Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/29/1996 09:25 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
MINUTES SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE April 29, 1996 9:25 a.m. TAPES SFC-96, #100, Side 1 and 2 SFC-96, #101, Side 1 (000-218) CALL TO ORDER Senator Rick Halford, Co-chairman, convened the meeting at approximately 9:25 a.m. PRESENT In addition to Co-chairmen Halford and Frank, Senators Phillips, Rieger, Sharp, and Zharoff were present. Senator Donley arrived as the meeting was in progress. ALSO ATTENDING: Representative Kay Brown; Barbara Craver, office of the attorney for the City and Borough of Juneau; Reed Stoops, representing MCI; Ray Gillespie, representing AT&T/ALASCOM; Ken Erickson, aide to Senate President Pearce; Tom Wright, aide to Representative Ivan Ivan; and aides to committee members and other members of the legislature. ALSO PARTICIPATING VIA TELECONFERENCE FROM ANCHORAGE: Joe McKinnon, Assistant Attorney General, Commercial Section, Dept. of Law. SUMMARY INFORMATION HB 109 - PHONE DIRECTORY LISTING/SOLICITATIONS/ADS Testimony was presented by Representative Kay Brown, Joe McKinnon, Reed Stoops, and Ray Gillespie. Amendments 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 were moved. Amendments 1, 2, and 3 were adopted. Amendment 4 failed, and Amendment 5 was before committee when the meeting was recessed with direction from the chairman that the sponsor develop new language relating to a two-tiered approach. HB 493 - INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT:ALCOHOL/DRUG ABUSE Tom Wright and Barbara Craver came before committee to present follow-up information subsequent to the previous hearing on the bill. Amendments 1 and 2 were adopted. SCS CSHB 493 (Fin) was then REPORTED OUT of committee with a $75.4 fiscal note from the Court System, an indeterminate note from DOA(OPA), and zero notes from DPS, DH&SS, DOA(PDA), and the Dept. of Law. CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 493(JUD) am An Act relating to treatment for alcoholism or drug abuse. Co-chairman Halford directed that CSHB 493(Jud) am be brought on for discussion. Senator Rieger advised that discussion with the sponsor indicates that the sponsor has no problem with amendments relating to the first two issues raised at yesterday's hearing on the bill. While the sponsor has no problem with the third item, he pointed out that language relating to an individual who wilfully initiates an involuntary commitment petition is very close to existing law which appears to be working. Senator Rieger advised that he had prepared an amendment to cover the first two items. Co-chairman Halford referenced a pending motion by Senator Zharoff for adoption of Amendment No. 1. BARBARA CRAVER, Assistant to the Attorney for the City and Borough of Juneau, came before committee. She explained that the amendment would add a new section to allow a public health facility to take custody and establish an alcohol hold on a person for a short period of time. It would also allow for transfer of the individual to a public treatment facility as soon as the individual is medically stable. In response to questions from Co-chairman Halford, Ms. Craver said the amendment would not change time-limit provisions. The public treatment facility would use a 48- hour hold (existing law under AS 47.37.180). Under subsection (c), the facility could ask the court to extend that hold an additional three days (a total of five days). That would require court authorization rather than merely an administrative proceeding. For the initial 48 hours, the health facility could hold the individual. Hopefully, within that time the individual could be transferred to the public treatment facility. If the individual needed to be held longer at either a public treatment or health facility, the public treatment administrator would notify a superior court judge and request that the hold be extended up to three additional days. That is usually done over the phone. Within that period of time, the public treatment facility would have to determine whether to release the individual at the end of the five days or file a petition with the superior court for 30-day involuntary alcohol commitment. Co-chairman Halford inquired regarding the standard that would apply should an individual file civil charges against having been held. Ms. Craver guessed that the claim might be false imprisonment. She said that has never happened. The individual would have to prove that the application was made in bad faith or on insufficient grounds. Ms. Craver stressed that authorization to hold would be provided through the courts. She noted that in making application to hold, the administrator of a facility would have to provide the court with a physician's certificate for extension beyond 48 hours. The certificate consists of a signed statement from the physician citing the facts upon which the physician believes the individual is intoxicated and incapacitated by alcohol or drugs. While the certificate does not constitute sworn testimony, it provides the kind of evidence upon which the court would rely. Co-chairman Halford called for objections to Amendment No. 1. No objection having been raised, Amendment No. 1 was ADOPTED. Senator Rieger moved for adoption of Amendment No. 2. He explained that the amendment addresses potential for an unintentional increase in liability. Addition of new language at page 5, line 9, deleting "shall provide" and inserting "must be capable of providing," is intended to ensure that individuals will be assigned to appropriate facilities. The second change at page 7, line 18, is intended to ensure that facility administrators and peace officers will not be held criminally or civilly liable for detaining, "or failing to detain," or releasing an individual. Co-chairman Halford called for objections to Amendment No. 2. No objection having been raised, Amendment No. 2 was ADOPTED. Co-chairman Halford queried members regarding disposition of the bill. Senator Sharp MOVED that SCS CSHB 493 (Fin) pass from committee with accompanying fiscal notes. No objection having been raised, SCS CSHB 493 (Fin) was REPORTED OUT of committee with a $75.4 fiscal note from the Court System, an indeterminate note from the Dept. of Administration (OPA), and zero notes from the Dept. of Public Safety, Dept. of Administration (PDA), Dept. of Law, and Dept. of Health and Social Services. CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 109(JUD) An Act relating to telephone solicitations, advertisements, and directory listings. At the direction of Co-chairman Halford, CSHB 109 (Jud) was brought on for discussion. REPRESENTATIVE KAY BROWN came before committee to speak to her bill. She explained that while telemarketers believe that federal law relating to telephone soliciting is sufficient, she does not share that belief and feels that the proposed bill is complementary to and not in conflict with federal provisions. She acknowledged that questions had been raised regarding whether it is possible for Alaska to regulate interstate calls. Research by the Dept. of Law indicates that two federal acts govern the issue. The most recent indicates that states are free to legislate in this area. Representative Brown noted that Assistant Attorney General Joe McKinnon was available to testify via teleconference. She further directed attention to backup information containing his remarks before the House Judiciary Committee. The sponsor next referenced an amendment to include language conforming to legislation sponsored by Senator Rieger as well as clarification of costs and who will pay them. She agreed that the list should "be a reasonable charge, an incremental cost . . . to telemarketers." Representative Brown noted that she asked that Amendment No. 1 (9- LS0424\G.1, Cramer, 3/12/96) be drafted at the request of the Alaska Newspaper Association. It provides that "people who have a program have a good faith exception or . . . a good faith defense." She further advised that she had no objection to Amendment No. 2 proposed by Senator Pearce. While the second amendment is "a little bit off the subject of this bill," it fits within the context of the legislation. She pointed to possible constitutional issues surrounding establishment of penalties for improper use of telephone polling. However, the amendment is narrowly tailored and reflects a reasonable attempt to address the problem. Representative Brown voiced lack of support for the GCI amendment which would not apply proposed state law to companies regulated under federal 47 CFR, part 64. She stressed that the amendment would "essentially gut the bill with respect to interstate regulation" and apply it only to intrastate calls within Alaska. That application would drive businesses out of the state. The sponsor said she would rather "not have the bill than have that amendment attached to it." Representative Brown explained that under the proposed bill a customer could purchase, for a reasonable fee, a marking in the phone book which says, "Don't call me." It is then the responsibility of telemarketers to obtain that list and run it against computerized files. The result will provide telemarketers with listings of people who are more receptive to telephone solicitations. Senator Randy Phillips asked why pollsters are exempt from the bill. He noted that polling entities are profit- oriented businesses that directly solicit opinions via telephone. He then asked why they should be considered separately from other telemarketers. Representative Brown voiced support for the exception, advising that polling plays a role in democracy. Those covered by the bill solicit money by phone. Senator Phillips stressed that pollsters are paid to extract opinions via the telephone. He said that he did not see a clear difference between polling and other telephone solicitations that generate profits. Representative Brown noted that pollsters do not solicit money from people. They ask for an opinion, and that opinion is aggregated with other opinions to give groups or policy makers a reading on public opinion. It is a valuable tool by which policy makers and candidates "find out what the electorate thinks." It is thus important to distinguish between that type of phone call and those made to solicit business or money from people. Senator Phillips voiced his belief the proposed bill would appeal to those seeking to guard their privacy to the utmost. He then questioned whether those individuals would want to receive phone calls from either telemarketers or pollsters. Representative Brown noted that those wishing to avoid all telephone solicitations can presently do so by obtaining an unlisted number. The proposed bill represents "a middle ground that allows you to have a listed number but put solicitors on notice that you don't wish to receive calls in your home." It would not prohibit friends, family, and others from easily obtaining your number and calling. Those who want ultimate privacy will continue to obtain unlisted numbers. Senator Rieger voiced his belief that a large segment of people might not want commercial calls but wish to continue to express opinions to pollsters. He further suggested that polling might be less objective, bias, and defeated if the pool is too restricted. Co-chairman Halford asked if polling is conducted by random, numerical dialing and suggested that an unlisted number would not provide protection from those calls. Representative Brown acknowledged that unlisted numbers continue to receive randomly generated calls, but the volume is much lower than for those with publicly listed numbers. Co-chairman Halford asked if the bill would prohibit random numerical selection because of notations in the telephone book. Senator Rieger voiced his understanding that it would prohibit random selection since it will be the responsibility of the telemarketer to obtain the list of "do not calls" and screen out those numbers. Co-chairman Halford advised of his hope that unlisted numbers would be incorporated within the list of "do not calls." Representative Brown voiced her understanding that unlisted numbers are not given out. "Do not call" numbers will be published in the phone book, but they will have an identifying mark indicating they do not wish to receive commercial solicitations. The telemarketer can obtain an electronic copy of "do not call" numbers for the purpose of matching it against the telemarketer's numbers, so that "do not calls" are not solicited. Co-chairman Halford asked if there was a way to ensure that mechanical dialing devices will treat unlisted numbers as "do not calls." Representa- tive Brown responded that nothing would prohibit a local telephone company from asking unlisted customers if they wish to be included within "do not call" lists for telemarketers. Co-chairman Frank advised of difficulties in making distinctions between polling calls, commercial calls, and charitable calls. He pointed specifically to the practice of "push polling." He suggested that there is nothing "pure" about polling relative to the public process, and he proposed that perhaps two asterisks could identify those who wish to receive neither commercial nor polling calls. Senator Rieger noted that Amendment No. 2 by Senator Pearce addresses that issue. Co-chairman Frank voiced his belief that there should be no exception for polling. It should be "lumped" in with everything else. Co-chairman Frank further spoke to situations whereby charities hire a telemarketing firm to conduct polls and/or solicitations. Senator Donley asked if legal opinions had been prepared regarding constitutional free speech implications of different levels of regulation. Representative Brown said that the issue had not been researched except in relation to Amendment No. 2 by Senator Pearce. Review indicates that regulation should be as narrowly tailored as possible. A supreme court decision found that anonymous fliers are permitted. The requirement that "people disclose things is not a proper regulatory tool." Further discussion of the decision relating to fliers followed. Representative Brown stressed that the federal government has regulated commercial speech over the telephone. There is no question about state ability to do so in a reasonable manner. Political speech is highly protected under the constitution. The proposed amendment is narrowly drafted in terms of effect and enforcement. Representative Brown directed specific attention to the four items listed on page 2 of the amendment, and noted that all have to be present to constitute telephone campaign misconduct. Senator Donley referenced page 1, line 19, of Amendment No. 2 and noted lack of a complete sentence following (b). Senator Rieger suggested that language be added to read: The court may award damages, including punitive damages, for a violation of this section. Senator Donley concurred. Senator Zharoff pointed to file material entitled "FTC News" and referenced information indicating that the new rule which became effective December 31, 1995, prohibits telemarketers from calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m., and from calling consumers who have said they do not want to be called. Representative Brown explained that under federal law each telemarketer can call a person independently. If the consumer states he or she does not wish to be called in the future, each company maintains a separate list. A consumer could thus receive many calls--each from a different company. The difference between that approach and the proposed bill is that unwanted calls could be stopped with a single act. The proposed bill goes further than federal law since the federal approach does not effectively reduce the number of calls. Senator Donley referenced file material from MCI indicating that Alaska is prohibited from extending state law to interstate telephone solicitations. Representative Brown cited two acts whereby the federal government has regulated the activity. The most recent states: Nothing contained therein shall prohibit an authorized state official from proceeding in state court on the basis of an alleged violation of any civil or criminal statute of such state. JOE McKINNON, Assistant Attorney General, Dept. of Law, next spoke via teleconference from Anchorage. He acknowledged that the issue in question represents a "gray area." Separate federal acts address the issue. The 1991 Act speaks to automatic dialing devices and artificial, pre- recorded voice systems. It provides for FCC adoption of rules regarding "do not call" regulations. Pursuant thereto, the FCC adopted regulations which require each company to maintain a list of those who have asked not to be called. Three years later, Congress enacted the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 1994--a more comprehensive act dealing with telemarketing in general. It requires disclosures to be made, places restrictions on hours, sets record keeping requirements, etc. Regulations adopted by the Federal Trade Commission also include "do not call" rules which are essentially the same as the 1991 Act. Gray areas stem from the fact that each law takes a slightly different approach to state preemption. The 1991 Act specifically states that it does not preempt any state law which imposes more restrictive intrastate requirements. That seems to imply that interstate jurisdiction is federal. However, the 1994 Act specifically authorizes state officials to proceed under any state civil or criminal statute. The National Association of Attorney Generals interprets that as a statement of non- preemption as did the Federal Trade Commission in its regulations. It thus appears that the two federal statutes conflict on the issue of state preemption. The Alaska Dept. of Law has concluded that since the 1994 Act is more detailed, more comprehensive, and more recent in time, courts would look to it to determine whether or not state preemption exists. If a court challenge were brought, it would start with the presumption that Congress did not intend to preempt state law; that federal jurisdiction is limited. Based on the interplay of the two statutes, it is believed that the court would give more weight to the more recent statement of Congress, given the fact that the 1991 Act is fairly ambiguous. Mr. McKinnon advised that while this is indeed a gray area, the Dept. of Law has concluded that the state would more than likely prevail in asserting jurisdiction. Senator Donley asked if other states had exercised authority in the area. Mr. McKinnon voiced his understanding that Florida and Oregon have enacted statutes similar to that proposed for Alaska. There have been no court tests of those statutes. REED STOOPS came before committee on behalf of MCI. He distributed correspondence and an attached legal memorandum from western counsel which speaks to applicability of proposed legislation to interstate telemarketing. Mr. Stoops also distributed a summary of the telephone consumer protection act, FCC regulations adopted pursuant to the act, and FTC advisory bulletins on the same subject. Mr. Stoops explained that in addition to the "do not call" list required to be kept by each individual company, adherence to hours during which calls are prohibited, and prohibition against auto-dialers, an industry list is also purchased by most of the 3,600 major interstate marketers. While there is a mandatory "do not call" list, there is also a voluntary industry vehicle by which individuals may be identified without having to talk with each individual company. MCI concerns relate to belief that the state is prohibited from adopting regulations of this sort in conflict with the telephone consumer protection act. Testimony before the FCC focused on the balance between the rights of telemarketers to conduct interstate commerce versus the right of consumers to protect their privacy. END: SFC-96, #100, Side 1 BEGIN: SFC-96, #100, Side 2 If every state was allowed to adopt provisions similar to those in the proposed bill, national telemarketers would annually have to consult every phone directory in the United States to determine who is on the "do not call" list. That is too burdensome and too expensive. For MCI, telemarketing was one means by which the company grew to a size where it could compete with AT&T. The amendment suggested by MCI would exempt companies regulated by and in compliance with federal law. Adoption would not "gut the bill" in that it would continue to apply to nonprofits, in-state marketing, and out-of-state companies that are not in compliance with federal regulations. In his closing remarks, Mr. Stoops noted that new technology incorporated within the "caller I.D. service" being implemented by telephone companies in Alaska will allow consumers to screen calls coming into their homes. RAY GILLESPIE next came before committee on behalf of AT&T/Alascom. He voiced support for consumers who wish to avoid unwanted phone calls. However, given comprehensive federal laws and regulations, AT&T/Alascom feels the proposed bill is unnecessary since it duplicates and goes beyond federal requirements. It would also be costly and burdensome. Mr. Gillespie attested to difficulties involved in dealing with different requirements in 50 different states. Existing federal law is tough. Violation can result in a $10,000 penalty. The federal act specifically empowers each state attorney general to enforce federal law in each state. Mr. Gillespie concurred in earlier comments that federal law would preempt HB 109 provisions which purport to regulate interstate telemarketing. The FCC rejected use of specifically marked telephone directories and instead ordered industry based, company specific "do not call" lists for the following reasons: 1. It was the most effective and efficient way to permit telephone subscribers to avoid unwanted telephone solicitations. 2. Company specific "do not call" lists would impose the cost of protecting consumer privacy on the telemarketer rather than on telephone exchanges. 3. Specific "do not call" lists are more likely to be accurate than a national data base because a single party is responsible. The FCC concluded that the option of special marketing directories combines the disadvantages of maximum costs to all participants with the minimum potential effectiveness and is, therefore, not a suitable means of accomplishing the goals of federal law. Mr. Gillespie voiced support for the amendment proposed by GCI and MCI. Senator Rieger said he had no objection to Amendment No. 1 (9-LS0424\G.1) which he explained creates a duty of care on a company conducting telephone solicitations but includes hold harmless provisions if the company has an employee who inadvertently makes an improper telephone solicitation. Senator Zharoff raised a question regarding how the amendment reads. Representative Brown voiced her understanding that a company would not be in violation of standard reckless disregard provisions if it complied with the requirements set forth in subsections (1) through (4). There is a similar provision in federal law. Telemarketers indicated they would feel more comfortable with standards spelled out in state law as well. Co-chairman Frank attested to need to add language indicating that "corrective disciplinary action has been implemented." Senator Donley moved for adoption of the following new language as an amendment to the amendment: Between Lines 13 and 14 add a new subsection (5): (5) the person has taken corrective action to prevent continued violations. Co-chairman Frank noted need to indicate that the problem has been brought to the employer's attention. Co-chairman Halford concurred in need for the employer to be aware of the problem before corrective action can be taken. Senator Rieger suggested that reference to corrective action be included as additional language within subsection (1). Senator Donley withdrew his proposed amendment to the amendment. Senator Rieger then moved to add the following language to subsection (1) at line 7: After "section," add: including corrective actions, where appropriate; Co-chairman Halford called for objections to the amendment to Amendment No. 1. No objection having been raised, the amendment to Amendment No. 1 was ADOPTED. Co-chairman Halford then called for objection to adoption of Amendment No. 1. No objection having been raised, Amendment No. 1 was ADOPTED. Senator Rieger MOVED for adoption of Amendment No. 2 (Senator Pearce's amendment, 9-LS0424\G.3) with the following change at page 1, line 19: Following the word "damages," add: for a violation of this section. Senator Donley raised a question regarding citation of AS 15.56.110(b) at line 22 of the amendment. KEN ERICKSON, aide to Senator Pearce, came before committee. He explained that the citation lists actions of a governing body. If one is found guilty of violation of this section, it lists what would happen thereafter. The governing body, in this case the legislature, would hold a vote, and the individual would be expelled from his or her seat by a two-thirds vote. Senator Randy Phillips suggested that provisions within Amendment No. 2 appear more appropriate to campaign reform legislation. Co-chairman Halford noted that the amendment would require a title change for HB 109. He voiced support for the intent of the amendment but suggested that "a title amendment may not do this bill any good at this point." He then asked if the amendment would fit within the title of legislation dealing with campaign reform. Co-chairman Frank expressed reluctance to effect a title change that might jeopardize passage of the bill. Senator Rieger concurred, advising that he would abide by the wishes of either the sponsor or the Co-chairman as to whether they wished to add the amendment to a different vehicle. Co-chairman Frank voiced support for the thrust of Amendment No. 2 but raised a question regarding language at page 2, lines 9 and 10. He suggested that subsection (4) would be difficult to prove. Ken Erickson explained that the intent was to make language mirror slander statutes. Co-chairman Frank raised concern that the language might render the amendment ineffective in application because it is "so complicated . . . and vague that it can't be enforced." Determination should rest merely upon whether statements are true or false. That is the easier standard to prove. The damaged candidate should not have to prove that statements damaged his or her reputation for honesty, integrity, or qualifications. Proving that statements by an opponent are false should be sufficient. The Co-chairman suggested that subsection (4) be removed from the amendment. Mr. Erickson cautioned that the result of removal would be to "protect candidates more than the average person." Co-chairman Frank noted that the situation involves two candidates running for office rather than private individuals. The integrity of the electoral process is at stake. The Co-chairman suggested that the same high test for slander should not necessarily be applied in this instance since motivation for private individuals to defame one another is not the same as in the political arena. He said he was not necessarily focusing upon damage to the individual candidate so much as damage to the electoral process through manipulation and distortion. The process is destroyed if false statements are allowed to go unchallenged and unprosecuted. If an individual makes a false statement, he or she should be held accountable, regardless of whether or not it destroys a candidate's integrity. Representative Brown said she could live with the amendment either way. She voiced support for the higher standard, noting that the amendment ventures into a gray area in terms of attempts to regulate political speech which is highly protected under the constitution. Public officials are not subject to slander with respect to public records and reputation. As an example, she cited a school board association flier which listed numerous people who the flier indicated voted against education because of final votes on the budget. What may be true or false is not always clear cut. While members voted against the bill, it was not a fair statement to characterize the vote as one against education. In developing Amendment No. 2, the drafter attempted to craft narrowly tailored language that serves the legitimate interest of the state. Removal of subsection (4) would broaden language that attempts to achieve a balance. Ken Erickson cautioned against inclusion of more stringent protections for candidates that make them appear more protected than the average citizen. Co-chairman Frank formally MOVED to delete subsection (4) at page 2, lines 9 and 10, of Amendment No. 2. Senator Donley objected, saying that criminal law involves "a whole different standard of specificity . . . ." It may be appropriate to include subsection (4) language. Co-chairman Halford called for a show of hands on adoption of the amendment to Amendment No. 2. The motion carried on a vote of 4 to 3, and the amendment to Amendment No. 2 was ADOPTED. Senator Zharoff referenced application to municipal, borough, state legislative, and gubernatorial races and asked why it would not apply to statewide races. Mr. Erickson responded that federal law would preempt in congressional races. Senator Randy Phillips again asked whether the proposed amendment should be placed within campaign reform legislation. Co-chairman Halford asked if House support for HB 109 was sufficient so that a title change would not mean it would fail to pass. Representative Brown said she saw both advantages and disadvantages to inclusion of Amendment No. 2. Co-chairman Halford called for a show of hands on adoption of Amendment No. 2 as amended. Amendment No. 2 was ADOPTED on a vote of 6 to 0 (Senator Sharp was temporarily absent from the meeting). Senator Rieger MOVED for adoption of Amendment No. 3 which he said clarifies that the charge to the consumer for the cost of identification as a "do not call" will be subject to review and approval by the Alaska Public Utilities Commission. No objection having been raised, Amendment No. 3 was ADOPTED. Co-chairman Halford voiced a preference for a two-tiered system which identifies those who do not want commercial calls and those who wish to avoid all solicitations. Co-chairman Frank directed attention to page 3, lines 2 and 3, of CSHB 109(Jud) and suggested that subsection (iii) be deleted so that polling is "lumped in with solicitations that a person can choose not to receive." He voiced his belief that polling should not remain an exception, saying that if people are not interested in receiving solicitations, they are probably not interested in opinion polls as well. He then formally MOVED to delete subsection (iii). Representative Brown voiced opposition to removal. She reiterated her view that failing to provide an exception for polling would make it impossible to get an unbiased sample since fewer people would be included. She added that language relating to soliciting the expression of ideas or opinions or votes goes beyond polling. The Representative noted that she had called individuals in her district to ask for their vote and evaluate opinions. That is an important part of an elected representative's ability to reach out to his or her constituency. Representative Brown voiced a preference for the approach embodied within an amendment by Senator Sharp which would "take the nonprofits . . . [and] put them into the category that are not covered, as well," rather than removing the exception for polling. Co-chairman Halford noted that subsection (iii) does not merely relate to polling. It includes solicitation of the expression of ideas or opinions as well. He suggested that "polling" and "or votes" could be removed from the language so as to retain ability for legislators to call constituents and ask opinions, etc. Co-chairman Frank agreed that it was not his intent to limit a legislator's ability to contact constituents and seek opinions. He further noted, however, that those who do not wish to be solicited also seek relief from pollsters. END: SFC-96, #100, Side 2 BEGIN: SFC-96, #101, Side 1 Co-chairman Halford voiced his belief that there should be two levels of identification. One for those who see to avoid all solicitations and another for those who do not mind calls from pollsters and charities. The two standards are: marketing versus information and charities. The public should have the right to say no to both if it chooses to do so. Senator Phillips reiterated his view that both pollsters and telemarketers receive payment for calls they place. He advised that he did not see the distinction between the two. Co-chairman Halford voiced support for elimination of the polling portion of subsection (iii). Discussion followed between Co-chairmen Halford and Frank regarding the difference between polling and soliciting ideas and opinions. Co-chairman Halford called for a show of hands on the motion for deletion of subsection (iii). The motion (Amendment No. 4) failed on a vote of three to four. Co-chairman Frank moved that language within subsection (iii) be amended (Amendment No. 5) by removing "polling or" and "or votes" so the subsection would read: calls limited to soliciting the expression of ideas or opinions. In the course of subsequent discussion, Co-chairman Frank concurred in need for a two-tiered identification system. He then asked that the sponsor develop that language. Representative Brown expressed a preference for the bill in its present form but agreed to work with the drafter on new language. Speaking to the suggested change within subsection (iii), the sponsor stressed that polling is different than soliciting votes by telephone. She noted that solicitation of votes by phone is much less intrusive than going door to door. She further attested to the positive reception her past phone solicitations had received. Co-chairman Frank said he had no objection to calls from candidates. Problems stem from calls from volunteers of charitable or political organizations. Co-chairman Halford noted the approaching Senate floor session and asked that the sponsor work on the issue within subsection (iii) as well as two-tiered provisions. He raised concern that it would appear to be "very self-serving to leave in the ability to poll and take out the ability for charities to fund raise, unless we're going to separate the categories." The sponsor voiced support for withdrawal of Amendment No. 5 and adoption of a proposed amendment by Senator Sharp, instead. The bill would then apply to commercial calls and not attempt to limit other calls. Senator Rieger noted that charitable organization language within the bill is narrower than most people realize in that charitable staff or volunteers could only call members of the organization or others if they have made a contribution in the last 24 months. It is intended to apply only to those who are certain to be favorably disposed to the call. Senator Randy Phillips suggested that the diminishing nature of the list, as people move or die, would render it unworkable. He voiced support for the amendment by Senator Sharp which would widen opportunities for non-profit, charitable organizations. Co-chairman Halford reiterated the inconsistency involved in protecting a political tool while not protecting charitable fund raising. He again stressed need for a two-tiered system. Senator Sharp said that language in subsection (ii) would allow professional solicitors "to hustle charitable organizations to get a piece of the action." He noted that he was attempting to curtail that activity. Senator Zharoff cautioned that senior citizen, veterans' groups, and political organizations which encourage people to vote should not be impacted by narrow language. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:05 a.m.