Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/28/2017 09:00 AM FINANCE

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                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 28, 2017                                                                                            
                         9:05 a.m.                                                                                              
9:05:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair MacKinnon called the Senate Finance Committee                                                                          
meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.                                                                                                   
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Vice-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Senator John Coghill, Sponsor; Jordan Shilling, Staff,                                                                          
Senator John Coghill; John Skidmore, Director, Criminal                                                                         
Division, Department of Law.                                                                                                    
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Jeff Edwards, Executive Director, Parole Board, Department                                                                      
of Corrections.                                                                                                                 
SB 54     CRIME AND SENTENCING                                                                                                  
          SB 54 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
SB 55     OMNIBUS CRIME/CORRECTIONS                                                                                             
          SB 55 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
SENATE BILL NO. 54                                                                                                            
     "An Act  relating to crime  and criminal  law; relating                                                                    
     to violation  of condition of release;  relating to sex                                                                    
     trafficking;  relating   to  sentencing;   relating  to                                                                    
     probation; relating  to the pretrial  services program;                                                                    
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
9:05:45 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR JOHN COGHILL,  SPONSOR, relayed that SB  54 was born                                                                    
as  the  result  of  necessary  corrections  to  SB  91.  He                                                                    
explained  that SB  91 had  been a  broad and  sweeping bill                                                                    
that encompassed many areas of  the criminal justice system.                                                                    
He said that there had  been both pushback and feedback from                                                                    
the passage  of SB 91.  He stated that the  Criminal Justice                                                                    
Commission had been tasked to  study the feedback and supply                                                                    
recommendations  to  the  legislature.  He  noted  that  the                                                                    
commission had  made recommendations in January  2017, which                                                                    
had been  included in  both SB  54 and  SB 55.  He explained                                                                    
that SB  54 would  be the  vehicle for  policy, while  SB 55                                                                    
would  focus  on more  technical  issues.  He described  the                                                                    
context of  SB 54,  which was that  the commission  had been                                                                    
asked  to craft  recommendations based  on data  based, data                                                                    
driven research, and across a  variety of disciplines in the                                                                    
criminal  justice system.  He said  that in  the process  if                                                                    
feedback  it  had been  discovered  that  public safety  and                                                                    
public  condemnation had  not been  addressed to  the degree                                                                    
that  the  public  felt  that   it  should  have  been.  The                                                                    
commission had  taken public  testimony, which  had informed                                                                    
some of the recommendations.  He related that the commission                                                                    
had presented  the recommendations  in February  2017, which                                                                    
was when  the bills had been  drafted. He stated that  SB 54                                                                    
dealt with the  4 major issues of penalties  for C felonies,                                                                    
4th degree  theft, violations of conditions  of release, and                                                                    
citation law.                                                                                                                   
9:10:12 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Coghill stated  that as  the commission  considered                                                                    
the   drivers,  there   had  been   political  tension   and                                                                    
consternation. He  lamented that the opioid  epidemic in the                                                                    
state was a  heavy burden for the people of  Alaska. He felt                                                                    
that the  epidemic was resulting  in increased theft,  and a                                                                    
vigilante  pushback  from  residents.  He  opined  that  the                                                                    
budget crisis had made it  more difficult to put more police                                                                    
on the streets  both at the state and local  levels. he said                                                                    
that  there were  fewer prosecutors  that  could take  cases                                                                    
expeditiously,  or even  at all.  He noted  that the  Alaska                                                                    
Court  System had  changed the  bail  schedule. He  stressed                                                                    
that the people of Alaska  had lost confidence in reform due                                                                    
to the previously mentioned reasons.                                                                                            
Senator  Coghill stated  that the  recommendations in  SB 54                                                                    
would change major policy decisions  that were geared toward                                                                    
anecdotal  testimony from  police  and the  public. He  said                                                                    
that the policy changes would  give police the tools to deal                                                                    
with  everything  from  the   violations  of  conditions  of                                                                    
release,  C felonies,  and other  citation  law. He  relayed                                                                    
that the  Department of  Law had testified  in front  of the                                                                    
commission about  the violations  of conditions  of release,                                                                    
4th  degree  theft,  and  C felonies.  He  shared  that  the                                                                    
commission   had   not   accepted  the   totality   of   the                                                                    
recommendation  for the  department. He  related that  after                                                                    
the   commission  released   their  report   the  department                                                                    
approached  the Senate  Judiciary  Committee  with a  strong                                                                    
case   that   the  penalty   for   C   felonies  should   be                                                                    
significantly  increased, and  that a  better tiered  system                                                                    
should exist  for 4th degree  theft. He admitted  that there                                                                    
had  been tension  over whether  to offer  behavior changing                                                                    
methodologies to criminals or punishment.                                                                                       
9:14:45 AM                                                                                                                    
JORDAN SHILLING, STAFF, SENATOR  JOHN COGHILL, discussed the                                                                    
presentation  "Senate  Bill  54  - An  Overview,"  (copy  on                                                                    
Mr. Shilling showed Slide 2, "SB 91":                                                                                           
        · Implements an evidence-based pretrial system.                                                                         
        · Focuses prison space on serious and violent                                                                           
        · Strengthens probation and parole supervision.                                                                         
        · Improves reentry programming.                                                                                         
        · Ensures oversight and accountability.                                                                                 
        · Reinvests in programs proven to reduce recidivism                                                                     
          and protect public safety.                                                                                            
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  clarified   that  the   SB  91   under                                                                    
discussion  had  been  passed during  the  29th  legislative                                                                    
9:15:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling turned to Slide 3, " SB 91 (cont.)":                                                                               
     Reforms expected to reduce the prison population by                                                                        
    13% over 10 years.  Projected to save $380 million.                                                                         
     Reinvests $99 million over 6 years into pretrial                                                                           
     supervision, victims' services, violence prevention,                                                                       
     substance abuse treatment, and re-entry services.                                                                          
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked if the  projected savings  over 10                                                                    
years included capital costs.                                                                                                   
Mr. Shilling  clarified that the  $380 million  was premised                                                                    
on  sending   inmates  out-of-state,   which  would   be  an                                                                    
operating cost.                                                                                                                 
9:17:29 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  von   Imhof  asked  whether  a   particular  inmate                                                                    
demographic was being targeted for reduction.                                                                                   
Mr. Shilling stated  that SB 91 had focused  largely on non-                                                                    
violent  offenders,   and  that  there  were   a  number  of                                                                    
exceptions  to  the  policies   that  excluded  violent  and                                                                    
serious   offenders   from   being  eligible   for   certain                                                                    
provisions of the bill.                                                                                                         
9:18:20 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.   Shilling   displayed   Slide  4,   "AK   Crime   Rates                                                                    
(1987 -  2016)," which showed  6 graphs detailing  the crime                                                                    
rates  per 100,000  in  Alaska  from 1986  to  2015, in  the                                                                    
following categories:                                                                                                           
     · All Crime                                                                                                                
     · Violent Crime                                                                                                            
     · Rape                                                                                                                     
     · Homicide                                                                                                                 
     · Aggravated Assault                                                                                                       
     · Robbery                                                                                                                  
Mr. Shilling  contended that the  perception that  crime had                                                                    
increased in  the state because  of SB 91 was  not supported                                                                    
by data. He argued that  crime began increasing in the state                                                                    
in 2015,  before the introduction  of SB 91,  but coinciding                                                                    
with the  rise of  the opioid epidemic  in the  state, mixed                                                                    
with the economic recession.                                                                                                    
9:19:11 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling spoke to Slide 5, "SB 54 Summary":                                                                                 
        1. Violation of Conditions of Release (VCOR)                                                                            
        2. Sex Trafficking                                                                                                      
        3. C-Felony Sentencing                                                                                                  
        4. Sex Offender Probation                                                                                               
        5. A-Misdemeanor Sentencing                                                                                             
        6. B-Misdemeanor Sentencing (Theft 4)                                                                                   
        7. No Valid Operator's License (NVOL)                                                                                   
        8. Municipal Authority                                                                                                  
        9. Pretrial Risk Assessments                                                                                            
9:19:49 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling  reviewed Slide 6, "Violation  of Conditions of                                                                    
Release (VCOR) (Sections 1, 2, 9)":                                                                                             
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     Reclassify   VCOR   as    an   arrestable,   detainable                                                                    
     violation, rather than a misdemeanor.                                                                                      
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Return VCOR to a misdemeanor punishable by 0-5 days                                                                        
     active imprisonment.                                                                                                       
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Per ACJC 2017 recommendation.                                                                                              
Mr.  Shilling  expanded  that in  2015  the  commission  had                                                                    
recommended that  VCOR be downgraded  to a  violation, which                                                                    
had been enacted  through SB 91, but would be  returned to a                                                                    
misdemeanor  under SB  54.  He said  that  the change  would                                                                    
ensure  that offenders  were held  in jail  awaiting a  bail                                                                    
review hearing in the underlying offence.                                                                                       
9:21:17 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.    Shilling   showed    Slide   7,    "Sex   Trafficking                                                                    
(Sections 3, 4, 5, 13, 14, 18)":                                                                                                
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Repeal loophole created by HB 349 and address over-                                                                        
     broadness of sex trafficking statutes.                                                                                     
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Per ACJC 2017 recommendation.                                                                                              
Mr. Shilling  noted that the  changes that were made  to sex                                                                    
trafficking laws under SB 91  had not been recommendation of                                                                    
the commission  but were inserted  by the house in  2016. He                                                                    
lamented that  the insertion of  the language had  created a                                                                    
loophole  in statute  whereby a  sex-trafficker could  avoid                                                                    
prosecution. He  said that SB  54 would repeal  the loophole                                                                    
created through  in insertion  of HB 348  into SB  91, while                                                                    
striking the balance originally intended by SB 91.                                                                              
9:23:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.     Shilling     discussed    slide     8,     "C-Felony                                                                    
Section 6":                                                                                                                     
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     Establish a presumptive range of 0-18 months suspended                                                                     
     imprisonment for first-time felony offenders.                                                                              
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Establish a presumptive range of 0-90 days active                                                                          
     imprisonment for first-felony offenders.                                                                                   
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Establishes presumptive range of 0-365 days active                                                                         
     imprisonment for first-felony offenders.                                                                                   
Mr.  Shilling  related that  the  purpose  for the  original                                                                    
recommendation  had been  to provide  community supervision,                                                                    
allow the offender to maintain  ties to their community, and                                                                    
to  assure that  the offender  would be  complying with  the                                                                    
conditions  of release.  He said  that the  commission heard                                                                    
numerous reports  during the interim that  the provision did                                                                    
not effectively express community condemnation.                                                                                 
9:24:36 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Shilling  showed  Slide   9,  "Sex  Offender  Probation                                                                    
Section 7":                                                                                                                     
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     Establish a  maximum probation term  length of  5 years                                                                    
     for felony sex offenders.                                                                                                  
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Require sex  offenders serve a  period of  probation as                                                                    
     part of their sentence.                                                                                                    
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Establishes  mandatory minimum  probation term  lengths                                                                    
     for felony sex offenders:                                                                                                  
        · 15 years for an unclassified felony                                                                                   
        · 10 years for an A or B felony                                                                                         
        · 5 years for a C felony                                                                                                
Mr. Shilling said that SB 54 established minimums, which                                                                        
had not been reinstated by the previous legislature.                                                                            
9:26:19 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling spoke to Slide 10, "Class A Misdemeanors                                                                           
Sections 8, 11, 12":                                                                                                            
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     Establish  0-30   day  presumptive   sentencing  range,                                                                    
     allowing  0-1 year  for  aggravators, including  repeat                                                                    
     criminal history.                                                                                                          
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Add  an aggravating  factor  for  class A  misdemeanors                                                                    
     that  allows a  0-60 day  sentence for  defendants with                                                                    
     one prior similar conviction and  0-1 year for third or                                                                    
     subsequent convictions.                                                                                                    
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Per ACJC 2017 recommendation with  the addition of a 5-                                                                    
     year "look back" period.                                                                                                   
Mr.  Shilling  elaborated  that  prosecutors  had  expressed                                                                    
concern  that the  escalation in  sentencing would  occur on                                                                    
the third, rather than the  second conviction, which had led                                                                    
to the 2017 commission recommendation.                                                                                          
9:27:55 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.     Shilling    showed     Slide     11,    "Theft     4                                                                    
(Section 10)":                                                                                                                  
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     Reduce  first-  and  second-time theft  offenses  under                                                                    
     $250  to   non-jailable  misdemeanors,  and   0-5  days                                                                    
     suspended   imprisonment   for  third   or   subsequent                                                                    
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Provide for 0-10 days active imprisonment for third or                                                                     
     subsequent offenses.                                                                                                       
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Provides for 0-5 days active imprisonment for a second                                                                     
     offense, and 0-10 days active imprisonment for third                                                                       
     or subsequent offense.                                                                                                     
Mr. Shilling relayed  that in 2015 the  commission had found                                                                    
that more  than half  of the theft  4 offenders  stole items                                                                    
values  at around  $50, mostly  alcohol and  toiletries, and                                                                    
served an  average of 23  days in prison -  post conviction.                                                                    
Considering research on low-level  offenders, and the desire                                                                    
to redirect  low-level offenders to other  alternatives than                                                                    
prison,  the commission  made the  2015 recommendation.  The                                                                    
commission  received feedback  that asserted  that offenders                                                                    
had become emboldened  by the provision in SB  91, which led                                                                    
to  the  revised  2017 recommendation,  and  eventually  the                                                                    
Senate Judiciary CS of SB 54.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked whether there had  been discussion                                                                    
regarding job  loss and  loss of  housing for  offenders who                                                                    
were incarcerated.                                                                                                              
Mr. Shilling recalled  that there had been  research done on                                                                    
the  destabilizing   and  mildly  criminogenic   effects  of                                                                    
detaining low-level, non-violent  offenders beyond 24 hours.                                                                    
he  noted  that  the  research had  been  specific  to  drug                                                                    
offenses. He  believed that the  latest policy  was intended                                                                    
to  express   community  condemnation   and  to   provide  a                                                                    
deterrence effect to theft.                                                                                                     
9:31:07 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Shilling  spoke  to  Slide  12,  "No  Valid  Operator's                                                                    
License(NVOL) (Section 15)":                                                                                                    
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     Reclassify driving with a suspended license (DWLS) to                                                                      
     a violation when the underlying suspension is not                                                                          
     related to DUI.                                                                                                            
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Reclassify driving without a valid license to an                                                                           
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Per ACJC 2017 recommendation.                                                                                              
9:32:13 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling discussed Slide 13, "Municipal Authority                                                                           
Section 16":                                                                                                                    
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     Restrict municipalities from incarcerating beyond the                                                                      
     penalty that can be imposed under state law.                                                                               
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Clarify that the restriction does not apply to non-                                                                        
     criminal offenses.                                                                                                         
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Per ACJC 2017 recommendation.                                                                                              
Mr. Shilling shared that there had been some confusion in                                                                       
Anchorage about the recommendation; the 2017 recommendation                                                                     
clarification made clear the restriction.                                                                                       
9:33:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling viewed Slide 14, " Pretrial Risk Assessments                                                                       
Section 17":                                                                                                                    
     ACJC Recommendation (2015)                                                                                                 
     Assess each defendant for risk prior to a pretrial                                                                         
     release decision.                                                                                                          
     ACJC Recommendation (2017)                                                                                                 
     Limit assessment requirement to only defendants in                                                                         
     custody after arrest.                                                                                                      
     SB 54 (Senate Judiciary CS)                                                                                                
     Per ACJC 2017 recommendation.                                                                                              
9:34:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling showed Slide 15, " SB 54 Summary":                                                                                 
        1. Violation of Conditions of Release (VCOR)                                                                            
        2. Sex Trafficking                                                                                                      
        3. C-Felony Sentencing                                                                                                  
        4. Sex Offender Probation                                                                                               
        5. A-Misdemeanor Sentencing                                                                                             
        6. B-Misdemeanor Sentencing (Theft 4)                                                                                   
        7. No Valid Operator's License (NVOL)                                                                                   
        8. Municipal Authority                                                                                                  
        9. Pretrial Risk Assessments                                                                                            
Senator Olson  asked whether there had  been sufficient time                                                                    
to observe  the effects of  SB 91. He suggested  that making                                                                    
changes before the effects of  SB 91 had been fully realized                                                                    
might be premature.                                                                                                             
Senator  Coghill stated  that the  matter was  under ongoing                                                                    
discussion.  He  said  that the  commission  was  conducting                                                                    
ongoing reports.  He notes  that there were  parts of  SB 91                                                                    
that  had yet  to  be implemented.  He  relayed that  public                                                                    
confidence was driving  the current desire for  change to SB                                                                    
9:35:31 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson  Thought that  it could  be wasteful  to spend                                                                    
money changing  legislation that  was still in  its infancy,                                                                    
although  he  understood  the  drive  for  increased  public                                                                    
Senator  Coghill  stated  that  incarceration  levels  would                                                                    
likely increase under SB 54,  in varying ranges. He lamented                                                                    
the tension  between scofflaw and  public confidence  in the                                                                    
law,  and the  ability to  deter offenders  and rehabilitate                                                                    
them through programmatic change.                                                                                               
9:37:28 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dunleavy asked  to review Slide 3.  He wondered what                                                                    
had contributed to the apparent crime surge in 1995.                                                                            
Mr. Shilling replied  that he had not examined  the spike in                                                                    
crime for that time. He detailed  that the data on the slide                                                                    
was broken into two  reports, separated by property offences                                                                    
and  violent  offences.  He offered  to  provide  additional                                                                    
details at a later date.                                                                                                        
Senator  Dunleavy noted  that  there was  a  spike in  crime                                                                    
happening around 2012 or 2013  as well. He asked whether Mr.                                                                    
Shilling had any information on  the crime surge during that                                                                    
Mr. Shilling responded that he  did not have any thoughts to                                                                    
offer but would research the  matter and provide detail at a                                                                    
later date.                                                                                                                     
9:39:18 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Micciche  referred to Article  1, Section 12  of the                                                                    
Alaska Constitution:                                                                                                            
     Section 12. Criminal Administration                                                                                      
          Excessive   bail  shall   not  be   required,  nor                                                                  
          excessive  fines imposed,  nor  cruel and  unusual                                                                  
          punishments  inflicted.   Criminal  administration                                                                  
          shall be  based upon  the following: the  need for                                                                  
          protecting the  public, community  condemnation of                                                                  
          the  offender, the  rights  of  victims of  crime,                                                                  
          restitution from  the offender, and  the principle                                                                  
          of reformation.                                                                                                     
Senator Micciche  noted that the  section did not  provide a                                                                    
minimum dollar amount. He thought  the changed that had been                                                                    
made   in   SB   91  no   longer   followed   constitutional                                                                    
expectation. He thought  that the changes proposed  in SB 54                                                                    
were necessary.                                                                                                                 
Senator  Coghill  agreed  that  Article  1  applied  to  the                                                                    
conversation   surrounding  public   confidence,  which   he                                                                    
believed was important  for public safety. He  opined that a                                                                    
lack of  prosecutors and  law enforcement  had also  posed a                                                                    
challenge to  public confidence.  He said  that the  crux of                                                                    
the problem  was how to  rehabilitate offenders  while still                                                                    
expressing   public   condemnation    and   holding   people                                                                    
accountable for their actions.                                                                                                  
9:42:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Micciche  wondered how the law  could be effectively                                                                    
and  clearly  presented  to law  enforcement  so  that  they                                                                    
understood  all  the  tools available  to  them  for  public                                                                    
Senator Coghill considered that  the courts, the police, and                                                                    
the  public  were observing  the  committee's  work and  any                                                                    
changes that  might be made  to policy. He spoke  of support                                                                    
for the  police and the  need for an intolerance  for laxity                                                                    
in the  law. He believed  in the practice of  a deliberative                                                                    
and democratic legislative process.  He lamented that he had                                                                    
battled   people  that   had   targeted  SB   91,  and   had                                                                    
misinformation, but that there  were people working in order                                                                    
to  craft  the  best  possible policy.  He  emphasized  that                                                                    
Alaska could  not afford an  increase in  prisons, troopers,                                                                    
or prosecutors.  He hoped that  a comprehensive  fiscal plan                                                                    
put forth by the legislature  would enable the state to meet                                                                    
constitutionally required responsibilities.                                                                                     
9:45:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  von Imhof  referred to  the third  bullet point  on                                                                    
Slide 2                                                                                                                         
   · Strengthens probation and parole supervision.                                                                              
Senator von  Imhof said that  she had heard that  parole had                                                                    
changed for  offenders that allowed for  leniency; probation                                                                    
for 1st  degree murder had been  lowered from 10 years  to 2                                                                    
Mr. Shilling stated that there  had been many misconceptions                                                                    
about the  parole changes made  through SB 91.  He clarified                                                                    
that the point  at which a convicted  murderer became parole                                                                    
was  after serving  one-third of  their sentence,  which was                                                                    
the  practice  before  SB  91,   and  remained  the  current                                                                    
practice. He furthered that upon  serving one-third of their                                                                    
sentence the offender would be  eligible for a discretionary                                                                    
parole   hearing  -   the  parole   board  would   have  the                                                                    
opportunity to grant or deny  the request. He explained that                                                                    
a  provision  of  case  law allowed  the  parole  board  the                                                                    
ability to  delay the next  discretionary parole  hearing by                                                                    
10  years. He  suggested that  the Department  of Law  could                                                                    
provide  further clarification.  He shared  that SB  91 made                                                                    
available   to   offenders   the  ability   to   apply   for                                                                    
discretionary parole 2 years following a denial.                                                                                
9:47:56 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon requested  that  the  Department of  Law                                                                    
speak to the issue of misinformation concerning parole.                                                                         
JOHN  SKIDMORE, DIRECTOR,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
LAW, stated that  he had heard the  issue discussed multiple                                                                    
times  during town  hall meetings  throughout the  state. He                                                                    
agreed  that SB  91 had  not  changed when  a person  became                                                                    
eligible for  discretionary parole  for murder in  the first                                                                    
degree. He  explained that the  change that had  occurred in                                                                    
SB  91  was   to  specify  in  statute   how  frequently  an                                                                    
individual was to have a  discretionary parole hearing after                                                                    
their  initial  hearing. He  said  that  there had  been  no                                                                    
requirement under previous statutory law.                                                                                       
9:50:28 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked  whether Jeff  Edwards  from  the                                                                    
parole board could speak to Senator von Imhof's question.                                                                       
JEFF EDWARDS,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PAROLE  BOARD, DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF  CORRECTIONS  (via  teleconference),  did  not  have  any                                                                    
contrary information  to offer,  and stated that  the board,                                                                    
before SB  91, had  a rule  that applicants  had to  wait 10                                                                    
years  to  reapply  after  denial. He  relayed  that  SB  91                                                                    
limited  that wait  time to  2  years, in  which the  person                                                                    
could come back before the board to make their case.                                                                            
Senator von  Imhof queried the  rationale behind  the change                                                                    
form 10 years to 2 years.                                                                                                       
Mr.  Shilling  stated  that   AS  33.16.130,  subsection  c,                                                                    
directed that  the board "may" schedule  a subsequent parole                                                                    
hearing  at the  time of  denial  within 2  years after  the                                                                    
first parole eligibility.                                                                                                       
Senator  von Imhof  felt  that the  change  made the  public                                                                    
uncomfortable  and   hoped  that  some  background   on  the                                                                    
conversations that led  to the change could  be brought back                                                                    
before the committee.                                                                                                           
9:53:00 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche  asked  whether   Mr.  Skidmore  would  be                                                                    
available later in the day to take questions.                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon answered in the affirmative. She                                                                             
elaborated that he would be before the committee as invited                                                                     
testimony during the 1:30 pm meeting.                                                                                           
Co-Chair MacKinnon solicited further questions on the                                                                           
legislation. She noted that public hearing would be taken                                                                       
on the bill at 1:30 pm. She discussed further housekeeping.                                                                     
SENATE BILL NO. 55                                                                                                            
     "An  Act  relating  to   criminal  law  and  procedure;                                                                    
     relating   to   controlled  substances;   relating   to                                                                    
     sentencing;  relating  to   the  period  of  probation;                                                                    
     relating   to   revocation,  termination,   suspension,                                                                    
     cancellation,  or restoration  of  a driver's  license;                                                                    
     relating  to  parole; relating  to  the  duties of  the                                                                    
     Department of Corrections and  the Department of Health                                                                    
     and  Social Services;  and providing  for an  effective                                                                    
9:54:01 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Coghill offered a sponsor statement for SB 55:                                                                          
     Senate  Bill  55  makes   technical  revisions  to  the                                                                    
     criminal   justice  reform   package   passed  by   the                                                                    
     legislature in  2016, pursuant to  recommendations made                                                                    
     by  the Alaska  Criminal Justice  Commission. Technical                                                                    
     revisions are necessary to  provide clarity and improve                                                                    
9:54:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling reviewed the document "Senate Bill 55                                                                              
Sectional Summary - Omnibus Crime/Corrections":                                                                                 
     Section 1                                                                                                              
     AS 11.46.280(d) - Issuing a bad check.                                                                                     
     Removes inadvertent inflation-adjustment of $25,000.                                                                       
     Section 2                                                                                                              
     AS 11.46.285(b) - Fraudulent use of an access device.                                                                      
     Removes inadvertent inflation-adjustment of $25,000.                                                                       
     Section 3                                                                                                              
     AS 11.46.730(c) - Defrauding creditors.                                                                                    
     Removes inadvertent inflation-adjustment of $25,000.                                                                       
     Section 4                                                                                                              
     AS  11.71.050(a)  -   Misconduct  involving  controlled                                                                    
     substances in the fourth degree                                                                                            
     Eliminates penalty overlap for  possession of less than                                                                    
     an  ounce of  a VIA  controlled substance  and excludes                                                                    
     two  forms   of  felony  possession  of   a  controlled                                                                    
     substance from  the offense  of misconduct  involving a                                                                    
     controlled substance  in the fourth degree,  to conform                                                                    
     to MICS 2 and 3.                                                                                                           
     Section 5                                                                                                              
     AS 12.55.011(b)  - Victim and community  involvement in                                                                    
     Clarifies that  the court shall  only provide  the form                                                                    
     to the victim if practicable.                                                                                              
     Section 6                                                                                                              
    AS 12.55.015(a) - Authorized sentences; forfeiture.                                                                         
     Provides explicit authority to  the court to suspend an                                                                    
     entry of judgment.                                                                                                         
     Section 7                                                                                                              
     AS 12.55.045(l) - Restitution and compensation.                                                                            
     Ensures that a restitution  order is not discharged and                                                                    
     remains  enforceable  when  a proceeding  is  dismissed                                                                    
     under a suspended entry of judgment.                                                                                       
9:56:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling continued to discuss the Sectional Summary:                                                                        
     Section 8                                                                                                              
     AS 12.55.078(a) - Suspended entry of judgment.                                                                             
     Clarifies that the  court may not impose  a sentence of                                                                    
     imprisonment in a suspended entry of judgment.                                                                             
     Section 9                                                                                                              
     AS 12.55.078(d) - Suspended entry of judgment.                                                                             
     Clarifies when  the court  shall discharge  and dismiss                                                                    
     proceedings  in  a  suspended  entry  of  judgment  and                                                                    
     clarifies that a person  who has successfully completed                                                                    
     probation and the requirements of  a suspended entry of                                                                    
     judgment is not convicted of a crime.                                                                                      
     Section 10                                                                                                             
     AS 12.55.078(f) - Suspended entry of judgment.                                                                             
     Clarifies  that the  crimes for  which SEJ  may not  be                                                                    
     used  are  the  crimes  currently  charged,  not  prior                                                                    
     Section 11                                                                                                             
     AS 12.55.090(c) - Granting of probation                                                                                    
     Clarifies that the maximum probation  term for a felony                                                                    
     sex offense  is 15 years, while  all other unclassified                                                                    
    felonies have a maximum probation term of 10 years.                                                                         
     Section 12                                                                                                             
     AS  18.65.865(b)  -  Service   of  process;  forms  for                                                                    
     petitions  and  orders; fees;  warnings;  notification;                                                                    
     and pending civil or criminal actions.                                                                                     
     Updates  the maximum  fine that  may  be imposed  under                                                                    
     this section to  conform to an increase  in the maximum                                                                    
     fine for a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                            
     Section 13                                                                                                             
     AS 18.66.130(d) - Specific protective orders.                                                                              
     Updates  the maximum  fine that  may  be imposed  under                                                                    
     this section to  conform to an increase  in the maximum                                                                    
     fine for a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                            
     Section 14                                                                                                             
     AS  28.15.165(e)   -  Administrative   revocations  and                                                                    
     disqualifications  resulting   from  chemical  sobriety                                                                    
     tests and refusals to submit to tests.                                                                                     
     Clarifies   that   the   dismissal  of   all   charges,                                                                    
     regardless   of   prejudice,   serves   to   meet   the                                                                    
     requirement of this section.                                                                                               
     Section 15                                                                                                             
     AS 44.19.645(g) - Powers and duties of the commission                                                                      
     Requires  the  Department   of  Corrections  to  report                                                                    
     certain data to the  Alaska Criminal Justice Commission                                                                    
     regarding earned compliance credits for parolees.                                                                          
     Section 16                                                                                                             
     AS 47.37.040 - Duties of the department.                                                                                   
     Authorizes the Alcohol Safety  Action Program to accept                                                                    
     referrals     from     the      court     for     minor                                                                    
     consuming/possession and similar offenses.                                                                                 
     Section 17                                                                                                             
     AS  33.16.120(h)   -  Rights  of  certain   victims  in                                                                    
     connection with parole.                                                                                                    
     Resolves a drafting error  that requires the Department                                                                    
     of  Corrections to  provide notifications  for hearings                                                                    
     that will not occur.                                                                                                       
     Section 18                                                                                                             
     Uncodified law - applicability                                                                                             
     This section contains applicability provisions.                                                                            
     Section 19                                                                                                             
     Uncodified law - applicability                                                                                             
     This   section    contains   applicability   provisions                                                                    
     clarifying  that  no decisions  made  by  the Board  of                                                                    
     Parole  prior  to January  1,  2017  that extended  the                                                                    
     period of  supervision beyond the maximum  release date                                                                    
     are to  be construed as  invalidated by the  passage of                                                                    
     SB 91 (2016).                                                                                                              
     There   is  further   clarification  that   the  earned                                                                    
     compliance credit  for parolees does not  apply to time                                                                    
     served prior to January 1, 2017.                                                                                           
     Section 20                                                                                                             
     Uncodified law - effective date                                                                                            
     This bill takes effect immediately.                                                                                        
9:59:43 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  von  Imhof  asked  about  Section  5  and  wondered                                                                    
whether the section  referred to the form  being provided to                                                                    
victims  at  the beginning  of  the  sentencing process,  or                                                                    
anytime during the process.                                                                                                     
Mr.  Shilling assumed  that the  provision pertained  to the                                                                    
time the sentence was imposed.                                                                                                  
Senator   von  Imhof   understood   that   there  could   be                                                                    
circumstances  where  it  would   be  difficult  to  contact                                                                    
victims  for  notification.  She  wondered  how  a  victim's                                                                    
constitutional right to know about  changes in an offender's                                                                    
status would be upheld.                                                                                                         
Mr. Shilling agreed  that a victim did have the  right to be                                                                    
appraised of the  status of their offender.  He informed the                                                                    
committee the  Department of Corrections did  notify victims                                                                    
of a  change in offender  custody status through  the Victim                                                                    
Information  and  Notification   Everyday  (VINE)  automated                                                                    
system. He clarified that the  section in question was a new                                                                    
requirement under  SB 91 for  the court to provide  the form                                                                    
if practicable. He  believed that the language  was meant to                                                                    
accommodate for the  fact that many victims did  not show up                                                                    
to, or be any part of,  sentencing hearings. He said that it                                                                    
was not  the primary  function of the  court system  to keep                                                                    
contact information  for victims,  which made  providing the                                                                    
form a challenge.                                                                                                               
10:03:42 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Micciche referred  to Section  4, and  relayed that                                                                    
there had been  complaints in his community  of the increase                                                                    
in drug  related crime, which  he understood had  begun long                                                                    
before  the passage  of  SB  91. He  noted  that  SB 91  was                                                                    
designed to rely on treatment  and reinvestment but wondered                                                                    
how a  person possessing a controlled  substance could stand                                                                    
before  a  judge and  be  offered  treatment, without  first                                                                    
being arrested.                                                                                                                 
Mr. Shilling explained  that SB 91 did not  prevent a person                                                                    
from  being  charged  or   convicted  for  misdemeanor  drug                                                                    
possession.  He   furthered  active  imprisonment   was  not                                                                    
necessary  for  the  court  to  impose  a  requirement  that                                                                    
someone  go   to  treatment.  He   added  that   there  were                                                                    
mechanisms in place  that allowed the court  to require that                                                                    
someone  get treatment  and have  consequences  if they  did                                                                    
not.  He  said  that   research  had  shown  that  enhancing                                                                    
criminal penalties  was not an  effective way  of addressing                                                                    
drug epidemics.                                                                                                                 
10:05:39 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Micciche  clarified his  statement as being  about a                                                                    
plan of  action for  dealing with the  drug epidemic  in the                                                                    
state.  He  stated  that  people  being  caught  with  small                                                                    
quantities of  drugs should be offered  treatment because it                                                                    
was only  a matter of  time before  they turned to  crime to                                                                    
support their addiction.                                                                                                        
10:06:49 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon solicited further questions.                                                                                 
Vice-Chair  Bishop discussed  the  fiscal notes  for SB  55.                                                                    
There  was  a  new  fiscal  note  from  the  Judiciary  (OMB                                                                    
component 768),  which was a  zero-fiscal note.  He reviewed                                                                    
additional  zero fiscal  notes: FN1  from the  Department of                                                                    
Public Safety, FN  2 from the Department  of Corrections, FN                                                                    
3  from the  Department  of Administration,  FN  4 from  the                                                                    
Department  of Health  and Social  Services, FN  5 from  the                                                                    
Department of  Administration, FN  6 from the  Department of                                                                    
Administration, and FN 7 from the Department of Law.                                                                            
SB 55 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed housekeeping.                                                                                      
10:09:38 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 10:09 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 55 - Sectional Summary (ver. N).pdf SFIN 3/28/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 55
SB 54 Senate Bill 54 Presentation.pdf SFIN 3/28/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 54