Legislature(2003 - 2004)
03/13/2003 08:00 AM House STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 15-TELEMARKETERS NO-CALL LISTS Number 1400 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that the next order of business was 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." [A proposed committee substitute (CS), Version I, labeled 23- LS0058\I, Craver, 2/28/03, had been adopted as a work draft and amended on March 11, 2003.] Number 1455 JIM POUND, Staff to Representative Hugh Fate, Alaska State Legislature, speaking on behalf of Representative Fate, sponsor, noted that there were some new amendments that Representative Gruenberg would offer. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG mentioned a subcommittee meeting yesterday. Number 1650 MR. POUND brought attention to Amendment 1, labeled 23- LS0058\I.2, Craver, 3/12/03, which read: Page 2, lines 15 - 17: Delete all material. Reletter the following subparagraphs accordingly. Page 3, line 11: Delete "(C)" Insert "(B)" Page 3, line 15: Delete "(i)" Insert "," Page 3, lines 17 - 19: Delete "and (ii) drop from the program each residential subscriber who fails to reregister and pay the annual registration fee;" Page 4, line 7: Delete "(B)" Insert "(A)" Page 7, line 25: Delete "AS 45.50.475(b)(1)(B)" Insert "AS 45.50.475(b)(1)(A)" Page 8, line 25: Delete "AS 45.50.475(b)(1)(B)" Insert "AS 45.50.475(b)(1)(A)" Page 9, line 3: Delete "AS 45.50.475(b)(1)(B)" Insert "AS 45.50.475(b)(1)(A)" MR. POUND explained that the section of Amendment 1 on page 2, lines 15-17, would delete the $5 registration fee; therefore, the [part of the] deletion on page 3, lines 17-19 [referring to the fee, is no longer necessary]. MR. POUND suggested a friendly amendment to Amendment 1 such that page 3, lines 17-19, would read as follows: and (ii) drop from the program each residential subscriber who fails to annually reregister. MR. POUND explained that people in Alaska tend to be relatively transient, and telephones "don't necessarily always follow the people around the state." Thus the friendly amendment to Amendment 1 would give an automatic annual update to the contractor, who will know that that phone number is no longer required to have the no-call list, without getting the telephone companies involved in it. Number 1777 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG stated his understanding that the gist is to drop the annual registration fee for the consumer. MR. POUND concurred. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG alluded to past discussion and recalled that it seemed to him most of the committee members hadn't wanted the customer to have to pay. Number 1790 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ noted that the customer would still be required to register and asked what that would entail. MR. POUND stated his understanding that the registration would be handled with a toll-free number or online, "depending on how their private contractor sets it up." In further response, he confirmed that the consumer would have to call the toll-free number annually to ask to be kept off the list, and that Representative Harry Crawford and [and his staff member] had taken part [in formulating the amendments]. Number 1819 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt Amendment 1 [text provided previously]. There being no objection, it was so ordered. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON returned the committee's attention to Mr. Pound's previously suggested amendment. Number 1939 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt a conceptual amendment [subsequently treated as an amendment to Amendment 1] such that page 3, lines [18-19], would read as follows: (ii) drop from the program each residential subscriber who fails to reregister annually. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Number 1982 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if there was any objection to adopting Amendment 1, as amended. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Number 2013 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt Amendment 2 "for the purpose of discussion." Amendment 2 was labeled 23-LS0058\I.3, Craver, 3/12/03, and read: Page 5, line 23: Delete "calls on behalf of the person" Insert "all calls made on behalf of the person who employs individuals to engage in telephonic solicitations" There being no objection, it was so ordered. MR. POUND, regarding Amendment 2, explained, "Even though it's twice in a 30-day period, it makes that much more of an offense, and refers to all calls so that it doesn't allow for, 'Let's sit here on the 31st day of the month, and we'll make our two illegal phone calls, and then ... tomorrow we'll make our two more illegal phone calls.'" Number 2070 JUSTIN ROBERTS, Staff to Representative Gruenberg, Alaska State Legislature, clarified, "The intent was to make sure that it's not two phone calls to the same person; it's any two phone calls made within the state that violate the section." He said although "who employs individuals" restates that the person is an employer, he is not sure that language is necessary. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said that phrase was included to ensure there is no question who the term "person" refers to. He offered his belief that it helps because it once again defines the term "person" in AS 45.50.475 (d), which now is set out at lines 12-24. "So, the term "person" throughout that subsection means the person who employs individuals to engage in telephonic solicitation," he clarified. Number 2155 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if HB 15 or any of its amendments would prohibit a Girl Scout who was soliciting a friend to buy cookies, for example. MR. POUND responded that two clauses cover that. He noted that there is an exemption in existing statute for nonprofit corporations. He also referred to page 6, beginning on line 23, which read as follows: (iv) [(v)] a person soliciting business from prospective purchasers who have, within the last 18  months, purchased from the person making the solicitation REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he thinks it is clear that the bill is intended to cover commercial, for-profit telephonic solicitations, not charitable or nonprofit ones. Number 2190 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG restated the motion to adopt Amendment 2 [text provided previously]. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Number 2220 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG referred to Amendment 3, labeled 23- LS0058\I.4, Craver, 3/12/03, which read: Page 2, line 21, following "data base;": Insert "the attorney general may adjust the annual data base access fee by regulation to fully cover the costs of creating and maintaining the Alaska No-Call List;" MR. ROBERTS remarked, "The problem with this is that the way it's been drafted, it restates lines 24-25." However, he said the intent of the amendment was "to make it so that it's $750, unless the attorney general determines that that's not enough to make the program sustainable." He mentioned past discussion to delete the $750. Number 2258 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG announced that he wouldn't offer Amendment 3, but instead would offer Amendment 2b from the previous meeting. [It was relabeled Amendment 4.] Number 2339 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt Amendment 4, which read [original punctuation provided]: Section 2. AS 45.50.475(b) 1 Page 2, line 18, remove "of $750." This provision allows the attorney general to set the access fee. MR. POUND asked if the words "by regulation" needed to be added within page 2, lines 24-25. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he'd like to take that as a separate amendment. Number 2386 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if there was any objection to adopting Amendment 4. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Number 2399 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG returned discussion to what would become Conceptual Amendment 5. He agreed with Mr. Pound about adding "by regulation", but pointed out that it may result in a small fiscal note. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH responded that he thinks this committee needs to focus on the policy issues, not the fiscal impacts. He said he thinks the committee's intent is that the cost of be passed on to those who would make the calls, not to the consumer or the public. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG suggested he'd offer an amendment and submit a letter of intent to the House Finance Committee. Number 2712 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG offered Conceptual Amendment 5 as follows: Page 2, lines 24-25 Delete "the attorney general may annually adjust the fees received by the designated agent;" Insert "the attorney general may adjust the annual data base access fee by regulation to fully cover the costs of creating and maintaining the Alaska No-Call List;" CHAIR WEYHRAUCH remarked that this is the same language [originally in Amendment 3], only inserted in a different spot. Number 2833 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if there was any objection to adopting Conceptual Amendment 5. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Number 2885 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to report CSHB 15, Version 23- LS0058\I, Craver, 02/28/03, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that he wanted to give someone the opportunity to testify. Number 2915 STEVE CLEARY, Executive Director, Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AkPIRG), said AkPIRG supports HB 15. He said he is excited to be able to tell the members of the group that soon there will be a no-call list for which they can register at no cost. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG reminded members that an additional amendment had been adopted at the previous hearing. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if there was any objection to the motion. There being no objection, CSHB 15(STA) was reported from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.