Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/09/2010 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:10 pm Today --
+ SB 257 YOUTH COURTS AND CRIMINAL FINES TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 331 YOUTH COURTS AND CRIMINAL FINES TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 70 ALASKA GROWN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 70(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 9, 2010                                                                                            
                         2:08 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:08:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 2:08 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Hawker, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bill Thomas Jr., Vice-Chair                                                                                      
Representative Allan Austerman                                                                                                  
Representative Mike Doogan                                                                                                      
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Carl   Gatto;    Senator   Dennis    Egan;                                                                    
Representative  Cathy  Munoz;  Jesse Kiehl,  Staff,  Senator                                                                    
Dennis  Egan;  Meghan  Stangeland,  Advocate,  Juneau  Youth                                                                    
Court.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Franci  Havemeister,  Director,   Division  of  Agriculture,                                                                    
Department  of Natural  Resources;  Ginny Espenshade,  Kenai                                                                    
Peninsula  Youth Court;  Ceezar  Martinson, Anchorage  Youth                                                                    
Court;  Sharon  Leon,  Executive Director,  Anchorage  Youth                                                                    
Court.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB  70         ALASKA GROWN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
               CS HB 70(FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee                                                                      
               with no recommendations and with new fiscal                                                                      
               notes from the Department of Education and                                                                       
               the Department of Natural Resources.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 331         YOUTH COURTS AND CRIMINAL FINES                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
               HB 331 was SCHEDULED but NOT HEARD.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB 257         YOUTH COURTS AND CRIMINAL FINES                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
               SB 257  was REPORTED out of  Committee with a                                                                    
               "do pass" recommendation  and with previously                                                                    
               published    fiscal    notes:   FN    1(CRT),                                                                    
               FN 2(DHS), FN 3(LAW).                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:09:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 70                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act establishing the  farm-to-school program in the                                                                    
     Department  of  Natural  Resources,  the  Alaska  grown                                                                    
     fresh  fruit   and  vegetable  grant  program   in  the                                                                    
     Department  of  Education  and Early  Development,  the                                                                    
     farmers'  market technology  improvement pilot  program                                                                    
     in  the Department  of Environmental  Conservation, and                                                                    
     the  farmers  to  food  banks   pilot  program  in  the                                                                    
     Department   of  Commerce,   Community,  and   Economic                                                                    
     Development."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARL GATTO,  SPONSOR, presented  an overview                                                                    
of the  bill, explaining that  HB 70 would help  farmers and                                                                    
children by creating a nexus  between children and real food                                                                    
that children can  be exposed too.  He noted  that people do                                                                    
not  use  enough  fresh  food,  especially  children.  As  a                                                                    
result, 27  percent of  high school  students in  Alaska are                                                                    
obese or overweight. The  legislation would provide students                                                                    
with opportunities  that are  not currently  available, such                                                                    
as  "agriculture day"  in  elementary  schools, which  would                                                                    
focus  on educating  children about  where food  comes from.                                                                    
The  bill  focuses  primarily on  the  encouragement  phase,                                                                    
helping  students to  get excited  about dealing  with fresh                                                                    
food with the help of the farmers.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  appreciated  the work  on  the  Mat-Su                                                                    
farming   issue.  He   asked  for   verification  that   the                                                                    
legislation  reflects  current  law   in  regards  to  price                                                                    
preference granted to locally grown agricultural products.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gatto confirmed that is correct.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gatto  also  mentioned food  security.  Root                                                                    
cellars  and  farmer's  storage  help  root  crops  to  last                                                                    
throughout  the  year.  The  creation  of  a  farm-to-school                                                                    
program  will  help  children recognize  this  and  aims  at                                                                    
encouraging farmers to stay with farming.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:14:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman  asked whether schools  are defined                                                                    
in the bill. Representative Gatto  did not have an answer at                                                                    
that time.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman  noted that  work programs  such as                                                                    
the Alaska  Job Corps  that teach  culinary plans  should be                                                                    
included  in  the  legislation in  addition  to  traditional                                                                    
schools. Representative  Gatto agreed  and noted that  it is                                                                    
possible that the  term "schools" in the bill  is defined as                                                                    
all schools overseen by the Department of Education.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:15:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Thomas  MOVED   to  ADOPT   proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute, work draft 26-LS0284\P, Bannister, 4/8/10.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:16:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEN  MULLIGAN, STAFF,  CO-CHAIR STOLTZE  explained that  the                                                                    
CS, which was  drafted in the previous year,  was updated to                                                                    
reflect  passage in  the current  fiscal  year. January  25,                                                                    
2010 was  changed to January  25, 2011  on Page 3,  line 20.                                                                    
The sunset date  was changed to July 1, 2014,  in section 5,                                                                    
to  reflect that  the legislature  would review  the program                                                                    
after four years.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further OBJECTION, the CS was adopted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  talked of farming and  farming regions and                                                                    
observed that  the bill's relevance  is not just  limited to                                                                    
the Palmer area.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:17:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Thomas  wondered if there is  still a significant                                                                    
amount of  farming in  Tanana. Representative  Kelly replied                                                                    
that it has grown a lot.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:19:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze mentioned  the fiscal  note and  asked for                                                                    
any  discussion   from  committee   members.  Representative                                                                    
Doogan asked  for verification that  the fiscal note  was to                                                                    
the Resources Committee version.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze replied  in the  affirmative and  noted it                                                                    
would be updated to reflect the Finance CS.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Doogan noted  the fiscal  note included  the                                                                    
funding for two positions and  asked for a brief description                                                                    
of each of the positions.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:20:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRANCI  HAVEMEISTER,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF  AGRICULTURE,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL  RESOURCES, discussed the department's                                                                    
fiscal  note. She  confirmed that  there  are two  positions                                                                    
requested under  the bill.  One position is  for a  Range 18                                                                    
development specialist  required to implement  the in-school                                                                    
education  process   as  well   as  educating   the  schools                                                                    
statewide. In  addition, an agricultural inspector  would be                                                                    
necessary if a garden program  were implemented, in order to                                                                    
provide food inspection prior to  its entry into schools for                                                                    
consumption.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  observed  that  it  appeared  the                                                                    
legislation  would  only  involve   schools  in  the  public                                                                    
system. He noted that a  definition of schools is needed and                                                                    
that  the legislation  should apply  to  university and  all                                                                    
others.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze asked  Representative  Gatto  if he  would                                                                    
want the bill to be inclusive of all schools.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gatto  verified that he  would like to  be as                                                                    
inclusive as possible.  He remarked that he  would even like                                                                    
to see  people who have  no ability to grow  crops included,                                                                    
as long as the impetus and  structure for the program are in                                                                    
place with state support.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman  commented that he would  also like                                                                    
to be as inclusive as possible for as many as possible.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:23:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Doogan   stated   that  the   bill   covers                                                                    
everything  that  the   Department  of  Education  accredits                                                                    
except for the University of  Alaska. He noted that the list                                                                    
located  on  page  6,  appears   to  be  complete  with  the                                                                    
exception of the University.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked the  department to explain whether                                                                    
it   is  already   providing  agricultural   inspection  for                                                                    
products that  are produced  in the  state. He  wondered why                                                                    
the bill required another agricultural inspector position.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Havemeister   answered  that  the  position   would  be                                                                    
necessary  if gardens  were implemented  in  rural areas  to                                                                    
guarantee  that the  process of  clean  food development  is                                                                    
understood.  There  are  currently  two  inspectors  at  the                                                                    
Division  of Agriculture,  and their  time  would not  allow                                                                    
them to travel to rural Alaska.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara  asked   for  verification   that  the                                                                    
department   currently    employs   two    inspectors.   Ms.                                                                    
Havemeister agreed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked if the  program would increase the                                                                    
demand  by  20  percent.   Ms.  Havemeister  responded  that                                                                    
implementing the program  state-wide would increase expenses                                                                    
due to travel costs.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  voiced that  there are  farms statewide                                                                    
that have products for consumption.  He noted that it is not                                                                    
obvious  how  the  program  differs  from  the  agricultural                                                                    
inspector needs that currently exist in rural areas.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Havemeister clarified that there  are two inspectors for                                                                    
Anchorage who  do inspections for  large producers  who sell                                                                    
into retail.  For schools wanting  to move product  into the                                                                    
school system  for consumption,  there would  need to  be an                                                                    
inspection process in place.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze voiced the need  to look at the fiscal note                                                                    
further.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  asked  whether rural  areas  with                                                                    
community  gardens would  need the  produce to  be inspected                                                                    
prior to bringing  it into the schools  for consumption. Ms.                                                                    
Havemeister affirmed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman  asked if there  would be a  fee to                                                                    
the community for the inspection.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Havemeister responded  that  the fiscal  note does  not                                                                    
reflect  a fee  for  community inspection.  The fiscal  note                                                                    
would  include the  development specialist  traveling to  do                                                                    
more   education   type-work.   Currently,   most   of   the                                                                    
inspections are  done on the  road system so  the department                                                                    
has not had to address the issue.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman asked if a  restaurant has to pay a                                                                    
fee for  inspections, would the  gardens also be  subject to                                                                    
an inspection  fee from the Department  of Natural Resources                                                                    
(DNR).   Ms.  Havemeister   verified  the   possibility  and                                                                    
responded that DNR would have to look into it.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  asked  if  DNR  would  anticipate                                                                    
regulations. Ms.  Havemeister responded possibly,  and noted                                                                    
it would  depend on  what schools were  involved and  on how                                                                    
extensive the travel would be.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:29:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara noted  the importance  of updating  the                                                                    
fiscal note before the bill goes to the Senate.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Thomas MOVED  to  report CS  HB  70(FIN) out  of                                                                    
Committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes. There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS HB 70(FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with          no                                                                    
recommendations  and   with  new   fiscal  notes   from  the                                                                    
Department  of  Education  and  the  Department  of  Natural                                                                    
Resources.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:31:08 PM     At EASE                                                                                                        
2:32:55 PM     RECONVENED                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 257                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to funding for youth courts; and                                                                          
     relating to accounting for criminal fines."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:33:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   DENNIS   EGAN,   SPONSOR,   explained   that   the                                                                    
legislation provides a sustainable  funding source for youth                                                                    
courts. Youth courts  across the state share  the same basic                                                                    
principal that young  people picked up for  small crimes get                                                                    
a trial by their peers. He  pointed out that only 10 percent                                                                    
of juveniles  who go through  the program  re-offend, saving                                                                    
the  state  approximately  $10  thousand  per  offender.  He                                                                    
maintained  that the  program  provides  real attention  and                                                                    
real  consequences. The  kids who  volunteer in  the program                                                                    
get  great  training  in  criminal  law,  which  is  another                                                                    
benefit to  Alaskans. The  legislation designates  a portion                                                                    
of  criminal  fines as  a  funding  source for  the  courts.                                                                    
Currently,  adult criminal  fines go  into the  unrestricted                                                                    
general fund.  Senate Bill 257  designates up to  25 percent                                                                    
of those  funds for  youth courts.  Senator Egan  noted that                                                                    
making criminals pay for crime prevention is logical.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:35:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ,  a Co-Sponsor  of  SB  257, spoke  in                                                                    
support of the  legislation. She noted that  youth courts in                                                                    
general  and have  been  very  successful, and  specifically                                                                    
mentioned the  success of the  program in Juneau.  There are                                                                    
12  youth  courts  across  the   state.  The  bill  sponsors                                                                    
received  a significant  amount of  input from  youth courts                                                                    
across  the  state  as  well  as  from  police  departments,                                                                    
municipalities and individuals.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Doogan asked  how much  25 percent  of fines                                                                    
would amount to.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JESSE KIEHL,  STAFF, SENATOR  EGAN, explained  that criminal                                                                    
fines  average approximately  $5.2 million  to $5.3  million                                                                    
per year.  Providing 25  percent of those  fines would  be a                                                                    
significant increase  over current funding for  youth courts                                                                    
or the near term anticipated need.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Doogan asked  how the bill would  deal with a                                                                    
mechanism for funding the current need.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Kiehl  answered  that excess  funds  are  automatically                                                                    
returned  to   the  unrestricted   general  fund   when  the                                                                    
authorization  is  greater  than   the  amount  needed.  The                                                                    
legislative appropriation would be based  on the need of the                                                                    
youth courts.  Twenty-five 25 percent  would leave  room for                                                                    
future growth in the program.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:39:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman  asked for  clarification regarding                                                                    
language  in the  legislation  that  states the  legislature                                                                    
"may" appropriate  25 percent.  He asked  if that  meant the                                                                    
legislature  could  appropriate 10  percent  if  that was  a                                                                    
sufficient amount.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kiehl  observed that 10  percent would  be approximately                                                                    
the  amount  appropriated  in  the  Senate  version  of  the                                                                    
operating budget.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  pointed out that in  the House version                                                                    
there was an amendment added  to include the language "up to                                                                    
25  percent".   Representative  Gara   did  not   think  the                                                                    
additional language was necessary  and observed that section                                                                    
3 is permissible.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:40:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  noted his  support for  youth courts.                                                                    
He  noted that  youth courts  have an  8 percent  recidivism                                                                    
rate, which  is lower than the  traditional juvenile justice                                                                    
system and asked  if there is a cut-off  point regarding the                                                                    
kinds of cases  that youth courts can  accept. He questioned                                                                    
if  the   8  percent   rate  reflects   an  apples-to-apples                                                                    
comparison  between youth  courts and  the juvenile  justice                                                                    
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Kiehl explained  that Alaska  statute 47.12.400  sets a                                                                    
bar for  what can  be handled by  the juvenile  court. Cases                                                                    
referred  to  youth  courts under  Alaska  statutes  can  be                                                                    
alcohol related offenses, traffic  offenses, and offenses up                                                                    
to a Class A misdemeanor.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  asked  what   the  most  serious  offense                                                                    
referred to the youth courts could be.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Kiehl  said  a  minor   assault  would  be  within  the                                                                    
misdemeanor realm, whereas serious bodily injury would not.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze noted he would  like more answers regarding                                                                    
his question.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  commented   that  he  received  three                                                                    
letters  from students  at Mt.  Edgecumbe involved  in youth                                                                    
courts who were very articulate  in their support of SB 257.                                                                    
These students pointed out that  having youth handle some of                                                                    
these  issues  provides  a savings  to  the  courts,  noting                                                                    
savings  of  about  $10 thousand  per  case.  Representative                                                                    
Joule asked if youth courts  would have the latitude to deal                                                                    
with  truancy, which  is something  that the  courts do  not                                                                    
appear to have time for.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kiehl  responded that  he was  not familiar  enough with                                                                    
the statute  on truancy to  provide a definitive  answer. He                                                                    
noted that  he did not  believe truancy  to be a  felony and                                                                    
purported  that  when  a  juvenile  is  picked  up  for  the                                                                    
offense, the  Division of Juvenile  Justice could  refer the                                                                    
case to a youth court.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:45:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  followed up  noting that truancy  is a                                                                    
glaring issue  around the state  that could be  addressed in                                                                    
the  legislation. He  stated  that part  of  the reason  the                                                                    
youth  courts are  effective is  because  peers are  dealing                                                                    
with each other.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  asked  Senator   Egan  if  the  bill's                                                                    
purpose aimed to address a  shortfall youth courts currently                                                                    
face or at preventing a shortfall in the future.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Egan  replied that it is  a little of both,  so when                                                                    
current  federal funding  runs  out, the  youth courts  will                                                                    
continue to be funded.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  asked  whether  the  state  is  facing                                                                    
decreasing federal funds.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kiehl responded  in the affirmative, noting  the last of                                                                    
the  second earmark  will  end. Youth  courts  have done  an                                                                    
excellent  job  of  reaching out  to  their  communities  to                                                                    
broaden their  budgets as much  as possible. The  10 percent                                                                    
referenced  in  the  operating budget  would  be  an  amount                                                                    
sufficient to keep the lights  on and nothing more. However,                                                                    
there have been  requests from around the state  to open new                                                                    
youth courts  that would serve  more Alaskans.  Youth courts                                                                    
in some  rural areas of the  state have been closed  and are                                                                    
interested in re-opening.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:48:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  questioned  in  the  interaction  between                                                                    
Department of Health and Social  Services and the Department                                                                    
of Law, who handles what  role and how would the legislation                                                                    
impact the activities of both departments.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kiehl responded that the  youth courts operate under the                                                                    
Department of  Health and Social Services  as a diversionary                                                                    
program for juvenile justice cases.  The Alaska Court System                                                                    
provides  cooperation and  support but  neither funding  nor                                                                    
oversight.  Youth courts  in most  communities  have use  of                                                                    
court rooms  when available.  The court  system has  in turn                                                                    
seen the value  of the youth courts and provides  the use of                                                                    
their court rooms free of charge.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:49:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster asked  if  his  assumption that  most                                                                    
youth courts  are associated  with towns  that have  a court                                                                    
was  accurate. He  wondered if  villages have  youth courts,                                                                    
and if  not, are there  any options  to get youth  courts in                                                                    
villages telephonically.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kiehl felt there was  a great possibility [to expand the                                                                    
program  telephonically]  in   the  future.  Alaska  statute                                                                    
47.12.400 only  allows one youth court  per municipality but                                                                    
nothing prohibits two or  more municipalities from operating                                                                    
a single youth court by agreement between them.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:50:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker pointed out  that the legislation originated                                                                    
as a  house bill in 2005,  which died in the  Senate Finance                                                                    
Committee and noted his support of the bill.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman noted  his  support  of the  youth                                                                    
courts and belief  that they should be  funded. Youth courts                                                                    
help young  students. He maintained  that the bill  does not                                                                    
fund youth courts but highlights  the issue that they should                                                                    
be funded.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:51:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Thomas   asked  if  plea  bargaining   from  one                                                                    
complaint  to a  lower one  occurs  in youth  courts or  are                                                                    
charges are firm.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kiehl  responded that  every youth  court runs  a little                                                                    
differently. In some communities the  youth court picks up a                                                                    
case  right  after arrest.  Other  youth  courts operate  as                                                                    
sentencing courts.  The first expansion  of youth  courts in                                                                    
Alaska happened at  a time when the  juvenile justice system                                                                    
was  so swamped  that kids  picked up  for shoplifting  just                                                                    
received a  letter notifying them  of a $25 fine.  Now these                                                                    
cases  get closer  look  because  attorneys volunteer  their                                                                    
services to the youth courts.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Thomas related a personal antidote.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:54:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGHAN STANGELAND,  ADVOCATE, JUNEAU YOUTH  COURT, supported                                                                    
the bill  and keeping  youth courts.  She stressed  that she                                                                    
has learned so  much from the youth  court system, including                                                                    
how the court  system works and public  speaking skills. She                                                                    
noted the courts are also  very important for the defendants                                                                    
as  the  process  focuses  on  constructing  sentences  that                                                                    
reflect  personalization for  each  defendant, which  allows                                                                    
the defendant  to identify their strengths  and to hopefully                                                                    
give back  to the community  in ways that help  them realize                                                                    
they can be an asset to the community.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
GINNY   ESPENSHADE,  KENAI   PENINSULA   YOUTH  COURT   (via                                                                    
teleconference),   responded   to   Representative   Joule's                                                                    
comment  related  to  truancy, noting  that  each  community                                                                    
youth court  could work with  their community to  modify the                                                                    
court's focus  based on the community's  specific needs. Ms.                                                                    
Espenshade referred to the upper  state New York youth court                                                                    
system,  which is  an entirely  truancy based  court, as  an                                                                    
example of how each youth court  can respond to the needs of                                                                    
their given community.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:57:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CEEZAR    MARTINSON,    ANCHORAGE     YOUTH    COURT    (via                                                                    
teleconference), emphasized his strong  support of the bill.                                                                    
As a  member of  the Anchorage  youth court,  his experience                                                                    
has been  a very rewarding  time, inspiring him to  pursue a                                                                    
career in law enforcement.  Mr. Martinson encouraged support                                                                    
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHARON LEON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ANCHORAGE YOUTH COURT (via                                                                    
teleconference),  in  response  to  an  earlier  comment  by                                                                    
Representative  Foster, voiced  agreement on  trying to  get                                                                    
youth  courts into  rural areas.  Several  youth courts  are                                                                    
currently looking to  see if these practices can  be used in                                                                    
rural communities.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Leon  testified  that  the   support  of  youth  courts                                                                    
presents  an opportunity  to fund  a  program that  provides                                                                    
tangible  benefits  to Alaska's  youth  and  adults and  the                                                                    
lives  of  future  generations.   Ms.  Leon  emphasized  the                                                                    
importance  of  a  program  where   youth  and  adults  work                                                                    
together in a partnership and urged support of the bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:02:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster thanked  Ms. Leon  for the  Anchorage                                                                    
youth court's rural outreach efforts.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze closed public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:03:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker MOVED  to report  SB 257  out of  Committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB  257 was  REPORTED  out  of Committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation and  with previously published  fiscal notes:                                                                    
FN 1(CRT), FN 2(DHS), FN 3(LAW).                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 331                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to funding for youth courts; and                                                                          
     relating to accounting for criminal fines."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 331 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                             
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:06 PM                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB257 Support Letters.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
SB 257
SB_257_Sponsor_Statement_corrected.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
SB 257
01 HB331 Sponsor Statement[1].pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
05 HB331-UYCA FactBrief[1].docx HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
07 HB331 Fines in Statute[1].pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
08 HB331 Support Letters[1].pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
HB331 Change to bill in (H)JUD.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
HB 331 AK Youth Courts FAQS.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
UYCA Youth Court Directory 4-2-2010 (3).doc HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
Explanation of changes.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
explanation ofchanges HB 70CSHB70(Res)updated020110.doc HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Fact Sheet.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
farm to school supporting materials.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
farm to school supporting materials.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Letter of support 1.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Letter of support 2.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Letter of support 3.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Request for hearing.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Sectional.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Sponsor statement.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
HB 70 CS WORKDRAFT 26-LS0248 P.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
HB70CS(RES)-DNR-AG-04-09-10NEW.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70