Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120

04/16/2015 01:00 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 3:00 p.m. Today --
Moved HCS CSSB 43(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            SB  43-IMMUNITY FOR FIRE DEPT. & MEMBERS                                                                        
3:03:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
SENATE  BILL NO.  43, "An  Act relating  to immunity  for a  fire                                                               
department and employees or members of a fire department."                                                                      
3:04:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN moved to adopt  HCS for CSSB 43, Version [29-                                                               
LS0325\I],  Shutts,  4/14/15, as  the  working  document.   There                                                               
being  no objection,  Version I  was before  the House  Judiciary                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
3:04:41 PM                                                                                                                    
JORDAN  SHILLING, Staff,  Senator  John Coghill,  said the  prior                                                               
version applied  immunity too broadly, and  this version includes                                                               
professional municipally operated firemen.   He opined the change                                                               
was for the  contract departments that serve  the Municipality of                                                               
Anchorage and  the Fairbanks  North Star  Borough.   He explained                                                               
that the  change is rather  than apply  the immunity to  both the                                                               
contract  department and  municipally  operated department,  this                                                               
committee substitute  reads that there  would be immunity  to the                                                               
contract departments, which would  be university fire departments                                                               
and non-profit fire departments.                                                                                                
3:06:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  opened public testimony  and after  ascertaining no                                                               
one wished to testify closed public testimony.                                                                                  
3:06:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  moved to  adopt Conceptual  Amendment 1                                                               
for discussion.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT objected.                                                                                                
3:06:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SUZI  SHUTTS, Attorney,  Legislative  Legal Counsel,  Legislative                                                               
Legal and  Research Services,  said she  did not  have a  copy of                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
3:07:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG read Conceptual  Amendment 1, as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     This  section  does  not  limit   the  authority  of  a                                                                    
     municipality or  village to maintain an  action against                                                                    
     a contractor, vendor or  supplier providing services or                                                                    
     goods to the municipality or village.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   advised  it   would  be   a  separate                                                               
subsection.     He  then   asked  whether   the  term   would  be                                                               
"municipality or  village," or should  it be  left as it  is with                                                               
the instruction  to make  it right.   He posited  that Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1  is talking  about an entity  that can  maintain suit                                                               
and that types  of villages were types of  municipalities, but he                                                               
was not certain.                                                                                                                
MS. SHUTTS responded that under AS 09.65.080, which read:                                                                       
     An  action   may  be  maintained  by   an  incorporated                                                                    
     borough,  city, or  other  public  corporation of  like                                                                    
     character in  its corporate  name and  upon a  cause of                                                                    
     action accruing to it in its corporate character ...                                                                       
MS. SHUTTS advised she was not  sure whether that would go to his                                                               
concern and whether that language would be used.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  whether it  was possible  to say                                                               
that  they  intend it  to  apply  to  any entity  AS  09.65.0[8]0                                                               
applies, and  that Legislative Legal and  Research Services could                                                               
use the correct drafting and  coordinate with staff, Mr. Wheeler,                                                               
and himself.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX  noted  it  was  obviously  the  intent  to  do  as                                                               
Representative   Gruenberg   suggested,   and   he   was   asking                                                               
Legislative Legal and Research Services to make it correct.                                                                     
3:10:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG agreed.                                                                                                
MS.  SHUTTS  advised Representative  Gruenberg  she  had not  yet                                                               
received a copy of Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                      
3:11:01 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:11:01 to 3:12:38 p.m.                                                                      
3:12:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SHILLING referred to [Sec.1,  AS 09.65.083(a)(d)(2)], page 2,                                                               
line 9, which read:                                                                                                             
     (2) a nonprofit that provides services under contract                                                                      
     or agreement with a municipality or village.                                                                               
MR. SHILLING said [(d)] defines  a nonprofit fire department that                                                               
includes a municipality or village.                                                                                             
3:13:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG remarked  he  would like  to leave  the                                                               
language up to the drafter.   Secondly, he referred to the phrase                                                               
"an action  against a contractor,  vendor, or  supplier providing                                                               
services or  goods to  the municipality  or village,"  and opined                                                               
that there  may be a situation  where a suit would  be against an                                                               
entity other than one of those  entities.  He said he would leave                                                               
it  up to  the bill  drafter if  they preferred  "to maintain  an                                                               
action under this section," or something.                                                                                       
3:14:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SHILLING agreed,  and said that in the event  it is something                                                               
the  legislative attorneys  believe is  appropriate, the  sponsor                                                               
would be good with it.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG opined that if  the suit was against the                                                               
municipality  which wasn't  contracting,  the  suit against  them                                                               
could  be  maintained.   He  said  he  has  no problem  with  the                                                               
language  because it  deals with  a totally  different issue  and                                                               
that he  wants the records to  reflect this is another  issue and                                                               
is covered here.   He noted that  the title of the  bill reads as                                                               
     An Act relating to immunity for a fire department and                                                                      
     employees or members of a fire department.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  pointed  out  that the  title  of  the                                                               
section  is "Civil  liability of  nonprofit  and university  fire                                                               
departments."   He opined  that Conceptual  Amendment 1  does not                                                               
fall  within that  catch line  so when  Ms. Shutts  processes the                                                               
amendment that she may want to change  the tag line, or put it in                                                               
something  separate.     He  noted  that  this   deals  with  the                                                               
government as a plaintiff rather than a defendant.                                                                              
3:16:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT withdrew her objection.                                                                                  
3:17:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX advised there being no objection, Conceptual                                                                       
Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                                        
3:17:58 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT moved  to  report [HCS  for  CSSB 43,  as                                                               
amended,] out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying  fiscal notes.   There  being no  objection, HCS                                                               
CSSB 43(JUD) moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                 
3:18:19 PM                                                                                                                    

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