Legislature(2011 - 2012)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/13/2012 08:00 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 198 POLICE OFFICER PROTECTIONS/CERTIFICATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 198(JUD) Out of Committee
+= HB 343 DISCLOSURE OF CHILDREN'S RECORDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 343(JUD) am Out of Committee
+ HB 234 PICKETING AND PROTESTS AT FUNERALS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS HB 234(STA) Out of Committee
+ HB 255 READING OR TYPING MESSAGE WHILE DRIVING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 255(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 50 ACCESS TO LICENSED PREMISES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 50(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 296 ESCAPE/SERVICE ON PRISONERS/MONITORING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 296(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        SB 198-POLICE OFFICER PROTECTIONS/CERTIFICATION                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:34:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  FRENCH announced  the  consideration of  SB  198, "An  Act                                                               
establishing  procedures  relating  to issuance,  suspension,  or                                                               
revocation  of certification  of  police officers  by the  police                                                               
standards council; making certain  court service officers subject                                                               
to  certification   by  the  police  standards   council;  making                                                               
confidential  certain information  that  personally identifies  a                                                               
police  officer;  relating  to  requesting  or  requiring  police                                                               
officers to submit  to lie detector tests;  repealing a provision                                                               
exempting  certain police  officers  from  a prohibition  against                                                               
requiring certain employees to submit  to lie detector tests; and                                                               
providing for an effective date." He  asked for a motion to adopt                                                               
the proposed committee substitute (CS).                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:34:20 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  moved to adopt  CS for SB 198,  labeled 27-                                                               
LS1306\U, as the working document.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH announced  that without  objection,  version U  was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:34:56 AM                                                                                                                    
THOMAS PRESLEY,  intern to  Senator Wielechowski,  explained that                                                               
the  CS  removed  Section  2 relating  to  clear  and  convincing                                                               
evidence.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH reviewed  a  letter from  the  ACLU that  expressed                                                               
three  concerns. The  primary concern  was addressed  by removing                                                               
Section  2.  Another  concern   related  to  the  confidentiality                                                               
provision  in  what  is  now Section  5.  As  currently  drafted,                                                               
confidentiality is so  tight a police officer who is  a bad actor                                                               
would be  insulated from accountability  for his or  her actions.                                                               
For  example, a  woman who  was  assaulted by  an unknown  police                                                               
officer would  be unable  to even  look at a  photo array  of the                                                               
officers on duty when she was assaulted.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He directed attention to page 3,  lines 18 and 20. Both paragraph                                                               
(1) and  (2) say a  police officer's information  is confidential                                                               
unless  the  officer has  been  lawfully  arrested. He  suggested                                                               
removing  the terms  "lawfully arrested"  in  both instances  and                                                               
replace it with the terms "under investigation."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI agreed that was reasonable.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:36:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH moved Amendment 1.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 18:                                                                                                           
          Delete "lawfully arrested"                                                                                            
          Insert "under investigation"                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 20:                                                                                                           
          Delete "lawfully arrested"                                                                                            
          Insert "under investigation"                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH  found  objection  and  announced  Amendment  1  is                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He noted  that the ACLU  also expressed concern about  the weight                                                               
given to prior findings  of fact, but his view was  that it was a                                                               
nuanced issue about which reasonable minds could differ.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  explained  that  the intent  was  to  give                                                               
substantial weight  to the finding  when the arbitrators  and the                                                               
courts find that a disciplinary action was not warranted.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  expressed reservations and asked  the sponsor to                                                               
remind him why  it was the right  thing to do to  give an officer                                                               
the ability to refuse to take a lie detector test.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  explained that the basis  for the exclusion                                                               
is that several court cases  questioned the validity of polygraph                                                               
tests.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRESLEY added that at one  point the Supreme Court decided to                                                               
allow individual jurisdictions to use  their discretion on how to                                                               
use polygraph  information. This gave  credence to the  idea that                                                               
the tests  were not necessarily unreliable,  but certainly quasi-                                                               
scientific.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  said he  continued  to  have reservations,  but                                                               
realized that a refusal could actually be incriminating.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRENCH found  no further questions or  discussion and asked                                                               
for a motion.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:40:58 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  moved to  report CS for  SB 198,  version U                                                               
[as amended], from committee  with individual recommendations and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH  announced  that without  objection  CSSB  198(JUD)                                                               
moved from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                             

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