I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of art. III, secs. 1 and 24 of the Alaska Constitution, establish the Governor’s Advisory Task Force on Civil Justice Reform (Advisory Task Force).
The purpose of the Advisory Task Force is to provide recommendations to the Governor on public policy and jurisprudence issues related to the Alaska civil justice system, including civil liability and insurance reform proposals, for the Governor’s use in developing a fair and legally sound bill to be submitted to and acted upon by the Alaska legislature.
In formulating its recommendations, the Advisory Task Force shall
- Evaluate the extent to which there have been significant changes in the volume and type of civil liability case filings in the Alaska Court System during the last decade and in the amounts awarded by juries as damages for claims;
- Review recent statutory civil liability and insurance reform measures throughout the United States and assess the effects of those reforms on litigants, on the courts, and on insurance regulation and rates;
- Analyze and assess recent proposals for civil liability and applicable insurance reform in Alaska;
- Review current Alaska law on civil liability issues and applicable decisional law of the courts, and assess the need, if any, to address problems by amending existing statutes and court rules;
- Invite written public comment on civil liability, insurance reform, and related topics and hold public hearings on these issues.
No later than December 15, 1996, the Advisory Task Force shall prepare and submit to the Governor a report making specific recommendations, if appropriate, for legislative or administrative action, that the Advisory Task Force concludes will accomplish the following goals:
- Make the system for determining civil liability more efficient and reduce frivolous litigation;
- Provide for fair and just, but not excessive, compensation for injured victims without creating constitutional problems;
- Lower liability insurance rates; and
- Provide for reasonable punitive damage awards to deter conduct and practices that harm innocent Alaskans, without chilling the business environment or allowing excessive windfall recoveries.
MEMBERSHIPThe Advisory Task Force will consist of fifteen members appointed by the Governor to serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORTThe Office of Management and Budget shall provide necessary administrative support to the Advisory Task Force.
LEGAL SUPPORTThe Department of law will provide legal assistance to the Advisory Task Force.
GENERAL PROVISIONSThe Governor will designate a member of the Advisory Task Force to serve as chair. Advisory Task Force members do not receive compensation as a member of the Advisory Task Force. Members of the Advisory Task Force who are not state employees are entitled to per diem and travel expenses in the same manner permitted for members of state boards and commissions. Per diem and travel expenses for members of the Advisory Task Force who are appointed as a member of a state agency are the responsibility of that state agency.
This Order takes effect immediately.
Dated this 11 day of July, 1996.
By: S/S Tony Knowles