CSSB 4(FIN): "An Act relating to victims' rights; relating to establishing an office of victims' rights; relating to compensation of victims of violent crimes; relating to eligibility for a permanent fund dividend for persons convicted of and incarcerated for certain offenses; relating to notice of appropriations concerning victims' rights; and amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska Rules of Evidence; and providing for an effective date."
00CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 4(FIN) 01 "An Act relating to victims' rights; relating to establishing an office of victims' 02 rights; relating to compensation of victims of violent crimes; relating to eligibility 03 for a permanent fund dividend for persons convicted of and incarcerated for 04 certain offenses; relating to notice of appropriations concerning victims' rights; and 05 amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska 06 Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska Rules of Evidence; and providing for 07 an effective date." 08 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 09 * Section 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Crime Victims' Rights and 10 Advocacy Act of 1999. 11 * Sec. 2. AS 12.55.023(b) is amended to read: 12 (b) A victim may submit to the sentencing court a written statement that the 13 victim believes is relevant to the sentencing decision [,] and may give sworn testimony 14 or make an unsworn oral presentation to the court at the sentencing hearing. If there
01 are numerous victims, the court may reasonably limit the number of victims who may 02 give sworn testimony or make an unsworn oral presentation during the hearing. When 03 requested by the victim of a felony or a class A misdemeanor, if the class A 04 misdemeanor is a crime involving domestic violence or a crime against a person 05 under AS 11.41, when the victim does not submit a statement, give testimony, or 06 make an oral presentation, the victims' advocate appointed under AS 12.61.200 07 may submit a written statement or make an unsworn oral presentation at the 08 sentencing hearing on behalf of the victim. 09 * Sec. 3. AS 12.61 is amended by adding new sections to read: 10 Article 2A. Office of Victims' Rights. 11 Sec. 12.61.200. Office of victims' rights established; duties. (a) The office 12 of victims' rights is established in the Department of Public Safety. The office shall 13 be directed by the victims' advocate. The victims' advocate shall be appointed by the 14 commissioner of public safety. The commissioner may not appoint a person as 15 victims' advocate unless the person meets the qualifications provided in (e) of this 16 section. The victims' advocate is in the partially exempt service under AS 39.25.120. 17 The office may employ assistant victims' advocates and clerical staff that the victims' 18 advocate determines are needed to perform the duties set out in this section. Assistant 19 victims' advocates and clerical staff employed by the office are in the classified service 20 under AS 39.25.100. 21 (b) The office of victims' rights shall, as provided in AS 12.61.200 - 22 12.61.300, 23 (1) work to ensure that victims of crimes receive the rights to which 24 they are entitled under the constitution and the laws of this state; 25 (2) act as a liaison between state agencies and victims of crimes; 26 (3) advocate on behalf of crime victims in the courts of the state; and 27 (4) investigate and report on complaints of victims of crimes that state 28 agencies have not complied with the duties imposed on the agencies regarding victims 29 of crimes. 30 (c) Each state agency shall cooperate with the office of victims' rights when 31 the office is performing the duties imposed under AS 12.61.200 - 12.61.300.
01 (d) The office shall administer grants to nonprofit victims' rights organizations 02 in the amounts and to the recipients designated in the appropriation for the grant. 03 (e) A person may not serve as victims' advocate 04 (1) unless the person has been a resident of the state for the three years 05 immediately preceding the person's appointment; 06 (2) unless the person has been engaged in the active practice of law for 07 the three years immediately preceding the person's appointment; 08 (3) unless the person has significant experience in criminal law; 09 (4) unless the person is an attorney licensed to practice law in this 10 state; 11 (5) within one year of the last day on which the person served as a 12 member of the legislature; 13 (6) while the person is a candidate for or holds another national, state, 14 or municipal office; the victims' advocate may not become a candidate for national, 15 state, or municipal office until one year has elapsed from the date the victims' advocate 16 vacates the office of victims' advocate; 17 (7) while the person is engaged in another occupation for which the 18 person receives compensation; 19 (8) unless the person is at least 21 years of age and is a qualified voter. 20 Sec. 12.61.210. Procedure; fees. (a) The victims' advocate shall, by 21 regulations adopted under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), establish 22 procedures for advocacy on behalf of crime victims, receiving and processing 23 complaints, conducting investigations, reporting findings, and ensuring that confidential 24 information obtained by the victims' advocate in the course of advocacy on behalf of 25 a crime victim or in the course of an investigation will not be improperly disclosed. 26 The victims' advocate may establish procedures so that advocacy and investigations on 27 behalf of crime victims in felony cases take a priority over advocacy and investigations 28 on behalf of crime victims in misdemeanor cases. 29 (b) The office of victims' rights may not charge fees for the submission or 30 investigation of complaints. 31 Sec. 12.61.220. Jurisdiction; duties. (a) The victims' advocate has
01 jurisdiction to advocate on behalf of crime victims of felony offenses or class A 02 misdemeanors, if the class A misdemeanor is a crime involving domestic violence or 03 a crime against a person under AS 11.41, in the courts of the state and to investigate 04 the complaints of crime victims of felony offenses or class A misdemeanors, if the 05 class A misdemeanor is a crime involving domestic violence or a crime against a 06 person under AS 11.41, that they have been denied their rights under the constitution 07 and the laws of the state. In this subsection, "crime involving domestic violence" has 08 the meaning given in AS 18.66.990. 09 (b) The victims' advocate shall exercise reasonable care to 10 (1) ensure that the victims' advocate's exercise of jurisdiction granted 11 under this section does not interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation or with a 12 criminal prosecution; 13 (2) prevent employees of the office of victims' rights from making 14 extrajudicial statements that the victims' advocate is prohibited from making under the 15 Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct. 16 (c) The victims' advocate may not advise, counsel, or advocate on behalf of 17 a victim in a way that would, 18 (1) prevent or discourage a victim from cooperating with law 19 enforcement authorities in a criminal investigation; 20 (2) encourage a victim to withhold evidence from law enforcement 21 authorities in a criminal investigation; or 22 (3) prevent or discourage a victim from testifying in a criminal 23 proceeding. 24 Sec. 12.61.230. Advocacy on behalf of crime victims; records. (a) The 25 victims' advocate shall assist crime victims in obtaining the rights crime victims are 26 guaranteed under the constitution and laws of the state with regard to the contacts 27 crime victims have with the justice agencies of the state. 28 (b) The victims' advocate may make the statement a crime victim is authorized 29 to make under art. I, sec. 24, Constitution of the State of Alaska, and AS 12.55.023, 30 in a court of the state when requested by the crime victim and when the crime victim 31 does not personally make a statement.
01 (c) When advocating on behalf of a crime victim in an ongoing criminal case 02 or juvenile adjudication, the victims' advocate is entitled to all information available 03 to the defendant or juvenile. 04 (d) Records obtained by the victims' advocate shall remain in the exclusive 05 custody of the victims' advocate. The victims' advocate may not disclose confidential 06 information to any person. 07 Sec. 12.61.240. Investigations. (a) The victims' advocate may investigate 08 complaints from crime victims that they have been denied the rights they are 09 guaranteed under the constitution and laws of this state. 10 (b) In an investigation, the victims' advocate may 11 (1) make inquiries and obtain information considered necessary; 12 (2) hold private hearings; and 13 (3) notwithstanding other provisions of law, have access at all times to 14 records of justice agencies, including court records of criminal prosecutions and 15 juvenile adjudications, necessary to ensure that the rights of crime victims are not 16 being denied; with regard to court and prosecution records, the victims' advocate is 17 entitled to obtain access to every record that the defendant is entitled to access or 18 receive. 19 (c) The victims' advocate shall maintain confidentiality with respect to all 20 matters and the identities of the complainants or witnesses coming before the victims' 21 advocate except insofar as disclosures may be necessary to enable the victims' advocate 22 to carry out duties and to support recommendations. However, the victims' advocate 23 may not disclose a confidential record obtained from a court or justice agency. 24 (d) Subject to the privileges that witnesses have in the courts of this state, the 25 victims' advocate may compel by subpoena, at a specified time and place, the 26 (1) appearance and sworn testimony of a person who the victims' 27 advocate reasonably believes may be able to give information relating to a matter 28 under investigation under this section; and 29 (2) production by a person of a record or object that the victims' 30 advocate reasonably believes may relate to the matter under investigation under this 31 section.
01 (e) If a person refuses to comply with a subpoena issued under (d) of this 02 section, the superior court may, on application of the victims' advocate, compel 03 obedience by proceedings for contempt in the same manner as in the case of 04 disobedience to the requirements of a subpoena issued by the court or refusal to testify 05 in the court. 06 (f) This section does not authorize the victims' advocate to issue a subpoena 07 to 08 (1) a justice, judge, magistrate, or a law clerk acting under the direction 09 of a justice, judge, or magistrate, concerning a judicial action or nonaction taken by, 10 or under the direction of, the justice, judge, or magistrate; 11 (2) a person acting under the direction of a justice, judge, or magistrate, 12 other than a law clerk, concerning a judicial action or nonaction taken by, or under the 13 direction of, a justice, judge, or magistrate except to establish the occurrence or 14 nonoccurrence of the action or nonaction or the person's own actions or nonactions; 15 this paragraph does not authorize the victims' advocate to inquire into the decision- 16 making or thought process of the justice, judge, or magistrate; 17 (3) a member of a jury concerning a matter that was considered by the 18 jury; or 19 (4) the person accused or convicted of committing the crime that is the 20 basis for the complaint, and investigation under AS 12.61.240, concerning a denial of 21 rights. 22 (g) Before giving an opinion or recommendation that is critical of a justice 23 agency or person as a result of an investigation under this section, the victims' 24 advocate shall consult with that agency or person. The victims' advocate may make 25 a preliminary opinion or recommendation available to the agency or person for review, 26 but the preliminary opinion or recommendation is confidential and may not be 27 disclosed to the public by the agency or person. 28 (h) The victims' advocate shall report the advocate's opinion and 29 recommendations to a justice agency if the victims' advocate finds, after investigation 30 under this section, that the agency has denied a crime victim rights the crime victim 31 is guaranteed under the constitution and laws of this state.
01 (i) The victims' advocate may request the justice agency to notify the victims' 02 advocate, within a specified time, of any action taken on the recommendations. 03 (j) The report provided under (h) of this section is confidential and may not 04 be disclosed to the public by the justice agency. The victims' advocate may disclose 05 the report under (k) of this section only after providing notice that the investigation has 06 been concluded to the agency and after receiving the written approval of the 07 complainant to release the report. 08 (k) Except as provided in (j) of this section, within a reasonable amount of 09 time after the victims' advocate reports the advocate's opinion and recommendations 10 to a justice agency, the victims' advocate may present the opinion and 11 recommendations to the governor, the attorney general, the legislature, a grand jury, 12 the public, or any of these. The victims' advocate shall include with the opinion any 13 reply made by the agency. 14 Sec. 12.61.250. Annual report. The victims' advocate shall submit to the 15 public an annual report of the victims' advocate's activities under AS 12.61.200 - 16 12.61.300 and notify the legislature that the report is available. 17 Sec. 12.61.260. Judicial review. A proceeding or decision of the victims' 18 advocate may be reviewed in superior court only to determine if it is contrary to the 19 provisions of AS 12.61.200 - 12.61.300. 20 Sec. 12.61.270. Immunity of the victims' advocate. A civil action may not 21 be brought against the victims' advocate or a member of the victims' advocate's staff 22 for anything done, said, or omitted in performing the victims' advocate's duties or 23 responsibilities under AS 12.61.200 - 12.61.300. 24 Sec. 12.61.280. Victims' advocate's privilege not to testify or produce 25 documents or other evidence. The victims' advocate and the staff of the victims' 26 advocate may not be compelled to testify or produce documents or other evidence in 27 a court regarding matters coming to their attention in the exercise or purported exercise 28 of their official duties except as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of 29 AS 12.61.200 - 12.61.300. 30 Sec. 12.61.290. Penalty. A person who knowingly hinders the lawful actions 31 of the victims' advocate or the staff of the victims' advocate, or who knowingly refuses
01 to comply with their lawful demands, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction 02 may be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000. In this section, "knowingly" has 03 the meaning given in AS 11.81.900. 04 Sec. 12.61.300. Definitions. In AS 12.61.200 - 12.61.300, 05 (1) "justice agency" means a department, office, institution, corporation, 06 authority, organization, commission, committee, council, court, or board in the 07 executive or judicial branches of the state government that is, in any manner, involved 08 with or responsible for the apprehension, prosecution, incarceration, or supervision of 09 criminal or juvenile offenders; it also includes an officer, employee, or member of an 10 agency acting or purporting to act in the exercise of official duties, including the 11 governor and lieutenant governor, when acting with regard to executive clemency, 12 judges, and magistrates; 13 (2) "victim" has the meaning given in AS 12.55.185. 14 * Sec. 4. AS 18.67.130(c) is amended to read: 15 (c) Compensation may not be awarded under this chapter in an amount in 16 excess of $30,000 [$25,000] per victim per incident. However, in the case of the death 17 of 18 (1) a victim who has more than one dependent eligible for 19 compensation, the total compensation that may be awarded as a result of that death 20 may not exceed $50,000; the [$40,000. THE] board may prorate the total awarded 21 among those dependents according to relative need ; or 22 (2) two or more victims in the same incident who jointly have a 23 dependent eligible for compensation, the total compensation that may be awarded 24 as a result of those deaths may not exceed $50,000 . 25 * Sec. 5. AS 18.67.130 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 26 (e) The dollar amounts in (c) of this section change, as provided in this 27 subsection, according to and to the extent of increases in the Consumer Price Index for 28 all Urban Consumers for the Anchorage Metropolitan Area compiled by the Bureau 29 of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor (the index). The index for 30 January of 1996 is the reference base index. The dollar amounts increase on October 1 31 of each even-numbered year if the percentage of change, calculated to the nearest
01 whole percentage point, between the index for January of that year and the most recent 02 index used to change the exemption amount, is one percent or more. If the index is 03 revised, the percentage of increase is calculated on the basis of the revised index. If 04 a revision of the index changes the reference base index, a revised reference base 05 index is determined by multiplying the reference base index applicable by the rebasing 06 factor furnished by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. If the index is 07 superseded, the index referred to in this section is the one represented by the Bureau 08 of Labor Statistics as reflecting most accurately changes in the purchasing power of 09 the dollar for Alaska consumers. The board shall adopt a regulation announcing 10 (1) on or before June 30 of each year in which dollar amounts are to 11 increase, the increases in dollar amounts required by this subsection; and 12 (2) promptly after the changes occur, changes in the index required by 13 this subsection, including, if applicable, the numerical equivalent of the reference base 14 index under a revised reference base index and the designation or title of any index 15 superseding the index. 16 * Sec. 6. AS 39.25.120(c) is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 17 (25) the victims' advocate established under AS 12.61.200. 18 * Sec. 7. AS 43.23.005(d) is amended to read: 19 (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of (a) - (c) of this section, an individual is 20 not eligible for a permanent fund dividend for a dividend year when 21 (1) during the qualifying year, the individual was sentenced as a result 22 of conviction in this state of a felony; 23 (2) during all or part of the qualifying year, the individual was 24 incarcerated as a result of the conviction in this state of a 25 (A) felony; or 26 (B) misdemeanor if the individual has been convicted of 27 (i) a prior felony as defined in AS 11.81.900; or 28 (ii) two or more prior misdemeanors [CRIMES] as 29 defined in AS 11.81.900. 30 * Sec. 8. AS 43.23.028(b) is amended to read: 31 Sec. 43.23.028. Public notice. (a) By October 1 of each year, the
01 commissioner shall give public notice of the value of each permanent fund dividend 02 for that year and notice of the information required to be disclosed under (3) of this 03 subsection. In addition, the stub attached to each individual dividend check and direct 04 deposit advice must 05 (1) disclose the amount of each dividend attributable to income earned 06 by the permanent fund from deposits to that fund required under art. IX, sec. 15, 07 Constitution of the State of Alaska; 08 (2) disclose the amount of each dividend attributable to income earned 09 by the permanent fund from appropriations to that fund and from amounts added to 10 that fund to offset the effects of inflation; 11 (3) disclose the amount by which each dividend has been reduced due 12 to each appropriation from the dividend fund, including amounts to pay the costs of 13 administering the dividend program and the hold harmless provisions of AS 43.23.075; 14 (4) include a statement that an individual is not eligible for a dividend 15 when 16 (A) during the qualifying year , the individual was convicted of 17 a felony; 18 (B) during all or part of the qualifying year, the individual was 19 incarcerated as a result of the conviction of a 20 (i) felony; or 21 (ii) misdemeanor if the individual has been convicted of 22 a prior felony or two or more prior misdemeanors [CRIMES]; 23 (5) include a statement that the legislative purpose for making 24 individuals listed under (4) of this subsection ineligible is to 25 (A) obtain reimbursement for some of the costs imposed on the 26 state criminal justice system related to incarceration or probation of those 27 individuals; 28 (B) provide funds for services for and payments to crime 29 victims and for grants for the operation of domestic violence and sexual assault 30 programs; 31 (6) disclose the total amount that would have been paid during the
01 previous fiscal year to individuals who were ineligible to receive dividends under 02 AS 43.23.005(d) if they had been eligible; 03 (7) disclose the total amount appropriated for the current fiscal year 04 under (b) of this section for each of the funds and agencies listed in (b) of this section. 05 (b) To the extent that amounts appropriated for a fiscal year do not exceed the 06 total amount that would have been paid during the previous fiscal year to individuals 07 who were ineligible to receive dividends under AS 43.23.005(d) if they had been 08 eligible, the notice requirements of (a)(3) of this section do not apply to appropriations 09 from the dividend fund to [THE] 10 (1) the crime victim compensation fund established under AS 18.67.162 11 for payments to crime victims; 12 (2) the council on domestic violence and sexual assault established 13 under AS 18.66.010 for grants for the operation of domestic violence and sexual 14 assault programs; [OR] 15 (3) the Department of Corrections for incarceration and probation 16 programs ; 17 (4) the office of victims' rights; or 18 (5) the office of victims' rights for grants to nonprofit victims' 19 rights organizations . 20 * Sec. 9. AS 12.61.230 and 12.61.240, added by sec. 3 of this Act, have the effect of 21 amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency 22 Rules, by allowing the victims' advocate a right of access to information in criminal 23 prosecutions and juvenile adjudications that is equal to that available to criminal defendants 24 or juveniles when the advocate is engaging in advocacy or that is unlimited when the advocate 25 is engaging in investigations concerning victims' rights. 26 * Sec. 10. AS 12.61.280, added by sec. 3 of this Act, amends Rule 501, Alaska Rules of 27 Evidence, by creating a new privilege from being compelled to testify or produce documents 28 or other evidence in a court. 29 * Sec. 11. Notwithstanding the effective date of secs. 1 - 6 and 9 - 10 of this Act, to the 30 extent that there are appropriations for the purpose, the commissioner of public safety may 31 purchase supplies and equipment, obtain office space, and employ clerical staff so that the
01 office of victims' rights, created in sec. 3 of this Act, is able to begin work on July 1, 2001. 02 * Sec. 12. Sections 7, 8, and 11 of this Act take effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c). 03 * Sec. 13. Sections 1 - 6 and 9 - 10 take effect July 1, 2001.