Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/19/2018 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 122(JUD) Out of Committee
Moved HB 312 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        SB 214-ESTABLISH CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES PROGRAM                                                                    
2:22:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COGHILL  reconvened   the  meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration of SB 214. This is the first hearing.                                                                             
2:23:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CLARE  SULLIVAN, Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of Corrections                                                               
(DOC), Anchorage, Alaska,  said she would provide  an overview of                                                               
SB  214   and  the  benefits   of  establishing   a  correctional                                                               
industries program  and Juliana  Melin would provide  a sectional                                                               
analysis.  She reviewed  her background  with  the Department  of                                                               
Corrections, most of which was in the institutions.                                                                             
She explained that correctional  industries programs are designed                                                               
to help  prisoners leave prison  with meaningful skills  that are                                                               
necessary for  a successful transition  into the  community. This                                                               
means  getting a  job, reporting  to  the job,  getting paid  and                                                               
paying bills,  including restitution and child  support. The idea                                                               
is to develop  a program within the  correctional facilities that                                                               
is  not  detrimental  to  outside   work  groups  or  labor.  The                                                               
correctional  industries board  that  the  bill establishes  will                                                               
provide  direction  on  the  industries  that  each  correctional                                                               
facility  should  focus on.  The  industries  program is  also  a                                                               
potential feeder program for unions.                                                                                            
She  said  research from  other  states  shows that  correctional                                                               
industries  programs help  reduce  recidivism.  Inmates who  have                                                               
been in  the program  for any  length of time  have a  far better                                                               
chance of  a successful transition.  They are far less  likely to                                                               
think  in a  criminal  fashion because  they  have established  a                                                               
fairly  normal  process  within the  institution.  Research  also                                                               
shows that  the institutions that  provide some form  of economic                                                               
diversity  help  businesses and  communities  on  the outside  by                                                               
providing  products or  services that  are not  otherwise readily                                                               
available. Another benefit of these  programs is that they reduce                                                               
collateral department  costs. When  people in prison  are engaged                                                               
in  productive and  pro-social activities,  assaults go  down and                                                               
medical  costs are  reduced. Those  people also  do better  after                                                               
they are released.                                                                                                              
MS.  SULLIVAN  said DOC  is  looking  at four  possible  industry                                                               
venues  that  have  unmet  needs. These  are  flash  freezing  of                                                               
Alaskan-grown vegetables,  continuing and possibly  expanding the                                                               
Alaska  Marine Highways  laundry service,  restarting the  custom                                                               
furniture and specialty  item business that Spring  Creek used to                                                               
have, and  making and selling Alaska-unique  items to wholesalers                                                               
in the state.                                                                                                                   
2:29:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  if they'd  thought  about steering  certain                                                               
industries to  certain prisons or  if that  would be left  to the                                                               
discretion  of the  board.  For example,  growing  would be  much                                                               
easier in Palmer than in Southeast.                                                                                             
MS.  SULLIVAN said  she  believes the  board  would provide  that                                                               
guidance and DOC would provide the staffing.                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  asked if DOC  would implement security  and safety                                                               
measures to ensure that tools  aren't misused or stolen. He noted                                                               
that  mishandling  tools  was  part of  the  reason  the  earlier                                                               
programs folded.                                                                                                                
MS. SULLIVAN  said the institutions  reworked and  enhanced their                                                               
tool  safety procedures  and accountability  after  a 2014  audit                                                               
highlighted deficiencies.                                                                                                       
CHAIR COGHILL asked if the  Point MacKenzie Correctional Farm was                                                               
still vibrant.                                                                                                                  
MS. SULLIVAN  said the farm  is still producing enough  that they                                                               
donate their excess to local charities.                                                                                         
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said this is  a commendable effort, but he's                                                               
concerned  about  diminishing  jobs  and  wages.  He  asked  what                                                               
industries  they expect  to target,  the expected  impact on  the                                                               
labor force, and the expected wage for inmates.                                                                                 
MS. SULLIVAN said the objective is  to establish a program in the                                                               
prison so inmates can develop  skills and be productive when they                                                               
are released.  The jobs wouldn't be  high paying and there  is no                                                               
intention to  compete with businesses  on the outside.  She noted                                                               
that  DOC  has a  program  where  inmates  on ankle  monitors  go                                                               
outside  during the  day to  be trained  as ironworkers  with the                                                               
idea  that  they  will  feed  into  that  industry  once  they're                                                               
2:35:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked if the legislation  contemplates that the                                                               
inmates would  leave with an  agreement for future work  like the                                                               
ironworker example or if it  contemplates a correctional industry                                                               
program  like  those  in  the past  which  included  the  laundry                                                               
service and furniture building.                                                                                                 
MS. SULLIVAN said it's different  than the example she cited. The                                                               
idea is to have most of the programs within the facilities.                                                                     
SENATOR COSTELLO  noted the  proposed board  makeup and  asked if                                                               
they would be opposed to adding a business seat.                                                                                
MS. SULLIVAN said  that's a good idea because  labor and business                                                               
view some things differently.                                                                                                   
SENATOR  COSTELLO noted  the bill  going through  the process  to                                                               
exempt  DOC  from the  procurement  process  and asked  how  this                                                               
legislation would be impacted if that bill were to pass.                                                                        
MS. SULLIVAN said she would follow up with an answer.                                                                           
SENATOR KELLY said he was  initially concerned about unemployment                                                               
but was  encouraged when  he realized  that a  lot of  things are                                                               
imported  now. He  cited  the hypothetical  example  of a  prison                                                               
industry  that  makes patio  furniture.  Today  most of  that  is                                                               
imported from China or Pakistan.                                                                                                
2:39:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER  said  he  had  the  same  concern  that  Senator                                                               
Costello  voiced. He  referenced the  language in  Section 7  and                                                               
opined  that  there   could  be  a  conflict   with  the  typical                                                               
competitive bidding process.                                                                                                    
2:40:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIANA  MELIN, Legislative  Liaison,  Department of  Corrections                                                               
(DOC), Juneau, Alaska,  clarified that Section 7  does not change                                                               
the  existing procurement  rules  for  the proposed  correctional                                                               
industries  program. It  replaces the  old program  with the  new                                                               
correctional industries program. She  added that it's not related                                                               
to the procurement legislation going through the process.                                                                       
SENATOR SHOWER asked  her to clarify the meaning  of the language                                                               
on page 2, lines 9-10.                                                                                                          
MS. MELIN  said the  idea is  that when  the department  enters a                                                               
contract  with a  private organization,  that  employer would  be                                                               
required to provide workers' compensation.                                                                                      
CHAIR COGHILL  deferred further discussion until  after Ms. Melin                                                               
presented the sectional analysis.                                                                                               
2:42:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  said he  was  curious  about the  workers'                                                               
compensation  implications and  whether  someone  who is  injured                                                               
would  receive  temporary  total disability  or  permanent  total                                                               
disability. He also  asked about the potential  impacts on Davis-                                                               
Bacon wages and the prevailing wage standards.                                                                                  
CHAIR  COGHILL deferred  the question  until after  the sectional                                                               
2:43:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MELIN  paraphrased and  supplemented the  following sectional                                                               
analysis for SB 214.                                                                                                            
     Section   1:  Amends   33.30.191(e)  to   clarify  that                                                                    
     Worker's Comp (AS 23) does  not apply to the employment                                                                    
     of prisoners under this particular section.                                                                                
She  explained that  later in  the bill  a large  portion of  the                                                               
section  is   deleted.  An  example   of  what  remains   is  the                                                               
commissioner's  ability to  direct a  prisoner to  participate in                                                               
productive  employment  while   incarcerated,  including  routine                                                               
facility  maintenance,  academic  or  vocational  education,  and                                                               
public  conservation   projects.  The  exemption   from  workers'                                                               
compensation from  these types of  activities is  consistent with                                                               
current statute.                                                                                                                
MS. MELIN noted the drafting error  in Section 2 on page 1, lines                                                               
10-11.  The  phrase,  "In  addition   to  entering  contracts  or                                                               
cooperative  agreements under  AS  33.30.191,"  should have  been                                                               
     Section  2:  Amends  33.30 by  adding  a  new  section,                                                                    
     33.30.195,    that    establishes   the    correctional                                                                    
     industries  program,  detailing  that  in  addition  to                                                                    
     cooperative  agreements  listed  under  33.30.191,  the                                                                    
     commissioner  may establish  & administer  correctional                                                                    
     industries programs  upon approval of  the Correctional                                                                    
     Industries  Board  created  later  in  the  bill  under                                                                    
     33.30.196.  Under (b)-(f),  operational details  of the                                                                    
     newly  established correctional  industries program  is                                                                    
     laid out.                                                                                                                  
She  noted  that  on  page  2,  subsection  (f)  on  lines  17-19                                                               
clarifies  that prisoners  employed  under this  section are  not                                                               
entitled to unionize and they do not have the rights of state                                                                   
employees, including the right to participate in collective                                                                     
     Under  the  new  section, 33.30.196,  the  Correctional                                                                    
     Industries Board is established.  The board consists of                                                                    
     four members: the commissioner  of labor (or designee),                                                                    
     the commissioner of corrections  (or designee), and two                                                                    
     representatives  of organized  labor that  the governor                                                                    
     shall  appoint  from  a  list   submitted  by  a  labor                                                                    
     organization. These members  serve staggered three-year                                                                    
     The duties  of the  board include meeting  quarterly or                                                                    
     at regularly  scheduled times determined by  a majority                                                                    
     of members, approve,  monitor, and make recommendations                                                                    
     for proposals  for prison  industry programs,  and hold                                                                    
     public hearing  to provide  opportunity for  persons or                                                                    
     organizations  to  submit   written  comments  or  oral                                                                    
     testimony on proposals that may  affect them. The board                                                                    
     will  also  keep  public record  of  all  meetings  and                                                                    
     hearing and make this information public.                                                                                  
     Section  3:   Amends  33.30.201(a)   by  distinguishing                                                                    
     prisoners  employed  under  the new  prison  industries                                                                    
     program   (33.30.195)  and   removes  them   from  this                                                                    
     particular statute detailing  compensation of prisoners                                                                    
     who  fall  under  current   statute.  It  also  removes                                                                    
     33.30.191(g)(5)  from  applying   to  this  section  as                                                                    
     "other  work performed  inside or  outside a  facility"                                                                    
     now   falls  within   the   newly  established   prison                                                                    
     industries program.                                                                                                        
She noted that the outdated  language, "if the money is available                                                               
from legislative appropriations" is  also deleted. The Department                                                               
of  Law  determined that  language  should  be deleted  from  the                                                               
section when it was drafted in 1986.                                                                                            
     Section   4:    Amends   33.30.201(c)    by   requiring                                                                    
     compensation  of employed  prisoners established  under                                                                    
     the new section,  (g), to follow the  priority order of                                                                    
     compensation dispersion  as laid  out in  this section.                                                                    
     It also reorders the  priority list, making restitution                                                                    
     payments a higher priority.                                                                                                
     Section  5: Amends  33.30.201(d) to  include the  newly                                                                    
     established  prisoner  employee's compensation  section                                                                    
     (g),  detailing that  any remaining  compensation after                                                                    
     any deduction under (b) or  (c) of this section will be                                                                    
     credited to the prisoner.                                                                                                  
     Section  6:  Adds a  new  section  (g) under  33.30.201                                                                    
     describing  the  compensation   of  prisoners  employed                                                                    
     under the  newly established prison  industries program                                                                    
     (33.30.195). [It  clarifies that compensation  for work                                                                    
     performed   under  contract   or   agreement  with   an                                                                    
     individual or private  entity may not be  less than the                                                                    
     minimum wage required by AS 23.10.065.]                                                                                    
     Section  7: Amends  36.30.313  by  including the  newly                                                                    
     established  prison industries  program, 33.30.195,  in                                                                    
     this   statute  that   precludes  the   procurement  of                                                                    
     products  or services  provided through  the employment                                                                    
     of  prisoners   from  competitive  sealed   bidding  or                                                                    
     competitive sealed proposals.                                                                                              
     Section 8: Amends 37.05.146(c) by  adding a new section                                                                    
     allowing  the  Department   of  Correction  to  collect                                                                    
     receipts  from contracts  or agreements  under the  new                                                                    
     prison industries program (33.30.195)                                                                                      
     Section  9: Amends  41.21.026(f)  by  deleting the  old                                                                    
     employment  of  prisoners language  (33.30.191(b))  and                                                                    
     replaces  it with  the  new  prison industries  program                                                                    
     established  under 33.30.195,  allowing the  department                                                                    
     to charge fees as listed under this section.                                                                               
     Section  10:  Repeals  AS  33.30.191(b)  which  is  the                                                                    
     current  (and limiting)  prison industries  language as                                                                    
     well  as  33.30.191(g)(5)  that  describes  other  work                                                                    
     performed inside or outside  of a correctional facility                                                                    
     which is  now incorporated under the  newly established                                                                    
     prison industries program 33.30.195.                                                                                       
     Section 11: Effective date July 1, 2018.                                                                                   
2:51:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said he'd like a discussion on Section 1                                                                   
that says the provisions of AS 23 do not apply because Title 23                                                                 
contains the entire work standards.                                                                                             
2:52:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO noted that the language on page 1, lines 11-13,                                                                
gives the commissioner the ability to establish and administer a                                                                
correctional industries program and the  language on page 2, line                                                               
22, talks about  the board providing general  policy direction to                                                               
the commissioner.  She asked  the commissioner  if he  reads that                                                               
the way she  does, which is that the board  would provide general                                                               
direction and the program would be run by the commissioner.                                                                     
2:53:46 PM                                                                                                                    
DEAN  WILLIAMS, Commissioner,  Department  of Corrections  (DOC),                                                               
Juneau,  Alaska, said  the intent  is for  the board  to vet  any                                                               
permissible business opportunities  and give them a  red or green                                                               
light. He  said he'd  take another look  at the  language because                                                               
the board is not intended to  be a figurehead. He agreed with the                                                               
earlier suggestion to include a business member on the board.                                                                   
SENATOR COSTELLO asked what assurance  the legislature would have                                                               
that  the department  would  promulgate  regulations should  this                                                               
bill pass.                                                                                                                      
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS  said this is  a good example of  a statute                                                               
that  would require  the  department  to promulgate  regulations.                                                               
They are  necessary to articulate  things like board  and meeting                                                               
processes,  the procedure  for approving  business opportunities,                                                               
and how inmates would get paid.                                                                                                 
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked if he  heard the question about  how this                                                               
legislation would  be affected if the  legislation about changing                                                               
the procurement code were to pass.                                                                                              
2:57:13 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  WILLIAMS clarified  that the  procurement exception                                                               
in  HB  325  is  specifically about  reentry  transition  housing                                                               
services.  That  bill was  not  designed  or intended  to  impact                                                               
anything regarding procurement in this legislation.                                                                             
2:58:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COGHILL   held   HB  214   in   committee   for   further                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 214 - Version A.PDF SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB 214 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB 214 - Sectional Summary (ver. A).PDF SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB 122 - Version O.pdf SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 122
SB 122 - Summary of Changes (ver. J to ver. O).pdf SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 122