Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/18/2010 01:30 PM Senate LABOR & COMMERCE

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 300 Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 292(L&C) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                       SB 292-PAWNBROKERS                                                                                   
2:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PASKVAN called  the meeting back to order  and announced SB
292 to be up for consideration.                                                                                                 
SENATOR BUNDE moved to bring  CSSB 292(), 26-LS1487\S, before the                                                               
committee. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                      
2:52:17 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSH TEMPLE,  Staff to Senator  Huggins, sponsor of SB  292, said                                                               
it  is an  act  relating  to the  registration  and operation  of                                                               
pawnbrokers, to  the exemption for  pawnbrokers under  the Alaska                                                               
Small  Loans  Act, and  to  the  exclusion of  pawnbrokers  under                                                               
certain definitions in the Uniform  Commercial Code and providing                                                               
for  an effective  date. He  explained that  currently in  Alaska                                                               
statute  only a  few paragraphs  deal with  pawnbrokers and  from                                                               
city to city  and borough to borough  pawnbroker regulation would                                                               
create  an   even  standard  across  Alaska.   It  would  protect                                                               
consumers and businesses in Alaska.                                                                                             
MR. TEMPLE said this effort started  four years ago and has had a                                                               
lot  of input.  It  basically codifies  what  good pawnshops  are                                                               
currently doing and good pawnshops support it.                                                                                  
He explained that basically pawnshops  loan people money on items                                                               
they bring  in for collateral.  When people get some  money, they                                                               
pay  off  their  loan  with  a  little  interest  and  get  their                                                               
collateral  item  back. That  licensing  would  now fall  to  the                                                               
Division  of  Community  and   Economic  Development.  This  bill                                                               
restricts who  pawnbrokers can work  with. They must be  18 years                                                               
or older, they  have to be sober  and have a valid  form of I.D.,                                                               
and they can't be pawning  stolen items. The pawnbroker must keep                                                               
a written  or electronic log  of these transactions for  a period                                                               
of  one year  and  they must  give  receipts, called  transaction                                                               
agreements, for their transactions.  SB 292 includes restrictions                                                               
on interest  and fees  and requires  pawnbrokers to  safely store                                                               
any  items  they use  as  collateral.  It offers  guidelines  for                                                               
people who come in  and aren't able to pay for  their item in the                                                               
appropriate amount of time including  a 30-day grace period. If a                                                               
service member  pawns an  item and gets  deployed, that  item and                                                               
any interest  in it  gets frozen  in the  pawnshop until  he gets                                                               
back  from  deployment   when  it  goes  back   to  the  original                                                               
MR. TEMPLE said  this bill limits employees that can  be hired in                                                               
a pawnshop. A person with a  felony or a misdemeanor dealing with                                                               
dishonesty can't  be hired. It  offers guidelines to  both police                                                               
and  to  the  property  owners  that find  their  property  in  a                                                               
pawnshop.  It   requires  pawnshops  to  give   weekly  inventory                                                               
reporting to local  law enforcement agencies. It  also allows for                                                               
the  department  to  discipline  pawnbrokers  who  end  up  going                                                               
against these regulations. He said  the thing to remember is that                                                               
good  pawn  shops  already  do  these  things.  This  bill  would                                                               
eliminate  a  lot of  confusion  and  offer protection  from  the                                                               
unethical  few  that  will  always   be  out  there  and  protect                                                               
consumers of those businesses in Alaska.                                                                                        
SENATOR  BUNDE asked  if records  have to  be kept  for one  year                                                               
after redemption or from the time something is pawned.                                                                          
MR. TEMPLE  answered that  the record has  to be  maintained well                                                               
for one year from the date it  was pawned in case the police need                                                               
to come back and check for stolen property.                                                                                     
SENATOR BUNDE  asked if there  was any discussion of  raising the                                                               
$500 maximum loan amount for articles that are worth more.                                                                      
MR.  TEMPLE answered  yes. Independent  pawn brokers  have agreed                                                               
that the best thing for them is  to keep it at $500, but they are                                                               
in discussion with the bigger pawn  brokers that might be able to                                                               
afford more.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE  reflected that AIDEA  is increasing the  amount of                                                               
their loans  in the previous  bill because the world  has changed                                                               
and things cost  more. He encouraged the sponsor to  look at that                                                               
3:01:01 PM                                                                                                                    
NOEL  LOWE, Alaska  Fast Cash,  Wasilla, supported  SB 292.  They                                                               
also  supported raising  the  loan maximum  amount  from $500  to                                                               
JOHN MINNICK, A-1 Pawn Shop, Wasilla, supported SB 292.                                                                         
3:02:50 PM                                                                                                                    
FERNANDO  PENA,  Director,   Government  Affairs,  Cash  America,                                                               
supported  SB  292.  He  said  they  operate  five  pawnshops  in                                                               
Anchorage. He  reminded them that  this bill had  been introduced                                                               
in 2008  and the original  spirit and intent had  been preserved.                                                               
He said  that Alaska is the  only state in the  U.S. that doesn't                                                               
have comprehensive pawn  shop regulations. They are  trying to be                                                               
proactive  for both  consumers and  operators.  People will  know                                                               
what to expect.  This mirrors the best practices of  the Lower 48                                                               
states. It also provides for  due process for stolen property and                                                               
honors the military by not  having them lose their property while                                                               
they are deployed overseas.                                                                                                     
3:06:38 PM                                                                                                                    
ALEX VAUGHN,  Cash America,  supported SB 292  and said  he would                                                               
answer questions.                                                                                                               
3:07:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PASKVAN closed public testimony.                                                                                          
SENATOR  BUNDE moved  to report  CSSB 292(L&C),  version S,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s). There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                        
3:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PASKVAN announced an at ease from 3:08 p.m. to 3:09 p.m.                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 304 Back-Up.pdf SL&C 3/18/2010 1:30:00 PM
SB 304
SB 304 Bill.pdf SL&C 3/18/2010 1:30:00 PM
SB 304