Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/23/2004 01:40 PM House FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HOUSE BILL NO. 15                                                                                                            
     An Act  relating to establishing the Alaska No-Call                                                                        
     List, a data base of residential telephone customers                                                                       
     who do not wish to receive telephonic solicitations;                                                                       
     providing that the data base be compiled at no cost to                                                                     
     the customers; requiring paid telephonic sellers to                                                                        
     purchase the data base; requiring telephonic sellers to                                                                    
     identify themselves; requiring telephonic solicitors                                                                       
     who  are  otherwise  exempt  from  registration as                                                                         
     telephonic solicitors to file with the Department of                                                                       
     Law and purchase the data base; and providing for an                                                                       
     effective date.                                                                                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE HUGH FATE advised that Co-Chair Harris had                                                                      
 requested more  information on  the  new  fiscal  note                                                                         
 accompanying Work Draft 23-LS0058\S and stated that it has a                                                                   
 positive impact.                                                                                                               
 Co-Chair Williams commented that the new Department of Law                                                                     
 fiscal note dated 2-23-04 shows an increase of $7.6 in                                                                         
 revenues but no expenditures.                                                                                                  
 Representative Fate moved Amendment 1. Co-Chair Harris                                                                         
 OBJECTED for purposes of discussion.                                                                                           
        Amendment 1 reads:                                                                                                    
        Page 1, lines 13-14:                                                                                                    
        Delete "at least 90 days"                                                                                           
        Insert "the minimum amount of time required by the                                                                  
        national do not call registry"                                                                                      
        Page 2, lines 20-21:                                                                                                    
        Delete "in good faith"                                                                                              
         Insert "as a result of a good faith error"                                                                         
        Page 7, line 14:                                                                                                        
        Delete "This chapter does"                                                                                              
        Insert "AS 43.63.010, 45.63.015, 45.63.020, and                                                                     
        AS 45.63.030(c) and (d) do [THIS CHAPTER DOES]"                                                                     
 JIM POUND, STAFF to REPRESENTATIVE HUGH FATE, stated that he                                                                   
 and Representative Fate had worked closely with Cynthia                                                                        
 Drinkwater, Department of Law, Anchorage, on the amendments.                                                                   
 MARIE DARLIN, COORDINATOR OF CAPITAL CITY TASK FORCE, Alaska                                                                   
 Association of Retired Persons (AARP), spoke in support of                                                                     
 the bill.  She expressed concern that the provisions in the                                                                    
 national do not call list would still apply, and would                                                                         
 extend to intrastate telemarketers.   The AARP is  not                                                                         
 concerned if the state doesn't require registration or                                                                         
 payment of a fee, but would prefer the telemarketers use the                                                                   
        national list.  The AARP supports people having their right                                                             
        to privacy restored and it does not oppose the amendments.                                                              
        She noted that thousands of Alaskans signed up for the                                                                  
        national do not call list.                                                                                              
        Mr. Pound explained Amendment 1, stating that the first of                                                              
        the three changes would bring Alaska law into conformity                                                                
        with federal law and  regulation.  The federal law had                                                                  
        shorter language.   The  second change is  a  technical                                                                 
        correction to the language to make the error in good faith,                                                             
        instead of the call.  The third and largest change addresses                                                            
        the businesses listed in AS 45.63.80 who would be exempt                                                                
        from registration requirements and fees, but would still be                                                             
        required to meet the requirements of the no call list at                                                                
        both the state and federal levels and be subject to the                                                                 
        penalties that will be established in regulation by the                                                                 
        Department of Law.                                                                                                      
        Co-Chair Harris removed his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                   
        Representative Croft asked for clarification of the third                                                               
        part of the amendment, questioning if the businesses would                                                              
        still be under the substantive provisions of the no call                                                                
        list.   Mr. Pound replied the  businesses would not be                                                                  
        required to register or pay a fee, but could not call the no                                                            
        call list.                                                                                                              
        Representative Croft asked if the businesses are mainly                                                                 
        charities.  Mr. Pound explained that these are businesses                                                               
        falling under other areas of Alaska and federal statute,                                                                
        including realtors and insurance companies.  The change also                                                            
        corrects a technical error.                                                                                             
        Representative Croft noted that it is a long list, and                                                                  
        questioned the exemption of funeral homes and insurance                                                                 
        agents from paying fees.  Mr. Pound replied that they were                                                              
        exempted in the past and it was easier to  retain their                                                                 
        Representative Croft  referred  to  page  9,  line  4,                                                                  
        subparagraph 17,  asking  if   it  refers  to   generic                                                                 
        solicitation.  Mr. Pound clarified that it refers to a                                                                  
        company  calling to   set  up  an  appointment  for  a                                                                  
        demonstration, not to sell a product.                                                                                   
        In response to a question by Representative Croft, Mr. Pound                                                            
        explained that the bill would remove the prior exemption of                                                             
        the businesses from the enforceable do not call list, but                                                               
        would not require fees.                                                                                                 
        CYNTHIA   DRINKWATER,   ASSISTANT   ATTORNEY   GENERAL,                                                                 
        COMMERICAL/FAIR BUSINESS SECTION,  DEPARTMENT of  LAW,                                                                  
        ANCHORAGE VIA TELECONFERENCE, clarified that the list of                                                                
        seventeen current exemptions is in the registration portion                                                             
 of the law,  the Telephonics Solicitations Act, and is                                                                         
 separate from the do not call provision.  The list is not                                                                      
 exempted from  the  do  not call  provision, only  the                                                                         
 registration requirement.                                                                                                      
 In response to a  question by Representative Croft, Ms.                                                                        
 Drinkwater stated the businesses would still purchase the                                                                      
 federal registry for Alaska, and a  violation would be                                                                         
 subject to federal law and, with the passage of HB 15, state                                                                   
 law as well.                                                                                                                   
 There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                             
 Representative Fate MOVED to report  CS HB  15 out  of                                                                         
 Committee  with  individual  recommendations and   the                                                                         
 accompanying fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
 so ordered.                                                                                                                    

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