Legislature(2011 - 2012)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/22/2012 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 56 INCLUDE ARSON IN CRIMES OF CONSPIRACY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 216 REGULATIONS: INFORMATIVE SUMMARY/BILLS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 216(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 253 CATHINONE BATH SALTS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 264 MUNI PROPERTY TAX DEFERRAL: SUBDIVISIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 264(CRA) Out of Committee
*+ HB 302 REPEAL PICK-CLICK-GIVE AUDIT REQUIREMENT TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 279 EXTENDING CERTAIN BOARDS & COMMISSIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 279(FIN) Out of Committee
HOUSE BILL NO. 56                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act making  arson in the first degree  and arson in                                                                    
     the  second degree  serious  felonies  for purposes  of                                                                    
     application of the crime of conspiracy."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:43:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE SICA,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  BOB LYNN,  explained that                                                                    
HB  56  added first  and  second  degree arson  to  Alaska's                                                                    
conspiracy   statute.  The   sponsors   believed  that   the                                                                    
implementation of the bill closed  a loophole in current law                                                                    
and would act as strong  deterrent to the serious crimes. He                                                                    
provided  a definition  for conspiracy:  "when  two or  more                                                                    
people agree to  commit a crime with at least  one overt act                                                                    
to further  the conspiracy." He  expounded that it  would be                                                                    
considered an overt act if two  or more people agreed to set                                                                    
fire to a  building and one of the people  bought a match to                                                                    
further the crime.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Sica explained  that arson  in the  first degree  was a                                                                    
class A  felony; defined  as an incident  in which  a person                                                                    
intentionally  damages   property  by  fire   explosion  and                                                                    
recklessly places  another person, including  the responders                                                                    
in danger  of serious injury.  He delineated that  under the                                                                    
legislation conspiracy  to commit arson  would be a  class B                                                                    
felony. He  detailed that  arson in  the second  degree took                                                                    
place when a person knowingly  damages a building by fire or                                                                    
explosion  and was  currently a  class B  felony; under  the                                                                    
legislation the crime would be  changed to a class C felony.                                                                    
He relayed  that the bill  was strongly supported  by Alaska                                                                    
fire departments,  the Alaska  Fire Chiefs  Association, the                                                                    
Alaska   Peace   Officers   Association,  and   the   Alaska                                                                    
Association of  Fire and  Arson Investigators.  The sponsors                                                                    
felt that it was important  to align charges for the offense                                                                    
with other similar serious offenses.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:46:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CARPENETI,  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL,  LEGAL SERVICES                                                                    
SECTION-JUNEAU,  CRIMINAL   DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT   OF  LAW,                                                                    
believed  arson  was a  reasonable  offense  to add  to  the                                                                    
definition of serious felony for  conspiracy because the act                                                                    
of making the agreement and  intent to commit the crime made                                                                    
it more likely for a crime to take place.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-chair  Fairclough  asked  about the  number  of  arsons                                                                    
committed  annually.  She  wondered   how  the  addition  to                                                                    
statute would impact Court System caseload.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Carpeneti replied  that arson  and conspiracy  were not                                                                    
common  crimes.  She  referenced  the  decisions  under  the                                                                    
conspiracy statute that had been  enacted in the early 1980s                                                                    
and explained that  there had only been two  or three cases.                                                                    
She would follow up with the figure at a later time.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-chair Fairclough hoped to  understand the impact on the                                                                    
Court System  and the  correctional facilities.  She pointed                                                                    
to  incidents of  personal property  damage caused  by arson                                                                    
related to domestic violence and sexual assault.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti referred  to data showing that  there had been                                                                    
111 occurrences in Anchorage in 2009.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  asked whether the  occurrences represented                                                                    
suspicious  fires or  arsons. Mr.  Sica  responded that  the                                                                    
figure had  been listed as  arson under the  Anchorage crime                                                                    
rate statistics. Based on the  figure he suspected there had                                                                    
been hundreds of cases throughout the state.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Doogan  asked whether the  provision included                                                                    
under  the bill  would allow  a  person to  be charged  with                                                                    
conspiracy  without having  committed  arson. Ms.  Carpeneti                                                                    
replied in  the affirmative. The conspiracy  law allowed for                                                                    
a  separate charge  for conspiracy  to commit  a crime  even                                                                    
though the target crime had not been committed.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:49:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze pointed  to the intent to  commit murder as                                                                    
another  crime where  intent was  punishable. Ms.  Carpeneti                                                                    
agreed. She  furthered that there  were laws for  attempt to                                                                    
commit  murder  and  laws that  prohibited  solicitation  to                                                                    
commit   certain   "unfinished"  crimes.   Current   statute                                                                    
included  attempt, solicitation,  and  conspiracy to  commit                                                                    
crimes.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara queried the  difference between arson in                                                                    
the first  degree and arson  in the second degree.  Mr. Sica                                                                    
replied that  arson in the first  degree involved recklessly                                                                    
placing  another  person  in   danger  of  serious  physical                                                                    
injury.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  for the  definition of  arson in                                                                    
the second degree.  Mr. Sica communicated that  arson in the                                                                    
second  degree involved  a person  who  knowingly damaged  a                                                                    
building by starting a fire or causing an explosion.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wondered whether  a group of  kids that                                                                    
did not  follow through  with a  crime after  a conversation                                                                    
about  burning down  an unoccupied  house  could be  charged                                                                    
with arson in the second degree under the legislation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti replied  in the negative. She  did not believe                                                                    
the  situation would  fall under  conspiracy either  because                                                                    
there had been  no culpable mental state, no  overt act, and                                                                    
no furtherance of the conspiracy.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  for verification  that in  order                                                                    
for a crime to be categorized  as conspiracy there had to be                                                                    
discussion of  a crime  and at least  one overt  act towards                                                                    
committing the  crime. Ms. Carpeneti agreed.  She reiterated                                                                    
that there had  to be discussion of a crime,  intent, and an                                                                    
overt act in furtherance of the crime.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:52:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   referred   to   the   hypothetical                                                                    
situation  presented   by  Representative  Gara   and  asked                                                                    
whether all of the kids  would be charged with conspiracy if                                                                    
only two out of the group followed through with the crime.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti  replied in the  negative. She  clarified that                                                                    
the culpable mental state  for conspiracy required intention                                                                    
of the result. The act of  talking about it or being present                                                                    
when others are  talking about it did not  meet the elements                                                                    
of conspiracy.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-chair  Fairclough  asked  whether  HB  56  limited  the                                                                    
definition  of arson  to buildings.  Mr.  Sica replied  that                                                                    
arson  in  the first  degree  included  any property.  Under                                                                    
current  law,   arson  in  the  second   degree  related  to                                                                    
buildings only.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti  added that the  statute relating to  arson in                                                                    
the first degree had existed since 1983.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  referred to a  case in which a  person had                                                                    
lit  a  boat  on  fire  that  subsequently  burnt  down  the                                                                    
adjacent  100-year-old church.  Ms.  Carpeneti replied  that                                                                    
the incident fell under arson in the first degree.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-chair  Fairclough wondered  whether  the Department  of                                                                    
Law had concerns that the  definition of arson in the second                                                                    
degree  was  limited to  buildings.  Ms.  Carpeneti was  not                                                                    
aware  of any  concerns, but  noted that  there may  be fire                                                                    
marshals with different opinions.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  noted there  would be  arson investigators                                                                    
testifying on the legislation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello  wondered whether starting  a forest                                                                    
fire applied  to the law.  Ms. Carpeneti responded  that the                                                                    
land  qualified as  property and  it would  be arson  in the                                                                    
first degree  if the fire caused  a person harm or  the risk                                                                    
of serious physical injury.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  asked  whether a  camp  fire  that                                                                    
resulted in a  forest fire because it had  not been properly                                                                    
extinguished would fall under the law.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Carpeneti  replied  in the  negative;  accidentally  or                                                                    
negligently leaving  a fire would  not apply.  She explained                                                                    
that for conspiracy the intent for  a fire to take place was                                                                    
required,  for arson  in the  first degree  a person  had to                                                                    
intentionally damage  property, and for arson  in the second                                                                    
degree a person had to knowingly damage a building.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:55:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  asked  how the  state  dealt  with                                                                    
minors who committed a felony.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti  replied that minors  under the age of  18 who                                                                    
committed crimes  were typically treated as  juveniles; they                                                                    
were charged with delinquent acts  and were not charged with                                                                    
or  convicted  of crimes.  She  relayed  that there  was  an                                                                    
automatic waiver for 16 and  17-year-olds who committed very                                                                    
serious crimes.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  queried whether  minors were  judged as                                                                    
delinquents if they committed a  lower level crime such as a                                                                    
misdemeanor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Carpeneti replied  that  for  certain traffic  offenses                                                                    
juveniles could  be charged and  convicted, such  as driving                                                                    
under the  influence; however, most offenses  for kids under                                                                    
the age  of 18 were  delinquent acts  and did not  result in                                                                    
conviction.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN BALEGA,  FIRE INVESTIGATOR, MUNICIPALITY  OF ANCHORAGE                                                                    
AND  PRESIDENT,   ALASKA  ASSOCIATION  OF  FIRE   AND  ARSON                                                                    
INVESTIGATORS,   ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),   voiced                                                                    
strong support  for the legislation. He  believed that arson                                                                    
was  a valid  concern for  public  safety in  the state.  He                                                                    
stated that  there were many  cases in Alaska that  were not                                                                    
properly identified  as arson. There were  hundreds of fires                                                                    
in  Anchorage   annually  and  because   he  was   the  sole                                                                    
investigator he was  only able to investigate  an average of                                                                    
50 to 60  fires per year. He detailed  that approximately 25                                                                    
of his cases  in 2010 and 50  of his cases in  2011 had been                                                                    
arson.  He  discussed  that  juvenile  fire  setting  was  a                                                                    
concern;  he  had  arrested  16   juveniles  for  arson  and                                                                    
wildland fires  during the summer  of 2009. He  explained if                                                                    
two people conspired  to burn a building  and one encouraged                                                                    
the  other to  commit the  crime, under  current law  it was                                                                    
probable  that only  the person  actually  setting the  fire                                                                    
would be charged.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Balega  believed that the  legislation fixed  a loophole                                                                    
in the system and would  deter fires by holding all involved                                                                    
parties accountable  for their  actions. He opined  that the                                                                    
crime  of arson  affected all  residents of  the state  on a                                                                    
personal  and  financial  level.  In reference  to  a  prior                                                                    
question  by  Representative  Wilson he  responded  that  he                                                                    
would look at  holding the kids responsible  for setting the                                                                    
fire  accountable, but  he would  look to  determine whether                                                                    
the other  kids helped  to plan or  had participated  in any                                                                    
other way; he stressed that  an overt act would include them                                                                    
in the  conspiracy. He thought  the state's arson  laws were                                                                    
narrow in  their application,  given that  they specifically                                                                    
dealt with  property and  did not extend  to cars  and other                                                                    
items. He  had recently  talked with the  association's vice                                                                    
president  about modifying  the  arson in  the third  degree                                                                    
law;  currently  setting  a  vehicle on  fire  on  state  or                                                                    
municipal  lands  was a  class  C  felony; however,  if  the                                                                    
vehicle  was in  a  person's private  driveway the  offender                                                                    
could only  be charged with something  like criminal damage,                                                                    
criminal  mischief,  or  vandalism.  He  stressed  that  his                                                                    
resources  were limited  and that  there  were many  vehicle                                                                    
fires in  Anchorage that he  had to rely on  fire department                                                                    
officers to deal with.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Balega  explained that  the  issue  of unattended  camp                                                                    
fires  turning  into wildland  fires  would  most likely  be                                                                    
included  in  one of  the  crimes  associated with  forested                                                                    
lands  currently   listed  in  statute;  depending   on  its                                                                    
severity  the  crime  could  reach   the  felony  level.  He                                                                    
detailed  that forested  lands  had  civil attachments  that                                                                    
would   allow  for   double  restitution   related  to   the                                                                    
suppression and other activities of a fire.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:04:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze recalled  a  prior  conversation with  Mr.                                                                    
Balega  and asked  whether he  believed the  bill should  be                                                                    
amended. Mr.  Balega replied that there  had been discussion                                                                    
about  changing the  law to  apply  to "propelled  vehicles"                                                                    
instead  of  "motor  vehicles";   however,  there  had  been                                                                    
concern from a district attorney  that the change may create                                                                    
constitutional challenges on  prior convictions. He wondered                                                                    
whether DOL thought the law  could be changed to read "motor                                                                    
vehicle and/or propelled vehicle."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze communicated that  the bill would remain as                                                                    
it  was.  He  communicated  that   work  could  be  done  to                                                                    
determine another  route for the  additional item.  He asked                                                                    
whether Ms. Carpeneti concurred. Ms. Carpeneti agreed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara shared that  he did not necessarily have                                                                    
a  problem with  the bill,  given  that arson  seemed to  be                                                                    
serious  enough  to  fit  in   with  conspiracy  crimes.  He                                                                    
referred to  the crime of  aiding and abetting.  He surmised                                                                    
that  a person  was  already covered  under  the aiding  and                                                                    
abetting  crime if  they  purchased  materials and  provided                                                                    
them  to the  arsonist.  He surmised  that conspiracy  would                                                                    
apply  to   all  of  the   individuals  that   talked  about                                                                    
committing the  crime; whereas, aiding and  abetting covered                                                                    
the person who purchased the materials.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Carpeneti replied  in  the  affirmative. She  expounded                                                                    
that  conspiracy  applied  to the  individuals  that  talked                                                                    
about  the crime  and intended  for  it to  take place.  She                                                                    
explained that whether  or not a person  could be considered                                                                    
an  accomplice   depended  on  the  facts.   Other  offences                                                                    
included solicitation  and attempt.  She discussed  that the                                                                    
harm in conspiracy  is that the act of  making the agreement                                                                    
and intent  to commit the  crime make  it more likely  for a                                                                    
crime to take place.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:08:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked for verification that  aiding and                                                                    
abetting  resulted  from  an  action,  but  that  conspiracy                                                                    
occurred  when a  person just  agreed that  something should                                                                    
happen.  Ms.  Carpeneti  replied that  the  explanation  was                                                                    
correct in most circumstances.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BOND,  DEPUTY FIRE MARSHAL  AND VICE  PRESIDENT, ALASKA                                                                    
ASSOCIATION OF FIRE AND  ARSON INVESTIGATORS, ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  support of  the legislation.  He                                                                    
communicated that  currently there  was no  way to  charge a                                                                    
person  who  conspired  to  commit arson  if  they  did  not                                                                    
actually take any action related to the crime.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
JEFF  TUCKER, FIRE  CHIEF, NORTH  STAR  FIRE DEPARTMENT  AND                                                                    
FORMER  PRESIDENT,  ALASKA  STATE FIRE  CHIEFS  ASSOCIATION,                                                                    
NORTH POLE  (via teleconference), vocalized support  for the                                                                    
bill.  The association  felt that  the legislation  closed a                                                                    
loophole in  current statute and  could provide  a deterrent                                                                    
for individuals who may consider committing arson.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LESLIE   HOUSTON,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT  OF  CORRECTIONS  (DOC),  JUNEAU  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   relayed  that   DOC  would   monitor  its                                                                    
database to  determine whether there  were any  increases in                                                                    
arson offences going forward.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  queried whether  DOC had  any expectations                                                                    
or  projections related  to the  indeterminate fiscal  note.                                                                    
Ms.  Houston  answered that  it  was  not possible  for  the                                                                    
department  to have  any projections  at  the present  time.                                                                    
There were  currently twelve  people incarcerated  for arson                                                                    
in the  first degree, one  person incarcerated for  arson in                                                                    
the  second   degree,  and   two  people   incarcerated  for                                                                    
attempted arson in  the first degree. She  explained that if                                                                    
the  legislation passed,  the department  would monitor  the                                                                    
incarceration  rates  to determine  whether  it  led to  any                                                                    
significant increases to the prison population.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:12:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS  MOODY,   PUBLIC  DEFENDER  AGENCY,   DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
ADMINISTRATION,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),  did  not                                                                    
believe  the bill  would have  a significant  impact on  the                                                                    
department,  given  that  there   were  not  many  arson  or                                                                    
conspiracy cases. He confirmed  that in most cases involving                                                                    
more  than  one  arsonist  the extra  people  involved  were                                                                    
charged with  accomplice liability  or aiding  and abetting.                                                                    
He did  not expect additional  cases if DOL made  no changes                                                                    
to its practices because the  crime of conspiracy would just                                                                    
get  filed in  with  the arson  cases.  He acknowledged  the                                                                    
potential  for  a case  increase  and  the possibility  that                                                                    
young people  could get roped into  conspiracy charges where                                                                    
the extent of  their involvement was not  clear. He believed                                                                    
that it would be difficult for  a kid to prove that they did                                                                    
not intend  for a  crime to actually  happen after  they had                                                                    
been  present when  the idea  had been  hatched. He  relayed                                                                    
that proving  intent was very  difficult to  discern because                                                                    
intent  could   only  be   inferred,  unless   both  parties                                                                    
specifically stated that they  planned to carry through with                                                                    
the crime. He  discussed that in the case  of wildland fires                                                                    
children could intend  to start a fire,  but not necessarily                                                                    
to  start a  wildland  fire. He  elaborated that  conspiracy                                                                    
could  just  grow; there  was  the  potential to  apply  the                                                                    
charge to a large group of  kids that did not really mean to                                                                    
start a fire. He relayed that  arson in the first degree was                                                                    
automatically waived  for 16 and 17-year-olds.  Arson in the                                                                    
second  degree  would  only be  automatically  waived  under                                                                    
certain conditions (e.g. if a  person used explosives or had                                                                    
"priors").                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:17:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon believed  the  bill  might have  more                                                                    
impact  on  the  juvenile  justice  system  than  previously                                                                    
thought. He  wondered whether  there would  be an  impact to                                                                    
the fiscal note.  Mr. Sica was not aware of  the bill having                                                                    
an impact on the juvenile justice system.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon   pointed  to  prior   testimony  and                                                                    
thought  there could  be potential  costs  due to  increased                                                                    
cases. He communicated that he  could have been missing some                                                                    
of the information on the issue.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze   noted  that  it  was   the  departments'                                                                    
responsibility to  provide fiscal  notes if they  believed a                                                                    
bill would cause a financial impact.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti confirmed  that arson in the  first degree was                                                                    
an automatic  waiver for 16 and  17-year-olds. She clarified                                                                    
that  the  bill  should  not  have  a  disparate  impact  on                                                                    
juvenile justice procedures. She  elaborated that there were                                                                    
not many  conspiracy prosecutions in Alaska  potentially due                                                                    
to a  lack of  evidence or  conspiracies. She  detailed that                                                                    
"chest beating"  by young  kids was not  the same  as intent                                                                    
for  a  crime  to  be  committed. She  agreed  that  it  was                                                                    
unlikely  that a  significant number  of prosecutions  would                                                                    
result from the passage of the bill.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara   believed  there  were   positive  and                                                                    
negative  aspects  of  the   conspiracy  law.  The  negative                                                                    
component  was  that   a  child  would  have   a  hard  time                                                                    
convincing  a  jury  that  they did  not  intend  to  commit                                                                    
conspiracy. The positive aspect was  that it was more likely                                                                    
the  prosecution would  succeed  if there  was a  conspiracy                                                                    
law,  given  that there  was  a  larger  pool of  people  to                                                                    
provide evidence.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:21:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.   Moody  explained   that  it   all   depended  on   the                                                                    
perspective. The advantage of  a conspiracy statute was that                                                                    
it could  be broad;  the defendant  did not  have to  be the                                                                    
person that  committed the act;  an agreement that  could be                                                                    
inferred from  conduct was  all that  was necessary.  He did                                                                    
not  know whether  there would  be  a substantial  advantage                                                                    
added  related to  "rolling individual  defendants from  the                                                                    
group."  He   believed  that   the  police   were  effective                                                                    
investigators because they were  capable of "rolling people"                                                                    
during the course of their investigations.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti added  that the prosecution had  to prove that                                                                    
a person  committed a crime  beyond a reasonable  doubt; the                                                                    
defendant did not have to say or prove anything.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson discussed  that it  was hard  to know                                                                    
the impact of  the bill when the number of  arson cases were                                                                    
not readily available.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Carpeneti replied  that she  could follow  up with  the                                                                    
data. She  referenced Leslie Houston's testimony  that there                                                                    
were twelve individuals currently  incarcerated for arson in                                                                    
the  first degree  and one  incarcerated for  second degree.                                                                    
She thought  it was  fairly clear that  Alaska did  not have                                                                    
many  prosecutions for  arson; the  cases were  difficult to                                                                    
prove because many  times the evidence was  destroyed in the                                                                    
fire.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson   was  concerned  about   the  intent                                                                    
portion of  the conspiracy  law. Ms. Carpeneti  replied that                                                                    
there  was a  provision  in statute  for  renunciation of  a                                                                    
crime, which was a defense against the crime of arson.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:26:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Doogan found it  almost impossible that there                                                                    
was no legal recourse against  someone who hired a person to                                                                    
burn a building down. He  understood that it could be easier                                                                    
if the bill passed, but he  opined that many things would be                                                                    
easier in  the criminal  justice system  if the  law allowed                                                                    
it. He believed the issue  was a balancing act and discussed                                                                    
whether  the benefit  outweighed  the  gain to  individuals'                                                                    
civil rights. He did not believe  a solid case had been made                                                                    
for the  proposed change. He discussed  that the legislature                                                                    
had been stiffening  up the penalties for many  of the items                                                                    
it had been  presented with. He believed that  at some point                                                                    
the practice  needed to be  stopped and surmised  that given                                                                    
the facts  and numbers that  had been presented  perhaps the                                                                    
current bill was the place to start.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze remarked that the discussion was relevant.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  referred  to  the  federal  government                                                                    
conspiracy law "RICO"  that had been passed in  order to get                                                                    
a  person to  come forward  with information  about a  crime                                                                    
(specifically related to mafia  crime). He believed that the                                                                    
legislature  should take  a look  at the  conspiracy law  at                                                                    
some  point  in  the  future. He  believed  that  arson  was                                                                    
serious enough that it should  fit under the conspiracy law.                                                                    
He wondered  whether all property crimes  were second degree                                                                    
felonies.  He thought  it could  be possible  to save  money                                                                    
related to  jail time and  prosecution on the  second degree                                                                    
arson cases.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  asked whether  the charges related  to the                                                                    
value of property and also the risk of life.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  clarified that risk of  life fell under                                                                    
arson in the  first degree. He wondered  whether the penalty                                                                    
for  arson  in  the  second  degree  could  be  reduced  for                                                                    
properties that were worth a small amount.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti replied that arson  in the second degree dealt                                                                    
with damages to  a building from a fire  or explosion. Arson                                                                    
in  the third  degree  related to  exploding  a vehicle  and                                                                    
criminally negligent  burning related to crimes  that caused                                                                    
less damage. She communicated that  statutes did not include                                                                    
monetary  values   under  the  various  arson   crimes.  She                                                                    
furthered that  criminally negligent  burning in  the second                                                                    
degree  occurred when  a person  with  "the culpable  mental                                                                    
state of criminal negligence damages  property by fire or an                                                                    
explosion,"  which was  a  class  A misdemeanor.  Criminally                                                                    
negligent   burning  in   the   first   degree  applied   to                                                                    
individuals who  had a  prior offence  in the  previous ten-                                                                    
year  period. She  believed a  crime that  involved a  small                                                                    
amount of  damage would  be charged  as a  misdemeanor under                                                                    
criminally negligent burning.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:31:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thomas MOVED to report  HB 56 out of committee with                                                                    
individual  recommendations  and   the  accompanying  fiscal                                                                    
notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB   56  was   REPORTED  out   of  committee   with  a   "no                                                                    
recommendation" and  with one new indeterminate  fiscal note                                                                    
from  the Department  of Corrections,  one  new zero  fiscal                                                                    
note from the Department of  Public Safety, and one new zero                                                                    
fiscal note from the Department of Law.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:32:36 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:34:50 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB216_Regulations_Sponsor_O.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216_Changes_Finance.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB253 Letter.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 253
HB 253 Support Article Alaska Dispatch 11.07.11 (1).pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 253
Sponsor Statement for HB 253pdf.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 253
HB 302 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 302
HB 302 PCG backup information.docx HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 302
HB 302 Letters of Support.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 302
HB 302 federal audit information.docx HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 302
HB 302 Alaska Statute 43.23.062.docx HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 302
HB302-NEW FN-DOR-PFD-02-17-12.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 302
11 - HB 264 Supporting Documents - Letter of Support from the Juneau Affordable Housing Commission, 17 January 2012.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
10 - HB 264 Supporting Documents - Letter of Support from DJG Development, 19 January 2012.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
09 - HB 264 Supporting Documents - Letter of Support from the Alaska Association of Realtors, 4 February 2012.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
08 - HB 264 Supporting Documents - Alaska State Home Building Association Resolution in Support of HB 264, 20 January 2012.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
07 - HB 264 Supporting Documents - Juneau Empire Editorial - City's Top 10 Goals - Tricks or Treats, 13 November 2011.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
05 - HB 264 Differences between HB 264 and CSHB 264 (CRA).pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
04 - CSHB 264 (CRA) Version I Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
03 - CSHB 264 (CRA) Version I Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
HB 56 - Relevant Statutes.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 56
HB 56 Sponsor Statement 2012.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 56
HB264-NEW FN-DCCED-DCRA-02-17-12.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264
HB216CS(JUD)-NEW FN-GOV-OMB-2-17-2012.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB 216 CS WORKDRAFT FIN-B VERSION 022212.PDF HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB 56 Support.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 56
HB 264 Support letter.pdf HFIN 2/22/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 264