Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

04/01/2021 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Moved HB 103 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
          HB  118-EXPANDING PRISONER ACCESS TO COMPUTERS                                                                    
3:07:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that the first order of business                                                                 
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 118, "An Act relating to state                                                                          
identifications  and driver's licenses  for persons in  the custody                                                             
of the  Department of Corrections;  relating  to the duties  of the                                                             
commissioner  of corrections;  relating  to living  conditions  for                                                             
prisoners; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
3:08:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  moved to  adopt  Amendment  1, [labeled  32-                                                             
LS0024\B.2, Radford, 4/1/21], which read:                                                                                       
     Page 7, lines 1 - 2:                                                                                                       
           Delete "[(A) OBTAINING STATE IDENTIFICATION;                                                                         
          Insert "(A) obtaining state identification if one                                                                 
       or more prisoners will not otherwise possess a valid                                                                 
     state identification card upon release;                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                   
3:09:40 PM                                                                                                                    
LINDSAY  BIRK,  Staff,   Representative  Jonathan   Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                             
Alaska  State  Legislature,  on  behalf  of  Representative  Kreiss                                                             
Tomkins, prime  sponsor of  HB 118, said  the in its current  form,                                                             
the bill  would remove  a mandatory  tutorial on  how to receive  a                                                             
state identification  (ID) card.   Amendment 1 would reinsert  that                                                             
language into  the bill, such  that a prisoner  without a  valid ID                                                             
would participate  in a mandatory  tutorial before leaving  prison,                                                             
which would teach him/her how to receive an ID.                                                                                 
3:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   VANCE  asked   whether  the   bill  would   assist                                                             
prisoners  with the  renewal of their  licenses  online or by  mail                                                             
while incarcerated.                                                                                                             
MS. BIRK was unsure of the answer.                                                                                              
3:11:25 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY  GOODE,  Deputy  Commissioner,  Department   of  Corrections,                                                             
explained  that state IDs  are kept in  the prisoners' property  to                                                             
be distributed  upon  release.   She said  institutional  probation                                                             
officers  would work  with the  releasing  inmates on  how best  to                                                             
get a new  ID.  She added that  prisoners would be given  a voucher                                                             
that  allows the  Division  of Motor  Vehicles  (DMV)  to bill  the                                                             
Department of  Corrections (DOC) for  tasks, such as getting  a new                                                             
ID picture taken.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE   clarified  her  question,   asking  whether                                                             
license  renewals could be  accomplished while  incarcerated  or if                                                             
the prisoners  would have to wait "until they are under the care of                                                             
the probation officer."                                                                                                         
MS.  GOODE explained  that  the  institutional  probation  officers                                                             
(IPOs)  work with  prisoners  inside the  facilities.   She  shared                                                             
her  understanding  that  there  would  be no  action  taken  on  a                                                             
request for  a license  renewal; however, the  IPO would  work with                                                             
prisoners prior to release on the best way to get a valid ID.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE observed  that  being unable  to renew  one's                                                             
license  while  incarcerated  could   be  an unrecognized   hurdle,                                                             
which  creates  further  obstacles  once released.    She  surmised                                                             
that assisting  with renewals  could ease some  of the burden  that                                                             
this legislation is attempting to address.                                                                                      
MS.  GOODE  clarified that  DOC  is  capable  of assisting  with  a                                                             
prisoner's ID renewal when necessary.                                                                                           
3:15:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  sought   to  clarify  the  purpose  of  the                                                             
following  language  in Amendment  1:  "if  one or  more  prisoners                                                             
will  not  otherwise  possess a  valid  state  identification  card                                                             
upon release".                                                                                                                  
MS.  BIRK   said  the  language   indicates  that  if   a  prisoner                                                             
[possesses  a valid ID],  he/she would not  have to participate  in                                                             
the tutorial.   She began to address  the phrase "one or  more" and                                                             
asked whether that is Representative Claman's specific concern.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN confirmed.   He shared his belief  that "one                                                             
or more"  wouldn't add  anything  to the bill  because it's  likely                                                             
that,  systemwide,  there's  at least  one  prisoner that  may  not                                                             
have a valid ID card upon release.                                                                                              
MS.  BIRK was  unsure whether  "one or  more" adds  to or  detracts                                                             
from the bill.                                                                                                                  
3:16:58 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:16 p.m. to 3:18 p.m.                                                                       
3:18:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  stated  his understanding  that the  language                                                             
in  question  suggests  that  if  100   percent  of  the  releasing                                                             
prisoners  had  ID  cards,  the  training   requirement  would  not                                                             
apply; however,  if one or  more of the  prisoners did not  possess                                                             
a valid  ID, the  tutorial would  be required.   He  noted that  in                                                             
conversations   with  reentry  groups,   this  was  the   preferred                                                             
3:20:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN  proposed  replacing  "one  or  more"  with                                                             
"any."    He  asked  whether  that  would   satisfy  the  sponsor's                                                             
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  agreed  that  "any"  would  imply  the  same                                                             
substantive   meaning;  however,  he   expressed  no  interest   in                                                             
changing the language.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN  voiced  his   support  for  the   existing                                                             
language  in Amendment  1, as  reentry groups  had emphasized  it's                                                             
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS agreed.                                                                                                    
3:21:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN withdrew  his objection  to the adoption  of                                                             
Amendment  1.     Without  further   objection,  Amendment   1  was                                                             
3:21:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  moved to  adopt  Amendment  2, [labeled  32-                                                             
LS0024\B.3, Radford, 4/1/21], which read:                                                                                       
     Page 4, lines 16 - 22:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
               "(11)  make a good faith effort, in                                                                          
     consultation  with  the commissioner  of administration,                                                               
     to  ensure  [ASSIST]  a prisoner  has  [IN  OBTAINING]  a                                                          
     valid  state  identification  card  upon  the  prisoner's                                                              
     release;  if the  prisoner does  not have  a valid  state                                                              
     identification  card before  the prisoner's release,  [;]                                                              
     the  department shall  pay the  application  fee for  the                                                                  
     identification card; and"                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                   
3:21:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BIRK  informed  the committee  that Amendment  2 would  clarify                                                             
the bill's purpose by streamlining the language.                                                                                
3:22:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  asked whether  removing  the language  that                                                             
requires  DOC to  assist prisoners  serving  terms of  imprisonment                                                             
"exceeding 120 days" would create problems for department.                                                                      
MS. GOODE  said if  the last  4 lines  of Amendment  2 would  allow                                                             
the  department to  continue providing  vouchers  to prisoners  who                                                             
release  in under 120  days, the  department is  supportive  of the                                                             
amendment.  She asked if she interpreted the language correctly.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN deferred to the department's expertise.                                                                   
3:24:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  questioned   whether  removing  the  120-day                                                             
timeframe could  increase the fiscal  note due to an increased  use                                                             
of vouchers.                                                                                                                    
MS.  GOODE   shared  her   belief  that  there   would  not   be  a                                                             
significant difference  in cost,  adding that vouchers  are already                                                             
provided to any [inmate] who may need one.                                                                                      
3:25:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN removed  his  objection to  the adoption  of                                                             
Amendment  2.     Without  further   objection,  Amendment   2  was                                                             
3:25:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  HB 118, as amended,  was held                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 118 Letter of Support - GHS 3.25.21.pdf HSTA 4/1/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB 103 Letter of Support - MSHF 3.26.21.pdf HHSS 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/1/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 103
HB 103 Letter of Support - AK Regional Hospital 3.26.21.pdf HHSS 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/1/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 103
HB 118 Letter of Support - ACLU 3.25.21.pdf HSTA 4/1/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB 118 Amendments B.2 and B.3 - 4.1.21.pdf HSTA 4/1/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 118