Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/16/2019 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:04:54 PM Start
03:05:42 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
03:05:59 PM Commissioner, Department of Public Safety
04:17:05 PM Lieutenant Governor Successor
04:18:52 PM Chief Administrative Law Judge
04:19:36 PM Alaska State Commission for Human Rights|| Alaska Department of Corrections Parole Board|| Alaska State Personnel Board|| Alaska Public Offices Commission|| Alaska Police Standard Council
04:23:20 PM HB50|| HB51
04:57:08 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
-Lieutenant Governor Successor, Dr. Michael
Johnson
-Chief Administrative Law Judge, Kathleen
Frederick
-State Commission for Human Rights
-State Board of Parole
-Personnel Board
-Alaska Public Offices Commission
-Alaska Police Standards Council
+= HB 51 PROBATION; PAROLE; SENTENCES; CREDITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 50 ARREST;RELEASE;SENTENCING;PROBATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Commissioner Amanda Price, Dept. of Public Safety
           HB  50-ARREST;RELEASE;SENTENCING;PROBATION                                                                       
          HB  51-PROBATION; PAROLE; SENTENCES; CREDITS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:23:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 50,  "An  Act relating  to pretrial  release;                                                               
relating  to sentencing;  relating  to  treatment program  credit                                                               
toward  service  of  a  sentence  of  imprisonment;  relating  to                                                               
electronic  monitoring; amending  Rules  38.2  and 45(d),  Alaska                                                               
Rules  of  Criminal Procedure;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."  and HOUSE  BILL NO.  51, "An  Act relating  to probation;                                                               
relating to a  program allowing probationers to  earn credits for                                                               
complying  with the  conditions of  probation; relating  to early                                                               
termination  of  probation; relating  to  parole;  relating to  a                                                               
program allowing parolees to earn  credits for complying with the                                                               
conditions of  parole; relating to  early termination  of parole;                                                               
relating  to eligibility  for discretionary  parole; relating  to                                                               
good time; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS   expressed    his   concerns   regarding   the                                                               
circumstances surrounding the resignation  of Quinlan Steiner, as                                                               
Director  of  the Public  Defender  Agency  (PDA), Department  of                                                               
Administration (DOA).   Mr. Steiner had  tendered his resignation                                                               
effective on  appointment of a  new public defender  appointed by                                                               
the Alaska  Judicial Counsel consistent  with AS 18.85.030.   Co-                                                               
Chair Fields offered  that his concern is  that [Governor Michael                                                               
J. Dunleavy]  has accelerated  the dismissal  of Mr.  Steiner and                                                               
appointed an  interim public defender,  and the statute  does not                                                               
give  him the  authority  to do  so.   He  maintained the  public                                                               
defender is, by  design, an independent position,  and the public                                                               
defender can only  be removed for cause.  He  asserted that is an                                                               
important principle  in terms of  a public defender  advising the                                                               
legislature on matters of criminal  justice and not being subject                                                               
to  political pressure.    He  said that  currently  there is  no                                                               
public defender nominated by the  judicial council, which impairs                                                               
the legislature's ability  to ensure a fair hearing  on the crime                                                               
and public safety legislation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:25:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  SKIDMORE, Director,  Criminal Division,  Department of  Law                                                               
(DOL), on behalf  of the House Rules  Standing Committee, sponsor                                                               
of  HB 51,  by request  of the  governor, relayed  that HB  51 is                                                               
designed to  address probation  and parole.   He referred  to the                                                               
document, entitled  "HB 51 Probation  and Parole  Highlights" and                                                               
included in the committee packet, which read in part:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     • Caps on  Sanctions  for  Technical  Violations  and                                                                      
     Absconding    Repeals  the caps  on  the sanctions  for                                                                    
     technical violations  (currently 3, 5, and  10 days for                                                                    
     the   first   three    violations   respectively)   and                                                                    
     absconding  (up  to  30 days).  Returns  discretion  to                                                                    
     judges  and  the  parole board  to  impose  a  sanction                                                                    
     appropriate for  the offender,  the type  of violation,                                                                    
     and the underlying offense.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  explained that  Senate Bill  91 [passed  during the                                                               
Twenty-Ninth  Alaska  State  Legislature, 2015-2016,  and  signed                                                               
into law  7/11/16] placed caps on  the amount of time  that could                                                               
be imposed  for either probation  or parole  violations; however,                                                               
the  caps, instead  of being  for  a single  violation, ended  up                                                               
being for the  entire petition.  Consequently, there  can be many                                                               
violations,  but the  maximum  sanction that  can  be imposed  is                                                               
three days.   He  added that returning  discretion to  judges and                                                               
the parole board allows them  to consider the underlying offense,                                                               
the length of  time the offender has been  under supervision, the                                                               
number of past allegations or  violations that have occurred, and                                                               
the current allegations.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:29:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  moved on to  the second  bullet in the  document to                                                               
review the  proposal for earned  compliance credits  (ECC), which                                                               
read in part:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     • Earned Compliance Credits   Reduces credits  to one                                                                      
     day  for every  three days  without a  violation. If  a                                                                    
     person  violates their  probation or  parole they  will                                                                    
     lose  all credits  accrued up  until the  violation and                                                                    
     have  to  start  over.  Prohibits  sex  offenders  from                                                                    
     earning credits.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE  explained  that   currently,  every  day  that  an                                                               
offender is on  probation or parole without  a violation, his/her                                                               
probation  or  parole time  may  be  reduced  by  one day.    The                                                               
proposed legislation changes  that ratio to 3:1,  such that every                                                               
three days of good behavior earns one day off.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  whether  there is  any  evidence  to                                                               
justify the change.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE answered  that there  has been  no research  on it;                                                               
however, during the  time of its implementation,  there have been                                                               
problems with calculating  ECC.  He maintained  that the proposed                                                               
legislation would  help with  the calculations.   He  stated that                                                               
when the state and the  Alaska Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC)                                                               
evaluated  probation  and  parole,   they  learned  that  keeping                                                               
offenders on probation  and parole for very long  periods of time                                                               
was  not helpful.   They  considered three  options -  ECC, early                                                               
termination, and reduced maximum  periods of probation that could                                                               
be  imposed -  and ended  up adopting  all three.   The  proposed                                                               
legislation  offers a  more "digestible"  and balanced  approach.                                                               
He added that  the 1:3 ratio was recently adopted  by the federal                                                               
government for ECC, as well as some other states.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  referred  to  page   2  of  the  Department  of                                                               
Corrections (DOC)  fiscal note  (FN) [Identifier:   LL0031-2-DOC-                                                               
PP-01-22-19], included  in the committee packet,  and pointed out                                                               
the analysis  relays several scenarios  with estimated  costs but                                                               
no total.  He asked why DOC did  not total the costs and what the                                                               
total  additional   costs  would   be  for  offenders   being  in                                                               
incarceration longer.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE  responded  that  he was  not  prepared  to  answer                                                               
questions about the DOC FN.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:36:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  continued with  the third  bullet in  the document,                                                               
which read in part:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     • Early Termination Of Probation And Parole   Returns                                                                      
     to  a true  recommendation of  the probation  or parole                                                                    
     officer instead  of a  mandated recommendation  after 1                                                                    
     or 2 years without violation.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE explained  that  before Senate  Bill  91, a  parole                                                               
officer  had the  ability to  recommend termination  of probation                                                               
and parole  based on  his assessment as  to whether  the offender                                                               
was a good candidate for it.   Under Senate Bill 91, instead of a                                                               
recommendation,  it   became  a  requirement  to   recommend  the                                                               
termination of  probation and  parole after one  year.   Under HB                                                               
51, the recommendation  would again be based  on the individual's                                                               
history and behavior.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL  asked   whether   the   option  of   early                                                               
termination was used very much.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  relayed that he  could answer the question  only in                                                               
terms of probation, since his experience  is as a prosecutor.  He                                                               
said  that  he  did  see   recommendations  but  could  not  give                                                               
statistics.  He added that more  frequently he saw what is called                                                               
"placing  someone on  a  minimum  bank."   He  explained that  an                                                               
offender is  required to report  to the probation officer  once a                                                               
month; if the person was  doing well, the probation officer would                                                               
shift that person  to the minimum bank, which  means the offender                                                               
no longer  must report  on a  monthly basis.   This  lessened the                                                               
restrictions of probation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:42:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE continued  reviewing  the highlights  of  HB 51  by                                                               
addressing parole.  He mentioned  that he would be discussing two                                                               
areas  of parole:    1)  the eligibility  for  parole;  and 2)  a                                                               
determination of who should be  released on parole.  He explained                                                               
parole  by  way of  the  following  example:   An  individual  is                                                               
sentenced  in court  to  five  years in  jail  -  with two  years                                                               
suspended  and three  years to  serve.   The two  years that  are                                                               
suspended is  the length  of time that  "hangs over  the person's                                                               
head" so that if he/she  violates a condition of probation, there                                                               
is the potential  that those two years could be  imposed.  Parole                                                               
refers to the scenario in which  the person is released from jail                                                               
prior to  the completion of  the three  years and is  returned to                                                               
the community;  there are conditions  set for parole, and  if the                                                               
person violates conditions of parole,  the person may be required                                                               
to return to jail to serve the remainder of the sentence.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE said that there are  two types of parole - mandatory                                                               
and discretionary.  Mandatory parole,  also known as "good time,"                                                               
occurs  when  someone  is  released from  prison  early  -  after                                                               
serving approximately two-thirds  of the sentence -  and is meant                                                               
to  help  the  person  adjust  back  out  to  the  community  and                                                               
alleviate prison overcrowding.   Parole eligibility, under HB 51,                                                               
refers  to discretionary  parole.   Discretionary parole  is when                                                               
the offender applies for early  release after serving approximate                                                               
one-third  of his/her  sentence;  this early  release is  earlier                                                               
than mandatory release.  The  parole board evaluates the case and                                                               
decides whether the  person is a good candidate for  release.  In                                                               
the  example,  the person  would  be  eligible for  discretionary                                                               
parole after one year.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE relayed  that under Senate Bill  91, the eligibility                                                               
for discretionary parole was broadened.   He reviewed the changes                                                               
in eligibility  for discretionary  parole under  HB 51,  shown on                                                               
the document, which read in part:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
      • Parole Eligibility  Returns to restricting what                                                                         
      crimes are eligible for discretionary parole. Makes                                                                       
     the following crimes ineligible:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
        • Non-sex class A felonies (Robbery 1, Assault 1,                                                                       
          Arson 1, Escape 1, MIW 1);                                                                                            
        • B felonies if the person had one or more prior                                                                        
          felony convictions;                                                                                                   
        • C felonies if the person had two or more prior                                                                        
          felony convictions; and                                                                                               
        • B and C sex felonies (Sexual Assault 2, Sexual                                                                        
           Abuse of a Minor 2, Distribution of Child                                                                            
          Pornography).                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:47:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS opened public testimony on HB 50 and HB 51.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:48:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATIE BOTZ said she supports the idea  of HB 51.  She opined that                                                               
there  should be  stronger policy  to not  allow probationers  to                                                               
repeat  crimes upon  release.   She  suggested  classes could  be                                                               
offered  to help  people on  probation be  successful when  their                                                               
probation period  ends.  She  indicated the classes could  help a                                                               
person with  his/her work success  and state  of mind.   She said                                                               
Alaska ranks number  one for sex crimes, and she  said "they" are                                                               
the ones  that should have "maximum  probation punishment without                                                               
any parole."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:50:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:51 p.m. to 4:52 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:51:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNETTE CLARK,  Chair, Alaska Independence Party,  stated concern                                                               
that the  legislation does not have  "any real teeth."   She said                                                               
she would like to  see HB 50 and HB 51 not passed.   She said she                                                               
supports what the  Senate has done regarding the  Crime Bill, and                                                               
she  wants  to  see  Senate  Bill 91  repealed.    She  expressed                                                               
appreciation for the work that has been  done on HB 50 and HB 51,                                                               
but indicated that  the Senate's proposed legislation  is more in                                                               
depth  and focused  on making  criminals pay  for what  they have                                                               
done.  She reiterated that she cannot support HB 50 and HB 51.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:53:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NORIA  CLARK stated  that she  used to  feel safe  [in Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska].   She said she once  lived in Chicago, where  her mother                                                               
survived  being shot  on  her  way to  work;  she  once lived  in                                                               
Southern Arizona, where there is  drug cartel and constant crime.                                                               
She said Senate Bill 91 gives  more rights to criminals than law-                                                               
abiding citizens have.  She  stated, "Currently we are number one                                                               
in  multiple violent  and non-violent  crimes per  capita."   She                                                               
said  these  crimes  includes  those  sexual  violence,  car  and                                                               
property  theft.   Ms. Clark  talked  about voting  and that  the                                                               
people of Alaska will take back  their power.  She said there are                                                               
those who represent  Alaskans and those who only claim  to do so.                                                               
She stated that  Senate Bill 91 should be repealed,  with new law                                                               
put in  the books directing  how to  handle criminals.   She said                                                               
time given  to allow Senate Bill  91 to work is  time wasted when                                                               
it  results  in lives  lost.    She  characterized Alaska  as  "a                                                               
nightmare  game of  Monopoly," where  there is  "get out  of jail                                                               
free"  and  taxes  on  those  who  must  "pay  for  it,"  because                                                               
"criminals don't pay taxes."  Ms.  Clark stated that HB 50 and HB                                                               
51 are only  Band-Aids.  She posited that Alaska  is probably the                                                               
last  state in  the  Union that  could actually  be  saved.   She                                                               
concluded by saying that she is tired of being afraid.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:55:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BERT  HOUGHTALING stated  that he  is disturbed  to hear  it said                                                               
that people do not understand what  is wrong with Senate Bill 91.                                                               
He stated support  of "anything that Governor  Dunleavy is trying                                                               
to pass right now,"  and suggested that HB 50 and  HB 51 could be                                                               
a good start  toward getting tougher on criminals  who are repeat                                                               
offenders.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:56:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS closed public testimony on HB 50 and HB 51.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  announced that  HB 50  and HB  51 would  be held                                                               
over.                                                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Price - CJIS Security 4.16.19.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50 ver A.PDF HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB 50 - Pretrial Highlights.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB 50 - Pretrial Sectional.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB 50 - Transmittal Letter.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 ver A 2.20.19.PDF HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Pretrial Highlights 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Pretrial Sectional 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Transmittal Letter 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Additional Document - Crime Bill GOA Bills Matrix 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DPS-PrisTrans 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DOC-Pretrial 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DOC-IDO 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note LAW-CRM 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DOA-OPA 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DOA-PDA 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note JUD-ACS 3.19.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Opposing Doucment - Functioning Model of a Community Corrections System 3.19.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB051 ver A 2.20.19.PDF HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Highlights 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Sectional Analysis 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Transmittal Letter 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Additional Document - Crime Bill GOA Bills Matrix 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Fiscal Note DOC-IDO 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Fiscal Note LAW-CRM 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Fiscal Note DOC-DPP 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB050 Supporting Document - Letter of Support AACOP 3.20.19.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Opposing Document - Letter of Opposition 4.16.19.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Supporting Document - Letters of Support 4.15.2019 - 4.16.2019.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB051 Supporting Document - Letter of Support AACOP 3.20.19.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Supporting Document - Letters of Support 4.15.2019 - 4.16.2019.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Opposing Document - Letter of Opposition 4.16.19.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Additional Docment - GOA Bills Matrix 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
SB 91