Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/01/1995 09:40 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
       SENATE BILL NO. 115                                                     
       "An Act  relating to  the establishment,  modification,                 
  and  enforcement of support orders  and the determination of                 
       parentage  in situations involving more than one state;                 
       amending  Alaska  Rule  of  Administration 9;  amending                 
  Alaska    Rules of Civil Procedure 79  and 82; and providing                 
  for an    effective date."                                                   
  Co-chair Halford took up SB 115,  mentioning that SB 116 has                 
  been rolled into SB  115. Both bills are governor  bills and                 
  have related topics. Senator Phillips MOVED  to adopt SB 115                 
  (FIN), 4/30/95, version G.  No objection having  been heard,                 
  the proposed CS to SB 115 was ADOPTED.                                       
  Glenda Straube and Marilyn May,  from the Department of Law,                 
  were  invited  to  join  the  committee.   Co-chair  Halford                 
  elaborated on the changes in the proposed  CS to SB 115.  He                 
  spoke to disestablishment and how it applies.  The bill is a                 
  result of a commission on uniform law.                                       
  Art Peterson was asked to join  the committee.  He testified                 
  as a uniform law  commissioner for Alaska.  The  original SB                 
  115 was a  product essentially of the National Conference of                 
  Commissioners and Uniform State  Laws.  It is the  body that                 
  produced the URESA.   URESA has  been established in all  50                 
  jurisdictions.    The  bill,  revised  act, started  out  as                 
  amendments  to  URESA,  cleaning  up  incidentals  that  had                 
  occurred  over  the   4  decades   since  URESA  was   first                 
  promulgated.  The  most significant  was the elimination  of                 
  multi-state and  thus, the potential  for conflicting, court                 
  orders.  The advantage is the ease in understanding for both                 
  the obligor  and the  obligee.   It makes  certain that  the                 
  appropriate amount of support goes to  the child, the one we                 
  are protecting, and makes the system efficient and easier to                 
  administer for both the agency  and courts involved. It is a                 
  result of several years of committee drafting work involving                 
  debate and consultation  with people in the  areas of social                 
  services, adoption law,  and child  support law.   The  bill                 
  then  went to the national conference  and was fully debated                 
  for two years resulting in this product.  Mr. Peterson asked                 
  Co-chair  Halford,  where  in  the  uniform  act  there  are                 
  changes?    Co-chair Halford  responded  that there  were no                 
  changes  unless  they  were made  by  the  administration or                 
  previous to  this committee's action.  He  stated that there                 
  were references to differences.  Mr. Peterson stated that he                 
  knew of one difference from the national version that was in                 
  the original bill  in the definition  of the word,  "state".                 
  Marilyn May stated that  in the original draft of  the bill,                 
  the  primary changes  were in  the  definition of  the word,                 
  "state".   She noted that there is  the removal of a section                 
  within  the  uniform act,  which  provided oversight  by the                 
  attorney general's office on the child support  agency.  She                 
  stated that it was never in  the bill presented here, but in                 
  the national version there was a section that said, "duty of                 
  attorney general,  if the  attorney general  determines that                 
  the support enforcement agency is  neglecting or refusing to                 
  provide services to an individual,  the attorney general may                 
  order the agency  to perform its  duties under this act,  or                 
  may provide those services directly to the individual."  She                 
  stated that it  will not be handled that way in Alaska.  Mr.                 
  Peterson stated that the removal  of that particular section                 
  would not  be opposed, or the elimination  of the references                 
  to tribes in the definition of state.  He stated that he has                 
  sent the original bill to the chair of the national drafting                 
  committee and he  has indicated  that it  was acceptable  in                 
  that form.  Mr. Peterson stated  that there is opposition to                 
  any  further significant  changes to  the  Uniform Act.   He                 
  mentioned  that  uniform acts  should  not be  changed.   To                 
  achieve the benefits of the  uniformity, it is essential for                 
  those  dealing  with the  law,  to maintain  the consistency                 
  throughout the nation.  Anything that deviates significantly                 
  from  the  national  version  would  be opposed,  but  would                 
  receive attention, item by item.  Co-chair Halford asked the                 
  definitional  question on  tribes?   Mr.  Peterson responded                 
  that  in  the  national  version,  the definition  of  state                 
  includes  tribes.    He  read  the  language  in  the  bill,                 
  "includes   an   indian    tribe   and   includes    foreign                 
  jurisdiction". He  stated that  the purpose  was to  pick up                 
  native tribunals.   He  said, if  a particular  tribe has  a                 
  tribunal, or native court, then the decisions of that  court                 
  will be treated as though they were the decisions of a state                 
  court.  He emphasized that there have been several questions                 
  raised.  He cited an example whereby, under federal law, 9th                 
  circuit decision, states are required to give full faith and                 
  credit  to tribal tribunal  decisions.  The  deletion of the                 
  word tribes, does not  mean that natives are not  covered by                 
  the paternity provisions, or by the support provisions.                      
  Co-chair  Halford  spoke   to  the  "Alaskan   independence"                 
  attitude. Mr. Peterson stated that  the attitude of "Alaskan                 
  independence" has nothing  to do with the  relationship with                 
  people, businesses, or governments in other states, and that                 
  is what  the uniform acts deal with.   He stated that Alaska                 
  could not operate in commerce without the uniform commercial                 
  code,  nor  would Alaskans  be  protected without  the child                 
  support  enforcement act.  Co-chair  Halford asked  to  have                 
  explained, "limited  immunity of petitioner"?   Mr. Peterson                 
  responded that someone who comes to Alaska, responding to  a                 
  proceeding, to appear in court or  before the agency, is not                 
  subjecting  himself to  the  general  jurisdiction  of  this                 
  End Tape   #58                                                               
  Start Tape #60                                                               
  The meeting RECESSED at 11:45 a.m.                                           
  The meeting RECONVENED at 12:20 p.m.                                         
  Present  were  Co-chairs  Halford  and  Frank,  along   with                 
  Senators Rieger, Sharp  and Zharoff.  Senators  Phillips and                 
  Donley joined the committee shortly after it began.                          

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