Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/21/1995 09:15 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
MINUTES SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE MARCH 21, 1995 9:15 a.m. TAPES SFC-95, #16, Side 1 (000-575) SFC-95, #18, Side 1 (000-575) SFC-95, #18, Side 2 (576-600) CALL TO ORDER Senator Rick Halford, Co-chair, convened the meeting at approximately 9:15 a.m. PRESENT Co-chair Halford, Senators Phillips, Rieger, and Sharp were present. Senator Donley joined shortly after the meeting began. Co-chair Frank joined as the meeting was in progress. Senator Zharoff was not in attendance. Also Attending: Senator Miller, Representative Toohey, Margot Knuth, Department of Law, Criminal Section; Sharon Barton, Department of Administration; Juanita Hensley, Department Public Safety, Driver Services; Dennis Poshard, Director, Charitable Gaming Division; Mike Greany, Director, Legislative Finance; Pam Neal, Alaska Chamber of Commerce; Marveen Coggins, Legislative Aide to Rep. Toohey; and Bryce Edgmon, Legislative Aide to Rep. Foster. SUMMARY SB 92 AHFC SUBJECT TO EXEC. BUDGET ACT Discussion was had with Representative Toohey and Sharon Barton. HB 92 was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and a $170.6 fiscal note from the Department of Administration. HB 146 SLED DOG RACE CLASSIC Discussion was had with Bryce Edgmon, Dennis Poshard, and Pam Neal, regarding CSHB 146 (L&C) am. Further discussion will be taken up next week. HB 21 DRIVER'S LIC REVOCATION;ALCOHOL/DRUGS Discussion was had with Senator Miller, Rep. Toohey, Marveen Coggins, Margot Knuth, and Juanita Hensley regarding CSHB 21 (FIN). Further discussion will be taken up at the next meeting 3/22/95. SB 82 DRIVER'S LIC REVOCATION;ALCOHOL/DRUGS This bill is closely associated with HB 21. Discussion and action centers on HB 21. There was no discussion on this bill. HOUSE BILL NO. 92 "An Act extending the termination date of the Citizens' Review Panel for Permanency Planning; and providing for an effective date." Co-chair Halford invited Representative Toohey to join the committee. Representative Toohey presented testimony regarding HB 92. (Testimony is attached.) Senator Rieger asked if the Citizens Review Panel is active. Marveen Coggins, Legislative Aide to Rep. Toohey noted that the Permanency Planning Panel and the Foster Care Review Panel are one in the same. The formal name is the Citizen's Review Panel for Permanency Planning (CRPPP). Co-chair Halford invited Sharon Barton, Dept. of Administration, to join the committee. Ms. Barton testified that since December of 1994, she has supervised the CRPPP in Anchorage. She pointed out the zero fiscal note emphasizing the money for this function has been included in the governor's amended budget. Co-chair Halford read a statement from the OMB instructions on fiscal notes. "Please remember that fiscal notes extending an entity under sunset review should display the ongoing cost of operations and any associated review generated by the passage of the sunset legislation. These types of fiscal notes should be footnoted to indicate that the expenditures are contained in the proposed operating budget, and that the revenues are reflected in the revenue projection." He noted that this is current as of January 20th of this year, consistent with the statute. He pointed out that there does need to be a fiscal note. It does need to note that the money is in the budget. Ms. Barton said that a fiscal note of $170.6 had been submitted with the bill. House Finance replaced it with a zero fiscal note. She noted that the department would be happy to resubmit a fiscal note. Co-chair Halford responded that as long as the fiscal note meets the law, and OMB's guidelines follow the law, the Senate and House Finance Committees can zero it out. The Committees must be presented with the actual cost before a conscious decision to zero it out can be made. Discussion was had regarding the amount of $170.6. Ms. Barton stated that it pays for salaries for 3 staff people who: research and organize the cases; distribute to the panels; recruit the volunteer panels; facilitate the meetings with families; search out family members who need to be in attendance at those meetings; and coordinate with the Public Defender Agency, Public Advocacy Staff, DFYS and others involved in the reviews. Hundreds of hours are donated, but it requires the staff to make them function well. Senator Sharp inquired if these employees are of the Department of Administration. Ms. Barton indicated they are. Senator Sharp asked further about the $170.6. She indicated that $1.0 is allocated for travel, recognizing that supervision comes out of Juneau, making travel to Anchorage a couple times a year necessary. Leasing is now required for the CRPPP as they are needing their own space. Co-chair Halford asked if the amount of $170.6 is in the budget. Ms. Barton indicated that it is. It was not in the Hickel budget, it is an add-on by Governor Knowles. She noted that it was funded at $104.6 in FY 95. At that level it did not fund a staff of three. She indicated that in order to be minimally functional, they must have a staff of three. Co-chair Halford indicated that the House took the fiscal note and zeroed it out saying it was in the budget. He noted that this was not a consistent policy. Co-chair Halford made it clear to the sponsor, that the bill would have a better chance of being funded as a fiscal note rather than through the budget. Co-chair Frank MOVED for passage of HB 92 with individual recommendations. No objection having been raised, HB 92 was REPORTED OUT of committee with the original fiscal note of $170.6 from the Department of Administration. Co-chair Halford asked Senator Phillips to research the funding to bring before the conference committee for final decision making. HOUSE BILL NO. 146 "An Act relating to sled dog race classics." Co-chair Halford introduced Bryce Edgmon, Legislative Aide to Representative Foster. Mr. Edgmon testified on CSHB 146 (L&C) am. He cited SB 66 as a cross-reference. HB 146 was amended on the House floor to address concerns of legislators from the interior. He indicated that the change to the bill was the removal of the words, "sled dog race classics". This is the gaming term that was originally used. He noted, "sled dog race classics" was removed and "mushing sweepstakes" was added. He said that there are smaller mushing organizations that do conduct raffle activity and use the term "sled dog race classics". He stressed that had legislation gone through in its current form with "sled dog race classics", it would have given Iditarod Trail Committee exclusive authority to use that term. That caused some of the smaller racing organizations concern which subsequently led to the bill being amended on the House floor. Senator Phillips questioned why the title is mushing sweepstakes instead of mushing classics? Mr. Edgmon responded that a generic term was picked. He indicated that the term "sweepstakes" was favored. Discussion was had with regard to the title. Senator Donley asked why the Iditarod Trail Committee make the decisions? Mr. Edgmon responded that there are differing interpretations on language. The attempt in this legislation is to place in the statutes the authority to the trail committee to allow for game activities, and wager on arrival times, check points and finish line into Nome. Senator Donley asked to explore the trail committee's authority. Mr. Edgmon responded that right now, the statutory authority allows for wagering on the racing time of a dog team or of a team position in the race. This bill would allow for the wagering of the arrival times, check points, and finish line of the Iditrod. Co-chair Halford invited Dennis Poshard, Director, Charitable Gaming Division, to the table. Mr. Poshard responded to Senator Donley's question by stating that Statute AS 05.15.690(11), under the definition of dog mushers contest, states: "A contest in which prizes are awarded for the correct guess of the racing time of a dog team or of team position in the race, including prizes to the race contestants." Senator Donley stated that he voted against this in the past. His concern is that unlike the other classics, this one is ripe for potential abuse. He suggested provisions for safeguards. His other objection to this bill is that there are no funds collected to pay for the safeguards. Mr. Poshard mentioned that there is a 1% tax that all permittees pay on gaming proceeds paid annually to the division. Pull Tabs have, in addition to the 1% tax, a 3% tax assessed when they are purchased from the distributor. Co-chair Halford asked what is the difference between a mushing sweepstakes and a dog mushers contest? Mr. Poshard responded that according to the Department of Law, and the Division's interpretation of the statutes, there is no difference. At this time, this type of gaming could be conducted under the current provision of dog mushers contests. Mr. Edgmon mentioned that there are small scale gaming activities similar to what this bill would authorize, but at this point it has never been conducted on a state- wide level. The department does not have regulations pertaining to what is legal. From the department's viewpoint, there is potential for differing interpretation of the language. It is envisioned that the Iditarod Trail Committee will be doing the game activity in a large scale. Co-chair Halford questioned how the department would deal with the concerns that Senator Donley raised? Mr. Poshard responded that it would be the same method being used currently to oversee dog mushers contests as they exist. Discussion was had on the concerns centering around safeguards for potential abuse of the contests. Co-chair Halford suggested a regulatory structure for the department along with a fiscal note if necessary, to provide the safety required for the contests. Senator Donley suggested a higher tax rate for gambling. He stated that gambling is exempt from equal protection under the United States Constitution. Co-chair Halford said that with this particular bill the only game you could tax would be the Iditarod, and he could not support it. Co-chair Halford invited Pam Neal, President, Alaska Chamber of Commerce, to join the table. She stated her support of the legislation. The Chamber's interest is that we've been concerned about the continued funding capabilities of the Iditarod. The Iditarod Committee raised their concerns on funding with the board of directors of the state chamber of commerce, at the legislative priority setting session in December. At that time Ms. Neal stated that the Board of Directors rejected the legislation proposed because it contained the check-off on the permanent fund, along with other issues. The committee subsequently reworded the resolution. The Chamber's interest is to find a path for supporting sled dog racing. Senator Donley asked if the Chamber had solutions to prevent abuses? Ms. Neal indicated it was not a matter of discussion. The focus was on funding. She indicated however, the Chamber would support safeguarding against abuse. Co-chair Halford asked that the department work with Senator Rieger to provide a safety measure that will insure safeguarding the games. He suggests that the legislation stay within the title. Co-chair Halford said that this will be held in committee under "bills previously heard" and address it again next week. HOUSE BILL NO. 21 "An Act relating to revocation of a driver's license for illegal possession or use of a controlled substance or illegal possession or consumption of alcohol by a person at least 13 but not yet 21 years of age; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 82 "An Act relating to revocation of a driver's license for illegal possession or use of a controlled substance or illegal possession or consumption of alcohol by a person at least 13 but not yet 21 years of age; and providing for an effective date." Co-chair Halford took up HB 21 which is the companion bill to SB 82. He invited Marveen Coggins, Legislative Aide to Representative Toohey to join the table. Ms. Coggins testified in support of HB 21. (Testimony is attached.) Subsequently, Co-chair Halford asked Senator Miller, as sponsor of SB 82, to speak to HB 21. Senator Miller, as representative of District Q, stated that SB 82 "relates to revocation of a driver's license for illegal possession or use of a controlled substance or illegal possession or consumption of alcohol by a person at least 13 but not yet 21 years of age". SB 82 does not relate to firearms. In his investigation, the only difference is that most of this activity happens in the city of Anchorage. The city of Fairbanks, unlike the testimony that was given, changes under state statute because they do not have their own city ordinance regarding minor consumption. The vast majority is under the Anchorage law. As a matter of fact, over 50% of the cases which relate to minors and alcohol does come under this statute rather than state law. It has shown to be a strong deterrent to teenage drinking and drug use because they can identify with loosing their driver's license. It'll be the committee's decision to decide upon firearm use. Co-chair Halford questioned municipal ordinances regarding firearm provisions. Senator Donley agreed to the concern and talked about the general conformity of municipal ordinances with state law. He inquired as to the provisions within this legislation that require the municipal ordinance to be substantially similar to the state law? Further, he noted an incidence where state and municipal law were not in agreement. He cited an incidence involving the city of Anchorage. Municipal law has made it illegal for women to carry mace in their purses. This action made it necessary for the Legislature to legislate a statute to make it legal for people to carry defensive weapons. He stated he supported this legislation, but wanted parameters surrounding the kinds of ordinances they can adopt to make it apply. Discussion was had on alcohol related violations, and firearm violations pertaining to the revocation of the driver's license. Co-chair Halford asked that Margot Knuth, Department of Law, Criminal Section, and Juanita Hensley, Department of Public Safety, Driver Services, to join the committee. Ms. Knuth, noted that there is a difference between what the department is doing with "Use it/Loose it" for alcohol and firearms. The difference which applies to firearms in section 28.15.185, requires a court conviction or adjudication for the offense. She suggested the committee consider changing words on page 3, line 25, "or municipal ordinance...", to read, "with substantially similar elements", it would maintain the intent of the bill. Senator Rieger asked if the language in sections 1 and 2 was as clear as in section 5? Ms. Knuth responded that the way the draft reads, each of the places where it says, "or municipal ordinance" does tie back to either the alcohol or controlled substance section and adds or extends it for those violations. Senator Rieger asked for clarity on the draft language. Ms. Knuth answered that if there is an ambiguity in the statute, it always gets held against the state. She stated that the language does require the citation be for the offense that is the focus of these proceedings. She stated that there are provisions that require the factual basis for the citation. It would be very difficult to say, "here is the factual basis for the conduct", and "here is a citation that does not relate to it". Senator Rieger stated his fear of a presumption of guilt until innocent. He noted that with this legislation, the police officer can take the driver's license before the adjudication or conviction. The only protection for the victim is through the request of an administrative review. There is a presumption of guilt based on probable cause. Ms. Knuth disagrees with a presumption of guilt. When charged with a criminal offense and a trial is set, it indicates respect for the charge. She stated that there is an ability to request a hearing at which the defendant asks the state to prove its case. The defendant does not have to make an affirmative showing that they were not drinking, the burden remains with the government to show that there was a violation. Anytime there are charges, there is enough from the charge to keep the proceedings going along and to hold a factual adjudication. There is the option to choose a hearing, that is a right. Senator Rieger asked if there is an adjudication is there a conviction? Ms. Knuth stated that adjudications do not result in convictions. He asked how to satisfy the language on page 4, lines 3-9. He asked if not convicted because it was not in adjudication then nothing is done under paragraph 2? Ms. Knuth responded to start on page 3, lines 28-31. In speaking to a juvenile adjudication, the language, "if convicted", should also be read to include, "adjudicated". Otherwise, there is a situation where the license is lost because of adjudication for an offense and cannot be restored unless convicted of the offense, which the law does not intend. Senator Rieger expressed his concerns with small town convictions and revocation of driver's licenses. Ms. Knuth defined "probable cause" as evidence that uncontroverted, would lead a reasonable person to believe that the offense was committed beyond reasonable doubt. Discussion was had on "probably cause". Co-chair Halford determined that this bill will be first on the agenda tomorrow. He stated that the fiscal note and Letter of Intent do not make sense as they read. The Letter of Intent may be applying to last years revenue. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:00 a.m.