Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

03/08/2011 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 36 OPT-OUT CHARITABLE GIVING PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 36(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony Closed --
+= SCR 1 LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSCR 1(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony Closed --
+= SB 7 FELONS' RIGHT TO VOTE OR BE JURORS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 7 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony Closed --
+ HB 28 TEMP LICENSE/FEE WAIVER FOR PROFESSIONALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 98 HANDLING OF STATE FLAG TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
           SB   7-FELONS' RIGHT TO VOTE OR BE JURORS                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
9:14:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI announced the next  order of business would be                                                               
SB 7, which  would give convicted felons the right  to vote or be                                                               
jurors  immediately upon  their  release  from incarceration.  He                                                               
noted many states have recently  revised their laws in this area.                                                               
It is  a complex issue  in Alaska because our  state constitution                                                               
specifically provides that:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     No person may  vote who has been convicted  of a felony                                                                    
     involving moral turpitude unless  his civil rights have                                                                    
     been restored." This phrase is  not defined and has not                                                                    
     been interpreted  by our state courts,  and its meaning                                                                    
     is a matter of speculation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS, sponsor of SB 7, said the bill is needed.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved  to  report  SB  7  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  objected and  said she  has heard  concerns from                                                               
her constituents who  are crime victims that  felons on probation                                                               
and  parole   are  still   under  sentence,   and  it   would  be                                                               
inappropriate to  give them some  kind of special  exemption from                                                               
fulfilling  that sentence.  Their victims  did not  choose to  be                                                               
victims.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She noted  a recent article  in the Seattle Times  that discusses                                                               
granting special  privileges to ex-convicts. The  author provides                                                               
interim housing  for felons, and  talks at length about  how this                                                               
is a  very tricky business.  These people have  committed serious                                                               
crimes, and they  are not victimless crimes.  People on probation                                                               
and parole  are still  under sentence. Allowing  them to  vote is                                                               
the wrong  direction; instead,  we should  help them  serve their                                                               
parole and probation to regain their rights and credibility.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:20:12 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI agreed it is  a delicate issue. But, he noted,                                                               
the recidivism  rate appears to  drop when people are  allowed to                                                               
vote. If the state  can cut that rate by even  2 percent, it will                                                               
save money and prevent future victims.  He also said the bill has                                                               
a referral to the Judiciary committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KOOKESH said giving ex-felons  the right to vote does not                                                               
absolve them of their crimes; it  just gets them a step closer to                                                               
being part  of society.  He stated the  Native community  has the                                                               
highest  number  of incarcerated  people  in  the state.  Forcing                                                               
people  on probation  to stay  in urban  centers is  part of  the                                                               
recidivism  problem.  Whatever can  be  done  to return  them  to                                                               
society is what  we should do. Recidivism would  drop. This would                                                               
be a good  step. Perhaps we should give felons  the right to vote                                                               
when their probationary period is done.  He said he wants to move                                                               
the bill on for further discussion.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:23:56 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL said  that felons  already regain  the right  to                                                               
vote after their probation is completed.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL removed her objection.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved  to  report  SB  7  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB 28 Sponsor Statement 2.pdf SSTA 3/8/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 28
HB 27 Supporting Document - Professions Covered by HB 28.pdf SSTA 3/8/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 27
HB 28
HB 28 Supporting Document - Dental Society Letter.pdf SSTA 3/8/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 28
CSHB 28 Supporting Documents - Article Military Spouses.pdf SSTA 3/8/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 28