Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 120

02/07/2005 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 88 OFFENSES BY MINORS/AGAINST TEACHERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 41 ASSAULT ON SCHOOL EMPLOYEES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 41(JUD) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
HB 88 - OFFENSES BY MINORS/AGAINST TEACHERS                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[Contains discussion of HB 41.]                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  88,  "An  Act  relating to  certain  weapons                                                               
offenses involving  minors; to aggravating factors  in sentencing                                                               
for  certain offenses  committed against  a school  employee; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE noted  that both HB 41 and HB  88 address the issue                                                               
of  assaults on  school  employees,  but HB  88  does  so via  an                                                               
aggravator  - which,  she surmised,  would not  comport with  the                                                               
U.S. Supreme Court  case, Blakely v. Washington, 124  S. Ct. 2531                                                             
(U.S.,  2004) -  and  also  addresses the  issue  of offenses  by                                                               
minors.  She expressed a preference  for considering HB 41 as the                                                               
vehicle and then  perhaps rolling into it the part  of HB 88 that                                                               
addresses offenses by minors.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:11:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  CARPENETI,  Assistant   Attorney  General,  Legal  Services                                                               
Section-Juneau,  Criminal  Division,  Department  of  Law  (DOL),                                                               
relayed that the administration has  introduced HB 88 for reasons                                                               
similar to those of  the sponsor of HB 41 -  that being a serious                                                               
concern  about violence  among youth  and at  school.   She noted                                                               
that  the findings  section  of  HB 88  makes  reference to,  and                                                               
includes statistics from, surveys  conducted by the Department of                                                               
Health  and  Social  Services (DHSS)  and  the  Anchorage  School                                                               
District (ASD).   She opined  that the most disheartening  of the                                                               
statistics  used are  the ones  that say  13 percent  of students                                                               
responding to the  ASD survey reported feeling  unsafe at school,                                                               
and that this figure is more than double the national average.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI relayed  that police  have said  that not  only is                                                               
violence  in school  a  problem, but  that  "gun violence"  among                                                               
Alaskan youth is  a serious problem.  She said  that she does not                                                               
believe  that  the aggravating  factor  in  HB 88  would  violate                                                               
Blakely; instead,  the aggravating  factor will  just have  to be                                                             
proven differently  than is currently  done.  She  explained that                                                               
HB  88 does  two  things:   it  adopts  an aggravated  sentencing                                                               
factor for crimes against a person  - crimes located in AS 11.41,                                                               
which include assault, homicide,  sexual assault, sexual abuse of                                                               
a minor,  kidnapping, and  related offenses  - when  those crimes                                                               
are  knowingly  directed at  an  employee  of  a school;  and  it                                                               
provides for an automatic waiver  into adult court for minors who                                                               
are  at  least 16  years  of  age and  who  commit  the crime  of                                                               
misconduct  involving weapons  in the  first degree  - a  class A                                                               
felony  - or  in  the second  degree  -  a class  B  felony -  in                                                               
violation of AS 11.61.190 or  11.61.195, which pertain in part to                                                               
drive-by shootings and drug-related crimes involving firearms.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:14:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI, in  response  to questions,  said  that the  only                                                               
crimes that HB 88 proposes  for inclusion in the automatic waiver                                                               
provision  of law  are those  involving  firearms, and  indicated                                                               
that  forthcoming   testimony  by  police  will   show  that  the                                                               
commission of such  crimes by 16- and  17-year-olds constitutes a                                                               
really serious problem, particularly in Anchorage.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   asked    whether   there   are   any                                                               
constitutional limits on  what crimes a minor can  be waived into                                                               
adult court for.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI said she is not  aware of any, but would be willing                                                               
to research the issue further.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked that  the results of that research                                                               
be in writing.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM   said  she   has  seen   many  studies                                                               
indicating  that crimes  involving  knives are  more violent  and                                                               
bizarre than those involving firearms,  and asked why such crimes                                                               
were not included in the waiver provision of HB 88.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI said  that the DOL and the DHSS  have been cautious                                                               
whenever  suggesting the  institution  of an  automatic waiver  -                                                               
limiting such  waivers to only those  16 years of age  and older,                                                               
and to only  the most serious of  crimes - and so  have chosen to                                                               
have  HB 88  propose a  waiver  only for  those crimes  involving                                                               
firearms  that  have  the  potential  to  harm  a  person.    She                                                               
explained that  crimes involving  knives constitute the  crime of                                                               
misconduct  involving weapons  in  the third  degree,  a class  C                                                               
felony, and  that presently  there are not  any class  C felonies                                                               
being  automatically  waived  into  adult  court,  though  minors                                                               
committing such  crimes could still  be subject  to discretionary                                                               
waiver.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA   offered    his   understanding   of   how                                                               
discretionary waivers are currently  utilized and where juveniles                                                               
that have been  waived to adult court serve  their sentences, and                                                               
asked for more information.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:20:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATTY  WARE,  Director,  Division   of  Juvenile  Justice  (DJJ),                                                               
Department  of  Health  &  Social   Services  (DHSS),  said  that                                                               
juveniles that  have been adjudicated  without being  waived into                                                               
adult court  get to  serve their sentences  in facilities  run by                                                               
the DHSS, or might by  placed under formal probation supervision,                                                               
and thus get  to continue with school  activities; juveniles that                                                               
have  been   waived  into  adult  court,   however,  serve  their                                                               
sentences  in facilities  run by  the  Department of  Corrections                                                               
(DOC).   So  the question  becomes  one of  whether a  particular                                                               
crime  is  addressed in  the  juvenile  system versus  the  adult                                                               
system.  She relayed that part  of the DJJ's agency mission is to                                                               
hold   juvenile  offenders   accountable   for  their   behavior;                                                               
regardless of how that occurs,  the DJJ's probation officers take                                                               
that  responsibility  very  seriously,  and  so  in  addition  to                                                               
supervising   and  monitoring   the  DJJ's   juvenile  offenders,                                                               
treatment  services are  provided  - the  goal  being to  prevent                                                               
juveniles from proceeding into the adult criminal system.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:22:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA said  that to  the  extent that  a child  is                                                               
redeemable, he would  prefer that the child  be incarcerated with                                                               
other children  where he/she can continue  with schooling, rather                                                               
than with  adults where such educational  opportunities might not                                                               
exist.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARE concurred,  but noted that the DOC  does have facilities                                                               
wherein  juveniles incarcerated  via  the adult  system are  kept                                                               
separate   and   do   have  educational   opportunities.      She                                                               
characterized  the proposed  waiver  as fairly  narrow  and as  a                                                               
policy call.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI   offered  her  belief  that   juvenile  offenders                                                               
incarcerated in adult facilities  are segregated from adults, but                                                               
offered to research the issue further.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:25:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE posited that the  policy behind the change proposed                                                               
to  the  current waiver  provision  is  to  send a  message  that                                                               
violence involving  guns will  not be  tolerated regardless  of a                                                               
person's  age,  but acknowledged  that  a  goal of  the  juvenile                                                               
justice system (JJS)  is to ensure that  redeemable juveniles are                                                               
rehabilitated  so that  they may  come  back into  society.   She                                                               
suggested that the  question is whether they  are furthering that                                                               
goal by putting  a young person in a place  where he/she may "end                                                               
up just getting worse."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI opined that the  offenders that would be subject to                                                               
the proposed  waiver are pretty  serious offenders.   In response                                                               
to  an earlier  question, she  noted that  a judge  will waive  a                                                               
juvenile to adult court under  the discretionary waiver provision                                                               
of  current law  if  he/she  feels that  the  juvenile cannot  be                                                               
rehabilitated by age 20.  She  also noted that in cases involving                                                               
crimes other  than unclassified and  class A felonies,  the state                                                               
has  the burden  of proving  by a  preponderance of  the evidence                                                               
that  a juvenile  should be  waived  into adult  court; in  cases                                                               
involving unclassified and class  A felonies, the burden switches                                                               
to  the juvenile  and there  is a  presumption of  the juvenile's                                                               
inability to be rehabilitated by age 20.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:26:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG declared  a conflict  of interest,  and                                                               
asked to be excused from voting.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE objected,  and asked  Representative Gruenberg  to                                                               
vote on any motions requiring a roll call vote.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked whether,  in light of Blakely, the                                                             
DOL  sees   any  potential   constitutional  problems   with  the                                                               
aforementioned preponderance of the evidence standard.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI said she has not  seen any decisions in that regard                                                               
pertaining to waiver issues.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  Ms.  Carpeneti  to research  the                                                               
issue further and provide the results  in writing.  He also asked                                                               
whether  Alaska has  something similar  to the  federal "youthful                                                               
offender"  Act, which,  he suggested,  allows judges  to consider                                                               
sentences  that  might  be considered  appropriate  for  youthful                                                               
offenders, particularly  those without any criminal  history, and                                                               
whether instituting  similar laws might be  beneficial to Alaska;                                                               
he asked that  the results of any research on  this issue also be                                                               
in writing.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI  noted  that  although   Alaska  statutes  do  not                                                               
currently have  anything specifically called a  youthful offender                                                               
Act, there are  statutes that pertain to first  time offenders of                                                               
less serious crimes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG indicated that  he would like to provide                                                               
the state  with as many  options as  possible to allow  judges to                                                               
"deal with the individual offender and the individual case."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:30:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA asked  whether  there is  evidence that  the                                                               
current  discretionary   waiver  provision  is  not   being  used                                                               
correctly.    Is there  evidence  that  judges are  not  granting                                                               
waivers into adult court for people who are irredeemable?                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI said  she would  hesitate to  say that  judges are                                                               
abusing  their discretion,  but noted  that historically,  it has                                                               
been    tremendously   difficult    to    convince   judges    to                                                               
discretionarily waive juveniles  into adult court.   That is why,                                                               
she surmised,  that the  legislature initially  took the  tact of                                                               
instituting  mandatory waivers  for certain  juveniles committing                                                               
certain  crimes.   She remarked  that it  is really  difficult to                                                               
establish  an  inability  to  be   redeemed,  and  so  the  state                                                               
generally just  makes use of  the automatic waiver  provision and                                                               
doesn't often  ask for a  discretionary waiver, which  are rarely                                                               
granted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:33:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARDNER  COBB,  Lieutenant,  Patrol Commander,  Anchorage  Police                                                               
Department (APD),  Municipality of Anchorage (MOA),  relayed that                                                               
he  is the  administrator of  the School  Resource Officer  (SRO)                                                               
program,  is in  charge  of the  APD's "Intel  Unit"  - the  main                                                               
purpose of which  is to track Anchorage's youth gangs  - and is a                                                               
Special Weapons  and Tactics (SWAT)  commander.  He  relayed that                                                               
he is  in support  of HB  88, provided a  few examples  of crimes                                                               
involving youths  with weapons,  and noted  that there  have been                                                               
several  high-profile homicides,  both this  year and  last year.                                                               
Although  the main  goal of  the  juvenile justice  system is  to                                                               
rehabilitate  juveniles,   that  goal   must  be   balanced  with                                                               
protecting the public, he concluded.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  S. "STEVE"  LYONS,  Detective, Robbery/Assault,  Anchorage                                                               
Police  Department   (APD),  Municipality  of   Anchorage  (MOA),                                                               
relayed that  the APD's robbery/assault unit  mainly investigates                                                               
crimes of  robbery and  assault - the  majority of  which involve                                                               
weapons, mostly guns  - and gang-related activities.   He said he                                                               
agrees  with   the  concept   of  rehabilitation,   but  personal                                                               
experience  has  shown him  that  juveniles  who have  chosen  to                                                               
settle their  differences with guns  have elevated to  that level                                                               
of behavior  over a period of  time - they didn't  start out with                                                               
guns,  but for  whatever reason,  that's where  their lives  have                                                               
taken  them.   He  relayed  that the  APD  receives 15-20  "shots                                                               
fired" calls every month, the  majority of which involve drive-by                                                               
shootings.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYONS offered:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     With these  type of shootings, these  kids who've piled                                                                    
     into these  cars to go  resolve these  differences with                                                                    
     their guns  have no regard  for where this is  going to                                                                    
     happen at  or who's in the  way.  We have  shootings in                                                                    
     malls -  the last  one happened  [on January  21, 2005]                                                                    
     where two  of our  gangs got  into a  confrontation and                                                                    
     shots were  fired through  the main  doors of  the mall                                                                    
     without any  regard [for] ...  who was there.   We also                                                                    
     have houses shot up, cars  shot up, businesses shot up.                                                                    
     ...  These  things  just happen  and  there's  just  no                                                                    
     regard for public  safety at all - it  [isn't] ... like                                                                    
     they go  out in  the woods and  settle it  themselves -                                                                    
     they just pull  into wherever and just  start firing at                                                                    
     each other. ...                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     When we have  these calls of shot  fired, typically the                                                                    
     [APD]  ... will  find the  car that  this has  happened                                                                    
     from.   What  we  run  into, though,  is  ... that  ...                                                                    
     typically  we'll find  a weapon  [in the  car], but  we                                                                    
     can't put that  weapon in anybody's hand;  the kids who                                                                    
     are at  this level  are smart  enough to  say ...:   "I                                                                    
     don't know  whose gun it  is," ... "It's not  mine," "I                                                                    
     [didn't]  know  it   was  in  here,"  or   "I  want  my                                                                    
     attorney."  And  without us actually being  able to put                                                                    
     the  gun in  the kid's  hand  that fired  it, we  can't                                                                    
     charge them.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Unfortunately, out  of all of our  shootings last year,                                                                    
     we only know  of 11 where we were able  to charge these                                                                    
     kids  that did  these  shootings where  ... these  laws                                                                    
     would have  applied.  And  that's just sort of  what we                                                                    
     run into. ... It's not against  the law for a 17- or an                                                                    
     18-year-old  to  have  a  gun   as  long  as  it's  not                                                                    
     concealed, and  basically ... we're  kind of in  a hard                                                                    
     spot there.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:39:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  remarked,  however,  that  nothing  in  the  bill                                                               
appears to help  link a firearm with the person  who uses it, and                                                               
so  there  may  always  be  that challenge.    The  committee  is                                                               
addressing the  question of  whether to put  someone 16  years of                                                               
age or older  into an adult facility, she relayed,  and asked the                                                               
APD to  comment on  how doing  so will further  the goals  of the                                                               
APD:     Are youth  incarcerated in  youth facilities  more of  a                                                               
danger to the public?  Is  there more of an opportunity for those                                                               
offenders  to escape  from those  facilities  and cause  problems                                                               
back on  the street?  Are  youth facilities not doing  a good job                                                               
of rehabilitating the type of  juveniles being discussed?  If the                                                               
latter is  the case, would  those juveniles have a  better chance                                                               
of being  rehabilitated in  an adult facility,  or are  they just                                                               
sort of being written off?                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LYONS replied  that perhaps  the juveniles  under discussion                                                               
can be  rehabilitated if they can  be caught early enough  and if                                                               
the penalties,  at the juvenile  level, are severe enough  to act                                                               
as  a deterrent.    He  said, however,  that  what  he has  seen,                                                               
particularly  with  regard  to youths  involved  in  gang-related                                                               
activities,  is that  they are  beyond rehabilitation;  "they are                                                               
doing now the only  thing they know [how] ... to  do, and that is                                                               
to take  a gun  and use it  to resolve all  their problems."   He                                                               
mentioned that the federal system  has a program called, "project                                                               
safe neighborhoods,"  which focuses on  gun crimes and  those who                                                               
are habitual  users of guns;  however, the only way  to determine                                                               
if someone is  a habitual user of  guns is if he/she  has a prior                                                               
felony conviction for gun use, and  this is where [adoption of HB                                                               
88] could assist  the APD, that is, if such  juveniles are waived                                                               
into an  adult system and  are convicted of  felony gun use.   If                                                               
such  occurs  and  the person  continues  his/her  behavior  into                                                               
adulthood,  then he/she  will be  subject  to stiffer  penalties,                                                               
particularly under federal law.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:42:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  said  he wants  to  feel  comfortable  that                                                               
adopting the  bill is  the right  thing to do,  that none  of the                                                               
children who  will be  affected by the  bill would  be redeemable                                                               
through incarceration in a juvenile facility anyway.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYONS replied that according  to his experience, the types of                                                               
crimes  HB  88  addresses  are being  committed  by  children  of                                                               
younger and  younger ages,  and the younger  an offender  is, the                                                               
more hope  there is that  he/she can be rehabilitated.   However,                                                               
what he  is also seeing, he  relayed, is that those  close to the                                                               
age of  adulthood have already  made up their minds  about "where                                                               
they're  going"  and have  a  total  disregard for  anything  and                                                               
anybody;  their experience  has  shown them  that  they won't  be                                                               
punished  for their  actions because  of  the ineffectiveness  of                                                               
current  juvenile penalties,  and  they just  don't realize  that                                                               
they  will face  severe  penalties for  their continued  criminal                                                               
behavior once they  become adults.  Such juveniles  know that for                                                               
the  most  part,  until  they  reach the  age  of  18,  they  can                                                               
participate in  any activities involving  guns and they  will get                                                               
away free.   Once juveniles  who have elevated their  behavior to                                                               
gun  use reach  a certain  age,  that is  the only  way they  are                                                               
willing  to resolve  their  problems, and  they  just don't  care                                                               
about the outcome.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:45:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WARE said  that with  regard  to statistics,  in a  two-year                                                               
fiscal  period,  the  DJJ  only received  40  referrals  for  the                                                               
combined  charges of  first degree  and second  degree misconduct                                                               
involving  a  weapon; of  those  40  referrals,  only 26  of  the                                                               
juveniles were  16 years  of age  or older.   Therefore,  had the                                                               
waiver  provision of  HB 88  been in  effect for  that particular                                                               
two-year  time  period,   it  would  have  applied   to  only  26                                                               
juveniles, not  a significant  number of  juveniles, particularly                                                               
given the severity of the crimes committed by those juveniles.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  asked what  factors tend to  get the  attention of                                                               
juveniles, and what kind of recidivism rate juveniles have.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARE said that the DJJ  tracks recidivism in two ways and for                                                               
two-year  periods:    for juveniles  who  are  leaving  long-term                                                               
institutional treatment;  and for  juveniles who have  not served                                                               
time  in  a facility  but  for  whom the  DJJ  has  closed out  a                                                               
probation supervision case.  She  relayed that she would get that                                                               
data to committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE said  it  might  be helpful  to  know whether  the                                                               
current  policy  is working  and,  if  it  isn't, whether  it  is                                                               
because the  juveniles are not  [capable of]  being rehabilitated                                                               
in youth facilities or because  there are not enough resources in                                                               
youth facilities.  She surmised  that the committee wants to know                                                               
whether there  is really a  need for the proposed  policy change.                                                               
She added:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     With  these  young  people, we're  going  to  see  them                                                                    
     again;  they're in  our communities,  we  have to  live                                                                    
     with them for the rest  of our lives until, presumably,                                                                    
     they  reoffend.     And  so  if  they   have  a  better                                                                    
     opportunity to  get their act together  and start being                                                                    
     law-abiding citizens by staying  in [a] youth facility,                                                                    
     then  that's where  we want  them.   If you  think that                                                                    
     they're going to be better  off in adult [populations],                                                                    
     then I want to know why.   So to the extent that any of                                                                    
     your studies or information can  lead us down that path                                                                    
     [of understanding],  I would ...  [appreciate receiving                                                                    
     it].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  offered his understanding that  there are                                                               
three  populations  that  the  DJJ has  to  deal  with:  youthful                                                               
misdemeanants, those  with mental  health issues, and  those that                                                               
could be  characterized as hardened  criminals.  If  bill passes,                                                               
it is saying  that juveniles that are hardened  criminals will be                                                               
waived into  adult court.   He asked  whether such  juveniles are                                                               
disruptive  to the  JJS, and  whether putting  them in  the adult                                                               
system would be harmful to them instead.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:50:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARE said  that perhaps the DJJ could  arrange its recidivism                                                               
data  such that  it reflected  just the  juveniles that  would be                                                               
affected by  the bill, though  she cautioned that such  might not                                                               
possible.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  surmised that the JJS  is quite different                                                               
from  the  adult  system  and thus  treats  its  offenders  quite                                                               
differently, even those that are considered hardened criminals.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked the  DJJ  to  present  an overview  to  the                                                               
committee at a later date.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARE agreed to do so.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:52:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  asked  whether, in  the  aforementioned  26                                                               
cases,  waivers were  requested  but denied.    Why wouldn't  the                                                               
state  just  apply   for  waivers  for  those   types  of  cases?                                                               
Shouldn't that be the first step?                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARE said she would  research that information and provide it                                                               
to the committee,  but noted that Ms. Carpeneti  already spoke to                                                               
the issue of how difficult it is to get a discretionary waiver.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA questioned  why the  legislature should  try                                                               
and alter the current waiver provision  of law if it's simply the                                                               
case that  discretionary waivers  are not  being sought  to begin                                                               
with.  He noted that the  bill appears to also apply to juveniles                                                               
who shoot at road signs while out for a "joyride."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARE  pointed out,  however, that even  if such  juveniles do                                                               
not intend  to hurt someone  with that particular  behavior, they                                                               
are still shooting  a firearm from a moving vehicle  and so there                                                               
is the potential  for innocent bystanders to get  hurt or killed;                                                               
also such juveniles, according to  the information relayed by the                                                               
APD,  probably already  have prior  criminal histories.   So  the                                                               
question  before  the committee,  she  surmised,  is whether  the                                                               
offenses  of  shooting  at  property and  people  from  a  moving                                                               
vehicle or using a gun  while engaging in a drug-related activity                                                               
rises to  a level  that warrants an  automatic waiver  into adult                                                               
court.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA opined, however,  that shooting at road signs                                                               
is  not irredeemable  conduct, and  reiterated that  the bill  as                                                               
written appears to  apply both to those that commit  that kind of                                                               
offense as  well as to  those that shoot  at people from  cars or                                                               
during  the commission  of a  drug-related crime.   He  suggested                                                               
that the administration consider narrowing  the scope of the bill                                                               
so  that  the waiver  provision  applies  only to  the  egregious                                                               
circumstances.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:58:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT COBB  said he agrees  with Representative Gara  on the                                                               
issue of whether the bill should  apply to those shooting at road                                                               
signs; rather, the bill should be  directed at those who shoot at                                                               
residences, schools,  or other buildings where  people are likely                                                               
to be.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:59:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LEONARD M.  "BOB" LINTON, JR., District  Attorney, Third Judicial                                                               
District (Anchorage), Department  of Law (DOL), said  that in the                                                               
early '90s, the  phenomenon of drive-by shooting  began to occur.                                                               
There began to be instances  where, for no understandable or real                                                               
reason,  people would  get into  a dispute  with one  another and                                                               
take  it out  on each  another with  guns -  they'd fire  at each                                                               
other  driving down  the street,  they'd  fire at  each other  in                                                               
neighborhoods, they'd fire  at each other in the  parking lots of                                                               
commercial  establishments -  and people  were being  endangered.                                                               
And it  wasn't as if  people could prevent themselves  from being                                                               
endangered  merely by  refraining from  gang affiliation  either,                                                               
because  they would  be  on  those same  streets,  in those  same                                                               
neighborhoods, and at those same  parking lots where the shooting                                                               
was occurring.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. LINTON  said that as  a result, the legislature  decided that                                                               
the dangers  engendered by  drive-by shootings  were sufficiently                                                               
serious to make  such crimes class A and B  felonies.  That meant                                                               
that an  offender convicted for  the first  time of such  a crime                                                               
was subject to  a five-year presumptive sentence - for  a class A                                                               
felony -  or to  a one-  to four-year  sentence -  for a  class B                                                               
felony  - and  any  rehabilitative factors  would  be ignored  at                                                               
sentencing.   House  Bill 88,  by  including such  crimes in  the                                                               
automatic waiver  provision of current  law, seeks to  make those                                                               
sentences apply to offenders who are 16 years of age and older.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LINTON went  on to  detail a  few examples  of circumstances                                                               
surrounding juveniles  involved in  recent drive-by  shootings as                                                               
illustrative of the need for the  change proposed by HB 88.  Such                                                               
juveniles are  not only perpetrating  these acts of  violence but                                                               
are also  ending up as  the victims of similar  retaliatory acts.                                                               
Such conduct  has no  social utility  whatsoever, he  opined, and                                                               
cannot be characterized as merely  youthful conduct.  So although                                                               
the JJS is designed to be  rehabilitative, the adult system is as                                                               
well,  and at  some  point  the danger  of  a juvenile's  conduct                                                               
warrants legal actions other than those currently being taken.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:08:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether,  under HB  88, juveniles                                                               
who are simply shooting at road  signs would have to be waived to                                                               
adult court.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LINTON  surmised that  the  court  would have  to  determine                                                               
whether such  action constitutes a substantial  and unjustifiable                                                               
risk of  harm to a person  or damage to property,  as outlined in                                                               
AS 11.61.190(a)(2).   In response  to further questions,  he said                                                               
he doesn't  know of  any instances  where the  court's discretion                                                               
when considering crimes  under that statute is  being abused, and                                                               
offered  another example  of a  situation wherein  two bystanders                                                               
were  nearly hit  by people  shooting at  each other  from moving                                                               
vehicles, as  well as  an example of  shots from  moving vehicles                                                               
being fired  into a dwelling.   He remarked that even  if someone                                                               
is  just driving  along shooting  at  road signs,  there are  few                                                               
legitimate reasons  for such  behavior - that  of shooting  a gun                                                               
from  a  moving vehicle  -  and  it still  constitutes  dangerous                                                               
behavior.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:13:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEPHEN BRANCHFLOWER, Director, Office  of Victims' Rights (OVR),                                                               
Alaska  State  Legislature,  said  he  supports  HB  88  for  the                                                               
following  reasons:   it is  very difficult  to waive  a juvenile                                                               
into adult court  under current law because of the  demand on the                                                               
system's resources; and juveniles who  are involved with guns and                                                               
drugs eventually  graduate into adult  courts within a  couple of                                                               
years  but generally  only after  someone is  injured or  killed.                                                               
House  Bill  88  will  allow   the  criminal  justice  system  to                                                               
intervene  at an  earlier stage,  he opined,  and suggested  that                                                               
another beneficial effect of the bill  is that it would allow the                                                               
prosecutor  to  negotiate  with  the  defense  counsel  regarding                                                               
conduct  that  falls within  the  ambit  of  the bill,  and  this                                                               
negotiation could  result in cases being  resolved in alternative                                                               
ways  rather  than  trying  the   defendant  as  an  adult.    In                                                               
conclusion he echoed Ms. Ware's  statement regarding the probable                                                               
number of cases  the bill would apply to, and  reiterated that he                                                               
supports HB 88.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:16:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE relayed that HB 88 would be set aside.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 41 - ASSAULT ON SCHOOL EMPLOYEES                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[Contains discussion of HB 88 and a proposed amendment to it.]                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  41, "An  Act relating  to minimum  periods of                                                               
imprisonment  for  the crime  of  assault  in the  fourth  degree                                                               
committed against an  employee of an elementary,  junior high, or                                                               
secondary school  who was  engaged in  the performance  of school                                                               
duties at the time of the assault."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE,  speaking as one of  the prime sponsors of  HB 41,                                                               
relayed that she is having an amendment for HB 41 drafted.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:17:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBRA MEISTER shared with the  committee her personal experiences                                                               
regarding   interactions  she'd   had  with   employees  at   her                                                               
daughter's school as  illustrative of the kinds  of problems that                                                               
could  arise  for parents  if  HB  41  is passed  without  strict                                                               
[scrutiny],  and  characterized  the  behavior  of  [those  she'd                                                               
interacted with] as a misuse of power.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:26:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  A. FRANCIS,  Executive Director,  Alaska Council  of School                                                               
Administrators (ACSA),  mentioned that the ACSA  has provided the                                                               
committee with its resolution on  this topic, and relayed that it                                                               
is  the  responsibility  of school  administrators  to  seek  and                                                               
perpetuate  a nonviolent  climate  in schools,  adding that  most                                                               
assaults  of  the  nature  the bill  proposes  to  address  occur                                                               
against  school   administrators.    She  pointed   out  that  as                                                               
educators, [school employees]  are not trained to  deal with some                                                               
of the  types of  situations they are  confronted with,  and thus                                                               
feel the need for additional protection.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:27:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BOB LYNN,  Alaska State  Legislature, one  of the                                                               
prime  sponsors of  HB 41,  noted that  there has  been a  lot of                                                               
interesting testimony, offered  his belief that there  is a broad                                                               
range of  support for HB 41,  and said that  HB 41 and HB  88 are                                                               
complementary.    In  conclusion,  he  asked  the  committee  for                                                               
favorable consideration of HB 41.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:28:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARDNER  COBB,  Lieutenant,  Patrol Commander,  Anchorage  Police                                                               
Department  (APD),  Municipality  of Anchorage  (MOA),  indicated                                                               
that he is familiar with  Ms. Meister's circumstances, noted that                                                               
the  bill would  only apply  to those  convicted of  assault, and                                                               
assured the committee  that the APD and the  prosecutor would use                                                               
their discretion  to ensure that  such is  the case.   He pointed                                                               
out  that   the  bill  is   intended  to  address  the   type  of                                                               
circumstance that  arose three years  ago, wherein the  mother of                                                               
an  elementary  school student  came  to  school, issued  threats                                                               
towards a teacher and then  severely and repeatedly assaulted the                                                               
teacher while the children watched.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT COBB  relayed that  at the time,  the APD's  policy in                                                               
such a situation was to  cite the person for misdemeanor assault,                                                               
and since the woman was calm  by the time police arrived, she was                                                               
cited and allowed to leave the  school.  He opined that this sent                                                               
the wrong  message as far as  APD was concerned, and  the APD has                                                               
since changed its  policy so that anytime there is  an assault on                                                               
a teacher on school grounds,  the perpetrator is removed from the                                                               
school in handcuffs so as to  send the message that such behavior                                                               
will  not  be  tolerated.    Noting  that  current  law  provides                                                               
protection  against  assaults  for police  officers,  paramedics,                                                               
firemen,  and   other  emergency  responders  because   they  are                                                               
sometimes called upon  to do dangerous things, he  asked that the                                                               
bill be  passed with a minimum  mandatory sentence so as  to send                                                               
the message that  violence in schools is  unacceptable - students                                                               
can't learn and teachers can't teach if they aren't safe.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT COBB  mentioned a couple  of other  similar situations                                                               
in which  the courts imposed  significant sentences, and  one the                                                               
reasons for  this, he surmised,  had to  do with the  APD's close                                                               
working relationship with the prosecutor's  office and the judge.                                                               
But those relationships can change,  he remarked, and so it would                                                               
be appropriate to institute a  [statewide] standard so as to send                                                               
the message that violence in schools is unacceptable.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:33:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  mentioned that  at a  meeting she'd  attended with                                                               
Close Up Foundation students, the  children expressed support for                                                               
HB  41 and  relayed that  violence against  teachers occurs  more                                                               
often than  is heard  about.  She  remarked that  the legislature                                                               
wants to  be careful not  to create  a special class  of victims,                                                               
and  mentioned that  an amendment  she'll be  proposing specifies                                                               
that the  assault must occur  on school  grounds or at  a school-                                                               
sponsored event; this  will send the message that  schools are to                                                               
be free from  violence.  Policy has already been  set with regard                                                               
to violent behavior  towards police officers, and  the bill sends                                                               
the same message  about school employees.   She acknowledged that                                                               
in the  recent cases  used as examples,  the sentences  have been                                                               
greater than  those proposed  in the bill,  but pointed  out that                                                               
the question then  becomes whether such will occur  in all future                                                               
cases;  setting  public  policy  on this  issue  via  the  change                                                               
proposed  in HB  41 will  ensure consistency  in sentencing.   In                                                               
conclusion, she opined that adoption of  HB 41 will not result in                                                               
great  numbers  of  people  being   incarcerated  for  the  crime                                                               
specified therein.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:37:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE made  a motion  to adopt  Amendment 1,  which read                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Line 4:                                                                                                            
     After "school duties"                                                                                                      
         Insert "while on school grounds or at a school-                                                                        
     sponsored event"                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE said  Amendment 1 narrows the  set of circumstances                                                               
that the bill would apply to  such that a school employee must be                                                               
on  school grounds  or at  a school-sponsored  event and  must be                                                               
engaged  in his/her  school  duties; the  bill,  then, would  not                                                               
apply  to assaults  that occur  off  school grounds  or while  an                                                               
employee  is  on his/her  own  time.    She suggested  that  this                                                               
distinction will ensure  that a separate class of  victims is not                                                               
being created.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE, in  response to a question,  relayed that although                                                               
she'd  originally thought  the committee  might  meld the  waiver                                                               
provision  of  HB 88  into  HB  41,  she  feels that  the  public                                                               
testimony on and  the committee's questions regarding  HB 88 have                                                               
indicated  to her  that  it might  be better  to  keep each  bill                                                               
separate.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  referred to  his proposed  amendment to                                                               
HB 88, labeled 24-GH1096\A.1, Luckhaupt, 2/7/05, which read:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "against a school employee"                                                                                  
          Insert "on school grounds, on a school bus, at a                                                                    
      school-sponsored event, or in administrative offices                                                                    
     of a school district"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 16 - 18:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
               "(31)  the offense is a violation of                                                                             
     AS 11.41  or AS 11.46.400  and  the defendant  directed                                                                    
     the conduct  constituting the offense against  a person                                                                    
     while the  person was  on school  grounds, on  a school                                                                    
     bus,   at  a   school-sponsored   event,   or  in   the                                                                    
     administrative offices  of a  school district;  in this                                                                    
     paragraph,                                                                                                                 
               (A)   "school bus"  has the meaning  given in                                                                    
     AS 11.71.900;                                                                                                              
               (B)  "school district"  has the meaning given                                                                    
     in AS 47.07.063;                                                                                                           
               (C)   "school grounds" has the  meaning given                                                                    
     in AS 11.71.900."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG also referred  to his proposed amendment                                                               
to HB 41, labeled 24-LS0307\A.1, Luckhaupt, 2/7/05, which read:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4, following "assault":                                                                                     
          Insert "; relating to aggravating factors in                                                                        
     sentencing  for  certain   offenses  committed  against                                                                  
     persons while on school grounds,  on a school bus, at a                                                                  
     school-sponsored  event,   or  in   the  administrative                                                                  
     offices of a school district"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 6:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec. 2.   AS 12.55.155(c) is amended  by adding a                                                                
     new paragraph to read:                                                                                                     
               (31)  the offense  is a violation of AS 11.41                                                                    
     or AS 11.46.400 and the  defendant directed the conduct                                                                    
     constituting  the offense  against a  person while  the                                                                    
     person was  on school  grounds, on a  school bus,  at a                                                                    
     school-sponsored  event,   or  in   the  administrative                                                                    
     offices of a school district; in this paragraph,                                                                           
               (A)   "school bus"  has the meaning  given in                                                                    
     AS 11.71.900;                                                                                                              
               (B)  "school district"  has the meaning given                                                                    
     in AS 47.07.063;                                                                                                           
               (C)   "school grounds" has the  meaning given                                                                    
     in AS 11.71.900."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said  he would prefer to  take the parts                                                               
of HB 88  that the committee likes  and [add them to HB  41].  He                                                               
opined that  there are two questions:   whether to make  "this" a                                                               
separate  crime,   or  whether   to  make  "it"   an  aggravator.                                                               
Whichever method  is chosen,  he remarked,  the language  [in the                                                               
amendment] is not  directed at whether the person  is an employee                                                               
but,  rather,  where the  conduct  takes  place.   In  this  way,                                                               
teachers -  both local and  visiting - students,  and contractors                                                               
would  be covered,  the key  point being  the location  where the                                                               
conduct takes place, since the  desire is to ensure that schools,                                                               
school facilities, and school buses are safe.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE said she likes  that approach but feels that making                                                               
the behavior an aggravator is fruitless  at this point due to the                                                               
Blakely decision, since resource  limitations would make separate                                                             
trials  for  aggravators, as  would  be  required under  Blakely,                                                             
prohibitive.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG suggested  using  the  language in  his                                                               
amendment that pertains  to location so as to  stipulate that the                                                               
bill applies  to whomever the conduct  is directed at as  long as                                                               
he/she  is on  school  grounds, on  a school  bus,  at a  school-                                                               
sponsored event,  or in  the administrative  offices of  a school                                                               
district.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE indicated that she  was amenable to the concept [of                                                               
stipulating location].                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:44:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  said  she  would   like  to  offer  a  conceptual                                                               
amendment  to  implement Representative  Gruenberg's  suggestion.                                                               
She  asked  whether the  committee  still  wants to  include  the                                                               
stipulation  that the  person the  conduct is  directed at  be an                                                               
employee,  noting  that  the  statute HB  41  proposes  to  amend                                                               
already specifies uniformed groups of people.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  urged  the   committee  to  adopt  the                                                               
language in his amendment that reads:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
               against a person while the person was on                                                                         
     school grounds, on a school bus, at a school-sponsored                                                                     
      event, or in the administrative offices of a school                                                                       
     district; in this paragraph,                                                                                               
               (A)  "school bus" has the meaning given in                                                                       
     AS 11.71.900;                                                                                                              
               (B)  "school district" has the meaning given                                                                     
     in AS 47.07.063;                                                                                                           
               (C)  "school grounds" has the meaning given                                                                      
     in AS 11.71.900."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  noted, however,  that he would  like to                                                               
ensure that the current statutory  definition of "school grounds"                                                               
includes preschools.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:48:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL pointed out  that school sports activities                                                               
can sometimes  engender heated  behavior, and  said he  would not                                                               
want to  include the  locations of such  activities in  the bill.                                                               
He offered  his belief  that the  intent of the  bill is  to make                                                               
schools safer,  and asked  whether the  committee wanted  to make                                                               
the  penalty proposed  by the  bill applicable  only to  behavior                                                               
that occurs  on school grounds.   He  indicated that he  would be                                                               
comfortable  if  the   bill  applies  only  to   "those  who  are                                                               
protecting  children"  during  the  course  of  their  employment                                                               
duties, rather than  having the bill pertain to  anyone on school                                                               
grounds.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  offered  an  example  of  two  parents                                                               
involved in the  Parent Teacher Association (PTA)  getting into a                                                               
fight;  although  such  behavior  is wrong,  particularly  if  it                                                               
happens in  front of children,  she is not  sure it rises  to the                                                               
same level as conduct directed at a teacher.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked about  conduct that is directed at                                                               
a child.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE offered  her  belief that  such  would be  handled                                                               
differently.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:50:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE pointed  out that Amendment 1  does essentially the                                                               
same  thing  as  Representative  Gruenberg's  suggested  language                                                               
except that it doesn't specify school buses.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE made  a motion  to adopt  an amended  Amendment 1,                                                               
which would read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Line 4:                                                                                                            
     After "school duties"                                                                                                      
     Insert "while on school grounds, a school bus, or at a                                                                     
     school-sponsored event"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  offered her belief  that the  definitions outlined                                                               
in  Representative  Gruenberg's  amendment could  also  apply  to                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  asked   about   [the  inclusion   of]                                                               
preschools.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  said she  is  "not  comfortable with  that,"  and                                                               
suggested that he consider offering  language to that effect in a                                                               
separate amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:51:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  objected for  the purpose  of discussion.                                                               
He  asked  how school  districts  employ  bus  drivers.   If  bus                                                               
drivers are  contract workers, the  employee stipulation  may not                                                               
cover them.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE asked the representative  from the Alaska branch of                                                               
the  National Education  Association (NEA-Alaska)  whether people                                                               
on contract with the school  would be considered school employees                                                               
while they are  performing the duties they've  been contracted to                                                               
perform.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TOM  HARVEY, Executive  Director, NEA-Alaska  (National Education                                                               
Association, Alaska  branch), said  they would not  be considered                                                               
school employees; instead they are  employees of the company that                                                               
contracted the services.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE asked how many school bus drivers are on contract.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARVEY said  he didn't  have the  exact number,  but offered                                                               
that  bus drivers  in Anchorage  and Kenai  are on  contract, and                                                               
indicated that elsewhere in the  state there are folks performing                                                               
duties in schools on contract.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON  asked Mr.  Harvey  whether  he has  any                                                               
suggestions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARVEY  opined that adding  the term  "administrative offices                                                               
of the  school district" would  be an appropriate  change because                                                               
personnel  in  such locations  are  not  on school  grounds,  and                                                               
offered to provide  the committee with a  suggested definition of                                                               
school employee within 24 hours.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE suggested  that the committee resolve  the issue of                                                               
whether to adopt Amendment 1, as amended.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON  made a motion  to amend Amendment  1, as                                                               
amended, to  add a  reference to  administrative offices.   There                                                               
being no objection, Amendment 1,  as amended, was amended in that                                                               
fashion.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:55:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE asked Representative  Coghill if he was maintaining                                                               
his objection to Amendment 1, as amended.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  he is  struggling with  the broader                                                               
language  being used  in conjunction  with the  mandatory minimum                                                               
sentence proposed  by the bill,  adding that although he  did not                                                               
want to hold up Amendment 1,  as amended, he would be maintaining                                                               
his objection.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:57:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives McGuire, Anderson,                                                               
Dahlstrom, Gruenberg, and Gara voted  in favor of Amendment 1, as                                                               
amended.   Representative Coghill  voted against it.   Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 1, as amended, was adopted by a vote of 5-1.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:57:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  suggested  the committee  discuss  the  issue  of                                                               
contract employees.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he is  troubled with the concept of                                                               
elevating assaults  against adults [who are  school employees and                                                               
who are at  the specified locations as part  of their profession]                                                               
but not  elevating assaults against  children and  other innocent                                                               
bystanders who are  at those same locations.   He again suggested                                                               
that the bill  pertain to conduct at  specified locations without                                                               
regard  to particular  classes  of people.    Such a  stipulation                                                               
would address the  issue of contract employees,  he remarked, and                                                               
offered his  belief that schools  ought to be safe  for everybody                                                               
including  children  and  innocent  bystanders.   He  offered  an                                                               
example  wherein a  person assaults  two  people, a  child and  a                                                               
teacher.   Under  such a  scenario,  the assault  on the  teacher                                                               
would result in the imposition  of the mandatory minimum sentence                                                               
proposed by the bill, whereas  the assault on the child wouldn't.                                                               
He  offered  further similar  examples  wherein  assaults on  two                                                               
different people would result in two different sentences.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE pointed  out that  the  bill proposes  to alter  a                                                               
statute  that already  pertains to  assault in  the forth  degree                                                               
against certain classes of adults, not  children.  If the bill is                                                               
not limited to school employees,  it could apply to situations in                                                               
which someone  is assaulted while  walking his/her dog  on school                                                               
grounds.   In response to  a comment, she  pointed out that  if a                                                               
teacher chooses  to walk his/her  dog on school grounds  and gets                                                               
assaulted,  that  teacher  is not  performing  school  duties  as                                                               
stipulated in the  bill, and therefore the bill  should not apply                                                               
in such a situation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON offered  his belief  that the  intent of                                                               
the bill  is to  address assaults  directed at  school employees,                                                               
and suggested that members who  wish to address assaults directed                                                               
at  other  individuals  while  on  school grounds  do  so  via  a                                                               
separate bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:02:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA said  he couldn't  see where  the bill  only                                                               
applies to adults.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG pointed  out that  Title 47  applies to                                                               
sentences  imposed  on children,  whereas  the  bill proposes  to                                                               
alter  Title  12, which  only  applies  to sentences  imposed  on                                                               
adults.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he just wanted  to be sure that the bill                                                               
only applies to [sentences imposed on] adults.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:04:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  CARPENETI,  Assistant   Attorney  General,  Legal  Services                                                               
Section-Juneau,  Criminal  Division,  Department  of  Law  (DOL),                                                               
assured  the  committee  that   the  mandatory  minimum  sentence                                                               
proposed by the bill would not apply to children.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON  moved to report  HB 41, as  amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:05:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA interjected with  a motion to adopt Amendment                                                               
2, which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
         The court may determine a shorter sentence is                                                                          
     justified upon proof, under AS 12.55.155, that any of                                                                      
     the factors in AS 12.55.155(d)(1-17) apply.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON objected.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  opined that Amendment 2  accepts the premise                                                               
of  the bill  that  assaulting  a school  employee  is a  serious                                                               
issue, and  remarked that  he is in  favor sending  that message.                                                               
However, since the courts are  already imposing sentences greater                                                               
than that  proposed by the bill,  Amendment 2 give the  court the                                                               
flexibility to impose a lesser  sentence if a statutory mitigator                                                               
applies.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA again made the motion to adopt Amendment 2.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   COGHILL   said   he   tended   to   agree   with                                                               
Representative Gara [on this issue].                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON indicated  that he  was maintaining  his                                                               
objection.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  where   Amendment  2  would  be                                                               
inserted.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:09:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA suggested that  Amendment 2 be inserted after                                                               
the last line of the bill.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:09:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Coghill, Gruenberg,                                                               
and  Gara  voted  in  favor  of  Amendment  2.    Representatives                                                               
McGuire, Anderson,  and Dahlstrom  voted against it.   Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 3-3.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                               
Representative Anderson's motion to move  HB 41, as amended, from                                                               
committee.   There being  none, CSHB 41  (JUD) was  reported from                                                               
the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects