  the customer  calls  to obtain  a price                 
  (airline fares were used as an example) or purchase an item.                 
  Senator Rieger  questioned whether  language at  page 1  was                 
  clear on that issue.                                                         
  Co-chair  Pearce  directed  that  the  meeting be  recessed,                 
  subject to a call of the chair.  The meeting was recessed at                 
  approximately 11:10 a.m.                                                     

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