Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/07/2004 04:20 PM Senate HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HB 381-CHILD ENDANGERMENT DRIVING OFFENSES                                                                       
The committee took up CSHB 381(RLS).                                                                                            
MR.  HEATH  HILYARD,  staff   to  Representative  Lesil  McGuire,                                                               
sponsor of  HB 381, testified  the version that passed  the House                                                               
includes  only  one  provision, including  the  charge  of  child                                                               
endangerment  when driving  with a  child in  the vehicle,  while                                                               
driving under the influence.   The original version also included                                                               
a secondary charge regarding failure  to properly restrain.  That                                                               
failure leads to  injury or death.  Members of  the House decided                                                               
this  was too  extensive, particularly  in light  of there  being                                                               
confusion regarding  what the proper  restraint laws are,  and on                                                               
what  constitutes a  proper  restraint device.    Members of  the                                                               
House decided to remove that.   This new charge carries with it a                                                               
Class A misdemeanor.   He noted this is supported  by MADD and is                                                               
also  recommended  by  the  National  Transportation  and  Safety                                                               
MS. LINDA WILSON, Deputy Director  of the Public Defender Agency,                                                               
noted there  was an indeterminate  fiscal note although  what was                                                               
originally a  felony is now a  misdemeanor.  When a  new crime is                                                               
created,  a new  offense of  child endangerment,  as proposed  by                                                               
this  bill, it  will  have  an effect  on  the public  defenders.                                                               
There will be  new criminal charges made regarding  those who are                                                               
under  the  influence  and  who   transport  a  child.    In  the                                                               
Municipality of Anchorage there  are current city charges against                                                               
a person for doing this, it's child  neglect or child abuse.   By                                                               
making it  a state offense,  the numbers will increase;  she said                                                               
she  doesn't know  what  those  numbers might  be,  so she's  not                                                               
testifying for or against the  bill, but wanted to inform members                                                               
that there will be an effect.                                                                                                   
CHAIR DYSON  asked if  she was lobbying  for a  finance committee                                                               
MS. WILSON replied in the affirmative.                                                                                          
SENATOR  GUESS moved  to report  CSHB 381(RLS)  out of  committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal notes.                                                                 
CHAIR DYSON  asked if there was  any objection.  Seeing  none, it                                                               
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 

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