Legislature(1995 - 1996)
05/01/1995 09:40 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 state. 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.