Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/03/2006 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 441 THERAPEUTIC COURT FOR DUI TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 441(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 307 KNIK RIVER PUBLIC USE AREA TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 420 FOREST RESOURCES & PRACTICES STANDARDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 420(FSH) Out of Committee
= HB 218 PRIVATE HATCHERY COST RECOVERY FISHERIES
Moved SCS CSHB 218(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 484 FISHERY ASSOCIATION REIMBURSEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HCR 30 AK CLIMATE IMPACT ASSESSMENT COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
9:13:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 441(JUD)                                                                               
     "An Act relating to criminal sentencing; relating to                                                                       
     operating or driving a motor vehicle, aircraft, or                                                                         
    watercraft while under the influence; relating to court-                                                                    
     ordered treatment programs for certain offenders and                                                                       
     offenses; amending Rule 35, Alaska Rules of Criminal                                                                       
     Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   NORMAN   ROKEBURG,   sponsor   of   this   bill,                                                               
characterized  it  as  a compilation  of  the  therapeutic  court                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:14:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Amendment  #1:   This  amendment   inserts  "as  defined   in  AS                                                               
28.35.028(h)" to  AS 12.55.155(d)(17),  amended in Section  1, on                                                               
page 1, line 11. The amended language reads as follows.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
               (17) except in the case of an offense defined by                                                                 
     AS 11.41  or AS  11.46.100, the [OR  A] defendant  [WHO] has                                                             
     [PREVIOUSLY] been  convicted of a  class B or C  felony, and                                                           
     [THE  DEFENDANT], at  the time  of sentencing,  [IS ACTIVELY                                                               
     PARTICIPATING IN OR] has successfully completed a court-                                                                 
     ordered [STATE-APPROVED] treatment program as defined in AS                                                            
     28.35.028(h) that [IS RELEVANT TO THE OFFENSE AND THAT] was                                                              
     begun after the offense was committed;                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     New Text Underlined [DELETED TEXT BRACKETED]                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green moved for adoption.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HEATHER  NOBREGA,  Staff  to Representative  Rokeberg,  explained                                                               
this  amendment provides  a technical  reference  to the  program                                                               
definition.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Without objection the amendment was ADOPTED.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:15:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bunde  assumed  that the  fiscal  note  indicating  this                                                               
legislation would incur no additional  cost to the State is based                                                               
on the premise that those  participating in the therapeutic court                                                               
program would have otherwise been  processed in the regular court                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:16:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Rokeberg  clarified that  the State  would receive                                                               
an additional $669,000 in federal  "highway funding", as a result                                                               
of  passed legislation  sponsored  by Senator  Bunde relating  to                                                               
seatbelt   use.  This   funding   has  been   allocated  to   the                                                               
establishment  of therapeutic  courts  located  in Ketchikan  and                                                               
Fairbanks,  and to  expand  capacity of  the  Juneau program  and                                                               
others in the state.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Rokeberg spoke  to  the fiscal  benefits of  this                                                               
program. Outside  consultants have  testified to  the legislature                                                               
about the  one-to-ten ratio of  savings for each  dollar invested                                                               
in  this  program.  The  benefits of  this  program  are  reduced                                                               
recidivism and "actually rescuing people's lives."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:18:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  PARKES,   Deputy  Attorney  General,   Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department of Law, was available to respond to questions.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:18:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green asked  the effect of this  legislation; whether it                                                               
would  expand  the  therapeutic  court  program,  codify  certain                                                               
practices, or have other impacts.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Rokeberg  replied  that this  bill  conforms  the                                                               
provisions of  two separate statutes. The  first statute pertains                                                               
to the initial pilot program  addressing felony driving under the                                                               
influence  (DUI) charges.  The other  statute was  enacted making                                                               
the  program  permanent.  The  differing   language  in  the  two                                                               
statutes  inadvertently  created  a two-tier  system.  This  bill                                                               
would make the necessary technical  changes for the program to be                                                               
consistent.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:20:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Nobrega noted  that  the pilot  program  was established  in                                                               
uncodified law.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:20:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  verified this legislation would  make the program                                                               
consistent.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Rokeberg affirmed.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  asked if this  legislation would have  the effect                                                               
of  increasing  the  number of  offenders  participating  in  the                                                               
therapeutic court system.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Rokeberg answered it  would not. He explained that                                                               
the Public Defenders  Agency (PDA) and the  prosecutor must agree                                                               
whether  an offender  could enter  the program.  This legislation                                                               
would  ensure smoother  operation  of the  program  and that  all                                                               
positions were funded.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:22:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken  offered a motion to  report CS HB 441  (FIN), as                                                               
amended,  from  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There was  no objection  and SCS  CS HB  441(FIN) was  MOVED from                                                               
Committee  with zero  fiscal  notes: #1  from  the Department  of                                                               
Administration,  Office of  Public Advocacy;  #2 from  the Alaska                                                               
Court  System;  #3  from  the  Department of  Law;  #4  from  the                                                               
Department  of Administration,  PDA;  #5 from  the Department  of                                                               
Corrections;  #6  from  the  Department   of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services; and #7 from the Department of Public Safety.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

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