Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/19/1994 08:30 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 119(JUD) am                                            
       An  Act  authorizing  a sentencing  court  to  impose a                 
       sentence  of  a day  fine  instead  of  a  sentence  of                 
       imprisonment on a defendant convicted of a misdemeanor;                 
       directing the  Alaska  Supreme  Court  to  develop  and                 
       implement a day  fine plan; requiring the  Alaska Court                 
       System to report to  the legislature on the use  of day                 
       fines;  amending Alaska Rule  of Criminal Procedure 32;                 
       and providing for an effective date.                                    
  Co-chair Pearce directed  attention to CSHB 119  (Jud)am and                 
  noted  a  draft  Senate Finance  Committee  Substitute (work                 
  draft  8-LS0496\R,   Luckhaupt,  4/18/94).     She   further                 
  referenced associated fiscal  notes and the fact  that while                 
  the  bill  was  waived  from  committee  last  year,  it was                 
  returned for adoption of  the proposed work draft.   Senator                 
  Rieger MOVED for adoption of SCS  CSHB 119, "R" version.  No                 
  objection  having  been  raised,  SCS  CSHB  119  (Fin)  was                 
  Senator  Rieger  explained  that the  only  change  embodied                 
  within  the Senate  Finance  version relates  to  provisions                 
  requiring  that  moneys  collected under  the  new  day-fine                 
  system  be  separately accounted  for  in the  general fund.                 
  Provisions also allow  the legislature  to appropriate  one-                 
  quarter to the  violent crimes  compensation board and  one-                 
  quarter  to  the  council on  domestic  violence  and sexual                 
  Senator  Kelly  inquired  concerning a  definition  of  "day                 
  fine."  ART  SNOWDEN, Administrative Director,  Alaska Court                 
  System, again came before committee.  He  explained that the                 
  "day-fine" system has been used for many years in Europe and                 
  in many  local jurisdictions within the United States.  Such                 
  fines will  be imposed  for non-violent  state misdemeanors.                 
  Mr. Snowden referenced the current backlog  of almost a year                 
  prior to  incarceration of  misdemeanants and  stressed need                 
  for an  economic sanction  instead.   A day  fine takes  two                 
  elements into consideration:                                                 
       1.   The seriousness of the crime.                                      
       2.   The income of the perpetrator.                                     
  Mr. Snowden voiced his belief  that economic sanctions would                 
  provide great deterrence to these types of crimes.                           
  Discussion   followed  regarding   use  of   permanent  fund                 
  dividends to pay day fines.                                                  
  Senator  Kelly suggested  that  someone who  shoplifts  food                 
  would not be able  to pay the fine.  Mr.  Snowden advised of                 
  alternative community service for working off the fine.                      
  Senator Sharp asked if  day fines would cover  DWI offenses.                 
  Mr. Snowden responded negatively, noting that DWI involves a                 
  mandatory jail sentence.                                                     
  Senator Kerttula  MOVED for  passage of  SCS CSHB  119 (Fin)                 
  with individual recommendations.   No objection  having been                 
  raised,  SCS CSHB  119 (Fin) was  REPORTED OUT  of committee                 
  with an $80.1  fiscal note from  the Court System, and  zero                 
  notes from the Dept.  of Law, Dept. of Public  Safety, Dept.                 
  of Corrections, and  Dept. of Administration (one  each from                 
  the  Office  of  Public  Advocacy  and the  Public  Defender                 
  Agency).  All  members present  signed the committee  report                 
  with a "do  pass" recommendation.  (Senator Jacko was absent                 
  from the meeting and did not sign.)                                          

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