Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/07/1993 09:20 AM Senate STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                 SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                
                          April 7, 1993                                        
                            9:20 a.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Senator Loren Leman, Chairman                                                
  Senator Robin Taylor                                                         
  Senator Johnny Ellis                                                         
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chairman                                           
  Senator Jim Duncan                                                           
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  SENATE BILL NO. 145                                                          
  "An Act establishing the position of state medical examiner;                 
  and relating to preparation of death certificates."                          
  SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 5                                     
  "An Act implementing  an option available under  federal law                 
  to extend Medicaid  eligibility to  certain persons who  are                 
  eligible  to  be  institutionalized  but   who  are  not  in                 
  institutions; relating to  Medicaid waivers; reordering  the                 
  priorities assigned to  groups of  persons served under  the                 
  Medicaid program; and providing for an effective date."                      
  SENATE BILL NO. 161                                                          
  "An  Act  relating  to  interest  rates and  calculation  of                 
  interest under certain judgments and  decrees and on refunds                 
  of  certain  taxes,  royalties, or  net  profit  shares; and                 
  providing for an effective date."                                            
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
  SB 145 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/5/93 and                          
           4/7/93.  See HESS minutes dated 4/12/93.                            
  SB   5 - See HESS minutes dated 3/24/93 and State  Affairs                   
           minutes dated 4/7/93.                                               
  SB 161 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/2/93 & 4/7/93.                    
           See Judiciary minutes dated 4/14/93 and 4/20/93.                    
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Joe Winders                                                                  
  800 F St.                                                                    
  Juneau, AK 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports passsage of SB 5                               
  Portia Babcock, Staff to Senate State                                        
    Affairs Committee                                                          
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information on SB 161                           
  Chris Christensen, Legal Counsel                                             
  Alaska Court System                                                          
  303 K St.                                                                    
  Anchorage, AK 99501                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Offfered testimony on SB 161                            
  Joe Geldhof, Assistant Attorney General                                      
  Department of Law                                                            
  P.O. Box 110300                                                              
  Juneau, AK 99801-0300                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered testimony on SB 161                             
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-26, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  Chairman  Leman called  the  Senate State  Affairs Committee                 
  meeting to order at 9:20 a.m.                                                
  SENATOR  LEMAN  brought SB  145  (POSITION OF  STATE MEDICAL                 
  EXAMINER)  before  the  committee  as  the  first  order  of                 
  business.  He offered and  moved the following amendment  to                 
  page  1, line 10:  delete the word "physician" and insert in                 
  its place "forensic pathologist."   Hearing no objection, he                 
  stated the amendment  was adopted and would  be incorporated                 
  into a State Affairs CS.                                                     
  Number 020                                                                   
  SENATOR  ELLIS  stated   he  has  some  concerns   with  the                 
  legislation,  but  would  not  hold up  its  passing  out of                 
  Number 163                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR moved  and asked unanimous consent  that CSSB
  145(STA)  be   passed  out  of  committee   with  individual                 
  recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                   
  CHILDREN)  before  the  committee  as   the  next  order  of                 
  Number 183                                                                   
  SENATOR ELLIS said  the legislation  is the Medicaid  option                 
  bill that is sort of a safety net or backup to families that                 
  won't  be  served  through   Project  Choice  with  Medicaid                 
  JOE WINDERS, father of a  severely handicapped child, stated                 
  his  strong support for  passage of SB  5.   He stressed the                 
  need for the assistance the bill would provide to his family                 
  because of the high  costs incurred in taking care  of their                 
  handicapped   child  at   home   rather   than  having   him                 
  Number 200                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR moved  that SB 5  be passed out of  committee                 
  with  individual recommendations.   Hearing no objection, it                 
  was so ordered.                                                              
  Number 210                                                                   
  SENATOR LEMAN introduced SB 161  (INTEREST RATES: JUDGMENTS,                 
  TAXES, ROYALTIES)  as the  final order  of business,  noting                 
  there  was   a   proposed  committee   substitute  for   the                 
  committee's consideration.                                                   
  SENATOR  TYALOR  moved that  CSSB  161(STA) dated  4/6/93 be                 
  adopted.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                           
  Number 230                                                                   
  PORTIA BABCOCK, staff to the Senate State Affairs Committee,                 
  explained  that several  changes  discussed at  the previous                 
  hearing on SB 161 have  been incorporated into the committee                 
  The  first  change  was to  page  1,  line  7, changing  the                 
  language on judgment and decrees to  make it clear that this                 
  applied to  the judgments that  would come down  on criminal                 
  cases and civil cases.                                                       
  On page  1, line 13,  the major change  was made in  how the                 
  interest rate  would be calculated  and determined.   It was                 
  determined that it would  be easier for the court  system to                 
  have an annual interest rate that would apply throughout the                 
  entire  calendar  year  rather  than  trying to  do  several                 
  calculations a year.  The annual rate would be determined by                 
  the Commissioner of Revenue.                                                 
  Section 2 remains the same as in  the last draft CS in which                 
  an amendment requested by the  Municipality of Anchorage was                 
  On page  3, line 13,  a new Section  5 has been  added which                 
  sets the overall state interest rate  as the same as is  set                 
  out is Section 1.                                                            
  Ms. Babcock said that since the current committee substitute                 
  was drafted, an  additional change has been  suggested where                 
  it  references  civil cases,  both  in prejudgment  and post                 
  Number 286                                                                   
  SENATOR  TAYLOR moved the following  Amendment No. 1 to CSSB
  Page 2, line 9:  delete "in a civil case"                                    
  Page 3, lines 18, 20 &23: delete "in civil cases"                            
  Hearing no objection, Amendment No. 1 was adopted.                           
  Number 295                                                                   
  CHRIS  CHRISTENSEN,  Legal Counsel  to the  Judicial Branch,                 
  said there was one problem still remaining with the bill and                 
  that  is   the  fact  that  they  would  be  doing  multiple                 
  calculations.  Currently, there is one rate of interest that                 
  applies to prejudgment and postjudgment interest.                            
  Mr.  Christensen said  the bill makes  another philosophical                 
  change.  In  non-tort cases, rather than having the interest                 
  calculated  from the date of the harm, it is calculated from                 
  the date that  the summons is  served on the defendant.   He                 
  said  the court always knows when the harm occurs when it is                 
  in the complaint, but they never  know when the defendant is                 
  actually served.                                                             
  Mr. Christensen said the court system's recommendation is to                 
  have  one rate  of interest  apply  to both  prejudgment and                 
  postjudgment interest, to be calculated from the date of the                 
  judgment.    There  was  then  discussion  on  a  conceptual                 
  amendment to make the recommended change.                                    
  SENATOR TAYLOR suggested on page 2 line 10, after the phrase                 
  "prejudgment interest accrues  from the  date" add the  word                 
  "of"  and  delete  rest of  language  up  to  "the entry  of                 
  judgment" on line 12.                                                        
  Number 400                                                                   
  JOE  GELDHOF, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law,                 
  said that  while they would prefer the  more frequent market                 
  changes that  were provided in the original bill, he thought                 
  the legislation  is a good  sound compromise that  meets the                 
  needs of the court system and the administration agencies.                   
  Mr.  Geldof suggested amending the bill to reflect that when                 
  the  interest  rate  is  determined  by  the  Department  of                 
  Revenue,  that interest  rate be carried out to  two decimal                 
  SENATOR LEMAN offered and moved a conceptual Amendment No. 2                 
  to page 5,  line 2, which would round off  the interest rate                 
  to  the  nearest 100th  percent.   Hearing no  objection the                 
  amendment was adopted.                                                       
  CHRIS  CHRISTENSEN referred to page  2, beginning at line 12                 
  which contains language relating to how prejudgment interest                 
  is calculated.  He suggested that on line 14 adding language                 
  which says "for the year when the initial summons was issued                 
  to the first defendant."                                                     
  There  was extensive discussion  on the  proposed conceptual                 
  TAPE 93-26, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 060                                                                   
  After further  discussion, SENATOR  LEMAN offered  Amendment                 
  No.  3  to  page  2, line  14, to  insert the  word "initial"                 
  before  the  word "summons"  and  insert the  word "initial"                 
  before the word "counter."   Hearing no objection, Amendment                 
  No. 3 was adopted.                                                           
  Number 070                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR offered Amendment  #4 to page 2, line  10, to                 
  read "prejudgment  interest accrues from the date of harm or                 
  injury" and to  delete the remainder  of line 11 and  delete                 
  all of line 12.                                                              
  Number 073                                                                   
  SENATOR LEMAN asked, why, if this is already in current law,                 
  it  is  necessary  to  insert it  here.    CHRIS CHRISTENSEN                 
  answered  that current  law has it  that way  for everything                 
  except torts.                                                                
  Number 095                                                                   
  SENATOR  TAYLOR  moved adoption  of  Amendment #4.   SENATOR                 
  LEMAN objected.  A  hand voted was taken with  the following                 
  result:  Senators  Taylor and Ellis voted  "Yea" and Senator                 
  Leman voted "Nay."  The Chair stated the motion had carried.                 
  Number 108                                                                   
  SENATOR  TAYLOR  moved that  CSSB  161(STA), as  amended, be                 
  passed  out of  committee  with individual  recommendations.                 
  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                     
  There  being  no   further  business  to  come   before  the                 
  committee, the meeting was adjourned at 10:15 a.m.                           

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