Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

05/02/2006 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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08:06:58 AM Start
08:07:44 AM Department of Administration, Division of Elections Follow-up
08:12:34 AM Department of Administration State Health Plan Procurement Procedure
09:51:00 AM SB134
10:00:19 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Oversight Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Department of Administration
State health plan procurement procedure
Moved Out of Committee
SB 134-POLICE INVESTIGATION STANDARDS/ARRESTS                                                                                 
9:51:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  announced that  the last order  of business  was CS                                                               
FOR  SENATE  BILL NO.  134(JUD),  "An  Act  relating to  a  pilot                                                               
project  to  review  and   investigate  certain  complaints  from                                                               
victims of sexual assault in the  first degree or sexual abuse of                                                               
a  minor  in  the  first degree  concerning  actions  of  justice                                                               
9:51:22 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 9:51:57 AM to 9:52:13 AM.                                                                
9:52:18 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR CON  BUNDY, Alaska State  Legislature, introduced  SB 134                                                               
as sponsor.   He  said the  bill is a  response to  a constituent                                                               
who,  after being  a victim  of  a sexual  assault, couldn't  get                                                               
his/her  calls returned  "or even  communication  with the  local                                                               
police department."   Senator Bundy  stated that  the unfortunate                                                               
result of  that is that  victims are victimized again  and suffer                                                               
from  thinking that  their  experience "was  not  held in  enough                                                               
serious regard by our system."   He indicated that the reason for                                                               
the  lack of  communication may  have  been that  the police  are                                                               
human and  make mistakes, or that  "they have the press  of other                                                               
business."   He said victims  who go through this  experience are                                                               
even less likely  to report the crime, because  they may question                                                               
why they should  go through the torture if they  are not going to                                                               
be taken seriously.                                                                                                             
SENATOR  BUNDY said,  "SB  134 seeks  to  make the  investigative                                                               
process  easier and  more thorough  for sexual  abuse and  sexual                                                               
assault  victims by  providing another  place for  them to  go if                                                               
communication with  law enforcement hasn't been  successful."  He                                                               
said  he  worked closely  with  the  Department  of Law  and  the                                                               
Department of Public  Safety on the bill.  He  stated that to his                                                               
knowledge  "all  the  departments and  organizations  support  SB
134."   He  explained that  the bill  would allow  the Office  of                                                               
Victims' Rights  (OVR) to intercede  on behalf of a  sexual abuse                                                               
or  assault   victim,  if   the  victim   contacts  OVR   in  the                                                               
investigation or reporting stage of  prosecuting a sex crime.  He                                                               
said the  bill requires that  the investigative complaint  be the                                                               
result of  a major crime,  either unclassified sexual  assault or                                                               
unclassified abuse of a minor.                                                                                                  
SENATOR BUNDY  said the bill sets  up a pilot program  that would                                                               
end in  September 2008, and he  explained the reason for  using a                                                               
pilot  program   is  that  although  the   problem  addressed  is                                                               
widespread and only  the tip of the iceberg has  been seen, it is                                                               
not yet known how intensive the  program will be.  He stated that                                                               
the bill has the support of both urban and rural communities.                                                                   
9:55:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDY related  that the  bill would  allow OVR  the same                                                               
rights  and responsibilities  while  handling these  cases as  it                                                               
does when  the case goes to  court.  The big  difference would be                                                               
that the  bill would  allow OVR to  look into  the investigation,                                                               
rather than waiting until there is  a charge and the case ends up                                                               
in  court.   He stated,  "We don't  charge any  organization with                                                               
setting  standards   for  police  investigations;   however,  the                                                               
attorneys for  OVR are charged  with determining if  there's been                                                               
negligence  in  the investigation,  and  then  will go  about  in                                                               
assisting their  victim."   Senator Bundy described  SB 134  as a                                                               
"simple and common sense bill,"  and he asked for the committee's                                                               
support of it.                                                                                                                  
9:56:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  moved to  adopt CSSB  134(JUD) as  the work                                                               
draft.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                            
9:58:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   BUNDY,  in   response   to  an   observation  made   by                                                               
Representative  Gatto, explained  that the  Senate State  Affairs                                                               
Standing  Committee  version  contained language  that  "was  not                                                               
enthusiastically supported by law enforcement."   He added, "They                                                               
didn't  want  the  activity  that   was  called  for  that  would                                                               
basically pull the  certification of an officer who  messed up an                                                               
9:58:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  told Representative  Gatto  that  there are  three                                                               
fiscal notes  in the committee  packet from the  Senate Judiciary                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
9:58:56 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDY noted that they are zero fiscal notes.                                                                            
9:59:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  stated that  he thinks SB  134 is  a great                                                               
bill that recognizes an important problem.                                                                                      
9:59:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON,  after  ascertaining  that there  was  no  one  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
9:59:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  moved  to  report CSSB  134(JUD)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSSB  134(JUD)  was                                                               
reported out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                     

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