Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

03/07/2019 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:01:31 PM Start
03:02:06 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
03:02:15 PM Commissioner, Department of Administration
03:03:39 PM Presentation(s): Medicaid Hospitals Impact on State Health Insurance Costs
03:51:02 PM HB34
03:58:36 PM HB12
04:26:21 PM HB14
04:49:09 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Medicaid Hospitals Impact on State TELECONFERENCED
Health Insurance Costs
+= HB 34 NAMING SCOTT JOHNSON MEMORIAL BRIDGE TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 34 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 12 PROTECTIVE ORDERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 12(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 14 ASSAULT; SEX OFFENSES; SENT. AGGRAVATOR TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 14(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
         HB  14-ASSAULT; SEX OFFENSES; SENT. AGGRAVATOR                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
4:26:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  announced  that   the  final  order  of                                                               
business would be HOUSE BILL NO.  14, "An Act relating to assault                                                               
in the  first degree; relating  to sex offenses; relating  to the                                                               
definition  of  'dangerous  instrument';  and  providing  for  an                                                               
aggravating factor  at sentencing for strangulation  that results                                                               
in unconsciousness."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:26:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony on HB 14.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:27:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERI SMITH,  Executive Director, The LeeShore  Center, testified                                                               
that through  her 25 years  of working  in the field  of domestic                                                               
violence  and sexual  assault, she  knows the  devastating impact                                                               
that the  violence addressed in  the proposed legislation  has on                                                               
victims.   She  relayed  that  research reveals  that  in a  high                                                               
percent  of strangulation  cases,  there has  been  a history  of                                                               
domestic violence;  it is  the most lethal  and ultimate  form of                                                               
control  over a  victim.   It  takes only  5-10  seconds to  lose                                                               
consciousness with only  11 pounds of pressure  being applied; it                                                               
takes  20  pounds of  pressure  to  open a  can  of  soda.   Once                                                               
unconscious, a death  can occur in under two minutes;  in over 50                                                               
percent  of  the  cases,  there  will  be  no  external  physical                                                               
evidence of it.   She said that for every  10 victims of domestic                                                               
violence or  sexual assault  who come into  the center,  at least                                                               
half have  been strangled.   She maintained  that HB 14  would be                                                               
critical   for   victim   safety  and   for   holding   offenders                                                               
accountable.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:28:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHERRY MILLER testified that  making strangulation a first-degree                                                               
assault  is not  enough; it  should have  an automatic  charge of                                                               
attempted murder.   She related the story of  her daughter, Linda                                                               
Bower:   At age 19, Linda  was in a manipulative  and controlling                                                               
relationship with her boyfriend, David  Thomas.  He strangled her                                                               
to  death on  September 10,  2014.   He  is now  serving time  in                                                               
prison for second  degree murder and will be  eligible for parole                                                               
in  a  few  short  years.    She said  that  Mr.  Thomas  had  an                                                               
extensive, extremely violent past and  had strangled to the point                                                               
of  unconsciousness  one other  female  while  living in  Montana                                                               
several years prior to her daughter's death.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILLER declared  that no  parent should  have to  endure the                                                               
pain that  she lives  with each  day.   She expressed  her belief                                                               
that  Alaska is  extremely  soft on  crime.   She  said that  she                                                               
experienced  firsthand a  complete  and total  disregard for  the                                                               
value of her  daughter's life and the life sentence  that she and                                                               
her family  now face at the  expense of Mr. Thomas,  who received                                                               
the best  opportunity for  a lighter sentence.   She  is offering                                                               
her testimony to  put a "name" with the  terrifying statistics of                                                               
teen  dating violence,  domestic  violence,  and sexual  assault.                                                               
She emphasized,  "It is time  to put aside all  political agendas                                                               
and hold  each and  every one of  these criminals  accountable to                                                               
the highest  extent of the law."   She offered that  offenders of                                                               
this type are not remorseful; they  hold no regard or respect for                                                               
the dignity of  human life.  She beseeched  the committee members                                                               
to consider  the sentence they  would want  to see placed  on the                                                               
offender if  this happened to  their loved ones.   She maintained                                                               
that HB 14 is  a step in the right direction,  but she asked, "Is                                                               
it enough?"   She asked  the committee to consider  Alaska safety                                                               
as a top  priority and to put  Alaska on the map as  a state that                                                               
criminals fear.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:31:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ISSAC  WILLIAMS,   No  More  Free  Passes,   testified  that  his                                                               
organization  was founded  after  the Justin  Schneider case,  in                                                               
which  Mr. Schneider  strangled a  young  woman to  the point  of                                                               
unconsciousness and ejaculated  on her but received  no jail time                                                               
for  it.     He   stated  that   his  organization   worked  with                                                               
Representative  Lincoln on  the proposed  legislation to  fix the                                                               
loophole that allowed  Mr. Schneider to receive no  sentence.  He                                                               
maintained that  HB 14 would  go along way towards  repairing the                                                               
public trust  in the  criminal justice system;  it would  fix the                                                               
policy that  allows someone to  commit such a horrific  crime and                                                               
escape jail time.  He  added that a non-fatal strangulation often                                                               
happens  before  an  escalation,  which   can  lead  to  a  fatal                                                               
incident;  it is  important to  escalate the  penalties in  these                                                               
cases.   He offered that HB  14 would send a  strong message that                                                               
these types of actions are  not acceptable; strangling someone to                                                               
the point of unconsciousness  demonstrates reckless disregard; it                                                               
is deserving of  a much longer sentence than a  zero- to two-year                                                               
sentence.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:33:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAENELL  MANCHESTER, 49th  Rising, paraphrased  from her  written                                                               
testimony as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     49th Rising  is a non-partisan organization  working to                                                                    
     make Alaska as safe as  it is beautiful. Alaska has the                                                                    
     highest  rate   of  reported  sexual  assault   in  the                                                                    
     country. We have  all heard this before.  We have heard                                                                    
     it so many times that  this startling fact has lost its                                                                    
     power. Yet,  we just  need to look  at our  friends, or                                                                    
     sometimes in a mirror, to  see the ocean of pain behind                                                                    
     this reality.  According to UAA's Justice  Center, 1 in                                                                    
     3  Alaskan women  has  experienced  sexual violence  in                                                                    
     their lifetime. Based on  our firsthand experiences, we                                                                    
     know that even those numbers are underestimates.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     49th Rising  endorses H.B.  14 as  this bill  will help                                                                    
     address deficiencies  in the current  legislation, such                                                                    
     as  with  regards  to strangulation.  Strangulation  is                                                                    
     often associated with sexual  and domestic violence and                                                                    
     is a  form power  and control  which has  a devastating                                                                    
     physical  and mental  impact on  victims. In  fact, one                                                                    
     study found that women who  had been strangled by their                                                                    
     partners  were 7-times  more likely  to  be victims  of                                                                    
     attempted  homicide  (Journal  of  Emergency  Medicine,                                                                    
     2008). Strangulation  blocks the flow of  oxygen to the                                                                    
     brain, and  while victims may  seem unharmed,  they may                                                                    
     have  internal  injuries  and may  die  days  or  weeks                                                                    
     later.  Because of  the psychological  trauma resulting                                                                    
     from strangulation, victims may also attempt suicide.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     H.B.  14  also closes  some  loopholes  in the  current                                                                    
     legislation  with  regards  to  non-consensual  contact                                                                    
     with ejaculate matter. As  illustrated by the Schneider                                                                    
     case, it is imperative for  the safety of Alaskans that                                                                    
     this  loophole  be  closed. Non-consensual  contact  is                                                                    
     traumatizing,  even more  so when  it is  unpunished by                                                                    
     legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:35:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NATASHA  GAMACHE  testified  that  that  she  agrees  with  prior                                                               
testimony   suggesting   that  sentencing   recommendations   for                                                               
strangulation in the proposed legislation  should be more severe.                                                               
She  said  that  as  a  victim of  sexual  assault  and  domestic                                                               
violence,  she  feels that  given  the  statistics, cited  it  is                                                               
imperative to  do more  to protect  domestic violence  and sexual                                                               
assault victims  in Alaska.   She maintained that doing  so would                                                               
demonstrate to women  and children that Alaska  honors and values                                                               
them and  wants to protect  them; women  of Alaska are  worthy of                                                               
the protection.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:37:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DESERIE BOND  testified that  she supports  the bill  because she                                                               
feels  it  is  important  to hold  perpetrators  accountable,  to                                                               
demonstrate that  survivors are being  heard, and to  ensure that                                                               
charges will  be made  against perpetrators  so that  healing can                                                               
begin for  the victims.   She  stated that she  is a  survivor of                                                               
strangulation;  no charges  were ever  made; she  suffered broken                                                               
cartilage in  her voice box.   She expressed that even  though it                                                               
occurred four years ago, she  still suffers.  She maintained that                                                               
this type of violence should not be tolerated.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:39:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOROTHY  KOLEROK   testified  that  she  worked   with  men  from                                                               
different  countries out  on a  tug and  barge in  remote Alaska;                                                               
they   had  access   to   pharmaceuticals   without  a   doctor's                                                               
prescription.  She  stated that she was drugged and  at the mercy                                                               
of the men; to this day she  doesn't know the drug; when she woke                                                               
up her  throat was extremely  damaged; and there were  no charges                                                               
filed.   She  expressed that  reporting the  incident to  the two                                                               
authorities  was worse  than  the offense  itself;  she is  still                                                               
jaded; and she  believes that healing would have  been easier had                                                               
she not reported it.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:43:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARMEN  LOWRY, Executive  Director,  Alaska  Network on  Domestic                                                               
Violence and Sexual Assault  (ANDVSA), expressed her appreciation                                                               
to the  committee for taking  public testimony and  providing the                                                               
opportunity for people to tell their  stories.  She noted the two                                                               
critical elements of  the proposed legislation:   1) noticing and                                                               
recognizing the  extreme nature  and lethality  of strangulation;                                                               
and 2)  expanding sex crimes  to include ejaculation on  a person                                                               
without consent, which  also allows for someone  convicted of the                                                               
crime to register as a sex offender.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:45:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS closed public testimony on HB 14.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:45:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN LINCOLN,  Alaska State Legislature, expressed                                                               
that  he  was deeply  moved  by  the  testimony and  thanked  the                                                               
testifiers for coming forward.  He  stated that he was very sorry                                                               
those things  happened to the  women who testified; and  that the                                                               
gratitude  expressed  to them  for  telling  their stories  seems                                                               
inadequate.  He emphasized the  importance of taking some sort of                                                               
action that  fits the experience  of these women and  that brings                                                               
justice to them.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS   thanked   Representative  Lincoln   for   the                                                               
introduction of HB 14.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY thanked  the  women  who testified,  shared                                                               
their stories, and advocated for a safer Alaska.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:47:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  moved to report  CS for HB 14,  Version 31-                                                               
LS0182\E, out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
zero fiscal  notes.  There  being no objection, CSHB  14(STA) was                                                               
reported from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Presentation on Uncompensated Care by Becky Hultberg 3.7.19.pdf HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
Presentation on the Impact of Medicaid at Petersburg Medical Center by Phillip Hofstetter 3.7.19.pdf HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB34 ver A 2.28.19.PDF HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 34
HB34 Sponsor Statement 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 34
HB34 Supporting Document-Scott Johnson Memorial Scholarship Biography 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 34
HB34 Fiscal Note DOT-NRHA 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 34
HB34 Supporting Document - Petition of Support 3.6.19.pdf HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 34
HB 34 Supporting Document - Petition of Support No. 2 3.7.19.pdf HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 34
HB12 CS ver S 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 Fiscal Note DPS-DET 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 Fiscal Note DPS-CJISP 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 Additional Document CPO Statute and Duration of Order 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 Additional Document - Whalen v Whalen 2018 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 ver U 2.28.19.PDF HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 Sectional 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 Supporting Document- ALSC Letter 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 Sponsor Statement 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 Supporting Document - APOA Letter 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB12 CS amendment ver U.3 3.7.19.pdf HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB34 Scott Johnson Memorial Bridge Spouse Testimony 2.28.19.pdf HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 34
HB034 Supporting Document - Letter of Support 3.7.19.pdf HSTA 3/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 34