Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/16/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 176 ELIMINATE DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 271 LIMIT OVERTIME FOR REGISTERED NURSES TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 441 THERAPEUTIC COURT FOR DUI/SENTENCING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 441(FIN) Out of Committee
+ SB 157 REG. COST CHARGES: UTILITIES/PIPELINES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 157(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 478 MUNICIPAL HARBOR FACILITY GRANTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
HOUSE BILL NO. 441                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
"An Act  relating  to operating  or driving  a motor  vehicle,                                                                  
aircraft, or  watercraft while  under the influence;  relating                                                                  
to  mitigating  factors  in  sentencing;   amending  Rule  35,                                                                  
Alaska  Rules of  Criminal  Procedure;  and providing  for  an                                                                  
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Stoltze   MOVED  to   ADOPT  Work  Draft   24-                                                                  
LS1295\F, Luckhaupt,  3/8/06.  There being NO  OBJECTIONS, the                                                                  
Committee Substitute was ADOPTED.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   NORMAN  ROKEBERG,  SPONSOR,   summarized  the                                                                  
intent  of the  bill as conforming  and  updating statutes  to                                                                  
the therapeutic  court model  in the State  of Alaska  for the                                                                  
DUI or alcohol  related courts.   He noted the success  of the                                                                  
program,  as  well as  the  proposed  savings to  the  general                                                                  
fund.  He referred  to previous testimony citing  a ten to one                                                                  
savings ratio from  hard dollars to general fund  savings.  He                                                                  
observed  that   an  initial  review  of  the   pilot  program                                                                  
revealed a  two to one potential  savings, and submitted  that                                                                  
the  most  important  element  was  the  saving  of  lives  by                                                                  
successful rehabilitation.   He stated that the  first program                                                                  
would  begin in  Juneau,  and referred  any  questions to  his                                                                  
staff member, Heather Norbrega.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Rokeberg  referenced  the  zero  fiscal  note,                                                                  
based  on   previously  authorized   expenditures  under   the                                                                  
initial bill of  HB 172, the initial DUI felony  court levels,                                                                  
and  subsequent  legislation  that  authorized  the  necessary                                                                  
positions.   There  has  been some  discussion  regarding  the                                                                  
national highway  safety funds.   He noted that $669  thousand                                                                  
had   been  received   from   the  National   Highway   Safety                                                                  
Transportation  Fund  with  the  adoption   of  the  mandatory                                                                  
seatbelt  law.     He  noted   that  some  confusion   existed                                                                  
regarding the local  State match of $344 thousand  in order to                                                                  
utilize  the appropriation.     He  concluded  that there  had                                                                  
been   issues  with   the   Public  Defender's   Office,   the                                                                  
Department  of   Law,  the  Department  of  Corrections,   the                                                                  
Courts, and other  issues of expense as a part  of the General                                                                  
Fund  appropriations.   He  noted  that newer  incoming  funds                                                                  
would  be  used   to  establish  new  programs,   such  as  in                                                                  
Fairbanks and Ketchikan.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch asked whether  the bill  established                                                                  
a separate court.    Representative Rokeberg replied  that the                                                                  
program  initiated  a  court  within  a  court or  a  type  of                                                                  
process within  the district  and superior  court levels.   He                                                                  
noted that  it also  established a  statutory framework  which                                                                  
gave  judges  some  flexibility  in  granting   sanctions  and                                                                  
concessions to  program participants as long as  they meet the                                                                  
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  observed that  a recent  Alaska  Budget                                                                  
Report  indicated  budget changes  made  by the  Court  System                                                                  
sub-committee  and wondered  if they correlated  to the  bill.                                                                  
Representative  Rokeberg  stated  that  the  program  was  not                                                                  
affected  by budget  changes since  it carried  a zero  fiscal                                                                  
note. However,  he stressed that  in order for the  program to                                                                  
succeed,  it  required  not  only   policy  support  but  also                                                                  
financial  support by the  Legislature.   He stated that  they                                                                  
were currently  able to leverage  substantial federal  dollars                                                                  
by use of minimal  General Funds.  He noted historic  problems                                                                  
culturally  with  some  agencies  that did  not  support  such                                                                  
concepts, but acknowledged current progress.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:53:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Meyer     opened  the floor  to  public  testimony.                                                                  
There  being  no  comments  from  the   floor,  testimony  was                                                                  
invited via teleconference.   There being no comments,  public                                                                  
testimony closed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster MOVED  to REPORT  CS 441  (FIN) out  of                                                                  
Committee   with  individual   recommendations  and   attached                                                                  
fiscal notes.   There being NO OBJECTIONS, it  was so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CS 441  (FIN) was  REPORTED OUT  of Committee  with a Do  Pass                                                                  
Recommendation  and seven  zero fiscal  notes: four new  (ADM;                                                                  
DPS;  HSS,  COR)   and  three  previously  published   (ADMIN;                                                                  
Courts; LAW).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                

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