Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/04/1996 03:00 PM Senate FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                           May 4, 1996                                         
                            3:00 p.m.                                          
  SFC-96, #109, Sides 1 (500 - 575)                                            
  SFC-96, #109, Side  2 (575 - end)                                            
  SFC-96, #110, Side  1 (000 - 360)                                            
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
  Senator Rick Halford, Co-chairman, reconvened the meeting at                 
  approximately 3:00 p.m.                                                      
  In  addition  to   Co-chairman  Halford,  Senators   Donley,                 
  Phillips,  Sharp,  and Zharoff  were  present.   Co-chairman                 
  Frank and  Senator  Rieger arrived  as  the meeting  was  in                 
  ALSO  ATTENDING:    Laurie Otto,  Deputy  Attorney  General,                 
  Criminal Division,  Dept. of Law;  Marie Sansone,  Assistant                 
  Attorney   General,   Civil   Division,    Legislation   and                 
  Regulations Section, Dept.  of Law; Juanita  Hensley, Chief,                 
  Driver Services, Dept. of Public Safety; Mike Burns, Section                 
  Chief,  Municipal  Grants  Section,  Division  of   Facility                 
  Construction   &   Operation,    Dept.   of    Environmental                 
  Conservation; Diane Shriner,  Division of Elections,  Office                 
  of   the   Lt.   Governor;   Julie   Tauriainen,   aide   to                 
  Representative   Gary   Davis;   Patti  Swenson,   aide   to                 
  Representative Bunde; Richard Vitale, aide to Representative                 
  Parnell; and aides to committee members and other members of                 
  the legislature.                                                             
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
  HB 211 -  VOTER REGISTRATION & ELECTIONS                                     
            Discussion was had  with Patti  Swenson and  Diane                 
  Shriner.            Amendment   No.   1   was  adopted   and                 
                      incorporated within SCS  CSHB 211  (Fin)                 
                      which was subsequently  REPORTED OUT  of                 
                      committee with a $32.2  fiscal note from                 
                      the Office of  the Governor/Division  of                 
  HB 314 -  VIOLATING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDERS                                 
            Work draft SCS CSHB 314 "J" version, dated 5/4/96,                 
  was       adopted as  the mark-up vehicle.   Richard  Vitale                 
            and Laurie Otto  testified.  Ms. Otto  commenced a                 
            sectional  review  of the  bill,  progressing from                 
            Sec. 1 through 22 prior to recess of the meeting.                  
  HB 401 -  REVENUE BONDS:  WATER AND WASTE PROJECTS                           
            Co-chairman Halford  explained the purpose  of the                 
  bill.          CSHB 401 (Res) was  subsequently REPORTED OUT                 
                 of committee  with zero fiscal notes from the                 
                 Dept. of Environmental  Conservation and  the                 
                 Dept. of Revenue.                                             
  HB 517 -  MOTOR VEHICLES: REGULATION AND INSURANCE                           
            Julie  Tauriainen  and Juanita  Hensley testified.                 
            An  amendment by  Senator Donley  was  adopted for                 
            incorporation  within a SCS  CSHB 517  (Fin) which                 
            was  REPORTED OUT  of committee  with zero  fiscal                 
            notes  from  the Dept.  of  Public Safety  and the                 
            Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities.                     
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 517(TRA)(title am)                                     
       An Act relating  to motor vehicle records  and hearings                 
       of  the Department  of  Public  Safety; increasing  the                 
       period under which  a person may drive a  motor vehicle                 
       under  a  temporary permit;  relating  to  ownership of                 
       certain   abandoned   motor   vehicles;   relating   to                 
       suspension   or   revocation   of   a   motor   vehicle                 
       registration or special permit;  relating to renewal of                 
       a  driver's license  by  mail; relating  to  procedures                 
       applicable to  administrative revocation of  a driver's                 
       license;   relating   to  commercial   driver  training                 
       schools;  increasing the  property  damage amounts  for                 
       proof of  financial responsibility  and proof of  motor                 
       vehicle eligibility  in  order to  lawfully  operate  a                 
       motor vehicle in the state;  amending the definition of                 
       `commercial  motor  vehicle';  relating  to  prohibited                 
       operation  of   a  commercial  motor  vehicle   and  to                 
       disqualification  from  driving   a  commercial   motor                 
       vehicle; relating to certain notifications in accidents                 
       involving property  damage; relating  to motor  vehicle                 
       registration procedures; and providing for an effective                 
  Co-chairman Halford  directed that CSHB 517  (TRA)(title am)                 
  be  brought on for  discussion.   JULIE TAURIAINEN,  aide to                 
  Representative  Gary  Davis,  came  before committee.    She                 
  explained that the legislation was requested by the Dept. of                 
  Public Safety.  It addresses two areas:                                      
       1.   The first relates to federal mandates required  to                 
  gain           compliance with federal  regulations relating                 
                 to federal motor carrier safety act programs,                 
                 grant   requirements,   and   the  commercial                 
                 vehicle safety  act.  Failure to  adopt these                 
                 provisions  may  result  in  sanctions  of  5                 
                 percent of  federal ISTEA moneys  and funding                 
                 from  the  motor  carrier  safety  assistance                 
                 grant.  The  state may cumulatively lose  $20                 
       2.   Housekeeping   measures   which    will   increase                 
  efficiency          within    Dept.    of    Public   Safety                 
                      operations,  save  costs,  and  expedite                 
                      services to the public.                                  
  Senator Donley  directed attention  to Amendment  No. 1  and                 
  explained that it applies to the housekeeping portion of the                 
  bill.   He referenced  the current  financial responsibility                 
  act.   He then  explained that in  accidents incurring  over                 
  $500 in  damages  for  which an  individual  does  not  have                 
  insurance  coverage  or  fails  to   pay  for  damages,  the                 
  individual's license is subject to suspension.  The proposed                 
  bill would raise  the level  of damage to  $1,500.   Senator                 
  Donley suggested  that was bad public policy.  The amendment                 
  establishes the threshold at $501.                                           
  Current law  requires that  accidents with  damages totaling                 
  over $500 must be reported.  The bill proposes to raise that                 
  amount to $1,500.   That is reasonable.  The  second portion                 
  of the  amendment would  increase that  threshold to  $2,000                 
  simply to reduce the amount of paperwork  in instances where                 
  no one was injured and there  was no problem surrounding the                 
  Senator Donley spoke  against raising both of  the foregoing                 
  thresholds equally.   While increase  of one merely  reduces                 
  paperwork, the other has the  substantive effect of allowing                 
  individuals to drive  without insurance or avoid  paying for                 
  damages in automobile accidents.                                             
  END:      SFC-96, #109, Side 1                                               
  BEGIN:    SFC-96, #109, Side 2                                               
  Senator Donley noted that the  proposed amendment resets the                 
  financial  responsibility threshold at  $501 rather than the                 
  statutory  $500 in order to remain within title language and                 
  avoid need for  the resolution and vote accompanying a title                 
  change.  He then MOVED for adoption of Amendment No. 1.  Co-                 
  chairman Halford OBJECTED.                                                   
  JUANITA  HENSLEY, Chief,  Driver Services,  Dept.  of Public                 
  Safety, came before committee in support  of the bill.  Mrs.                 
  Hensley pointed  to budgetary  reductions over  a number  of                 
  years  and  explained  that  the  proposed increase  of  the                 
  financial responsibility threshold from $500 to $1,500 would                 
  be the first since  1977.  Prior to that time,  the limit of                 
  reportable damage was $200.  The increase does not mean that                 
  individuals  do  not  have  to carry  insurance.    Prior to                 
  registering a vehicle, the department requires certification                 
  (on the  vehicle registration application) that  the vehicle                 
  is covered  by insurance  for liability  limits required  by                 
  law.  Failure  to maintain  insurance following  application                 
  would result  in unsworn falsification for which prosecution                 
  may occur.   Mrs. Hensley  said she did  not have a  problem                 
  with the latter  portion of Amendment No. 1 (Page 2, lines 8                 
  through 16).  She expressed a preference for maintaining the                 
  limitation at which a driver  license would be suspended  at                 
  $1,500  to   provide  more   efficient   operation  of   the                 
  department.  She  attested to the  fact that $500 in  damage                 
  could  be merely  "a  little  ding in  a  door."   She  then                 
  distributed  photos  evidencing  $2,800  in vehicle  damage.                 
  Mrs. Hensley  next attested to  impact of  the present  $500                 
  limit  on the Dept.  of Law, the Court  System, and Dept. of                 
  The proposed $1,500 threshold has nothing to do with whether                 
  or not an  individual has insurance.   The department  would                 
  continue  to  suspend the  driver  license if  an individual                 
  fails to submit proof of insurance at the $1,500 limit.  The                 
  affidavit  of  insurance   would  also  continue  to   be  a                 
  requirement at the time of registration.                                     
  Senator Donley suggested  that the real  issue is, "At  what                 
  level or amount  of damage do we want somebody to be able to                 
  escape any  sanction for,  without paying  for, and  without                 
  having insurance for?"  The amount of the accident damage is                 
  irrelevant.    The  Senator  further  spoke  to  enforcement                 
  problems associated with the higher threshold.                               
  Senator Donley mentioned  that fiscal  notes do not  reflect                 
  cost savings from increased thresholds.   He reiterated that                 
  the bill would have a detrimental impact on constituents who                 
  are hit by an uninsured driver  and sustain $1,400 in damage                 
  for  which  there  is  no  state  enforcement  of  statutory                 
  violations.  Mrs. Hensley again  attested to efficiencies to                 
  be gained by the increase.   Police departments often do not                 
  respond to an accident  unless there is $1,500 to  $2,500 in                 
  damage.  Many  accidents are presently unreported.   Senator                 
  Donley acknowledged  that reporting  is not  mandatory.   He                 
  reiterated  that the  proposed amendment  would provide  the                 
  option  of  reporting  an accident  when  an  individual has                 
  broken the law.                                                              
  Mrs. Hensley noted that the financial responsibility section                 
  (four positions)  in driver  services was  deleted from  the                 
  Governor's  budget.    The budget  also  indicates  that the                 
  division  of motor  vehicles, driver  services section,  was                 
  eliminating  the  financial   responsibility  section   that                 
  suspends the at-fault driver in motor vehicle accidents.  It                 
  also  states  that the  division  would continue  to process                 
  suspensions for failure to have insurance, but that it would                 
  do so at the $1,500 limit.                                                   
  Discussion followed  regarding a determination of  damage at                 
  the point of accident.                                                       
  Senator  Donley  cautioned  that  if   the  bill  passes  as                 
  presently drafted, "Everybody out there . . . will know that                 
  you don't have to have auto  insurance as long as you  don't                 
  do  more  than  $1,500 worth  of  damage."    There will  be                 
  absolutely no enforcement of insurance requirements.                         
  In response  to a question from Senator Randy Phillips, Mrs.                 
  Hensley said that  department opposition to Amendment  No. 1                 
  is based on the amount of  paperwork involved in the license                 
  suspension  process  when damage  is  not substantial.   The                 
  division of insurance  reports the average claim  in Alaska,                 
  three years ago, was $1,600.                                                 
  Senator Donley said that increasing  the mandatory reporting                 
  level to $2,000 would save considerable paperwork when there                 
  is no problem.   The increase  to $1,500 focuses on  problem                 
  damages.    The  issue  is compliance  with  the  law  which                 
  requires two things:                                                         
       1.   Insurance coverage                                                 
       2.   Payment for damage.                                                
  He suggested that an individual  who does only $10.00  worth                 
  of  damage  should  not  be   excused  from  auto  insurance                 
  Co-chairman Halford asked  if an accident report  would have                 
  to  be  filed if  the accident  resulted  in $2,000  but the                 
  individual at fault paid for repairs.  Mrs Hensley responded                 
  affirmatively.  She explained that two separate statutes are                 
       1.   The financial responsibility act.                                  
       2.   Mandatory insurance law.                                           
  The financial responsibility act says that an individual who                 
  causes $500 or  more in damages in an accident  and does not                 
  have insurance will have his or her license suspended by the                 
  department.  There  is parallel suspension.   One suspension                 
  requires  the individual  to  pay for  damages.   The  other                 
  requires  everyone  to  have  insurance.   A  driver  can be                 
  suspended for being at  fault and causing the damage.  He or                 
  she  can  also   be  suspended  for  not   having  liability                 
  insurance.   If the  damage is  paid, the  issue of  lack of                 
  insurance remains.   The individual will  have to deal  with                 
  suspension for that violation  and will have to "file  SR 22                 
  at $500."   Senator  Donley said  the question  is, At  what                 
  level does enforcement occur?.  Under the proposed bill, the                 
  department would,  in  effect, no  longer enforce  financial                 
  responsibility.   Enforcement  of  mandatory auto  insurance                 
  would continue.                                                              
  Co-chairman Halford voiced concurrence with the department's                 
  goal of reaching  to $1,500,  except for cases  in which  an                 
  individual responsible for the accident does not pay.   That                 
  threshold should  remain at  $500.   Senator Donley  advised                 
  that Amendment No. 1 would accomplish  that goal.  It raises                 
  the mandatory report level to $2,000.  Mrs. Hensley stressed                 
  that the department would continue to require individuals to                 
  sign  the  affidavit of  insurance  at the  time  of vehicle                 
  registration.  Approximately 11 percent of those involved in                 
  motor  vehicle  crashes  in  Alaska   are  uninsured.    The                 
  department does not have the budget to implement and suspend                 
  drivers at $501--the threshold set forth in Amendment No. 1.                 
  The  department   will  not  be   processing  any  financial                 
  responsibility  suspensions.    The   department  will  only                 
  suspend drivers for not having required insurance.  The only                 
  recourse damaged drivers will have is  to file suit in small                 
  claims court for  compensation for damages.   Senator Donley                 
  noted that the  proposed bill would also  impact enforcement                 
  of   mandatory  insurance   provisions  by   increasing  the                 
  threshold from the  existing $500 to  $1,500.  The  proposed                 
  amendment  sets  the  threshold  at   $501.    Mrs.  Hensley                 
  referenced  earlier attempts  by the department  to increase                 
  the  threshold  to  $1,500  and   ultimate  inclusion  of  a                 
  negotiated $1,000 limit within an omnibus fees bill.                         
  [Co-chairman Frank and Senator Rieger arrived at this time.]                 
  Further discussion and examples of provisions of current law                 
  versus changes proposed in  both the present version  of the                 
  bill and Amendment No. 1 followed.  Mrs.  Hensley referenced                 
  a situation wherein the injured driver had no insurance, and                 
  the driver  causing the damage failed to pay and also had no                 
  insurance.  She advised that  three suspensions would issue.                 
  Two to the driver causing the  damage for failure to pay and                 
  lack  of insurance,  and the third  to the  uninsured driver                 
  whose vehicle sustained  damage.   She further advised  that                 
  the  department  receives   approximately  20,000   accident                 
  reports per year.   Senator  Donley said  that the  proposed                 
  amendment  should significantly reduce  the number.  Reports                 
  that are received will be focused on problem accidents.                      
  In  response  to a  question  from Senator  Zharoff, Senator                 
  Donley explained that  a decrease  in reporting would  occur                 
  because reporting would  be optional up  to $2,000.  At  the                 
  present time, everything over $500 is mandated.                              
  Co-chairman Halford called for a show  of hands on Amendment                 
  No. 1.   Amendment No.  1 was ADOPTED  on a  vote of 4  to 3                 
  (Senators Donley, Frank, Rieger, and Sharp were in support).                 
  Senator  Donley  MOVED that  SCS  CSHB 517  (Fin)  pass from                 
  committee with individual  recommendations and  accompanying                 
  fiscal notes.  No objection having been raised, SCS CSHB 517                 
  (Fin) was  REPORTED OUT of committee with  zero fiscal notes                 
  from the  Dept. of Public Safety and Dept. of Transportation                 
  and Public  Facilities.    Co-chairman  Frank  and  Senators                 
  Donley, Rieger, and Sharp signed the committee report with a                 
  "do pass"  recommendation.  Co-chairman Halford and Senators                 
  Phillips and Zharoff signed "no recommendation."                             
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 211(FIN)                                               
       An  Act  relating to  voter  registration and  to state                 
       election administration.                                                
  Co-chairman Halford directed that CSHB  211 (Fin) be brought                 
  on for discussion.   PATTI  SWENSON, aide to  Representative                 
  Con Bunde,  came before committee.   She explained  that the                 
  purpose  of  the bill  is to  meet  the requirements  of the                 
  National  Voter  Registration  Act  of   1993.    It  allows                 
  individuals to register to  vote by fax, and it  removes the                 
  requirement  to   sign  an  oath   at  the  time   of  voter                 
  registration.   That also applies  to voters  re-registering                 
  after  a period  of  inactivity by  voting  a questioned  or                 
  absentee ballot.                                                             
  The legislation also  changes the composition of  the master                 
  register and requires prompt removal  of deceased voters and                 
  those  convicted of  a felony.   It improves  procedures for                 
  absentee and questioned ballot use, and clarifies ballot and                 
  envelope descriptions.  It  prevents the possible perception                 
  of  a  less than  impartial data  review board  by excluding                 
  state  employees, and it broadens who  can serve on district                 
  counting boards.  The bill  further clarifies tabulation and                 
  security when counting votes and reflects the increased cost                 
  of providing voters with printed election materials.                         
  CSHB 211 (Fin) is  a combination of HB 349 and  SB 182, both                 
  of which had  committee hearings and passed  from committee,                 
  without amendments, accompanied by zero fiscal notes.                        
  Senator  Sharp  MOVED  for  adoption  of  SCS  CSHB 211  (9-                 
  LS0616\Z,  Chenoweth, 4/22/96),   No  objection having  been                 
  raised, SCS CSHB 211 (Fin) was ADOPTED.                                      
  Ms.  Swenson  addressed  three  changes to  be  made  in the                 
  adopted  draft.    She  directed  attention  to  a  proposed                 
  amendment and noted  need to change terminology  from "voter                 
  registration lists" to "master register"  at Page 4, line 2.                 
  She explained that  the master  register would contain  both                 
  active and inactive voters.                                                  
  DIANE  SHRINER,  Division of  Elections,  Office of  the Lt.                 
  Governor,  spoke  to   the  second  item  of   the  proposed                 
  amendment.  She explained that  when Alaska gains compliance                 
  with federal law, the state will not purge voters until they                 
  have  been  inactive for  four years.    At that  point, the                 
  individuals will receive  notice which  allows them time  to                 
  reactivate, if they wish to do so.  Thereafter, they will be                 
  removed  from  the rolls  four years  from  the date  of the                 
  notice if they do not initiate reactivation.                                 
  Ms. Swenson referenced  the third area for  correction (Page                 
  9, Line 3) and  advised of need to delete "oath"  and insert                 
  Senator Randy Phillips MOVED for  adoption of the three-item                 
  amendment.  No  objection having been raised,  the Amendment                 
  was ADOPTED.   Senator Sharp MOVED  for passage of SCS  CSHB
  211 (Fin)  with individual recommendations  and accompanying                 
  fiscal notes.  No objection having been raised, SCS CSHB 211                 
  (Fin) was REPORTED OUT of committee with a $32.2 fiscal note                 
  from  the  Division  of Elections.    Co-chairman  Frank and                 
  Senators Phillips,  Rieger, and  Sharp signed the  committee                 
  report with a "do pass" recommendation.  Co-chairman Halford                 
  and Senators Donley and  Zharoff signed "no recommendation."                 
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 401(RES)                                               
       An Act  authorizing the  issuance and  sale of  revenue                 
       bonds  to  fund  public  wastewater  systems,  nonpoint                 
       source  water  pollution  control  projects,  including                 
       solid   waste   management    systems,   and    estuary                 
       conservation and management  projects; authorizing  the                 
       use of the  Alaska clean water  fund to pay and  secure                 
       the  bonds and  to pay  costs related  to  issuance and                 
       administration  of  the   bonds;  authorizing   certain                 
       measures to secure  payment of the bonds;  and amending                 
       Rule 3, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure.                                
  Co-chairman Halford directed that CSHB  401 (RES) be brought                 
  on  for  discussion   and  noted  that  the   committee  had                 
  previously  reviewed  the  Senate  version  (SB 207).    The                 
  proposed bill allows  for bonding based on the  Alaska clean                 
  water fund.  Bonding would occur at a loss  but would spread                 
  the  benefits of  the clean  water fund  for a  considerable                 
  period of time.                                                              
  Senator  Zharoff MOVED  for passage  of CSHB 401  (Res) with                 
  individual  recommendations.     No  objection  having  been                 
  raised, CSHB 401  (RES) was REPORTED  OUT of committee  with                 
  zero fiscal notes  from the  Dept. of Revenue  and Dept.  of                 
  Environmental Conservation.   Co-chairman Halford signed the                 
  committee  report  with  a "do  pass"  recommendation.   Co-                 
  chairman Frank and Senators Donley, Phillips, Rieger, Sharp,                 
  and Zharoff signed "no recommendation."                                      
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 314(JUD) am                                            
       An  Act  relating  to domestic  violence  and  to crime                 
       victims and  witnesses; and  amending Rule  613, Alaska                 
       Rules of Evidence.                                                      
  Co-chairman  Halford  directed  that  CSHB  314  (Jud)am  be                 
  brought on for discussion,  referenced a draft SCS CSHB  314                 
  (9-LS1090\J, Luckhaupt, 5/4/96), and  asked that staff  from                 
  the sponsor address  differences between  the draft and  the                 
  House bill.                                                                  
  RICHARD VITALE, aide to  Representative Parnell, came before                 
  committee.  Senator Sharp MOVED for adoption of SCS CSHB 314                 
  ("J" version) as the mark-up bill.  No objection having been                 
  raised,  SCS  CSHB  314  (Fin)  was  ADOPTED.    Mr.  Vitale                 
  requested  that staff  from  the  Dept.  of  Law  assist  in                 
  providing a sectional analysis.                                              
  LAURIE  OTTO, Deputy  Attorney  General, Criminal  Division,                 
  Dept.  of  Law,  came  before  committee  and  provided  the                 
  following explanation:                                                       
  Sec. 1.   Names the bill.                                                    
  Sec. 2.   Adds  domestic  violence  to  the  definition   of                 
  "serious       criminal offense."   That allows a  person to                 
                 receive full attorney fees  if the individual                 
                 sues someone who hurt them.                                   
  END:      SFC-96, #109, Side 2                                               
  BEGIN:    SFC-96, #110, Side 1                                               
  Sec. 3.   Contains  a  conforming  amendment.     It  amends                 
  stalking in the first degree so that it refers to protective                 
  orders issued under AS 18.66 and former AS 25.35.                            
  Sec. 4.   Contains a conforming amendment which changes  the                 
            definition  of "enter  or  remain unlawfully,"  in                 
            burglary and criminal trespass  statutes, to refer                 
            to protective orders.                                              
  Sec. 5.   Rewrites  the  crime   of  violating  a   domestic                 
  violence       protective  order   so  that   it  is  an   A                 
                 misdemeanor to knowingly violate  a condition                 
                 of a protective  order by committing  further                 
                 domestic  violence,  communicating  with  the                 
                 victim, etc.  It  contains a clarification of                 
                 current law, with references  to the proposed                 
  Sec. 6.   The  proposed draft  deletes  the previous  Sec. 6                 
  which said          it is not  a defense  to violation of  a                 
                      domestic violence restraining order that                 
                      the  victim  initiated the  contact with                 
                      the  defendant.     Existing  law   thus                 
                      remains in  place.   Sec.  6 within  the                 
                      draft is a  conforming section  relating                 
                      to "protective order."                                   
  Co-chairman Halford  asked if the protective order  is a new                 
  order  or  a  general  term  that includes  previous  orders                 
  relating to  domestic violence.   Ms. Otto advised  that the                 
  term   "protective   order"   replaces  "domestic   violence                 
  restraining order" language in current law.  The idea is the                 
  same; the terminology is simply different.                                   
  Sec. 7.   Contains  a conforming  amendment  necessary as  a                 
  result of           movement of protective orders from Title                 
                      25 to Title 18.                                          
  Sec. 8.   Amends  the statute  providing grounds  for arrest                 
  without        a  warrant  to include  the  mandatory arrest                 
                 provided  for in  Sec. 28.   The  significant                 
                 amendment is within the latter section.                       
  Sec. 9.   Ties  into  mandatory  arrest   in  Sec.  28   and                 
  prohibits an        officer from merely  issuing a  citation                 
                      for crimes involving domestic violence.                  
  Sec. 10.  Recites   current   law   relating  to   stalking.                 
  Conditions for           release  before  trial  in domestic                 
                           violence  cases  are  contained  in                 
                           sections    specifically    related                 
  Sec. 11.  Addresses release before trial  pending sentencing                 
  and       pending appeal of a person charged or convicted of                 
            a  domestic  violence offense.    It requires  the                 
            court to consider the safety of the victim and the                 
            victim's family in  addition to the safety  of the                 
            public,  prior  to  release.    It  also  contains                 
            additional  conditions  of  release  that  may  be                 
            imposed on a defendant and requires the  arresting                 
            authority to make reasonable efforts to notify the                 
            victim  when  a  domestic  violence  defendant  is                 
            released  from  custody.    It  also  requires  an                 
            individual  arrested  for  domestic   violence  to                 
            appear  personally  or  telephonically   before  a                 
            judicial officer prior to being released.                          
  Co-chairman   Halford  requested   an  explanation   of  the                 
  following language at Page 6, subsection (f):                                
       A person may not bring a civil  action for damages                      
       for a  failure to  comply with  the provisions  of                      
       this section.                                                           
  Ms. Otto said  that because the  proposed bill would  impose                 
  new duties on police officers to make mandatory  arrests and                 
  for the prosecutor  and correctional facility to  notify the                 
  victim before the  offender is released, the  above language                 
  would allow the  victim to sue  for enforcement of the  law,                 
  but the victim may not sue for money damages.                                
  Sec. 12.  Requires forfeiture of weapons used in  commission                 
  of        domestic violence crimes.   An earlier version  of                 
            the bill also  covered threatened use of  a weapon                 
            or  weapons.    That has  been  removed  from this                 
            draft.  Court cases relating to actual  possession                 
            are very clear.                                                    
  Sec. 13.  Adds  a  new section  to sentencing  provisions to                 
  require        the  court to  consider  the  safety  of  the                 
                 victim before ordering probation for domestic                 
                 violence   offenders.     It   also  provides                 
                 additional conditions of  probation in  these                 
                 cases, including a rehabilitation program for                 
                 the offender (Page 7. lines 15 through 19) if                 
                 one is available  in the  community in  which                 
                 the offender resides.                                         
  Sec. 14.  Contains  a  conforming amendment  per  the change                 
  from Title          25 to Title 18.                                          
  Co-chairman  Halford  inquired  concerning  assault  in  the                 
  fourth degree.  Ms. Otto explained that it  involves causing                 
  physical  injury  to a  person by  means  other than  with a                 
  dangerous instrument.   It includes placing someone  in fear                 
  of physical injury by words or physical conduct.                             
  Sec. 15.  Contains a conforming amendment.                                   
  Sec. 16.  Adds  a  requirement (Page  8.  Lines  23-24) that                 
  prosecutors         confer with victims of domestic violence                 
                      before  entering  a plea  agreement with                 
                      the defendant.                                           
  Senator Zharoff asked  what would happen in  instances where                 
  the victim has left the area.   Ms. Otto referenced language                 
  at Page 8, line 6, and noted that the prosecutor has to make                 
  a reasonable effort  to confer.  If the victim  is no longer                 
  available, the department  must show that it  made an effort                 
  to make contact.                                                             
  Sec. 17.  Adds domestic violence to offenses where the court                 
  may       decide  that  the  threat  to  the  victim  should                 
            prohibit the  defendant, when representing  him or                 
            herself, from obtaining  the address and telephone                 
            number of the victim.                                              
  Sec. 18.  Clarifies  the  duties  of  defendants  and  their                 
            representatives to identify themselves  to victims                 
            and extends to victims of  offenses with which the                 
            defendant  is  not  yet  but  could   be  charged.                 
            Language  covers  situations  where investigations                 
            are ongoing, but charges have  not yet been filed.                 
  Sec. 19.  Requires a defendant or his  or her representative                 
  to        inform the  victim if  they are  tape recording  a                 
  The foregoing has  been law  until approximately six  months                 
  ago when the Alaska Bar Association passed an ethics opinion                 
  saying  it  is  unethical  for   any  lawyer,  such  as  one                 
  representing a victim, to secretly  tape-record a statement.                 
  However, the Association  opinion says it  is ethical for  a                 
  lawyer  representing a criminal  defendant to secretly tape-                 
  record a  statement.  The  bar association took  that action                 
  against  the  unanimous  recommendation  of  its  own ethics                 
  committee.    Sec. 19  is  part of  Representative Parnell's                 
  original bill, specifically  written to overturn  the latter                 
  Sec. 20.  Prohibits defendants charged  with sex crimes from                 
            contacting victims  or witnesses if the  victim or                 
            witness tells  the defendant, in  writing, that he                 
            or  she  does not  wish  to  be contacted  by  the                 
            defense.  It further requires  that, for those who                 
            consent  to contact,  permission  for recording  a                 
            statement  must  be  audible  on  the tape  or  in                 
            written form.   Statements  that violate  statutes                 
            are presumed inadmissible in court.                                
  In response to a question from Senator Rieger, Ms. Otto said                 
  it  would  be  against the  law  to  contact  the victim  if                 
  notification  prohibiting such  contract has  been provided.                 
  In instances where  contact is nonetheless made,  the result                 
  of that contract is  presumed to be inadmissible.   Ms. Otto                 
  further  advised  that  the presumption  of  inadmissibility                 
  could be  overcome.  That  is spelled out  in statute.   The                 
  victim could sue if the illegal activity occurred.                           
  Sec. 21.  Sets out definitions that apply to Secs. 18 to 20.                 
  Sec. 22.  Under   current   law,   employers    who   employ                 
  individuals who          have  supervisory  or  disciplinary                 
                           power  over  children  or dependant                 
                           adults can receive criminal records                 
                           of  sex  crimes  and other  serious                 
                           offenses from the  Dept. of  Public                 
                           Safety.    Sec.  22  adds  domestic                 
                           violence  to  the list  of offenses                 
                           for which criminal  records may  be                 
  Co-chairman  Halford  voiced  need  to  adjourn the  present                 
  meeting for attendance  at another.   He thus directed  that                 
  SCS CSHB 341 (Fin) be held for continued review.                             
  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:10 p.m.                         

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