Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/18/1994 01:55 PM Senate JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                         April 18, 1994                                        
                           1:55 p.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
 Senator Suzanne Little                                                        
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
 Senator Rick Halford, Vice-Chairman                                           
 Senator George Jacko                                                          
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE BILL NO. 268                                                           
 "An Act relating to facilities for the care of children; to child             
 placement agencies; to maternity homes; to certain residential                
 facilities for adults; and to foster homes for adults; and                    
 providing for an effective date."                                             
 SENATE BILL NO. 166                                                           
 "An Act relating to registration of a motor vehicle, and issuance,            
 renewal, reinstatement, and revocation of a driver's license for              
 failure to appear in court or failure to pay a fine."                         
 SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 18                                           
 Requesting the governor to offer the United States Congress                   
 $10,000,000,000 in cash, or other terms that may be negotiated                
 between the state and the federal government, to purchase all                 
 federal land, water, or land and water, including any surface or              
 subsurface interests, in Alaska other than military reservations              
 and federal offices, to have the federal government relinquish all            
 dominion, control, and regulatory authority over all land, water,             
 or land and water, including surface or subsurface interests, in              
 Alaska other than military reservations and federal offices, and              
 providing a bonus if certain federal agencies are removed from the            
 state within six months of the federal sale to the state and                  
 relinquishment of control.                                                    
 CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 397(FIN)                         
 "An Act relating to the power to levy property taxes in second                
 class cities."                                                                
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 79(FIN) am                                              
 "An Act relating to recovery from a parent or legal guardian of               
 wilful or malicious destruction of property by a minor."                      
 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 50(RES)                                     
 Relating to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council                      
 comprehensive rationalization plan.                                           
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 SB 268 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
 SB 166 - See Transportation minutes dated 4/12/94.                            
 SCR 18 - See Resources minutes dated 4/8/94 and 4/11/94.                      
 HB 397 - See Community & Regional Affairs minutes dated                       
 HB  79 - See Health, Education & Social Service minutes dated                 
 HJR 50 - See Resources dated 3/24/94 and 3/28/94.                             
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Pat O'Brien                                                                   
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 P.O. Box 110630                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0630                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information on SB 268                          
 Juanita Hensley, Chief of Driver Services                                     
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 20020                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99802-0020                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information on SB 166                          
 David Kamrath, Staff to Representative Harley Olberg                          
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information on HB 397                          
 Representative Con Bunde                                                      
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Prime Sponsor of HB 79                                 
 Patty Swenson, Staff to Representative Con Bunde                              
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information on HB 79                           
 Vince Usera, Assistant Attorney General                                       
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0300                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered questions on HB 79                            
 Kathy Tibbles                                                                 
 Division of Family & Youth Services                                           
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 P.O. Box 110630                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0630                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Responded to questions on HB 79                        
 Cheryl Sutton, Staff to Representative Carl Moses                             
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information on HJR 50                          
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 94-37, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR  called the Judiciary Committee meeting to             
 order at 1:55 p.m.  He brought  SB 268  (COMMUNITY CARE FACILITIES)           
 before the committee as the first order of business.                          
 PAT O'BRIEN, Department of Health & Social Services, explained that           
 SB 268 is a follow-up to two other pieces of legislation heard by             
 the committee: the bill on assisted living and the bill for                   
 vulnerable adults.  The provisions for licensing adult facilities             
 were taken out of the existing licensing law, and rather than                 
 moving those provisions and leaving the remaining law that would              
 apply to children and family without change, it was decided to                
 update the entire law.                                                        
 Ms. O'Brien directed attention to a chart outlining the number of             
 facilities and the kinds of facilities the department will license.           
 She pointed out that most of the facilities licensed are child                
 foster homes; the second largest number of facilities licensed are            
 child care homes; the third largest number of facilities licensed             
 are child care centers; etc.  The chart also includes the adult               
 facilities.  The department licenses more than 1,900 facilities               
 with a capacity to serve 13,600 individuals, either children or               
 dependent adults.                                                             
 Ms. O'Brien spoke to the difficulties of the licensing procedures             
 that vary significantly for the different kinds of facilities.  SB
 268 compiles all of those various procedures that are currently in            
 regulations and puts them into statute, which will increase                   
 Ms. O'Brien noted that the department has a proposed amendment                
 which will revise a change that was made in the Senate Health,                
 Education & Social Services Committee.                                        
 Number 103                                                                    
 SENATOR LITTLE asked what the difference was between a child family           
 care home and a foster home.  MS. O'BRIEN explained that in a                 
 foster home, the child is there for 24 hours a day, and, usually,             
 that child is in state custody and placed there by the department.            
 In a family child care home, those children are there for day care.           
 Number 131                                                                    
 SENATOR LITTLE moved the following amendment to CSSB 268(HES):                
 Page 6:  Delete the text in lines 22 - 25, and insert new                     
 subsections to read:                                                          
  (2)  for one or more children of any age placed by a parent                  
 for a period of up to forty-five days;                                        
  (3)  for one or more children nine years of age or older                     
 placed by a parent for an extended period with either                         
   (A)  authorization for emergency medical care; or                           
   (B)  a consent to temporary custody;                                        
 Renumber the following subsections accordingly.                               
 Page 22:  Delete lines 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13                                     
 Page 22, line 8:  Insert after "24-hour care", "on a continuing               
 basis of 45 days or more to one or more children who are apart from           
 their parents";                                                               
 Ms. O'Brien explained that the amendment puts all of the exemptions           
 back in the exemptions sections to make it clear who is exempt and            
 who is not exempt.                                                            
 After further discussion and questions on the amendment and hearing           
 no objection to the amendment, SENATOR TAYLOR stated the amendment            
 was adopted and would be incorporated into a Judiciary CS.  He then           
 asked for the pleasure of the committee.                                      
 Number 200                                                                    
 SENATOR LITTLE moved that CSSB 268(JUD) be passed out of committee            
 with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so             
 Number 210                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR brought  SB 166  (DRIVER'S LIC REVOC;PARKING                   
 AUTHORITIES) before the committee as the next order of business.              
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor                    
 Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, directed her comments to a             
 proposed Judiciary CS.                                                        
 Ms. Hensley explained the bill will allow the court to suspend a              
 drivers license of anyone who fails to appear in court or fails to            
 pay a fine for a moving violation.  It will also allow putting a              
 hold on the vehicle registration electronically for unpaid parking            
 fines that will require full payment of all of an individual's                
 parking fines before their vehicle can be re-registered.  The                 
 actual notice of the suspension from the court would be the traffic           
 citation that the person is being issued.  That traffic citation              
 will be revised to be the actual notice of suspension, so, if an              
 individual fails to pay the fine or fails to appear in court, the             
 court can then suspend their driving privilege until the individual           
 meets all of the requirements.                                                
 Number 255                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR noted the states of Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and             
 California are using this same concept, and he commented this would           
 save Alaska's law enforcement people a lot of time because they are           
 constantly having to go out and serve bench warrants and do checks            
 on various people.                                                            
 Number 264                                                                    
 SENATOR LITTLE asked how the suspension of the drivers license                
 would occur.  MS. HENSLEY responded that the traffic citation                 
 issued to an individual on the spot will be revised to provide that           
 it is a notice of license suspension if the individual fails to               
 appear in court or fails to pay a fine for the offense.                       
 Speaking to the fiscal note, MS. HENSLEY pointed out that the court           
 system has advised that there are 25,000 failed to appear or failed           
 to pay traffic fines a year.  It is estimated that the court will             
 suspend 10 percent of those.  Based on historical background from             
 the Division of Motor Vehicles, 90 percent of all people whose                
 licenses are suspended or revoked will come in and reinstate.                 
 Number 311                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY referred to the language on page 2, line 6,                    
 "register the applicant's vehicle" and suggested changing it to               
 "any vehicle owned by the applicant," because an individual may own           
 more than one vehicle.                                                        
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved that CSSB 166(JUD) be adopted.  Hearing no               
 objection, it was so ordered.                                                 
 SENATOR DONLEY moved his suggested amendment to page 2, line 6.               
 Hearing no objection, the amendment was adopted.                              
 Number 338                                                                    
 SENATOR LITTLE asked why Sections 4 and 5 of the original bill were           
 deleted in the committee substitute.  MS. HENSLEY clarified that              
 those sections dealt with reinstatement fees, and with them in the            
 bill, the state would not have been able to recoup the costs of               
 operating this program.  She said it takes a certain amount of work           
 to reinstate a drivers license, and these individuals should be               
 subject to the same $100 reinstatement fee as anyone else whose               
 license is suspended or revoked.                                              
 Number 359                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked for the pleasure of the committee.                       
 SENATOR LITTLE moved that CSSB 166(JUD), as amended, be passed out            
 of committee with individual recommendations.  Hearing no                     
 objection, it was so ordered.                                                 
 Number 382                                                                    
 before the committee.  SENATOR LITTLE requested that the resolution           
 be held for consideration until the next meeting on Wednesday.                
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated SCR 18 would be held until Wednesday's                  
 Number 400                                                                    
 CLASS CITIES) as the next order of business.                                  
 DAVID KAMRATH, staff to Representative Harley Olberg, said AS                 
 29.45.590 presents an operations and economic development problem             
 for second class cities.  That law places a 5 mill limit on the               
 rate of real and personal property taxes that they may levy, and              
 given new and emerging fiscal problems of the state, which result             
 in less municipal assistance and revenue sharing, less state and              
 federal grant monies, and heavy competition for those scarce                  
 dollars, second class cities face revenue shortfalls which threaten           
 their economic stability and hinder development.                              
 Mr. Kamrath explained that HB 397 allows a second class city to               
 levy a property tax of 20 mills (2 percent) without a referendum.             
 However, the City of Whittier, which requested the legislation, is            
 not in favor of raising the millage rate without a referendum, and            
 he requested that the committee amend the bill to put the                     
 referendum requirement back in the bill.                                      
 Number 443                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved to reinsert the referendum requirement on page           
 1, line 5.  Hearing no objection, he stated the amendment was                 
 adopted and it would incorporated into a Judiciary SCS.                       
 Number 461                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if Representative Olberg had looked at whether           
 a second class city like Whittier could establish a right to tax              
 the Alaska Railroad on its assets.  MR. KAMRATH answered that that            
 issue was looked at last year and it was ruled that they could not            
 tax the railroad.                                                             
 Number 475                                                                    
 SENATOR LITTLE inquired why these second class cities would not               
 consider reclassifying to a first class city, because that would              
 take away the taxation limits.  MR. KAMRATH answered that to become           
 a first class city there has to be a population of 400 or more, and           
 the population of Whittier is currently 279.                                  
 Number 505                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked for the pleasure of the committee.                       
 SENATOR LITTLE moved that SCS CSSSHB 397(JUD) be passed out of                
 committee with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection,             
 it was so ordered.                                                            
 Number 510                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR brought  CSHB 79(FIN) am  (DAMAGE TO PROPERTY BY               
 MINORS) before the committee as the next order of business.                   
 PATTY SWENSON, staff to Representative Con Bunde, related the                 
 intent of HB 79 is provide adequate compensation to organizations             
 or individuals whose property has been vandalized by minors.  The             
 amount of compensation available in current statute is $2,000 and             
 the legislation will raise the amount to $25,000.  She noted the              
 amounts awarded for vandalism in other states, under similar                  
 statutes, range to $10,000 to $15,000, with California being the              
 highest at $25,000.                                                           
 The bill also adds language to current statute that would release             
 parents or legal guardians from liability for damages caused by               
 minors who have run away or are missing, providing that the parent            
 or legal guardian makes a report of that person being missing or a            
 Number 548                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked what happens when a parent kicks a minor out             
 of the house and some vandalism occurs.  KATHY TIBBLES, Division of           
 Family & Youth Services, responded that it is her understanding               
 that unless the minor runs away and is reported as missing, the               
 parent is still responsible and can't abrogate that responsibility,           
 unless there was a petitioning to allow the court to emancipate the           
 minor.  VINCE USERA, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law,           
 pointed out that if the minor were under the legal custody of the             
 state, the parent would not be responsible.  SENATOR DONLEY                   
 expressed his concern that he didn't think the legislation was fair           
 to parents who may really be good parents, but just have a bad kid,           
 because there is nothing in the bill to provide them with any                 
 TAPE 94-37, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 035                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY commented that he didn't think parents could even              
 insure against this risk.  MS. SWENSON said that some insurance               
 companies cover this and people do collect on their homeowner's               
 insurance for vandalism that was intentional by a minor.                      
 Number 110                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR also expressed concern with the $25,000 figure,                
 saying that it has been on the books for a number of years at                 
 $2,000, and he would feel more comfortable with a lower number than           
 $25,000.   REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE pointed out that this is a civil              
 action and the case would have to be pled before a court, and                 
 whether the parents are culpable or not culpable should be part of            
 that proceeding.  He thought if it were a jury trial the parents              
 would have an excellent chance of defending themselves.  SENATOR              
 TAYLOR agreed that it was a civil action, but he said it doesn't              
 provide for any defense other than the defense of the child being             
 a runaway and the parent having filed a report.                               
 Number 170                                                                    
 There was discussion on setting some reasonable standards or                  
 defenses for the parents before they are liable.  It was agreed               
 that the bill would be held in committee to be worked on so that              
 there would be a better consensus on it before reporting it out of            
 Number 290                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR brought  CSHJR 50(RES)  (NPFMC COMPREHENSIVE                   
 RATIONALIZATION PLAN) before the committee as the final order of              
 CHERYL SUTTON, staff to Representative Carl Moses, said the                   
 resolution reaffirms the importance of the shore-based processing             
 industry to Alaska and asks the North Pacific Fishery Management              
 Council to incorporate fairness, equal rights of access and equity            
 to this sector of the commercial fishing industry as it considers             
 its current comprehensive rationalization plan.                               
 There being no other testimony on HJR 50, SENATOR TAYLOR asked for            
 the pleasure of the committee.                                                
 SENATOR DONLEY moved that CSHJR 50(RES) be passed out of committee            
 with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so             
 There being no further business to come before the committee, the             
 meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.                                            

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