Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/19/2014 01:30 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Teleconference --
* SB 180 POLICE STANDARDS COUNCIL
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
HB 292 2014 REVISOR'S BILL
Scheduled But Not Heard
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= SB 176 REG. OF FIREARMS/KNIVES BY UNIVERSITY
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 19, 2014                                                                                         
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Lesil McGuire, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Donald Olson                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 180                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to the  composition, powers, and duties  of the                                                               
Alaska Police Standards Council;  and requiring agencies that are                                                               
regulated  by  the Alaska  Police  Standards  Council to  provide                                                               
certain  information about  the  council to  persons  who file  a                                                               
complaint  about  the  conduct  of a  police  officer,  probation                                                               
officer,  parole  officer,  municipal  correctional  officer,  or                                                               
correctional officer."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 292(JUD)                                                                                
"An Act  making corrective amendments  to the Alaska  Statutes as                                                               
recommended  by the  revisor of  statutes; and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 176                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the regulation  of firearms and knives by the                                                               
University of Alaska."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 180                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POLICE STANDARDS COUNCIL                                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MCGUIRE                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/19/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/14       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/19/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 176                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REG. OF FIREARMS/KNIVES BY UNIVERSITY                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COGHILL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/14/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/14       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/03/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/03/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/14       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/05/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/05/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/05/14       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/10/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/10/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/10/14       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/14/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/17/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/17/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/17/14       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
NANCY MEANS, representing herself                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 180.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
NORMAN MEANS, representing himself                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in SB 180.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KELLY ALZAHARNA, Executive Director                                                                                             
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 180                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOHN SKIDMORE, Director                                                                                                         
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Legal Services Section                                                                                                          
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 180.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAD HUTCHISON, Staff                                                                                                           
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented Version Y  of SB 176 on  behalf of                                                             
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HANS RODVICK, Intern                                                                                                            
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented information  related to SB  176 on                                                             
behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK GAMBLE, President                                                                                                       
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 176.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  JOHN   COGHILL  called   the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 1:32 p.m.  Present  at the call to                                                               
order were Senators McGuire, Dyson, and Chair Coghill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                SB 180-POLICE STANDARDS COUNCIL                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:34:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  the consideration  of SB  180. "An  Act                                                               
relating to  the composition,  powers, and  duties of  the Alaska                                                               
Police  Standards  Council;  and   requiring  agencies  that  are                                                               
regulated  by  the Alaska  Police  Standards  Council to  provide                                                               
certain  information about  the  council to  persons  who file  a                                                               
complaint  about  the  conduct  of a  police  officer,  probation                                                               
officer,  parole  officer,  municipal  correctional  officer,  or                                                               
correctional officer." This was the first hearing.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:34:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE, sponsor of SB  180, introduced the bill speaking                                                               
to the following sponsor statement:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     With my introduction of SB 180, it is my hope that no                                                                      
       other Alaskan is put in a position where they feel                                                                       
     victimized  and   without  recourse  when   a  possible                                                                    
     improper  use  or  abuse of  authority  by  an  officer                                                                    
     occurs  within  our  law enforcement  system.  "Nancy's                                                                    
     Law"  was inspired  by the  heart-wrenching story  of a                                                                    
     young  Alaskan named  Nancy who  found herself  in just                                                                    
     that type of  unfortunate and potentially life-altering                                                                    
     situation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     In order  to ensure the  public has a voice  and proper                                                                    
     advocacy in  the process, this  bill will  increase the                                                                    
     number  of   public  members   of  the   Alaska  Police                                                                    
     Standards  Council  (APSC)  and stipulates  that  those                                                                    
     members  may  not have  previous  worked  for a  member                                                                    
     agency.  In   addition,  this  measure   establishes  a                                                                    
     procedure  for the  council to  process complaints  and                                                                    
     will require member agencies  to inform complainants of                                                                    
     their   rights  and   protections  through   the  APSC.                                                                    
     Finally, this measure will also  give the Alaska Police                                                                    
     Standards Council the ability  to suspend a certificate                                                                    
     when  an  officer  has   clearly  done  something  that                                                                    
     requires  action,   but  doesn't   necessarily  warrant                                                                    
     revocation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Law  enforcement is  a very  challenging and  necessary                                                                    
     duty. We are  blessed to have a  phenomenal majority of                                                                    
     hard working officers in our  state and I commend their                                                                    
     service. But  the public trust and  confidence in these                                                                    
     agencies  is equally  as  necessary  and important  for                                                                    
     these  agencies to  accomplish their  missions. SB  180                                                                    
     provides  additional safeguards  for  the public  while                                                                    
     helping to  ensure bad actions  and actors  are subject                                                                    
     to  added  scrutiny,   including  potential  suspension                                                                    
     and/or removal, by a stronger  APSC with greater public                                                                    
     representation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:40:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson joined the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:40:49 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEANS, representing  herself,  Anchorage, Alaska,  related                                                               
her personal story.  She said that three years ago  she and three                                                               
of her  high school friends  went shopping in Anchorage  on Black                                                               
Friday. They  were headed home  at about  3:00 a.m. when  her van                                                               
broke down  on the corner  of C Street  and Tudor Road.  A police                                                               
officer arrived on  the scene and when the van  wouldn't start he                                                               
helped push it out of the intersection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She related that  the officer came back to the  van and requested                                                               
her  license  and  registration  and then  asked  for  her  phone                                                               
number. She said she respectfully  declined to give him her phone                                                               
number.  Then, the  officer  began  to act  very  strange and  he                                                               
demanded the  identification of her  three friends.  She informed                                                               
the friends that  they were not required by law  to provide their                                                               
identification  and  they  didn't.  At this  point,  the  officer                                                               
seemed flustered  and returned  to his car.  She said  she called                                                               
her father because she felt like something strange was going on.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEANS said  that  within  a few  minutes  the first  officer                                                               
returned to the  van accompanied by a female  officer. They asked                                                               
her to step  out of the car.  She did so and was  searched by the                                                               
male police  officer. She  said she began  to feel  terrified. He                                                               
then  walked  away from  the  van  and  requested that  she  walk                                                               
towards him.  At this point  she told  him she refused  to answer                                                               
any more  questions and  would not consent  to any  more searches                                                               
and wanted her lawyer. He then placed her under arrest for DUI.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:45:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI joined the committee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL summarized Ms. Means' story so far.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEANS  continued to  say  that  at  this point  the  officer                                                               
quickly grabbed  her arms and  placed her under arrest.  She said                                                               
it  took her  completely  by surprise.  The  female officer  then                                                               
began to yell at  her and said she would place  her on the ground                                                               
if she did not comply.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEANS  said  she  looked  over  at  her  friends'  horrified                                                               
expressions and  told them  to call her  dad. The  female officer                                                               
led her  back to the police  car, searched her again,  and placed                                                               
her in  the back of the  vehicle. The officer then  turned around                                                               
from  the front  seat and  said, "Why  are you  such an  indecent                                                               
human being that you can't  answer our questions?" Ms. Means said                                                               
she sat silently and said  nothing. Then, the officer said, "What                                                               
kind of drugs are  you on that are making you  act this way?" Ms.                                                               
Means  said she  still  sat silently.  Realizing her  defenseless                                                               
situation,  she recalled  the Anthony  Rawlins  case nine  months                                                               
prior where six women were abused  and raped by a police officer.                                                               
She  began to  mentally prepare  herself to  encounter a  similar                                                               
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEANS  said the officer drove  her to the police  station and                                                               
booked her. The  officer there tested her  blood alcohol content,                                                               
which was 0.000, and said he wished he could "un-arrest" her.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She said, while  this was going on, her three  friends were still                                                               
stranded at  twenty below  zero in the  middle of  Anchorage. The                                                               
male officer had  them get out of  the van and told  them to walk                                                               
across the  street and  stay there  until their  parents arrived.                                                               
However, they  were all  minors and the  officer was  required to                                                               
stay with them until their parents arrived, but he left.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She said the officer at the  jail took her to her parents' office                                                               
in Anchorage and  her friends arrived shortly after.  The van was                                                               
impounded for a DUI. She said they  tried to get the van back for                                                               
a month and the  city tried to charge $800 to get  the van out of                                                               
impound.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She  said she  hired  an  attorney to  appear  in  court for  her                                                               
because she  had to go back  to college. The case  was dismissed.                                                               
She said she  has tried multiple times to have  her record sealed                                                               
because it  shows as an arrest  on CourtView. She wants  to apply                                                               
to  graduate schools,  which  look at  court  records. Having  an                                                               
arrest record is  a blemish on her character and  was a detriment                                                               
during three job interviews.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She  concluded  that  she  did nothing  wrong  and  asserted  her                                                               
rights, but  the police officers  had complete disregard  for her                                                               
rights.  She   noted  when  she  approached   the  Alaska  Police                                                               
Standards Council with a certified  letter, they did not respond,                                                               
nor  take  any action.  She  voiced  concern  about the  lack  of                                                               
response.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:51:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL thanked  Ms.  Means and  expressed  hope that  her                                                               
story  would prevent  the same  thing from  happening to  someone                                                               
else.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  said he  used to  be able to  say that  Alaska has                                                               
"clean cops"  and he  can't do  that anymore.  He advised  that a                                                               
bill he  introduced this year  just passed the  Finance Committee                                                               
and will address Ms. Means' issue.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   expressed  sympathy  and  asked   if  she                                                               
contacted  assembly members  or  the mayor's  office  or filed  a                                                               
lawsuit.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEANS  said she is  in the process  of a lawsuit  against the                                                               
Municipality  of Anchorage.  She  had requested  that they  admit                                                               
there was no  probable cause for arrest and seal  the record, but                                                               
they refused  saying, because she  was arrested, there  must have                                                               
been  probable cause.  She noted  the hearing  officer determined                                                               
there was not probable cause to seize her vehicle.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:54:20 PM                                                                                                                    
NORMAN   MEANS,   representing    himself,   Anchorage,   Alaska,                                                               
explained, as Ms.  Means' father, he filed a  complaint about the                                                               
illegal impounding  of his  van and after  several months  he was                                                               
told his  complaint was sustained.  He wasn't satisfied  with the                                                               
response and found there is  no agency to handle complaints about                                                               
civil  liberty violations  by a  law enforcement  officer against                                                               
private citizens  except the Alaska Police  Standards Council. He                                                               
said  it's important  that citizens  can bring  concerns to  this                                                               
council if they have a  serious complaint. He suggested listening                                                               
to the incident recordings because  they're shocking when a young                                                               
woman is only politely asserting her rights.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL noted  that Kelly Alzaharna and  John Skidmore were                                                               
available for questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON said  he'd like  to  hear from  the Alaska  Police                                                               
Standards  Council. He  recapped  Ms. Means'  testimony that  she                                                               
filed a  complaint and  didn't hear back  from the  Alaska Police                                                               
Standards Council.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KELLY  ALZAHARNA,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Police  Standards                                                               
Council, Juneau,  Alaska, answered  questions related to  SB 180.                                                               
She explained  that she  was not  working at  the Council  at the                                                               
time of  the incident. When the  matter was first brought  to her                                                               
attention she  asked to receive  a copy  of the letter.  She said                                                               
she received  the letter  and has been  dealing with  the concern                                                               
since then.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON asked if there was  a record of the receipt of that                                                               
letter.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. ALZAHARNA  said no. She  said she  was told about  it, looked                                                               
for it, and found no record of it.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON noted the letter was  sent in writing and said that                                                               
is problematic.  He asked what  the process is after  a complaint                                                               
is received.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ALZAHARNA explained  that she  contacts the  complainant and                                                               
then follows  up on the  inquiry. The process used  is determined                                                               
by the nature of the complaint.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:01:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON  asked if protocols  require notifying  the officer                                                               
and their bargaining unit when an investigation goes forward.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. ALZAHARNA said no.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON asked,  if  the complaint  does  meet the  minimum                                                               
standard that  warrants an  investigation, at  what point  is the                                                               
officer notified.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ALZAHARNA   explained  the  process  she   follows.  If  the                                                               
allegation  is determined  to be  true and  the misconduct  falls                                                               
below the minimum standards, the  officer is formally notified of                                                               
the allegation.  The officer  then has 15  days to  respond. They                                                               
have two  options: surrender their  certificate or file  a notice                                                               
of defense, a  desire for a hearing  following the Administrative                                                               
Procedures Act.  They can have  representation. There is  no need                                                               
to notify their department, but the department generally knows.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL voiced  concern  when things  aren't  done in  the                                                               
light of  day and  there are internal  conflicts of  interest. He                                                               
asked where  accountability lies if  it's not transparent  to the                                                               
public.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:05:34 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  SKIDMORE,  Director,   Criminal  Division,  Legal  Services                                                               
Section,   Department  of   Law,   Anchorage,  Alaska,   answered                                                               
questions related to SB 180.  He requested more information about                                                               
what Chair Coghill considers internal conflicts of interest.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  clarified it is  when it appears that  "police are                                                               
investigating police;"  from a public  perspective it  appears to                                                               
be behind  a veil. He  inquired what accountability  measures are                                                               
in place.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE explained that the  executive director of the Police                                                               
Standards  Council looks  into the  complaint  and decides  which                                                               
cases should move forward. The Council,  as a whole, used to make                                                               
that decision,  but cases  dragged out much  too long  under that                                                               
process. As  to accountability,  the concern for  transparency is                                                               
valid.  He suggested  contacting  other members  of the  Council.                                                               
Until  a formal  complaint is  filed, the  matter is  a personnel                                                               
matter and  not public record.  The bill doesn't change  that. It                                                               
adds  two   public  members  and   prevents  the   Governor  from                                                               
appointing   individuals  that   may  have   experience  in   law                                                               
enforcement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said he understands  the efficiency of  having the                                                               
executive  director make  the decisions;  however, it  could also                                                               
thwart the process.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  agreed. He  noted the  last executive  director was                                                               
not with the Council very long.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:10:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON said  he, too, could see that the  record should be                                                               
confidential  initially. He  described a  situation demonstrating                                                               
confidentiality  and   questioned  at   what  point   the  Police                                                               
Standards process should be inserted.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE   said  when  an   officer  resigns,  in   lieu  of                                                               
termination,  or   is  terminated   from  a   police  department,                                                               
regulations require  that agency  to notify the  Police Standards                                                               
Council.  The  Council  then  has   the  ability  to  review  and                                                               
determine  whether   or  not  that  officer   should  have  their                                                               
certificate revoked. The breakdown is  when the agencies don't do                                                               
what is required or don't contract  the Council when they want to                                                               
hire someone. He noted that  the Council is reviewing regulations                                                               
to address that problem.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:13:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE clarified what the  bill would do differently. It                                                               
would provide that the Council  has a legal obligation to respond                                                               
to the complainant  about their rights and to meet  to review the                                                               
complainant's  request,  not  leaving  it  up  to  the  executive                                                               
director to decide.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
She asked how Nancy's complaint is being handled currently.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE stated  that the  Council is  under confidentiality                                                               
standards.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MCGUIRE asked  for assurance that the  Council is working                                                               
on it.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE replied that Ms. Meade's case is being looked at.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON asked  if the  Council is  out of  the loop  on an                                                               
agency's suspension decisions.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  said unless the  agency contacts the  Council, they                                                               
won't know what decision is made.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON asked  how the  Council  would know  about a  past                                                               
complaint regarding an officer.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE  repeated  that  unless  the  agency  contacts  the                                                               
Council,  they  are  not  privy to  agency  hires.  Agencies  are                                                               
required  to   contact  the  Council   when  there  has   been  a                                                               
termination or resignation in lieu of termination.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  the  administration and  Council                                                               
supports or opposes the bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:18:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE  said the  Council voted  unanimously to  oppose the                                                               
bill.  He  noted  the Alaska  Police  Officers  Association  also                                                               
opposes the bill.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said he didn't intend  to move the bill.  He asked                                                               
Mr.  Skidmore  to  get  the   Council's  recommendations  to  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:19:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COGHILL   held   SB  180   in   committee   for   further                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          SB 176-REG. OF FIREARMS/KNIVES BY UNIVERSITY                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:19:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  the consideration  of SB  176. "An  Act                                                               
relating  to  the  regulation  of  firearms  and  knives  by  the                                                               
University of Alaska."  He said it was the fourth  hearing of the                                                               
bill. He  noted the proposed  committee substitute  (CS), Version                                                               
Y.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:20:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MCGUIRE  moved to  adopt  CS  for  SB 176,  labeled  28-                                                               
LS1385\Y, as the working document.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL objected for purposes of an explanation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:21:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAD  HUTCHISON,  Staff,  Senator   John  Coghill,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, presented  Version Y  of SB  176 on                                                               
behalf of  the sponsor.  He explained that  Version Y  focuses on                                                               
concealed  carry. He  cited an  article  called "Despite  Policy,                                                               
Weapons  Still  Appear  on  University   Campus"  that  quotes  a                                                               
security officer  on the  UAF campus.  In 1995,  the UA  Board of                                                               
Regents established a policy that  does not allow anyone to carry                                                               
concealed  guns,   knives,  and  explosives  on   the  university                                                               
property, inside university buildings  and classrooms off campus,                                                               
or at university-sanctioned events.  But, Officer McGee says that                                                               
Alaska's conceal and carry laws  may keep him from enforcing that                                                               
policy. He said, "As the police  chief, and as a resident here in                                                               
the state  of Alaska, I  think there's probably a  greater number                                                               
of firearms  on campus  than any  of us  really know  about; it's                                                               
just  that these  people aren't  using their  firearms to  commit                                                               
criminal acts."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HUTCHINSON said  this demonstrates  three things:  there are                                                               
already firearms on  campus, clarity, as it  relates to concealed                                                               
carry, is necessary, and the current  policy of UA does not work.                                                               
He  opined  that the  CS  strikes  a balance  between  individual                                                               
rights  to  keep and  bear  arms  and  the individual  rights  to                                                               
privacy. It constitutes a  reasonable compromise between concerns                                                               
of  university   students,  safety   in  the  schools,   and  the                                                               
fundamental rights of individuals who have guns on campus.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He stated that the fundamental principal  of the bill is that the                                                               
university may  not restrict concealed  carry. There  are certain                                                               
restrictions  that relate  to weapons  misconduct. He  provided a                                                               
sample  of  the  restrictions.  As a  compromise,  the  bill  now                                                               
includes the  use of an approved  lock box for the  weapons and a                                                               
permitting process is required.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:29:02 PM                                                                                                                    
HANS  RODVICK,   Intern,  Senator  John  Coghill,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, presented  information related to SB                                                               
176  on  behalf  of  the sponsor.  He  explained  the  permitting                                                               
process  of  obtaining an  Alaska  concealed  handgun permit.  He                                                               
shared the  history of  the concealed  handgun permit.  He listed                                                               
who could, and could not, carry a concealed handgun.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:31:32 PM                                                                                                                    
He summarized the  requirements to carry a  concealed handgun. He                                                               
discussed the  required competency  class. It tests  knowledge of                                                               
Alaska   laws,  self-defense   concepts,  responsible   use,  and                                                               
physical  competence with  a handgun.  A  person must  go to  the                                                               
Department of  Public Safety and  pay for the license  and submit                                                               
fingerprints and a  digital photo that was taken  within 30 days.                                                               
He opined  that these  rigorous requirements  to obtain  a permit                                                               
strike a balance of public  safety and lawful citizens exercising                                                               
their  fundamental rights.  He stated  that statistics  show that                                                               
these individuals will be lawful and safe.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:35:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE  asked how the university  received the committee                                                               
substitute.  She submitted  that  Version Y  is well-crafted  and                                                               
provides more safety assurances.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. RODVICK deferred to Mr. Hutchison.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUTCHISON  said he's conferred  with the  legislative liaison                                                               
for the university system and  the attorney who drafted the legal                                                               
opinion  of the  first version  of  the bill.  He said  President                                                               
Gamble  would disclose  the results  of the  University Board  of                                                               
Regent's executive session.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  said he  assured  President  Gamble that  he  was                                                               
taking this legislation seriously.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:37:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON  strongly suggested fleshing out  the definition of                                                               
"lock box." He asked if the university regulates pocket knives.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUCHISON  agreed to  the conversation  about a  definition of                                                               
the lock box.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL expected to find a  solution to this bill by Monday                                                               
or not at all this year.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MCGUIRE  asked how legalization  of the use  of marijuana                                                               
interfaces  with  the federal  requirement  of  attesting to  not                                                               
being addicted to a controlled substance.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUTCHISON agreed there is an apparent conflict.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:41:53 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICK  GAMBLE,  President,  University  of  Alaska,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, answered questions related to  SB 176. He maintained that                                                               
most of  the discussion, including  the recent  presentation, has                                                               
missed the  point of  the university's concern.  The focus  is no                                                               
longer  on fundamental  rights of  the individual  and now  deals                                                               
with a  compromise. He  stressed that the  Board has  not changed                                                               
its position and continues to  believe that board policy has been                                                               
effective.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He termed the dilemmas "legal  and operational" The legal dilemma                                                               
is that  there are excepted  gun carry  areas in the  state under                                                               
state law. The  question has to be why those  areas were excepted                                                               
- why have  they been taken out of those  fundamental rights. The                                                               
answer  is risk  and safety.  The Supreme  Court determined  that                                                               
states could  make exceptions and  Alaska did. He  concluded that                                                               
Board policy is  based on those exceptions.  He further described                                                               
the dilemma  of trying to  map the  state law with  its concerns,                                                               
over onto  a university  community, which has  many of  the exact                                                               
same conditions that  are listed in the  state's exceptions, such                                                               
as "K - 12 students" and  "around a place serving liquor" and "in                                                               
a residence without the permission of the chief resident."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He emphasized that the bill  creates unintended consequences that                                                               
are real  world, operational,  actions and  responsibilities, and                                                               
liabilities, that the university is uniquely responsible for.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He  discussed   the  fiscal  note   which  contains  a   list  of                                                               
operational  provisions that  the  university would  have to  put                                                               
into place  in order to get  around the exceptions on  campus. He                                                               
opined it would  be costly, as reflected in the  fiscal note. The                                                               
number  in  the fiscal  note  was  taken  from  the cost  of  the                                                               
University of Idaho's operational plan, a single campus.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:47:27 PM                                                                                                                    
PRESIDENT GAMBLE discussed  risk and why there  are exceptions to                                                               
areas where  guns can be  carried. He stated that  the university                                                               
does  not deal  in hypothetical  scenarios, but  in probabilities                                                               
due to  being accountable and  liable. The university has  a risk                                                               
assessment system which determines a  value for risk. He said the                                                               
"state of play"  today is that the campus is  24 times safer from                                                               
violence in  terms of murder and  assault with intent to  kill or                                                               
maim than on city streets in Alaska.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He reported  only four gun  incidents where there  was discipline                                                               
involved at the University of Alaska  in the last three years. In                                                               
terms of risk,  the UA campus is  one of the safest  places to be                                                               
right  now.  Increasing  the  number  of  weapons  increases  the                                                               
probability  of accidents.  He referred  to  hundreds of  letters                                                               
from donors,  faculty, and students,  in opposition to  the bill,                                                               
who say they  are not going to  stay in a public  school that has                                                               
this law in its current, as-written state.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He said  in his experience,  most accidents in the  military were                                                               
self-induced  and  the  more  weapons,  the  more  incidents.  He                                                               
concluded that  the bill will  not make  the campus safer  and he                                                               
has evidence that there is a downside to the bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:52:02 PM                                                                                                                    
He concluded  that the  bill is  a moving  target and  that isn't                                                               
impressive. With some pushback there  was an effort to compromise                                                               
rights just  to get a  bill passed.  The Board policy  looks good                                                               
and they are satisfied with it  in its current form. His said his                                                               
assessment  is that  the  probability and  liability  of what  is                                                               
currently  in  place  are  nicely  balanced.  This  bill  doesn't                                                               
enhance that.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:54:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  his  perspective is  that  this is  a                                                               
constitutional issue. In the future  he'd like to hear from legal                                                               
scholars on the issue.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said he agrees.  He doesn't believe  that citizens                                                               
check their rights at the university  door. He said he is willing                                                               
to work on the safety issues.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PRESIDENT GAMBLE  said it has  been a  good hearing on  the bill.                                                               
He said he supports the dialog with constitutional scholars.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL concluded  that President Gamble has  to manage the                                                               
campus from a  legal and a practical perspective. He  said he has                                                               
to  look at  the  individuals  in Alaska  and  ask about  citizen                                                               
rights.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   COGHILL   held   SB  176   in   committee   for   further                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:58:12 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Coghill  adjourned the Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 2:58 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 292 Letter from Dept. of Law.PDF SJUD 3/19/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
HB 292 Sectional Analysis.PDF SJUD 3/19/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
HB 292 Fiscal Note - Dept. of Law.pdf SJUD 3/19/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
HB 292 Amendment C.1.pdf SJUD 3/19/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
SB180 Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/19/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
SB180 Sectional Analysis.pdf SJUD 3/19/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 180
Written Testimony #4.zip SJUD 3/19/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 176