Legislature(2011 - 2012)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/12/2012 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued at 5:30 p.m. Today --
+ SB 137 SUICIDE AWARENESS & PREVENTION TRAINING TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS SB 137(FIN) Out of Committee
+ SB 19 PASSENGER VEHICLE RENTAL TAX TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 135 CONTINUANCES IN CRIMINAL TRIALS; VICTIMS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 135(FIN) Out of Committee
+= SB 23 FILM PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT/AUDITS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+= SB 119 ATHLETIC TRAINERS TELECONFERENCED
<Pending Referral>
+ SCR 24 COMMISSION ON 100TH ANNIV. OF LEGISLATURE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 160 BUDGET: CAPITAL TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 135(JUD)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the rights of crime victims;                                                                           
     relating to the duties of prosecuting attorneys; and                                                                       
     amending Rule 45, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:50:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough MOVED to  ADOPT the proposed committee                                                                    
substitute   for  SB   135(FIN),   Work  Draft   27-LS0966\I                                                                    
(Gardner, 4/11/12) as a working document.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JOE  MICHEL, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  BILL STOLTZE,  outlined                                                                    
the additions in  the proposed CS. He detailed  that on page                                                                    
4, Section  3 had been included;  Sections 4, 5, and  6 were                                                                    
likewise  added  to  the   legislation.  He  concluded  that                                                                    
Sections 7,  8, and 9  were part  of the original  bill that                                                                    
had entered the committee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SUE WRIGHT,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MIKE  CHENAULT, explained                                                                    
that the  CS basically  merged HB  221 into  SB 135;  HB 221                                                                    
dealt with court  appointed council. Page 4, line  25 of the                                                                    
bill added financial resources and  "adds a little teeth" to                                                                    
what  people swear  to in  court when  they were  asking for                                                                    
court  appointed  council. Page  5,  line  14 described  the                                                                    
change to  the court  rule, which  was Rule  39.1 subsection                                                                    
(e). Page  5, line  19 specified that  people who  lied when                                                                    
asking for  appointed council were subject  to penalties for                                                                    
perjury. She  added that the  merging allowed for  courts to                                                                    
go back  and make  sure that  the financial  statements that                                                                    
were  signed were  correct  and  enforceable. She  expressed                                                                    
appreciation for  the cooperation on the  bill. She observed                                                                    
that the CS had been delivered  to her about 5 minutes prior                                                                    
to the  meeting and offered  her apologies if  she misstated                                                                    
anything.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:55:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  emphasized that  he had been  working with                                                                    
Speaker  Chenault's  office  for  quite  some  time  on  the                                                                    
legislation and  stated that he  did not want the  public to                                                                    
be under the  impression that the speaker's  office had just                                                                    
received  the CS.  Ms. Wright  responded that  she had  been                                                                    
absent  from  the office  and  that  someone else  had  been                                                                    
working  on  the  bill.  She clarified  that  she  had  just                                                                    
personally received the CS.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze   commented  that  the  committee   had  a                                                                    
thorough process,  which had not  been shortened  during the                                                                    
formulation  of   the  legislation.   He  inquired   if  the                                                                    
presumption in the  bill was that someone  would be provided                                                                    
an  attorney during  arraignment  and would  have to  verify                                                                    
their  financial  ability  at   a  later  date.  Ms.  Wright                                                                    
responded in the affirmative.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze requested  Vice-Chair Fairclough  to share                                                                    
her  contributions  to  the measure.  Vice-Chair  Fairclough                                                                    
replied  that  the  Office  of  Victims'  Rights  (OVR)  was                                                                    
reviewed  and  it was  discovered  that  its pay  scale  was                                                                    
frozen  at Step  A. She  related that  it was  difficult for                                                                    
someone to  stay in an office  and be stuck at  a particular                                                                    
pay  level,  while  other  staff   was  advancing.  She  had                                                                    
proposed to Senator French's  and Co-Chair Stoltze's offices                                                                    
that the  restrictions on that  particular level  be lifted;                                                                    
the  level would  stay at  a pay  grade 26,  but the  change                                                                    
would allow OVR, based on  the employee's number of years of                                                                    
service, to move across the states pay scale.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze inquired  if the changes to  OVR arose from                                                                    
discussions  by the  Victims  Advocate Selection  Committee.                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Fairclough responded  that she  had brought  the                                                                    
suggestion to his attention.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze observed  that  the discussions  regarding                                                                    
OVR  were conducted  in executive  sessions  and that  there                                                                    
probably  was an  issue with  confidentiality regarding  the                                                                    
specifics   of   the   discussion.   Vice-Chair   Fairclough                                                                    
responded that  earlier in  the day,  she had  discussed the                                                                    
change to  OVR with Senator  French, who also had  served on                                                                    
the Victims Advocate Selection Committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  clarified for the record  that the process                                                                    
to change the  OVR pay scale did not  arise arbitrarily, but                                                                    
that  it  had come  from  discussions  during the  selection                                                                    
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION, Work Draft 27-LS0966\I was ADOPTED.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LILA  HOBBS,  STAFF,  SENATOR  HOLLIS  FRENCH,  stated  that                                                                    
Article  1,  Section 24  of  the  Alaska State  Constitution                                                                    
housed the  entitled rights  of crime  victims and  that the                                                                    
amendment  that had  added  those rights  had  passed by  an                                                                    
overwhelming  majority,  when  it had  gone  before  Alaskan                                                                    
voters in  1994; included  in those  rights was  a guarantee                                                                    
that  crime  victims  would  have  the  right  to  a  timely                                                                    
disposition  of  the  case  following   the  arrest  of  the                                                                    
accused. She  offered that  it had been  18 years  since the                                                                    
constitutional amendment had passed  and that the promise of                                                                    
timely  disposition was  often not  kept, particularly  with                                                                    
the most serious cases. Delays  in the trials of cases, also                                                                    
known as  continuances, could  go on  for years.  She shared                                                                    
that SB  135 required prosecutors  and judges to  consider a                                                                    
victims right  to a timely  disposition of their  case, when                                                                    
making  decisions on  allowing continuances;  the bill  also                                                                    
insured  that  victims  were notified  of  any  requests  or                                                                    
motions   that   could   substantially  delay   the   speedy                                                                    
prosecution  of  their  case. She  mentioned  that  repeated                                                                    
delays  in   cases  prevented  the  victims   from  reaching                                                                    
emotional,  physical,  and financial  closure;  furthermore,                                                                    
delays in prosecution could also  affect the availability of                                                                    
witnesses,  the  victim's  ability to  recall  details,  and                                                                    
could create  other impediments to  a successful  trial. She                                                                    
concluded  that the  legislation would  guarantee a  victims                                                                    
right  to  a timely  resolution  in  the court  system.  She                                                                    
concluded   that  the   bill  was   widely  supported   from                                                                    
organizations such as the Victims  for Justice, the OVR, the                                                                    
Alaska  Network on  Domestic  Violence  and Sexual  Assault,                                                                    
Standing Together  Against Rape,  the Alaska  Peace Officers                                                                    
Association, as well as Karen  Foster, who was the mother of                                                                    
Bonnie Craig.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:59:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  FOSTER, SELF,  ANCHORAGE, shared  that her  daughter,                                                                    
Bonnie Craig, was  murdered and that it had  taken almost 17                                                                    
years  before  the  person responsible  was  convicted.  She                                                                    
discussed the incredible tragedy  and hardship of having her                                                                    
daughter murdered,  as well  as having  to wait  almost five                                                                    
years for  a conviction after the  defendant was identified.                                                                    
She stated that her family  was "re-victimized" by the state                                                                    
of  Alaska.  Bonnie's killer  was  identified  though a  DNA                                                                    
match  in November  of 2006,  but it  took almost  two years                                                                    
before  a trial  date  was  set on  September  of 2008.  She                                                                    
stated  that her  family  had endured  six  trail dates  and                                                                    
related  how   difficult  the  process  for   everyone.  She                                                                    
mentioned that  she had  written a  letter to  the committee                                                                    
and expressed a  desire that the members would  all read it.                                                                    
She  stated that  the  system  was financially,  physically,                                                                    
mentally,   and    spiritually   difficult    on   families;                                                                    
furthermore,  there  was  nowhere  else  to  turn  to  while                                                                    
families were enduring  the wait. She shared  that more than                                                                    
once,  her family  had  talked to  the  judge regarding  the                                                                    
defense  attorney's  repeated   continuation  requests;  the                                                                    
continuations had wasting two years  of the family's and the                                                                    
state's  time. She  urged  the committee  to  deal with  the                                                                    
issue  of timely  dispositions and  emphasized that  she did                                                                    
not want anyone else to go  through what her family had. She                                                                    
requested that  the committee consider the  victims and give                                                                    
judges the opportunity to consider the victims as well.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough  discussed   six  fiscal  notes.  She                                                                    
addressed the  fiscal note  from the  Department of  Law and                                                                    
related  that it  was  currently  indeterminate because  the                                                                    
Senate  did  not feel  that  there  was adequate  supporting                                                                    
documentation for a new full-time position.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:06:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough MOVED to  report HCS CSSB 135(FIN) out                                                                    
of  committee   with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes. There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:06:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB 135(FIN)  was REPORTED out of committee  with a "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation  and with  three new zero  fiscal notes                                                                    
from the  Court System, the Legislature,  and the Department                                                                    
of Corrections,  two new zero  notes from the  Department of                                                                    
Administration, and  one previously  published indeterminate                                                                    
fiscal note: FN4 (SFIN/LAW).                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze noted  that he was glad to  work on another                                                                    
victims'  rights bill  and that  he  had conducted  previous                                                                    
work on the issue.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:07:18 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:08:15 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 135 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Sectional Summary.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Letters of Support.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Explanation of Changes.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 137 Sponsor Statement Rev. 1-23-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Sectional Summary 27-LS0094M 1-24-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Legal Memo 2-17-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137- AK Suicide Prev.Plan. 2012-17.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 - Explanation of Changes rev. 3-16-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 19 - Explanation of Changes.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Relevant Statutes.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Letter Support MotoQuest.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Letter Support Harley.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Letter Support AMA.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 137 Supporting Documents-Northern Light 2-6-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents-Bullets-Jason Foundation.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents- NCSL.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents -AkSCA.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents - Facts & Information.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents DHSS Ltr.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents - CDC -Suicide Nationwide.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Document - APOA 2-10-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB137 CS WORKDRAFT FIN 27-LS0994-D.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB135 CS WORKDRAFT 27-LS0966-I.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135