Legislature(2003 - 2004)
02/27/2004 01:20 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 514 - CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT/CRIMES Number 1485 CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 514, "An Act relating to child support modification and enforcement, to the establishment of paternity by the child support enforcement agency, and to the crimes of criminal nonsupport and aiding the nonpayment of child support; amending Rule 90.3, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure; and providing for an effective date." [Before the committee was the proposed committee substitute (CS) for HB 514, Version 23- LS1639\I, Mischel, 2/21/04, which was adopted as a work draft and amended on 2/23/04.] Number 1560 REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS moved to adopt proposed CS for HB 514, Version 23-LS1639\S, Mischel, 2/26/04, as the work draft. There being no objection, Version S was before the committee. Number 1569 JOHN MAIN, Staff to Representative Pete Kott, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor, presented, on behalf of Representative Kott, the changes proposed in Version S. He pointed out that in Section 1, line 9, the word "knowingly" has been placed before "fails." In Section 3, starting on line 17, a whole new subsection has been added regarding the definitions of "child", "child support", and "lawful excuse". CHAIR McGUIRE stated that committee members have all received a letter from the attorney general's office regarding the term, "without lawful excuse." REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG opined that that letter does not seem to track the definition as the committee previously discussed it. REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he worked with Representative Kott's office to make sure that [a person] wouldn't get thrown into jail unless the failure to pay was knowingly done and was an amount that was affordable. This issue is addressed in the definition of "without lawful excuse." Representative Gara said Representative Gruenberg is also correct in that there were many things that could be considered a lawful excuse. He noted that [the bill] only addressed one definition and suggested adding the wording, "and lawful excuse includes". MR. MAIN, continuing with his presentation, pointed out that in Section 5, line 17 says, "and unreasonably". He relayed that Section 7 is a new section which says, "in this section, 'child' and 'child support' have the meaning given in AS 11.51.120." REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Mr. Main to go over the sections from Version I that were eliminated in Version S. MR. MAIN said he would also discuss the deletions. He continued to explain that Section 9, lines 24-25, is a new section that was worked on in conjunction with the Department of Revenue (DOR). In Version I, AS 47.07 was eliminated, but has been added back into Version S, he said. Number 1784 MR. MAIN continued to explain the changes to Version S. Section 10 (f) - which, in Version I, used to be [Section 9] (f) - now says in part, "Peace officer powers granted by the agency under this subsection may be exercised for protection in the line of duty". Additionally, the phrases, "at some time" and "approved by the commissioner of public safety" have been removed from proposed AS 25.27.020(f)(1). He noted that in Section 10, proposed [subsection] (g) contains all new language that was requested by [the Department of Law (DOL)]. MR. MAIN referred to Section 1 of Version I and indicated that subsection (a)(2) was deleted and the concept embodied in it is now covered under Section 3 [of Version S]. MR. MAIN said the amendment to Version I offered by Representative Ogg pertaining to, "without lawful excuse" has been incorporated into Version S. He went on to remark that when a misdemeanor is filed, the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) can only charge for conduct that covers the preceding five years. With a felony, the CSED can charge for conduct that covers the previous ten years. Number 1929 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked if there is a 10-year statute of limitation for [criminal non-support] and, if so, where in statute that might be located. MR. MAIN replied he did not have that information. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he would like to [be provided] that information. MR. MAIN said that child support, by its nature, spans an 18- year commitment and is a continuing offense as opposed to a one- time event such as a robbery. In Taylor v. State, [failure to pay child support] became one continuous charge if a person failed to pay over a period of time. He opined that it is appropriate for the conduct charge to reach back 10 years because criminal non-support is theft, even though the CSED does not call it that. It has always been viewed as a domestic issue, but it can be argued that a theft has occurred. He gave an example of someone stealing $500 from a store and being charged with a felony; however, current law allows a noncustodial parent to steal thousands, and sometimes tens-of- thousands, of dollars from his or her child and it is only considered a misdemeanor. MR. MAIN offered an example wherein the CSED filed against a noncustodial parent with one child who was 18 years old and another child who was 16 years old and emancipated, with the emancipation having occurred six years ago. At the trial, the defense argued that for the 16-year-old who was emancipated over five years ago, the charges should be dismissed. A judge dismissed the charge from the second child because the conduct occurred outside the statute of limitations of five years. Had there been a felony statute in place, the conduct would not have been dismissed because the second child would have been emancipated within the 10-year period. In that case, he continued, the CSED proceeded to trial on only one child who was currently 18 years old. The noncustodial parent, in that case, was $55,736 in arrears. He noted that currently, if the noncustodial parent can avoid paying child support for five years past emancipation of his or her children, or five years past the children's age of majority, the noncustodial parent cannot be criminally charged no matter what the arrears or conduct is and regardless of what the child support order contains, whether it be for support for college, or for special- needs children. MR. MAIN explained that when it comes to probation of a felony, versus probation for a misdemeanor, the success that the CSED has had in convicted noncustodial parents making regular payments is due to the fact that there is jail time waiting in the wings if they stop paying. After conviction or plea, a court can order informal probation for a term of up to ten years and suspended jail time for a year. For a Class C felony, the amount of formal probation is ten years, and the amount of suspended jail time is five years. Misdemeanor convictions receive informal probation, whereas felony probations are formal, he explained. With felony probation, the defendant is assigned a probation officer with the Department of Corrections (DOC). The probation officer monitors compliance with the court order to stay employed, to make monthly child support payments, and follow the terms of probation ordered by the judge. Number 2096 MR. MAIN said that the current situation with a misdemeanor conviction requires that CSED investigators and assistant district attorneys serve the function of a parole officer. They are the ones who track compliance. When a defendant stops working and paying, or drops out, the CSED and the assistant district attorney file a petition to revoke probation, which involves a separate case that requires a report by a CSED investigator, a court filing, an arraignment, and a judicial hearing. When a petition to revoke probation is adjudicated, the CSED can request that the court impose those parts of the criminal judgment that are suspended, unfulfilled, or unordered by the court. For example, if the court orders 365 days in jail with 360 suspended, the defendant would have served five days at the time of conviction; then, at a petition to revoke probation hearing, the CSED can ask that a portion of the remaining 360 days be imposed. MR. MAIN said that the CSED can also ask the court to enforce the criminal order that the noncustodial parents be employed. In misdemeanors, it is common for the courts to re-assign the defendant on the first petition to revoke probation. In a criminal non-support context, the court is likely to tell a defendant to get a job and start paying, and the defense attorney is going to drag out the petition to revoke probation by receiving continuances until the client is employed again. When the case is adjudicated and the client is working and paying again, the court is hesitant to incarcerate a noncustodial parent. Number 2176 MR. MAIN said that even if the court remands the defendant for some of the suspended jail time, it is going to be assigned in small allotments; in other words in 10-day, or 20-day allotments. Because the CSED has no other tools, it has been very successful in getting misdemeanor probation for 5 to 10 years. It's the only hook it has, at this point, and it's not a very effective one. Ideally, a misdemeanor charge would mean that a defendant is placed on probation for 3 to 5 years, and the CSED would file one, maybe two petitions to revoke probation, but no more, and after the second one, would be able to file a felony [charge]. Or, when the conduct is appropriate, the CSED would file a felony charge. Again, with a felony conviction, there is a probation officer assigned to monitor the noncustodial parent's compliance with employment, monthly payments, and other conditions. The courts view a felony petition to revoke probation very differently. For felony probation, the felony officer files a petition, and the period of suspended jail can be up to 5 years, and it is more likely that the court will impose jail time. For a felony, by the second petition to revoke probation, the argument will be much stronger that the amount of jail time will be months, instead of days. He said that this is appropriate for some of the conduct that the CSED sees. MR. MAIN said that with a misdemeanor charge, not all defendants are treated the same. He gave an example of one person who had a monthly obligation of $250, one child, arrears of $5,000, and was employed seasonally. Another noncustodial parent had a monthly obligation of $700, four children, two marriages, arrears of $69,000, and was employed as a doctor or lawyer or whose contracting business was transferred into another name. Both of those examples had to be charged the same - with a misdemeanor. MR. MAIN requested that Sue Stancliff address the issue of arming investigators. Number 2275 SUE STANCLIFF, House Majority Office, Alaska State Legislature, explained, on behalf of the sponsor, Representative Pete Kott, that Section 10 gives CSED investigators the power of police officers when enforcing child support laws. She went on to say: The Department of Public Safety has commissioned CSED investigators for 20 years. The commissions were granted because [the] CSED had access to National Crime Information Centers (NCIC). Their database from the FBI was to locate noncustodial parents and assist law enforcement agencies in parental kidnapping cases. The FBI recognized [the] CSED as a law enforcement agency when it granted access to the NCIC database. The State of Alaska, under previous statute, recognized [the] CSED as a criminal justice agency and allowed the agency access to Alaska Public Safety Information Network, which we all know as the APSIN. Currently, CSED investigators hold a limited special "Peace Officer Alaska State Trooper Without Weapon Commission" to perform [the CSED's] criminal investigation duties. These commissions grant them the ability to do search warrants, testify at grand jury, and issue criminal non-support citations. [The] CSED has interior protection for its employees due to the dangers experienced there, past and present. The customer service center in Anchorage has bulletproof glass now and Kevlar walls. I believe we probably all recall recent articles in the paper that brought that about. [The] CSED investigators were issued bulletproof vests because of an incident that occurred in 1995 where individuals brandished firearms. MS. STANCLIFF said that in the past, CSED investigators have requested assistance from the state troopers, and that Mr. Main, former director of [the] CSED, would be able to give the example because he'd had "first-hand experience." TAPE 04-28, SIDE B Number 2393 MR. MAIN explained that the situation was one in which an individual had advised [division personnel] as well as FBI personnel that he carried a firearm. Therefore, the Alaska State Troopers were called for assistance. The dispatcher simply turned around and called that investigator's division office and forwarded the request for assistance back to the CSED. Mr. Main specified that the CSED has requested assistance from the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Alaska State Troopers, as well as the Anchorage Police Department (APD) on more than one occasion, and in those instances, the aforementioned entities have called the CSED directly to request that the division assist its own people, or have given the CSED its own phone number, thereby referring the CSED to itself. REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS offered his recollection that the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, William Tandeske, had expressed concerns about whether the training CSED investigators receive includes "shoot, no shoot" scenarios. Representative Samuels directed attention to page 5, line 5, of Version S and asked if that language includes all the deadly force training or only refers to technical accuracy with a firearm. MS. STANCLIFF pointed out that [in order for an investigator to carry a firearm the investigator must] complete a peace officer training academy program as well as meet annual firearm certification requirements. Ms. Stancliff mentioned that although she knew the firearm certification requirements are quite rigorous, she didn't know what they were exactly. She characterized the peace officer training academy program as a firm foundation. She highlighted that one must meet the annual firearm certification requirements, emphasizing that it is an annual certification . Ms. Stancliff said she assumes that the annual firearm certification requirements would include when to shoot and when not to shoot. REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS clarified that he was asking if the annual firearm certification requirements included the judgment portion, which is the most important portion of the training. CHAIR McGUIRE interjected that she believes regulations will have to be drafted regarding the requirements. Number 2226 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG expressed concern about dangerous situations in which the CSED requested assistance and the division wasn't given immediate assistance by law enforcement. There should be no reason for that to occur, he opined. Just because the CSED wasn't given the help it needed, Representative Gruenberg said he didn't believe that it follows that the CSED should be armed. He said he believes the solution is for the CSED to obtain the help and assistance necessary from law enforcement, and suggested perhaps including an intent section or attaching a letter of intent specifying that [law enforcement] should provide the CSED with all necessary assistance as quickly as possible. There is no reason, he stressed, that CSED staff should endanger themselves on a nonsupport matter. CHAIR McGUIRE announced that she supports "it." She pointed out that the Alcohol Beverage Control Board investigators carry firearms and yet those who are entering hostile situations in which they are asking to take away significant assets from enraged parents don't carry firearms. Chair McGuire indicated agreement with Representative Samuels that the training should include shooting judgment. She specified that everyone at the CSED doesn't need to carry a firearm and what's being discussed here is allowing the investigators to carry a firearm. She requested that Mr. Main walk through some of the scenarios, and noted that 33 states have made failure to pay child support beyond certain years or levels, a felony. She asked if other states authorize investigators in divisions equivalent to the CSED to carry a firearm. MR. MAIN answered that California's district attorney investigators who perform family support for criminal purposes are considered post-certified or police-standard certified and carry firearms. Louisiana gives its child support enforcement investigators the authority to carry a firearm. Oregon has a law, although it doesn't arm its child support investigators. Number 2034 MR. MAIN, in response to a question, explained that the investigators currently working at the CSED have many years of experience in law enforcement, including investigations. The investigators of the CSED do surveillance, following an individual to work in order to show that that individual has the ability to pay. Sometimes CSED investigators interview individuals at the Department of Revenue office building or in the field. Some of these individuals have [been charged with or been convicted of] violent crimes. Furthermore, [CSED investigators] are called upon to respond when the CSED has a threat at the CSED office, and this has occurred more than once at the Anchorage facility. MR. MAIN recalled that approximately a year ago, the CSED received a threat from an individual who said he was coming to the office. When that individual entered the building, the current director of the CSED called the investigators, not the Anchorage Police Department or the Alaska State Troopers. All past directors of the CSED have responded in such a manner and expected the investigators to protect the CSED. However, he noted that he didn't respond in that manner because the investigators aren't armed. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked if providing protection for the agency is part of the job description. MR. MAIN specified that the CSED's investigator position description specifies that instigators are to respond to any emergency situation, including threats. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said that changes his thinking and thus he said [CSED investigators] need the ability to protect the agency. On a different issue, he suggested Mr. Main should follow-up with regard to what the legislature can do to make sure that [CSED investigators] have the protection necessary in the field. Number 1861 REPRESENTATIVE OGG posed a situation in which an investigator gathers all the information he/she needs and confronts the individual. In such a situation, who performs the arrest of the individual, he asked. MR. MAIN answered that arrests would be left for the Anchorage Police Department or the Alaska State Troopers to perform. It's not in the job description of CSED investigators to arrest individuals. For misdemeanors, individuals are given a summons or a citation instructing them to come to court. Sometimes the U.S. Marshals have had to arrest individuals in cases involving federal [jurisdiction]. REPRESENTATIVE OGG remarked that when the individuals have committed felonies, these individuals are different characters under the law. He pointed out that [law enforcement] can use extreme force and sometimes deadly force when apprehending a felon who is escaping. [Under this legislation, those who have failed to pay child support] will now fall into [the felony category]. Representative Ogg posed a situation under this proposed statute in which [an individual who has failed to pay child support] is determined to be a felon and that individual takes off. He questioned what an armed investigator would do. MR. MAIN answered that the investigator would allow the individual to flee. He explained that the reason the legislation specifies that [peace officers powers granted by the agency may be exercised] is for protection in the line of duty. "There is no reason ... for them to shoot anyone unless it's for the protection of themselves or others," he specified. Mr. Main emphasized that the investigators currently with the agency have been trained extensively throughout the years and these investigators, even if armed, know that they have no reason to shoot a fleeing felon. CHAIR McGUIRE highlighted that peace officer powers come with all the obligations those powers carry. She said she assumes that there would also be a policy crafted with regard to granting peace officer powers. Number 1689 CHAIR McGUIRE recalled that last year this committee heard Representative Croft's legislation that allows anyone in the state to carry a concealed weapon so long as the individual isn't a felon. Chair McGuire remarked that it's the committee's obligation to remember that legislation as well as keep policies commiserate. For example, it seem ironic if the [policy] is that any man or woman over the age of 18 who isn't a convicted felon can carry a weapon, while a person who, as part of his or her job description, is required to be the source of protection for a department cannot. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG characterized Chair McGuire's comments as very persuasive. He asked if the CSED office in Anchorage employs any security measures, such as the screening that is done at the court building. MR. MAIN relayed that the CSED office in Anchorage is being reviewed extensively with regard to providing security for the entire building [the Atwood building]. This review is occurring [partly] because the governor's office and the lieutenant governor's office are located in that building as well. One of the options that has been reviewed is something similar to [the screening] that occurs at court buildings. REPRESENTATIVE GARA turned attention to page 5 [line 4] and asked if the investigators have to complete and pass a peace officer training academy program. MR. MAIN confirmed that the intent is for the investigators to successfully complete a peace officer training academy program. REPRESENTATIVE OGG drew attention to page 4, Section 10, and the language specifying that peace officer powers may be used for protection in the line of duty. Representative Ogg said that the language is permissive, although it isn't limiting. Therefore, when [an investigator] has the full range of police officer powers, it would seem that [the investigators] would have the ability and in fact have a duty to arrest a fleeing felon. CHAIR McGUIRE asked if there was any objection to altering the language [on page 5, line 1] to read as follows: "exercised for protection only in the line of duty." MR. MAIN said he saw no problem with such a change. Number 1422 REPRESENTATIVE OGG clarified that he didn't want to limit the powers but merely wanted to be clear on the intent. MR. MAIN noted that even the Anchorage Police Department won't go after fleeing felons. In fact, there are policies in place that specify when a chase is discontinued. REPRESENTATIVE OGG expressed the need to be clear with regard to whether the legislation only speaks to limiting CSED investigators to protection only in the line of duty or whether the broader power desired. MR. MAIN clarified that the goal is to protect these [CSED investigators], but not give them the broad power that would [require] them to make arrests. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG pointed out that this also includes protection of the office. He explained that he now supports arming [CSED investigators] because, although [investigators] can wait for the police to arrive when [in the field], [a CSED investigator] can't wait for the police when an enraged obligor arrives at the CSED office. CHAIR McGUIRE remarked that she believes that [the language] is clear enough, especially because if "we try to micromanage it too much, we run into problems." Number 1282 REPRESENTATIVE GARA moved that the committee adopt Amendment 1, a handwritten amendment, which read [original punctuation provided]: Insert at p.2 line 25 after "efforts" "and also includes any lawful excuse that is otherwise provided by law." CHAIR McGUIRE objected. REPRESENTATIVE GARA explained that [this legislation] creates a felony and a misdemeanor for those who don't pay child support. The language in the statute specifies that if one doesn't pay child support and has no lawful reason for not paying, then that individual goes to jail. Therefore, the focus is with regard to whether the individual has a lawful excuse for not paying child support. Upon review of the cases, it seems that the failure to pay has to be knowing [there is child support to pay] and failure to pay an amount that the individual can pay. The drafters placed most of the language dealing with the aforementioned in the definition of a lawful excuse, he noted. CHAIR McGUIRE specified that this language can be found on page 2, line 23 of Version S. She then pointed out that the annotations for AS 11.51.120 specifies the following: "The Alaska Court of Appeals interpreted 'without lawful excuse' to mean that the state is required to establish, as an element of criminal nonsupport under this section, that the accused had the financial ability to pay the support - that is, that the accused either actually had funds available for payment of support or that he could have obtained such funds through reasonable efforts." REPRESENTATIVE GARA said that the previously referenced standard is a good standard to put in the law. However, he pointed out that now it would say that that is the only lawful excuse and thus he asked if there are other lawful excuses. To be cautious, he said he was thinking of adding language "or any other lawful excuse". MR. MAIN specified that the major lawful excuse would be that an individual can't afford to pay the child support. He informed the committee that of the $300 million in [child support] debt, approximately 70 percent of those obligors make less than $10,000 a year. In further response to Representative Gara, Mr. Main informed the committee that after the investigators closely scrutinize each case with regard to meeting the [lawful excuse] criteria, each case is further scrutinized by the district attorney assigned to the case. Mr. Main acknowledged that each child support enforcement case is surrounded by different circumstances and thus the issue becomes whether the individual has the ability to pay or not. REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked if Mr. Main would have any difficulty with defining "lawful excuse" as specified in Amendment 1. MR. MAIN replied that he has no problem with that, although he said he didn't know what other lawful excuses there would be. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG pointed out that technically, someone could have the ability to pay but legally have the money tied up in a bankruptcy, injunction, or sequestration. CHAIR McGUIRE interjected, "Or a piece of property they don't want to sell." REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG specified that not wanting to sell isn't enough because an individual can be ordered to sell it. Representative Gruenberg clarified that he is referring to something that legally prevents the individual from [paying]. Number 0902 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG then turned to the annotation to [AS 11.51.120] and suggested that this [proposed] statute not define "lawful excuse" because the courts [have already done so]. Frankly, it would be simpler, he remarked. Furthermore, he said he didn't believe "child support" needs to be defined because it's an instance of tautology. REPRESENTATIVE GARA disagreed and explained that "lawful excuse" does need to be defined. In Alaska, the statute doesn't list reasons why one might justifiably not pay child support. Furthermore, the supreme court hasn't provided any guidance on this. Other states have taken the approach the court of appeals did [with Taylor v. State] by inferring that the legislature meant, "unless you have no ability to pay," while others have not inferred in that requirement. Representative Gara commented that he liked the court of appeals rule and questioned why one wouldn't include it in the law. He noted that New Mexico and Tennessee follow a similar rule. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said that he believes Amendment 1 would be helpful otherwise the [courts] might say the [definition specified in the legislation] is the only definition. However, he pointed out that the number of reported decisions in criminal cases in Alaska that reach the Alaska Supreme Court is miniscule and usually involve procedural issues of a constitutional nature. As a practical matter, a decision from the court of appeals in Alaska is the court of highest appeal. Therefore, Representative Gruenberg said he felt comfortable with the [Taylor v. State] decision. Number 0636 CHAIR McGUIRE expressed concern with regard to Amendment 1. She said she didn't really know what the proposed language really means. Furthermore, she said she didn't want to provide too many excuses. She turned to the memorandum from the Department of Law dated February 26, 2004, and offered the following: in the Taylor case, the defendant argued that the language "without lawful excuse" was impermissibly vague and, because of that, the defendant charged that he didn't have sufficient notice of the "precise conduct that [the] criminal nonsupport statute purported to prohibit." She relayed that the memorandum said the following: "The court found that: 'the statute, as construed, affords adequate notice of the conduct it prohibits, so that reasonable people need not guess at its meaning.'" Chair McGuire said that although she is concerned with regard to going beyond that, she did believe there is merit in including it in statute. REPRESENTATIVE GARA withdrew Amendment 1. Number 0493 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved that the committee adopt Amendment 2, to delete from page 2, line 22, the language: "(2) 'child support' means support for a child;". MR. MAIN, in response, explained that the Department of Revenue felt that there was another way to address [the definition of child support] but Legislative Legal and Research Services felt that the language specified is how it should be addressed. CHAIR McGUIRE announced that she supported leaving in [the definition of child support]. Number 0414 A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Gara and Gruenberg voted in favor of Amendment 2. Representatives Ogg, Samuels, and McGuire voted against it. Therefore, Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 2-3. Number 0353 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved that the committee adopt Amendment 3, which read [original punctuation provided]: Page 4 following line 9: Insert new bill section to read: *Sec.8 AS 12.55.139 is amended to read: Penalties for criminal nonsupport In addition to other penalties imposed for the offense of criminal nonsupport under AS 11.51.120, the court may suspend, restrict, or revoke, for the period during which the arrearage continues to exist [FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED SIX MONTHS], a recreational license as defined in AS 09.50.020(c), if the defendant is a natural person. Renumber bill sections and bill section references accordingly. Number 0319 CHAIR McGUIRE objected for discussion purposes. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that Amendment 3 would increase the penalty under [AS 11.51].120. Furthermore, it would increase the period that a recreational license can be revoked. Currently, a recreational license can be suspended for six months, which really isn't effective for a misdemeanor. Amendment 3 will allow the court to "suspend, restrict, or revoke, for the period during which the arrearage continues" and thus put some teeth into this [penalty], he opined. CHAIR McGUIRE removed her objection. There being no other objection, Amendment 3 was adopted. Number 0171 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved that the committee adopt Amendment 4, which read [original punctuation provided]: Page 3 following line 10: Insert a new section to read: "(c) In addition to the provisions of (a) and (b) of this section, aiding the nonpayment of child support in the first degree is punishable by loss or restriction of a recreational license as provided in AS 12.55.139. Page 4 following line 9: Insert new bill sections to read: *Sec. 8. AS 11.51.122 is amended to add a new subsection to read: (f) In addition to the provisions of (a)-(e) of this section, aiding the nonpayment of child support in the second degree is punishable by loss or restriction of a recreational license as provided in AS 12.55.139. *Sec. 9 AS 12.55.139 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: (b) In addition to other penalties imposed for the offense of aiding the nonpayment of child support in the first degree under AS 11.51.121 and for the offense of aiding the nonpayment of child support in the second degree under AS 11.51.122, the court may suspend, restrict, or revoke, for a period not to exceed one year, a recreational license as defined in AS 09.50.020(c), if the defendant is a natural person. Renumber bill sections and bill section references accordingly. Number 0168 CHAIR McGUIRE objected for purposes of discussion. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that Amendment 4 references Amendment 3 and allows the loss or restriction of a recreational license. CHAIR McGUIRE removed her objection. There being no other objection, Amendment 4 was adopted. Number 0125 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved that the committee adopt [Conceptual] Amendment 5, which read [original punctuation provided]: Page 3 following line 10: Insert a new subsection to read: "(c) In addition to the provisions of (a) and (b) of this section, aiding the nonpayment of child support in the first degree is punishable by loss or restriction of a business license as provided in AS 12.55. 139. Page 4 following line 9: Insert new bill sections to read: *Sec. 8. AS 11.51.122 is amended to add a new subsection to read: (f) In addition to the provisions of (a)-(e) of this section, aiding the nonpayment of child support in the second degree is punishable by loss or restriction of a business license as provided in AS 12.55.139. *Sec. 9. AS 12.55.139 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: (b) In addition to other penalties imposed for the offense of aiding the nonpayment of child support in the first degree under AS 11.51.121 and for the offense of aiding the nonpayment of child support in the second degree under AS 11.51.122, the court may suspend, restrict, or revoke, for a period not to exceed one year, a business license issued under AS 43.70. Renumber bill sections and bill section references accordingly. Number 0070 CHAIR McGUIRE objected for purposes of discussion. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that [Conceptual] Amendment 5 states that for aiding and abetting [the nonpayment of child support], an individual can lose his or her business license. This would also put some teeth into [the penalties for nonpayment of child support], he opined. TAPE 04-29, SIDE A Number 0001 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, in response to Representative Samuels, said that aiding and abetting is a statutorily-defined basic crime. REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS surmised, "You're paying them under the table for the reason of getting away from child support payments." CHAIR McGUIRE said, "And, there is the mental intent of 'knowingly', correct?" REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS replied, "Absolutely." REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he felt it was too harsh to remove the business license, and going to jail was enough of a sanction. REPRESENTATIVE OGG said there seemed to be "typos" in that both amendments 4 and 5 reference the same subsections. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG offered his amendment as conceptual. He said his intent is to deter criminal conduct and to enforce compliance with the child support law. Having [Conceptual Amendment 5] as a potential sanction for businesses may be far more effective than anything else, he opined. He said he wanted the court be able to suspend a business owner's license, but suspend that portion of the sentence, if the defendant is compliant. REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS agreed with Representative Gara because of the potential harm to the employees of a suspended business. CHAIR McGUIRE asked if there was any further discussion. She maintained her objection [to Conceptual Amendment 5]. Number 0325 A roll call vote was taken. Representative Gruenberg voted in favor of Conceptual Amendment 5. Representatives Ogg, Samuels, Gara, and McGuire voted against it. Therefore, Conceptual Amendment 5 failed by a vote of 1-4. Number 0377 REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS moved to report the proposed CS for HB 514, Version 23-LS1639\S, Mischel, 2/26/04, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 514(JUD) was reported from House Judiciary Standing Committee.