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CSSSHB 273(JUD) am: "An Act relating to the right of a parent to waive an unemancipated child's claim of negligence against a provider of sports or recreational activities."

00          CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 273(JUD) am                                                       
01 "An Act relating to the right of a parent to waive an unemancipated child's claim of                                    
02 negligence against a provider of sports or recreational activities."                                                    
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                         
05 to read:                                                                                                                
06       FINDINGS AND INTENT.  (a)  The legislature finds that                                                             
07            (1)  children of this state should enjoy the maximum opportunity to participate                              
08 in sports or recreational activities despite the presence of risk in those activities;                                  
09            (2)  public, private, and nonprofit entities that provide sports or recreational                             
10 activities to children of the state need and deserve a measure of protection against lawsuits                           
11 and, without that measure of protection, may be unwilling or unable to provide the activities;                          
12            (3)  parents have a fundamental right and responsibility to make decisions                                   
13 concerning the care, custody, and control of their children;                                                            
14            (4)  the law has long presumed that parents are in the best position to determine                            
01 what is in the best interests of their children;                                                                        
02            (5)  parents are accustomed to making conscious choices on behalf of their                                   
03 children every day regarding the benefits and risk of various activities available to their                             
04 children; and                                                                                                           
05            (6)  parental choices, when made voluntarily upon consideration of appropriate                               
06 information, should not be ignored, but should be afforded the same dignity and legal effect as                         
07 other parental choices, including choices regarding education and medical treatment.                                    
08       (b)  It is the intent of this Act to                                                                              
09            (1)  encourage the availability and affordability of sports or recreational                                  
10 activities to children in this state by recognizing the right of a parent to choose to release, on                      
11 behalf of the parent's child, prospective negligence-based claims that the child may accrue                             
12 against the provider of a sports or recreational activity;                                                              
13            (2)  encourage the broad construction of the Act to shield providers of sports or                            
14 recreational activities from liability for the negligence-based claims of a child that were                             
15 released through a waiver or release-style document executed by the child's parent;                                     
16            (3)  ensure that this Act is not construed to permit a parent to release or waive                            
17 claims of a child against a provider of a sports or recreational activity that allege reckless or                       
18 intentional misconduct.                                                                                                 
19    * Sec. 2.  AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
20            Sec. 09.65.292.  Parental waiver of child's negligence claim against                                       
21       provider of sports or recreational activity.  (a)  Except as provided in (b) of this                            
22       section, a parent may, on behalf of the parent's child, release or waive the child's                              
23       prospective claim for negligence against the provider of a sports or recreational                                 
24       activity in which the child participates to the extent the waiver is otherwise valid.  The                        
25       release or waiver must be in writing and shall be signed by the child's parent.                                   
26            (b)  A parent may not release or waive a child's prospective claim against a                                 
27       provider of a sports or recreational activity for reckless or intentional misconduct.                             
28            (c)  In this section,                                                                                        
29                 (1)  "child" means a minor who is not emancipated;                                                      
30                 (2)  "parent" means                                                                                     
31                      (A)  the child's natural or adoptive parent;                                                       
01                      (B)  the child's guardian or other person appointed by the court                                   
02            to act on behalf of the child;                                                                               
03                      (C)  a representative of the Department of Health and Social                                       
04            Services if the child is in the legal custody of the state;                                                  
05                      (D)  a person who has a valid power of attorney concerning the                                     
06            child; or                                                                                                    
07                      (E)  for a child not living with the child's natural or adoptive                                   
08            parent, the child's grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, or brother who have reached                            
09            the age of majority and with whom the child lives;                                                           
10                 (3)  "provider" has the meaning given in AS 09.65.290;                                                  
11                 (4)  "sports or recreational activity" has the meaning given in                                         
12       AS 09.65.290.                                                                                                     
13    * Sec. 3.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
14 read:                                                                                                                   
15       APPLICABILITY.  This Act applies to acts or omissions that occur on or after the                                  
16 effective date of sec. 2 of this Act.