Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/25/2002 01:40 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
        HB 297-CRIMES: RESTITUTION & AGGRAVATING FACTORS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN MEYER, sponsor  of HB 297, said this bill has                                                              
been a learning experience for him,  as it has become a "Christmas                                                              
tree" bill.  He said  that is  acceptable to  him as the  original                                                              
intent  of  his legislation  is  still  intact and  the  additions                                                              
improve  the  juvenile  restitution  program.  He  explained  that                                                              
Section 2 of the committee substitute  contains the contents of HB                                                              
297.  It  adds  an aggravating  factor  when  drugs  or  excessive                                                              
alcohol are used to incapacitate  a person to the point where they                                                              
become  the   victim  of  a   sexual  assault.  He   believes  the                                                              
seriousness of such conduct should  be elevated in the eyes of the                                                              
court.  He  noted  that  sexual   assault  is  devastating  Alaska                                                              
communities.  He began  working on  this bill  because the  "date-                                                              
rape"  pill is  being used  to commit  more  sexual assaults.  Sex                                                              
offenders who  use those pills often  do so to prevent  the victim                                                              
from  resisting. CSHB  297(JUD)  does not  require  the courts  to                                                              
impose stricter penalties,  it simply gives the  court the ability                                                              
to do so.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER explained  the  other sections  of the  bill                                                              
amend the juvenile  restitution statutes and were  included at the                                                              
request of Senator Halford.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Section 1 creates a new section declaring  that if a conviction is                                                              
set aside, the  restitution will remain enforceable.  He explained                                                              
that  sometimes  a  conviction  is  set aside  when  part  of  the                                                              
sentence was  served. Section 1  ensures that restitution  is paid                                                              
even if the conviction is set aside.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Section  3  relates  to  delinquency   disposition  orders.  Under                                                              
current law,  juveniles and  parents are  required to submit  full                                                              
financial statements when restitution  is being decided. Section 3                                                              
requires full  financial statements  only when one  party requests                                                              
them. He noted  that in most cases, full financial  statements are                                                              
not necessary  because the  amount of restitution  is less  than a                                                              
permanent fund  dividend. However,  if damages run  into thousands                                                              
of dollars, full financial statements would be required.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Section 4  makes sure that  restitution orders are  not terminated                                                              
just because the  offender has "aged-out" of the  authority of the                                                              
juvenile  system.  Restitution  must   be  paid  even  though  the                                                              
                                   thth                                                                                         
offender has reached his or her 19 or 20 birthday.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Section  5  relates  to  the  paperwork  process  for  restitution                                                              
payments. The  current process  has the  paperwork going  from the                                                              
Department of  Health and Social  Services to the court  system to                                                              
the Department  of Law  for collection. Section  5 will  allow the                                                              
paperwork to go directly from the  Department of Health and Social                                                              
Services  to  the Department  of  Law  to  make the  process  more                                                              
efficient.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER  asked the  committee  to  support SCS  CSHB                                                              
297(HUD)  and noted  he  had several  people  available to  answer                                                              
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked what is repealed in Section 6.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER  said  it  applies  to  mandatory  financial                                                              
disclosure.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONLEY  moved to  adopt the  proposed Senate Judiciary  CS                                                              
(Luckhaupt  3/22/02, Version  S) as  the working  document of  the                                                              
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR  announced  that   without  objection,  SCS  CSHB                                                              
297(JUD) was before the committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER asked if the  committee needed to take action                                                              
on the concurrent resolution.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DONLEY  suggested  that  Chairman  Taylor  introduce  the                                                              
concurrent resolution on the Senate floor.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR maintained that it is "ready to go."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT noted  that,  in general,  a  bill contains  a                                                              
repeal section  when new statutory  sections are added but  he did                                                              
not see any.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR clarified  that  the new  material  was added  to                                                              
.120.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANNE CARPENETI,  representing  the Criminal  Division of  the                                                              
Department of Law, explained that  repealing the section requiring                                                              
mandatory financial  disclosure will  make disclosure  optional at                                                              
the  request  of  various  parties. For  example,  if  the  victim                                                              
advocate  requested  financial  disclosure,  the  court  would  be                                                              
required  to  order  it.  She  noted   in  most  cases,  financial                                                              
disclosure  is not necessary  because the  restitution amounts  to                                                              
less than the permanent fund dividend.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if the language  is being repositioned on                                                              
the bottom of page 2, line 29.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI said that is correct.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR   asked  if  the  requirement   that  orders  for                                                              
restitution  remain past  the  age of  minority  applies to  other                                                              
orders for restitution in district and superior courts.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  said she  believes so.  She noted this  requirement                                                              
has been  passed by  the legislature in  all forms of  restitution                                                              
and Section  1 actually clarifies  in statute that in  a suspended                                                              
imposition of sentence, the restitution order survives.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further testimony,  SENATOR DONLEY moved  SCS CSHB                                                              
297(JUD) from  committee with  individual recommendations  and any                                                              
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR  announced  that   without  objection,  SCS  CSHB                                                              
297(JUD)  moved  from  committee.   He  also  announced  that  the                                                              
committee  would  introduce  a  Senate  concurrent  resolution  to                                                              
provide for the title changes necessitated  by the changes made in                                                              
the committee substitute. There being  no further business to come                                                              
before the committee, he adjourned the meeting at 3:15 p.m.                                                                     

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