Legislature(2011 - 2012)SENATE FINANCE 532

02/23/2012 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 203 ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM & VOUCHERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 135 CONTINUANCES IN CRIMINAL TRIALS; VICTIMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 140 CATHINONE BATH SALTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 135                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act  relating  to the  rights  of  crime  victims;                                                                    
     relating to  the duties  of prosecuting  attorneys; and                                                                    
     amending Rule 45, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:30:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH, introduced SB 135.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Article I,  section 24 of our  constitution is entitled                                                                    
     "Rights of  Crime Victims." The amendment  passed by an                                                                    
     overwhelming  majority   when  it  was   placed  before                                                                    
     Alaskan voters in 1994. Included  in its eight specific                                                                    
     provisions is the promise that  crime victims will have                                                                    
     "the right to timely  disposition of the case following                                                                    
     the arrest of the accused."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     In the  eighteen years since the  amendment passed, the                                                                    
     promise of a  timely disposition of the  case has often                                                                    
     not been  kept. Moreover, the breaches  of that promise                                                                    
     frequently occur  in the most serious  of cases. Delays                                                                    
     in the trial  of a case, known as  continuances, can go                                                                    
     on for years.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     SB 135  requires prosecutors and  judges to  consider a                                                                    
     victim's right  to a timely  disposition of  their case                                                                    
     when  deciding  whether  to  allow  continuances.  This                                                                    
     legislation will also ensure  that victims are notified                                                                    
     of  any requests  or motions  that could  substantially                                                                    
     delay speedy prosecution of their case.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Repeated   delays   prevent   victims   from   reaching                                                                    
     emotional,  physical, and  financial  closure from  the                                                                    
     trauma  that they  suffered as  a result  of the  crime                                                                    
     perpetrated  against them.  Delays  in prosecution  can                                                                    
     also affect  the availability of witnesses,  a victim's                                                                    
     ability to recall important details,  and it can create                                                                    
     other impediments to a successful trial.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Currently,   Alaska   is   one  of   27   states   with                                                                    
     constitutional   provisions  to   protect  a   victim's                                                                    
     rights;  however,  there  is no  statute  in  place  to                                                                    
     implement   it.   With    this   important   piece   of                                                                    
     legislation,  Alaska will  join  15  other states  that                                                                    
     have  enacted a  statutory  provision recognizing  this                                                                    
     crucial right.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     SB  135 will  guarantee a  victim's right  to a  timely                                                                    
     resolution in the court system.  I urge your support of                                                                    
     this legislation.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  noted that  there  were  some defendants  in                                                                    
rural Alaska, and  it was difficult to  collect evidence. He                                                                    
wondered how due  process was served, and felt  that some of                                                                    
the defendants in rural Alaska  were not always given a fair                                                                    
trial.  Senator  French replied  that  there  was a  current                                                                    
tension in the State  Constitution regarding the defendant's                                                                    
right  to a  speedy trial  versus  the victim's  right to  a                                                                    
timely  disposition. He  felt that  the defendant's  liberty                                                                    
interest  was  often  weighted  greater  than  that  of  the                                                                    
victim.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:34:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICTOR  KESTER, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, AK  OFFICE OF  VICTIM'S                                                                    
RIGHTS  (via teleconference),  testified in  support of   SB
135. He explained  that the Office of Victim's  Rights was a                                                                    
legislative  agency  dedicated   representing  Alaska  crime                                                                    
victims  in Alaska  courts, and  advancing  the interest  of                                                                    
crime victims. He  explained that SB 135  amended the Alaska                                                                    
statutes  to  strengthen  notification  standards  regarding                                                                    
requests  for  continuances  in criminal  trial  that  would                                                                    
delay prosecution of a case involving a crime victim.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman noted  the four  fiscal notes:  FN3 (DOC),                                                                    
FN2   (DOA),  new   indeterminate  fiscal   note  from   the                                                                    
Department of  Law, and  a new fiscal  impact note  from the                                                                    
Department of Administration.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator French noted  that the bill was filed  on January 6,                                                                    
and  since  that  time  the bill  became  more  focused  and                                                                    
definite.  Therefore,  the  indeterminate  fiscal  note  was                                                                    
replaced with  a fiscal  impact note. He  felt that  the new                                                                    
fiscal note was unwarranted.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB  135  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 135 Back Up Material.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Letters of Support.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Explanation of Changes.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Letter of Support - APOA.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 140 SJUD Changes.docx SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Letter of Support ABADA AMHB.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Letter of Support MOA.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Sponsor Statement v.B.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Support Article ADN 01.24.11.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Support Article ADN 11.15.11.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Support Article Alaska Dispatch 11.07.11.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Support Article Necrotizing Fasciitis due to 'Bath Salts' Injection.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Support Federal Registry.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Support MOA Bath Salts Ordinance.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
SB 140 Support SOA Epidemiology Bulletin.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 140
Copy of Community Fuel Costs January 2012 AKWarm.xlsx SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 203
SB 203 - Sponsor Statement Final.docx SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 203
SB 203 Energy Relief bill summary 2-17-12.docx SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 203
SB 203, Energy Assistance, Senate Finance.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 203
SB 203 Letter Packet.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 203
SB 203 RHA Support Letter Corrected.pdf SFIN 2/23/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 203