Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/12/1994 10:05 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 276 An Act relating to criminal justice information; providing procedural requirements for obtaining certain criminal justice information; and providing for an effective date. Co-chair Pearce directed that SB 276 be brought on for discussion. Senator Rieger explained that the bill deals with disclosure of criminal justice information. Section 1 sets forth the following intent: It is the intent of the legislature that the department administer the provisions of this chapter in a manner that protects victims of crime, allows the proper administration of justice, and avoids vigilantism. The bill seeks to allow appropriate disclosure of information for proper purposes but would not allow disclosure to those who merely intend to engage in harassment. Directing attention to page 2, line 17, Senator Rieger attested to a prior requirement that the board meet every six months, plus as often as necessary. Subsection (c) provides shorter and cleaner language stating that the board shall meet at lease once every six months. An earlier requirement for an annual report was removed from the bill. Senator Rieger next referenced page 8, line 15, and noted addition of the word "specifically" to language relating to provision of information for enforcement of or for a purpose "specifically authorized by state or federal law." Earlier language referred to local, state, or federal law. New language deletes the local reference. Provisions dealing with release of information to the governor or to legislators have been removed. Information would no longer be provided to legislators simply because of their legislative status. Senator Kerttula asked if the judiciary committee would be able to obtain the information. Senator Rieger noted ability to access information for public purposes per subsections (6) and (7) at page 8. New language at page 8, lines 24 and 25, parallels an earlier floor amendment on HB 69. It provides that: (8) current offender information may be provided to a person for any purpose, except that information may not be released if the release of the information would unreasonably compromise the privacy of a minor or vulnerable adult. The intent is to protect both minors and adult victims. Senator Rieger next directed attention to addition of a definition for "complete" as set forth on page 12, lines 18 through 20. "And entered within 90 days" was added to make the intent of the definition clear. At page 15, line 6, the words "employed, appointed, or permitted person" were added to make a distinction between the person requesting the information and the person seeking employment. Senator Rieger then MOVED for adoption of the work draft (8- GS2005\K, Luckhaupt, 3/11/94) committee substitute for SB 276. Senate Kerttula stressed that both House and Senate Judiciary Committees should have access to criminal justice information. No objection having been raised, CSSB 276 (Fin), "K" version, was ADOPTED. Senator Rieger next directed attention to Amendment No. 1 and Amendment No. 2, both of which were requested by the Dept. of Law. DEAN GUANELI, Assistant Attorney General, Dept. of Law, came before committee. He explained that Amendment No. 1 constitute a transitional section needed to repeal a number of existing statutes (all or portions of which are incorporated in new statutes) but maintain current regulations and fee schedules until new regulations can be adopted for the statutory updates. Senator Rieger MOVED for adoption of Amendment No. 1. No objection having been raised, Amendment No. 1 was ADOPTED. Mr. Guaneli next spoke to need for Amendment No. 2. He explained that under the original version of the bill, mandatory fingerprinting requirements were intended to apply to adults or juveniles charged as adults. They were not to apply to juvenile delinquents. Language limiting application was dropped out of the bill. Amendment No. 2 should be incorporated within CSSB 276 (Fin) "K" at page 12, line 9. Senator Rieger MOVED for adoption of Amendment No. 2. No objection having been raised, Amendment No. 2 was ADOPTED. Senator Sharp directed attention to page 8, line 20, and voiced need to provide legislative judiciary committees access to criminal justice information. He then proposed to add "including legislative judiciary committees" between the words "research" and "subject." Co-chair Pearce questioned whether access should be limited to judiciary committees and suggested that language should perhaps refer to standing or special committees of the legislature. Discussion followed among members concerning the scope of access and which subsection legislative access would properly fall within. Senator Sharp voiced need to incorporate legislative access within generic research provisions. Co-chair Pearce queried members regarding support for legislative access. Senator Kerttula cautioned against restricting the legislature from "being a full and equal branch of government." He suggested that legislative access be restricted but not precluded. Co-chair Pearce remarked that if access is too restricted, a single chairman might be able to "thwart the will of the body in getting to information." Mr. Guaneli suggested that access be structured similar to legislative subpoena power. He advised he would undertake development of appropriate language, if the committee wished him to do so. Senator Kelly concurred in need for a deliberative process associated with access. Co-chair Pearce directed that Senators Kelly and Sharp work with Mr. Guaneli on development of language for committee review at the next meeting.