Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/24/2002 01:12 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 180 - BACKGROUND CHECK OF YOUTH WORKER                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0030                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  180,   "An  Act  requiring  child  services                                                               
providers  to   obtain  criminal  background  checks   for  child                                                               
services  workers."   [In committee  packets was  a new  proposed                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS)  for  HB  180,  version  22-LS0642\U,                                                               
Lauterbach, 4/24/02.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0163                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER made  a motion  to rescind  the committee's                                                               
action on 4/22/02  in reporting CSHB 180(JUD)  [CSHB 180(HES), as                                                               
amended on 4/22/02] from committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0169                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0209                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HEATHER  M. NOBREGA,  Staff  to  Representative Norman  Rokeberg,                                                               
House  Judiciary Standing  Committee,  Alaska State  Legislature,                                                               
explained that  in drafting CSHB 180(JUD)  [following the hearing                                                               
on  4/22/02],  some  problems were  discovered,  and  that  these                                                               
problems have  been outlined in  a memo provided by  the drafter.                                                               
The first  problem revolves around  the addition in Section  5 of                                                               
language  relating to  indictment, which  raises equal-protection                                                               
issues because  there are other  types of situations  in criminal                                                               
law  that are  similar  to indictment  but  are not  specifically                                                               
labeled as such.   In the new proposed CS,  the language relating                                                               
to  indictment  has  been  removed,   although  the  drafter  has                                                               
provided alternative wording in a  memo:  after "license" on page                                                               
4, line 25, insert "is  charged by information of complaint with,                                                               
is under indictment or presentment for, or".                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NOBREGA said  that the  second problem  revolves around  the                                                               
date by  which the report  from the task  force is due;  with the                                                               
change made on  4/22/02, the report would be due  one month after                                                               
the task force  is terminated.  In the new  proposed CS, the date                                                               
by  which the  report is  due coincides  with the  date the  task                                                               
force  is terminated,  that  being  the first  day  of the  first                                                               
regular session  of the  23rd legislative  session.   Ms. Nobrega                                                               
noted that  a third change to  the new proposed CS  was requested                                                               
by the sponsor;  this change on page 9 [line  12] stipulates that                                                               
the public  members of  the task  force are  not entitled  to per                                                               
diem or travel  expenses, and should ensure that  the fiscal note                                                               
remains zero.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0410                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  noted that  Representative Berkowitz  has removed                                                               
his objection  and that there  were no further objections  to the                                                               
motion  to  rescind  the committee's  action  in  reporting  CSHB
180(JUD)  out  of  committee.     Therefore,  CSHB  180(HES),  as                                                               
amended, was back before the committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0452                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  moved to adopt  the new proposed CS  for HB
180, version  22-LS0642\U, Lauterbach, 4/24/02, as  a work draft.                                                               
There being no objection, Version U was before the committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA, in response to  a question, confirmed that Version U                                                               
contains  the three  changes she  spoke  of.   She remarked  that                                                               
according  to the  drafter, any  changes to  Version U  regarding                                                               
indictment   should   also   include   language   pertaining   to                                                               
"presentment" and "charged by information of complaint".                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ,   on  the  point  of   that  suggested                                                               
language,  said   that  he   is  not   familiar  with   the  term                                                               
"'presentment'  as  it's  used up  here,"  that  "information  of                                                               
complaint" is  sometimes "done" by  the district attorney  or the                                                               
arresting officer, and  that the term "indictment"  seemed to him                                                               
to offer  an additional level  of protection.  "If  this presents                                                               
problems  -  I  don't  anticipates  it would  -  but  I  have  no                                                               
objection to these changes," he  added, mentioning, however, that                                                               
"it is conceptually different, in my mind."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA pointed  out that language similar  to that suggested                                                               
by the  drafter for  page 4,  line 25,  can be  found on  page 3,                                                               
lines 24 and  25:  "charged by information or  complaint with, or                                                               
under  indictment  or  presentment  for a  crime  listed".    She                                                               
reiterated that according  to the drafter, this  type of language                                                               
would  be preferable  to  just the  word  "indicted", should  the                                                               
committee choose to go that route with the provision on page 4.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  noted that  the language she  refers to                                                               
on page 3 begins with:  "is under investigation or arrest for".                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NOBREGA  clarified that  she  was  simply pointing  out  the                                                               
similarities in  the language  regarding "charged  by information                                                               
or complaint with",  rather than suggesting that  the entirety of                                                               
the sentence on page 3 should also be used on page 4.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0562                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  asked  for   an  explanation  of  when                                                               
someone would be "under investigation".                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. NOBREGA replied:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Actually, ...  "under investigation" is  different than                                                                    
     what we were  talking about.  I was  just talking about                                                                    
     "indictment",  "presentment", or  "charged with".   The                                                                    
      "under investigation" is completely separate [from]                                                                       
     what we had been discussing on [4/22/02].                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    BERKOWITZ    indicated    that    the    "under                                                               
investigation" language on  page 3 has now  caught his attention;                                                               
"I have  no complaints about  the other  part of the  sentence as                                                               
it's been  amended, but now  seeing this  other part -  'is under                                                               
investigation' ..."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  pointed out  that it  was a  provision on  page 4                                                               
that was  amended on  4/22/02, whereas the  provision on  page 3,                                                               
which  has language  similar to  what is  being suggested  by the                                                               
drafter for page 4, has yet to be discussed.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said,  "A mistake was made  and now that                                                               
I see  something that's  problematic, I  want to  fix it."   What                                                               
does  "under investigation"  mean?   Does that  mean someone  has                                                               
called  in  a  complaint?    Does it  mean  an  investigation  is                                                               
[pending]?                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG suggested  that the  committee first  address the                                                               
issue  of whether  to  amend  page 4,  line  25,  to include  the                                                               
language suggested  by the drafter, since  the original amendment                                                               
regarding indictment was not incorporated into Version U.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0686                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ made a motion to adopt Amendment 1.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  explained  that  Amendment 1  would  insert  the                                                               
following after  "license" on page  4, line  25:  "is  charged by                                                               
information   of  complaint   with,   is   under  indictment   or                                                               
presentment for, or".                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0710                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  objected for  the purpose  of discussion.                                                               
He said that "certainly we're  talking about placement here," but                                                               
it's only  after the conditions  [from page 3] are  applied, "and                                                               
I'm wondering if  it isn't already covered and  if it's necessary                                                               
to even put in this section [on  page 4]."  The provision on page                                                               
3  involves  a licensing  issue,  and  the  provision on  page  4                                                               
involves  a  placement issue;  Amendment  1  would apply  to  the                                                               
provision  regarding placement,  he  noted, but  "it also  refers                                                               
back  to this  licensing" provision,  and "they've"  already been                                                               
scrutinized under this very same language on page 3.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG called an at-ease from 1:25 p.m. to 1:26 p.m.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG indicated that he approved of [Amendment 1]                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  asked:     Does  the  department  have                                                               
authority to remove [a license] if  it has some level of cause to                                                               
be concerned, short of a conviction?                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  suggested  that   in  making  the  amendment  on                                                               
4/22/02, Representative  Berkowitz was  merely attempting  to use                                                               
the term  "indicted" as a  catchall in  case there had  been some                                                               
charges brought.   He relayed  that he  did not have  any problem                                                               
with [adopting] Amendment 1.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  that he  struggles with  [the term]                                                               
"charge".  He elaborated:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     I  think that  sometimes  in  these family  situations,                                                                    
     there are  all kinds  of real high-tension  issues, and                                                                    
     just the fact that somebody  might level a charge, [it]                                                                    
     may  not be  necessary to  stop  a placement.   And  in                                                                    
     answer  to   Representative  Berkowitz's   question,  I                                                                    
     believe  they  do  have discretionary  powers  ...  for                                                                    
     placement.   This is just ...  a bar ... if  there is a                                                                    
     conviction.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0881                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ withdrew  Amendment 1,  adding that  he                                                               
understands Representative  Coghill's concerns.   He  then turned                                                               
to the language on page 3, line 24.  He said:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The department  can't issue an  initial license  if the                                                                    
     applicant "is  under investigation".   That's  a pretty                                                                    
     amorphous term  - "is under investigation";  there's no                                                                    
     certainty that  an applicant would know  that they were                                                                    
     under an investigation.   Investigations sometimes lead                                                                    
     to people  being more  frequently (indisc.  - coughing)                                                                    
     being cleared, and I just  don't know what the standard                                                                    
     is there.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  said he agreed.   He  then mentioned that  he was                                                               
familiar  with a  situation  involving a  foster  parent who  was                                                               
vindicated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0972                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ made  a  motion  to adopt  [Conceptual]                                                               
Amendment 2:  on page 3,  line 24, delete "is under investigation                                                               
or arrest for".                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG asked why "under arrest for" should be deleted.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said that if  the arrest is not followed                                                               
up with "an information or  complaint," that means someone's been                                                               
released because there weren't grounds to hold him/her.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  surmised,  then, that  Representative  Berkowitz                                                               
wants  the  situation to  at  least  reach  the formal  level  of                                                               
"information or complaint".                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  confirmed  this,  and  clarified  that                                                               
[Conceptual]   Amendment   2   ought  to   delete   only   "under                                                               
investigation or arrest  for", leaving line 24 to  begin with "is                                                               
charged  by".    He  added  that  apparently  "this  language  is                                                               
somewhere else in the bill."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  stated, "Well,  if it is,  let's have  it removed                                                               
also."   In  response  to  a question,  he  said that  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  2 would  remove "under  investigation  or arrest  for"                                                               
from page 3, line  24, as well as from anyplace  else in the bill                                                               
that contains that same language.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1063                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG noted that there  were no objections to Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 2.  Therefore, Conceptual Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1065                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES   moved  to  report   version  22-LS0642\U,                                                               
Lauterbach,   4/24/02,  as   amended,  out   of  committee   with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  zero  fiscal                                                               
note.  There  being no objection, new CSHB  180(JUD) was reported                                                               
from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects