Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

02/13/2016 10:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 123 USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE DRIVING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Presentation by Sponsor
-- Public Testimony --
10:30 am - 11:30 am
+= SB 91 OMNIBUS CRIM LAW & PROCEDURE; CORRECTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Presentation by Sponsor
-- Invited Testimony Until 11:30 am --
John Skidmore, Department of Law - Criminal
Division
Brenda Stanfill, Interior Alaska Center for
Non-Violent Living
Taylor Winston, Office of Victim's Rights
Rick Allen, Office of Public Advocacy
-- Public Testimony After 12:00 pm --
Statewide Public Testimony
-- Public Testimony Limited to 2 Minutes --
Limited Number of Off-Net Phone Lines Available
Public Testimony can be Submitted in Writing by
Email: senate.state.affairs@akleg.gov
or by Fax: 907-465-4928
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         SB 123-USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE DRIVING                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
10:03:57 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of SB 123.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:04:06 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  KEVIN MEYER,  Alaska State  Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska,                                                              
sponsor  of SB 123,  said that  Anchorage had  recently passed  an                                                              
ordinance to  lower the  penalty of texting  while driving  from a                                                              
class A  misdemeanor to a  $500 fine. He  said SB 123  proposes to                                                              
do  the same  statewide that  allows law  enforcement officers  to                                                              
issue tickets immediately,  resulting in a stronger  deterrent. He                                                              
added that no other  aspect of current law was changed  by SB 123.                                                              
SENATOR  MEYER   said  the  bill   will  also  prevent   the  long                                                              
misdemeanor  process and  cost  of prosecuting  individuals  using                                                              
electronic devices while driving.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:06:35 AM                                                                                                                   
He  continued  to   explain  that  under  current   law,  only  20                                                              
individuals  in Anchorage  were  cited over  four  years and  only                                                              
four  resulted  in  a  conviction.   He  described  the  ticketing                                                              
process under  SB 123. He  noted that SB  123 has two  zero-fiscal                                                              
notes. He opined  that the bill  will save money and deter  a very                                                              
dangerous activity.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE  noted that  the Municipality  of Anchorage  changed                                                              
many  of  their traffic  fines  as  a revenue  measure.  He  asked                                                              
Senator Meyer for his opinion.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER answered  that the  intent of  the bill  is not  to                                                              
make money,  but for  safety and  to save money  for the  state by                                                              
eliminating the criminal court process.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE asked if there will be more enforcement.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER answered  yes. He asserted that enforcement  will be                                                              
easier to  enforce and compared  the process to writing  a traffic                                                              
ticket. He  emphasized that  the intent is  not to generate  money                                                              
for the state.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE  said he had heard  the current texting  penalty was                                                              
comparable  to a  first-time  DUI and  officers  were inclined  to                                                              
give a warning for first-time texting offenders.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:10:01 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR MEYER agreed  with Chair Stoltze. He spoke  of other laws,                                                              
such as a  minor in possession,  that are also not  being enforced                                                              
and the  possibility that it would  be changed from  a misdemeanor                                                              
to a fine.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE  commented that  if texting  leads to bodily  injury                                                              
there are more severe consequences.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  agreed. He said  the current  law states that  if a                                                              
person who is texting  causes a death or great harm  it results in                                                              
a separate penalty.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL noted  that in the bill, aggravation  ramps up the                                                              
penalty  into  a  felony;  for   example,  if  a  person  uses  an                                                              
electronic  device and causes  an accident,  the penalty  is quite                                                              
high. He agreed with ticketing for a simple violation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  noted a  handout that  shows the various  penalties                                                              
in the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE  pointed out that  a bail schedule  offense requires                                                              
action by the courts.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:14:08 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI joined the committee via telephone.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER specified  that traffic tickets are  payable by mail                                                              
and  he wondered  if  that provision  should  be  included in  the                                                              
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE commented that SB 123 is a deterrent.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER concurred  with Chair Stoltze and  noted that people                                                              
of every age text and the problem is serious.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:16:53 AM                                                                                                                   
NANCY  MEADE, General  Counsel,  Alaska Court  System,  Anchorage,                                                              
Alaska, answered  questions related to SB 123.  She explained that                                                              
if  the Legislature  requests that  the Alaska  Supreme Court  put                                                              
the  offense onto  a bail  schedule, a  fine schedule,  it can  be                                                              
disposed of  by mailing in  the fine amount.  She used  a speeding                                                              
ticket as  an example. She said  the proposed change  contained in                                                              
SB 123 could be  put onto a bail schedule. She  added that traffic                                                              
offenses  can  be put  on  a  bail  schedule  because there  is  a                                                              
statute already in  place that provides for that.  She said should                                                              
SB 123  pass, the  Department of  Public Safety  (DPS) would  work                                                              
with  the Alaska  Court  System  to request  it  be  done and  the                                                              
Supreme  Court  would   add  it  to  the  existing   traffic  bail                                                              
schedule.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:18:45 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STOLTZE asked  if the  Legislature would  have an  advisory                                                              
role if the executive branch and the court don't agree to do it.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  specified that  the Legislature's  role is to  say what                                                              
the  fine amount  would  be. She  added  that  if the  legislative                                                              
intent  is that  it goes  on a  bail schedule,  her experience  is                                                              
that DPS would propose it and the court would do it.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE asked if the Legislature's role is advisory.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  replied that the  Legislature could state  definitively                                                              
that something  must be on a  bail schedule and the  Supreme Court                                                              
has historically done so.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:20:16 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STOLTZE  postponed public  testimony  and  held  SB 123  in                                                              
committee.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SSSB 91 Sponsor Statement (Version N) 2-10-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Sectional Analysis - (Version N) 2-10-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Alaska Criminal Justice Commission Report (December 2015).pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SB 123 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 123
SB 123 Backup Document ADN Article 11-15-15.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 123
SB 123 Fiscal Note - DOA-OPA 02-09-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 123
SB 123 Fiscal Note - DPS-AST 02-08-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 123
SB 123 NCSL Texting While Driving State Laws 7-1-15.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 123
SB 123 Texting While Driving Charges.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 123
SB 123 Texting While Driving Penalties.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 123
SSSB 91 Legislature Letter to Alaska Criminal Justice Commission 9-8-2015.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Public Testimony & Correspondence to SSTA (First Batch - 17 POMs) 2-12-2016.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Supporting Document - Op-Ed (Americans for Tax Reform and FreedomWorks).pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Supporting Document - Op-Ed (Family Research Council).pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - DHSS-PS 02-06-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - DOA-DMV 02-10-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - DOA-OPA 02-10-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - DOC-COMM 02-12-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSS 91 Fiscal Note - DOA-PDA 02-10-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - DPS-AST 02-08-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - Judiciary - Judicial Council 2-12-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - DHSS-DPA 02-12-2016.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - DHSS-ASAP 02-11-2016.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Fiscal Note - LAW-CRIM 02-12-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 ACJC Annual Report to the Alaska State Legislature 2-01-2016.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91
SSSB 91 Sponsor Sectional Breakdown by Subject 2-13-16.pdf SSTA 2/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 91