Legislature(2011 - 2012)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/02/2012 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 359(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 292(L&C) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 2, 2012                                                                                            
                         1:37 p.m.                                                                                              
1:37:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:37 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bill Thomas Jr., Co-Chair                                                                                        
Representative Anna Fairclough, Vice-Chair                                                                                      
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Doogan                                                                                                      
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Anne Carpeneti,  Assistant Attorney General,  Legal Services                                                                    
Section-Juneau,  Criminal   Division,  Department   of  Law;                                                                    
Richard   Svobodny,   Deputy  Attorney   General,   Criminal                                                                    
Division,   Department  of   Law;   Lisa  Mariotti,   Policy                                                                    
Director,  Alaska Network  of Domestic  Violence and  Sexual                                                                    
Assault;  Nancy  Meade,  General   Counsel,  Office  of  the                                                                    
Administrative Director, Alaska  Court System; Jane Pierson,                                                                    
Staff, Representative Steve  Thompson; Beth Chapman, Private                                                                    
Attorney, Juneau.                                                                                                               
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Regina  Chennault,  Physician  and  Member,  Violent  Crimes                                                                    
Compensation  Board;  Gloria  O'Neill, President  and  Chief                                                                    
Executive  Officer, Cook  Inlet  Tribal Council,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Sergeant   Kathy   Lacey,   Anchorage   Police   Department;                                                                    
Lieutenant Rodney Dial, State  Trooper, Department of Public                                                                    
Safety;  Gerad Godfrey,  Chair, Violent  Crimes Compensation                                                                    
Board;  Alice  Myers,  Board  Member,  Mary  Magdalene  Home                                                                    
Alaska, Anchorage; Quinlan  Steiner, Public Defender Agency;                                                                    
David   Shaftel,   Private  Attorney,   Anchorage;   Douglas                                                                    
Blattmachr, Alaska Trust Company.                                                                                               
HB 292    PRINCIP.& INC/PROBATE/UTMA/RETIREMT/ETC.                                                                              
          CSHB 292(L&C)  was REPORTED out of  committee with                                                                    
          a   "do   pass"   recommendation  and   with   one                                                                    
          previously published zero fiscal note: FN1 (CED).                                                                     
HB 359    SEX CRIMES; TESTIMONY BY VIDEO CONFERENCE                                                                             
          CSHB 359(FIN)  was REPORTED out of  committee with                                                                    
          a "do  pass" recommendation and with  two new zero                                                                    
          fiscal    notes    from    the    Department    of                                                                    
          Administration,  two new  zero  fiscal notes  from                                                                    
          the  Department of  Public  Safety,  one new  zero                                                                    
          fiscal note  from the Department  of Law,  one new                                                                    
          indeterminate   note   from  the   Department   of                                                                    
          Corrections,   and    one   previously   published                                                                    
          indeterminate fiscal note: FN8 (CRT).                                                                                 
HOUSE BILL NO. 359                                                                                                            
     "An  Act   relating  to  conspiracy  to   commit  human                                                                    
     trafficking in  the first degree or  sex trafficking in                                                                    
     the first  degree; relating to the  crime of furnishing                                                                    
     indecent  material  to  minors,  the  crime  of  online                                                                    
     enticement of  a minor, the crime  of prostitution, and                                                                    
     the crime  of sex  trafficking; relating  to forfeiture                                                                    
     of property used in  prostitution offenses; relating to                                                                    
     sex  offender registration;  relating  to testimony  by                                                                    
     video  conference; adding  Rule 38.3,  Alaska Rules  of                                                                    
     Criminal  Procedure;  and  providing for  an  effective                                                                    
1:37:40 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE CARPENETI,  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL,  LEGAL SERVICES                                                                    
SECTION-JUNEAU,  CRIMINAL   DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT   OF  LAW,                                                                    
introduced  testifiers representing  the  Department of  Law                                                                    
(LAW),  as well  as other  experts  in the  field that  were                                                                    
available for questions.                                                                                                        
RICHARD   SVOBODNY,   DEPUTY  ATTORNEY   GENERAL,   CRIMINAL                                                                    
DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, was present for questions.                                                                         
REGINA  CHENNAULT,  PHYSICIAN  AND  MEMBER,  VIOLENT  CRIMES                                                                    
COMPENSATION  BOARD (via  teleconference),  spoke in  strong                                                                    
support of  the bill. She  testified that her  membership on                                                                    
the  board offered  her firsthand  knowledge  of the  damage                                                                    
caused as a  result of sex trafficking. She spoke  of a case                                                                    
in Anchorage  that involved an offender  driving the streets                                                                    
of the city  and abducting children on their  way to school,                                                                    
then  forcing  them  into  sex  trafficking  through  drugs,                                                                    
bodily harm, and  intimidation. She stated that  one 16 year                                                                    
old young woman  abducted by the offender  ended up brutally                                                                    
beaten,  pregnant, addicted  to  drugs,  and suffering  from                                                                    
multiple,  life-long  sexually   transmitted  diseases.  She                                                                    
furthered that experience as a  trauma surgeon had shown her                                                                    
that when  left unchecked,  offenders and  victims continued                                                                    
the cycle of violence  through generations. She thought that                                                                    
a  provision  pertaining to  any  harm  of an  unborn  child                                                                    
should be considered.                                                                                                           
1:42:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  directed attention  to a provision  in the                                                                    
bill   that  provided   for  video   conferencing  for   the                                                                    
competency hearing and  the trial. He queried  her stance on                                                                    
the subject of video conferencing.                                                                                              
Dr. Chennault asked for clarification of the question.                                                                          
Ms. Carpeneti  explained that there  were two  provisions in                                                                    
the  bill related  to the  simultaneous taking  of testimony                                                                    
from victims  by video conferencing.  She said that  one was                                                                    
for the pre-trial  competency hearing and the  other was for                                                                    
the  actual trial.  She qualified  that the  trial provision                                                                    
was very limited because of  the right of cross examination.                                                                    
She  furthered that  the competency  provision was  broader,                                                                    
but the court  held the burden to determine  the fairness of                                                                    
the proceedings.                                                                                                                
Dr. Chennault responded  that if the child  victim could not                                                                    
be present  at the court proceedings  the video conferencing                                                                    
provisions  would be  a  key asset  for  the prosecution  of                                                                    
1:46:12 PM                                                                                                                    
GLORIA O'NEILL, PRESIDENT AND  CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, COOK                                                                    
INLET TRIBAL COUNCIL,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support of  the bill. She testified that  the council was                                                                    
particularly troubled  by the luring of  young Alaska Native                                                                    
women from villages  into the sex trade. She  pointed out to                                                                    
the  committee that  sex traffickers  often preyed  upon the                                                                    
most vulnerable,  and often most  invisible to  society: the                                                                    
homeless,  runaway  youth, and  youth  in  foster care.  She                                                                    
asserted  that  there  were  a  disproportionate  number  of                                                                    
Native  women in  the sex  trade in  Anchorage. She  relayed                                                                    
that  the typical  age for  Alaska  Native females  entering                                                                    
into the  trade was 15 to  17 years old, and  that they were                                                                    
especially  vulnerable  because  they could  be  labeled  as                                                                    
"exotic." She supported the bill  because it recognized that                                                                    
the victims  of the trade  were just that: victims,  and not                                                                    
prostitutes  or  criminals.  She   added  that  the  council                                                                    
supported   increased   sentences  for   perpetrators.   She                                                                    
stressed that  the council was dedicated  to partnering with                                                                    
public  and  private  entities to  ensure  that  there  were                                                                    
appropriate preventative  and response services  for victims                                                                    
in the  hope that victims  would move  on to lead  happy and                                                                    
successful lives.                                                                                                               
1:48:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SERGEANT  KATHY  LACEY,  ANCHORAGE  POLICE  DEPARTMENT  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  voiced support  for  the legislation.  She                                                                    
noted   that    the   language   change    from   "promoting                                                                    
prostitution" to  "sex trafficking" was  significant because                                                                    
"promoting  prostitution"  implied  a  business  arrangement                                                                    
between the  trafficker and the  victim. She  furthered that                                                                    
the average  age of  entry into the  trade was  14 years-of-                                                                    
age,  and  that  the  young age  made  victims  particularly                                                                    
vulnerable. She  believed that increasing penalties  for the                                                                    
patrons of prostitution was also important.                                                                                     
1:51:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-chair Fairclough  solicited her opinion  about striking                                                                    
the  videoconferencing  provision,  which  was  intended  to                                                                    
address  the 6th  amendment right  to confront  and question                                                                    
the accuser.                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Lacey  noted  that  she had  not  seen  the  amendment;                                                                    
however, she  believed that whatever  could be done  to make                                                                    
the situation easier on the victims, the better.                                                                                
LIEUTENANT RODNEY DIAL, STATE  TROOPER, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC                                                                    
SAFETY (via  teleconference), spoke  in support of  the bill                                                                    
and was available for questions.                                                                                                
GERAD  GODFREY,  CHAIR,  VIOLENT CRIMES  COMPENSATION  BOARD                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  pointed  to   a  letter  of  support                                                                    
included  in  members' packets  (copy  on  file). He  voiced                                                                    
strong  support for  the victim  centered approach  taken by                                                                    
the bill. He  shared that while serving on the  board he had                                                                    
noticed that a certain  percentage of victims that submitted                                                                    
claims had been on an  unhealthy life trajectory. He thought                                                                    
that  the  state,  through  legislation,  could  assist  the                                                                    
victims in  becoming positive members of  society. He stated                                                                    
that sex trafficking victims  typically had low self-esteem,                                                                    
which was  compounded by working  in the trade.  He believed                                                                    
that the system should  be sensitive about labeling victims.                                                                    
He relayed that  victims were able to  recognize their self-                                                                    
worth  when   those  who  exploited  them   suffered  severe                                                                    
consequences.   He   asserted   that   the   videoconference                                                                    
provision was  important because  it would allow  the victim                                                                    
to  be  part  of  the   process  without  the  fear  of  re-                                                                    
1:58:25 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA MARIOTTI,  POLICY DIRECTOR, ALASKA NETWORK  OF DOMESTIC                                                                    
VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT, spoke  in strong support of the                                                                    
legislation;   specifically,   the    language   change   of                                                                    
"promoting  prostitution" to  "sex  trafficking" because  it                                                                    
maintained focus  on the acts  of a perpetrator.  She stated                                                                    
that  the victims  of sex  trafficking were  often the  most                                                                    
vulnerable members of society;  homeless adults and children                                                                    
of  both   sexes  were   often  preyed   on  by   groups  of                                                                    
perpetrators.  She   testified  in  support   of  increasing                                                                    
penalties for patronizing a  prostitute; particularly if the                                                                    
sex worker was a minor.                                                                                                         
Vice-chair     Fairclough    discussed     the    use     of                                                                    
videoconferencing; specifically,  children who  were victims                                                                    
of sexual  assault being allowed to  provide video testimony                                                                    
instead of  appearing in  a courtroom.  She shared  that the                                                                    
administration  had requested  that  the committee  consider                                                                    
allowing  videoconferencing   for  competency   hearings  of                                                                    
defendants. She asked Ms. Mariotti's opinion on the matter.                                                                     
Ms. Mariotti  responded that LAW  was trying to  address the                                                                    
fact that there  were very few experts  available in Alaska.                                                                    
She addressed the children  videoconferencing law, which had                                                                    
been  upheld  in  the  court of  appeals.  She  assured  the                                                                    
committee that LAW had worked  to balance the constitutional                                                                    
rights of the  victim and the confrontational  rights of the                                                                    
defendant  under  the 6th  Amendment.  She  thought that  it                                                                    
would be challenged, but that LAW would win the challenge.                                                                      
Vice-chair  Fairclough understood  that  there were  certain                                                                    
situations  under  which  a  judge,  or  jury,  could  allow                                                                    
videoconferencing.  She  queried   the  circumstances  under                                                                    
which   a    vulnerable   child   could    testify   through                                                                    
2:03:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Mariotti replied  that she  was  not an  expert in  the                                                                    
area. She believed that the  basis for the videoconferencing                                                                    
provision   was    because   children    were   particularly                                                                    
vulnerable.  She said  the provision  could  be extended  to                                                                    
victims  who   could  be  re-traumatized  by   facing  their                                                                    
perpetrators in court.                                                                                                          
Ms.  Carpeneti  stated  that the  bill  allowed  for  remote                                                                    
testimony  if  the  witness was  unavailable  to  appear  in                                                                    
person. She said  that the proposed procedure  would be two-                                                                    
way  video,  and  would  require  the  witness  to  see  the                                                                    
courtroom as  if they were  actually sitting in  the witness                                                                    
stand.  She added  that the  provision supplemented  current                                                                    
law, which  allowed for one  way video testimony of  a child                                                                    
victim, if the  court found that facing the  person in court                                                                    
would be too  traumatic. She relayed that  in certain, fact-                                                                    
specific circumstances, where the  witness could not make it                                                                    
to the court room, the witness could testify remotely.                                                                          
Vice-chair Fairclough asked whether  there would be a person                                                                    
from the court system with the videoconferencing witness.                                                                       
Ms. Carpeneti answered that the  bill required the victim to                                                                    
be  alone with  the videoconference.  She clarified  that an                                                                    
application  could be  made  to  the court  to  allow for  a                                                                    
person to accompany a child for support.                                                                                        
Representative Gara asserted that he  did not intend for his                                                                    
amendment to  lead to the re-victimization  of witnesses. He                                                                    
said that  the bill did not  seem to be aimed  at protecting                                                                    
victims from  being re-victimized.  He cited Page  16, which                                                                    
allowed  for the  videoconference testimony  if the  witness                                                                    
was unavailable.  He pointed  to the  mandatory requirements                                                                    
for videoconferencing:                                                                                                          
     (1) the requesting party establishes that testimony by                                                                     
     two-way video conference is necessary to further an                                                                        
     important public policy;                                                                                                   
     (2) the requesting party establishes that the witness                                                                      
     is unavailable                                                                                                             
He surmised that if the  witness was available, even if they                                                                    
were a victim, the provision would not apply.                                                                                   
Ms.  Carpeneti agreed.  She explained  that the  witness may                                                                    
have moved out of state,  which would make them unavailable.                                                                    
She stressed that if the witness  was a child under 16 years                                                                    
of age, the  court of appeals had upheld  that one-way video                                                                    
could be used.                                                                                                                  
Ms. Carpeneti  furthered that the  court rule in  Section 24                                                                    
of the bill  was limited. She stated that  the procedure had                                                                    
been  upheld by  the United  States Supreme  Court, and  was                                                                    
similar to a  procedure that had been upheld  by the state's                                                                    
court of appeals.                                                                                                               
Representative Gara asked if there  were procedures in place                                                                    
that would protect witnesses in the courtroom.                                                                                  
2:09:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Carpeneti  responded that  victims were  protected under                                                                    
statute, but  not necessarily in the  courtroom setting. She                                                                    
stated that the  right of notice, and the  opportunity to be                                                                    
heard were among the protections provided by the court.                                                                         
Representative Gara hypothesized that  the court could allow                                                                    
testimony  to  happen by  deposition,  with  all parties  in                                                                    
different locations.                                                                                                            
Ms. Carpeneti  responded that the  courts had held  that the                                                                    
two-way video  conferencing was fair to  all people involved                                                                    
because  it  gave  the  judge the  chance  to  evaluate  the                                                                    
person's demeanor.                                                                                                              
ALICE  MYERS,  BOARD  MEMBER, MARY  MAGDALENE  HOME  ALASKA,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),  spoke  in  favor  of  the                                                                    
legislation.  She  testified that  many  of  the women  that                                                                    
passed through the home had  been preyed upon in their youth                                                                    
by pimps, working  prostitutes, and in some  cases their own                                                                    
mothers. She opined that it was  common for a child to begin                                                                    
soliciting under  the tutelage of  the mother. She  said the                                                                    
mother would  in turn sell  the child  to a pimp  for drugs.                                                                    
She added  that the women  that passed through the  home did                                                                    
not have  the job  skills needed  to build  a new  life. She                                                                    
said   they   were    often   homeless,   poor,   unskilled,                                                                    
undereducated,  drug   addicted,  mentally   and  physically                                                                    
unhealthy,  felons, lacking  in familial  support, and  most                                                                    
all  of them  were  mothers. She  relayed  that these  women                                                                    
continued to exist in a  cycle; rotating between survival on                                                                    
the streets  and incarceration, and often  incarceration was                                                                    
a welcome respite. She testified  in support of the language                                                                    
change  in the  bill, and  the addition  of stronger  patron                                                                    
2:15:52 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY MEADE,  GENERAL COUNSEL, OFFICE OF  THE ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
DIRECTOR,   ALASKA   COURT   SYSTEM,  explained   that   the                                                                    
competency hearings  in Section  16 of the  legislation were                                                                    
not  uncommon. She  said that  the hearings  were part  of a                                                                    
criminal case; however, during a  competency hearing not all                                                                    
defendant protections  would be  attached. She  thought that                                                                    
there  could be  questions concerning  the constitutionality                                                                    
of the provision,  but that the court had no  opinion on the                                                                    
matter.  She clarified  that not  every courtroom  currently                                                                    
had the capacity to support  the two-way video conferencing.                                                                    
She  directed attention  to the  indeterminate fiscal  note.                                                                    
She said  that in some  situations Skype could be  used, but                                                                    
that the  court did  not have the  ability to  provide high-                                                                    
quality,   high-sound  video   in  all   different  criminal                                                                    
proceedings.  She said  that Section  24 of  the bill  could                                                                    
apply in all criminal cases.                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg queried  the issue of severability                                                                    
regarding the legislation.                                                                                                      
Ms.   Carpeneti  responded   that   there   was  a   general                                                                    
severability  statute in  Alaska law  that provided  that if                                                                    
one provision  in a  bill was  found to  be unconstitutional                                                                    
the rest of the bill would still stand.                                                                                         
Ms.  Meade elaborated  that the  video-conferencing portions                                                                    
of  the  bill  were  not  necessarily  related  to  the  sex                                                                    
trafficking  provision; they  were  two  different parts  of                                                                    
criminal law that would be changed by the bill.                                                                                 
Representative Doogan  asked for an explanation  of Page 16,                                                                    
line  20. He  wanted  to  know the  standard  of "clear  and                                                                    
convincing evidence," as  well as what it  was being applied                                                                    
to on lines 30 and 31.                                                                                                          
Ms.   Carpeneti  responded   that   "clear  and   convincing                                                                    
evidence" was  a standard that  was more difficult  to reach                                                                    
than preponderance of evidence,  which was the standard used                                                                    
in  most  civil litigation.  She  said  that the  state  was                                                                    
required to  prove beyond a reasonable  doubt before someone                                                                    
could be convicted of a  crime, which was the highest burden                                                                    
of proof  in law.  She relayed  that "clear  and convincing"                                                                    
rested  between "preponderance  of evidence"  and "beyond  a                                                                    
reasonable doubt."                                                                                                              
2:21:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Doogan asked  why  the  highest standard  of                                                                    
beyond a reasonable doubt had not been used.                                                                                    
Ms. Carpeneti responded that the  court of appeals had found                                                                    
that clear  and convincing  would be the  appropriate burden                                                                    
of proof in the case of unavailability of child witnesses.                                                                      
Representative Doogan  noted that the same  standard applied                                                                    
throughout the legislation to patrons of prostitution.                                                                          
Ms. Carpeneti clarified that the  standard that applied to a                                                                    
patron of a prostitute was beyond a reasonable doubt.                                                                           
Co-Chair  Thomas thought  that plea  bargains should  not be                                                                    
allowed  in  child  sex  trafficking  cases.  He  felt  that                                                                    
perpetrators should be barred from  hiring the best and most                                                                    
capable attorneys.                                                                                                              
Ms. Carpeneti  responded that the state  public defender was                                                                    
excellent. She reminded  the committee that the  right to an                                                                    
attorney  was protected  under the  constitution. She  added                                                                    
that the  crime of  sex trafficking in  the first  degree as                                                                    
described  in  the bill  would  be  an unclassified  felony,                                                                    
which was the highest level of crime under state law.                                                                           
2:26:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara cited  Page  16. He  surmised that  the                                                                    
court  had  a stronger  interest  in  protecting victims  as                                                                    
opposed  to  generic  witnesses.   He  understood  that  the                                                                    
provision  would  apply  to all  unavailable  witnesses.  He                                                                    
suggested limiting Line  5 to "testimony from  a victim." He                                                                    
thought that  the court would  be more willing to  protect a                                                                    
victim. He believed that this  would protect victims without                                                                    
extending the provision to other witnesses.                                                                                     
Ms. Carpeneti  responded that there were  some witnesses who                                                                    
could be critical to the  prosecution of the case, that were                                                                    
not  the victim,  but were  unavailable. She  said that  the                                                                    
rule  would only  be applied  if  the court  found that  the                                                                    
witness  had a  connection to  a particular  victim under  a                                                                    
particular  fact pattern.  She stressed  that the  provision                                                                    
would have to be justified  and would be limited. She shared                                                                    
that the  language followed what  the United  States Supreme                                                                    
Court had  upheld under Maryland  v. Craig [The  court ruled                                                                    
that  the  Sixth  Amendment's  Confrontation  Clause,  which                                                                    
provides  criminal defendants  with the  right to   confront                                                                    
witnesses  against them,  did  not bar  the  use of  one-way                                                                    
closed  circuit  television  to   present  testimony  by  an                                                                    
alleged  child  sex  abuse  victim.]  She  shared  that  the                                                                    
decision in  that case had  required the court to  make fact                                                                    
specific  determinations that  a particular  witness, for  a                                                                    
particular case, justified the use of videoconferencing.                                                                        
Representative  Gara understood  that presently,  the courts                                                                    
deposed witnesses if they were unavailable.                                                                                     
Ms. Carpeneti said that a  deposition was a possibility, and                                                                    
then  the  court would  decide  if  it was  admissible.  She                                                                    
furthered that a two-way video  would be more helpful to the                                                                    
process than a flat deposition.                                                                                                 
Representative  Neuman expressed  concern with  the lack  of                                                                    
definition for  "indecent materials"  found on Page  3, line                                                                    
31 of the legislation.                                                                                                          
Ms. Carpeneti  replied that Section  4, page 3, line  30 was                                                                    
specifically  in  the bill  to  address  a decision  by  the                                                                    
Federal  District  Court,  which   found  that  the  state's                                                                    
statute prohibiting  the distribution of  indecent materials                                                                    
to minors was unconstitutionally  overbroad. The section had                                                                    
been  rewritten in  order to  address the  concerns of  that                                                                    
decision; it required the state  to prove that the defendant                                                                    
intentionally  distributed  the  material, or  possessed  it                                                                    
with  the intention  to distribute,  to a  person known,  or                                                                    
believed, to be  a child. She cited Page 4,  lines 9 through                                                                    
18, which described the prohibited material.                                                                                    
2:31:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Neuman opined  that the  language on  Page 4                                                                    
described acts, and not material.  He asserted that indecent                                                                    
material  could be  any  number of  things.  He requested  a                                                                    
description of exactly what were indecent materials.                                                                            
Ms.  Carpeneti  responded  that the  provision  would  cover                                                                    
material in a  variety of formats: books,  email, video, any                                                                    
material that included the prohibited acts.                                                                                     
Representative  Neuman explained  that  his concern  stemmed                                                                    
from the  fact that there  were definitions in the  bill for                                                                    
other acts.                                                                                                                     
Ms. Carpeneti responded that Section  3 of the bill expanded                                                                    
the definition  of "serious felony  offense" solely  for the                                                                    
purpose of  the law dealing  with conspiracy. She  said that                                                                    
the  law  that dealt  with  conspiracy  was limited  in  its                                                                    
application to  serious crimes. She explained  that the bill                                                                    
provided  for two  additional crimes:  human trafficking  in                                                                    
the first degree and sex trafficking in the second degree.                                                                      
Representative Neuman  wondered whether  it would  be better                                                                    
to  include a  description  of what  the indecent  materials                                                                    
were. Additionally, he pointed to  Section 13 related to the                                                                    
forfeiture  of  property;  he  asked  for  a  definition  of                                                                    
Ms. Carpeneti  replied that  the forfeiture  provision would                                                                    
include items such as cars,  houses, money; anything used to                                                                    
institute, aid,  or facilitate sex  trafficking, as  well as                                                                    
anything  received  or  derived from  sex  trafficking.  She                                                                    
stated that  current law allowed  that the state  could seek                                                                    
forfeiture of money or property  that was used to commit sex                                                                    
trafficking.  The   legislation  would  add  the   crime  of                                                                    
promoting prostitution by an adult  seeking a prostitute who                                                                    
was underage.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson wondered  what  the current  ultimate                                                                    
penalty was for a perpetrator related sex trafficking.                                                                          
Ms. Carpeneti responded that the  maximum term was 99 years.                                                                    
She noted that the bill  only changed the penalty applied to                                                                    
the patron  of a prostitute.  She furthered that if  the sex                                                                    
worker was under  18, and if there were three  or more years                                                                    
between the  patron and the  worker, the penalty would  be a                                                                    
Class C felony.                                                                                                                 
Representative Wilson  wondered why it mattered  how old the                                                                    
patron was, if the victim was a minor.                                                                                          
Ms.  Carpeneti  believed that  the  age  of the  patron  was                                                                    
important because it  was expected that the  patron would be                                                                    
of an age of maturity, and  would be more cognizant of their                                                                    
behavior when patronizing a minor sex worker.                                                                                   
2:38:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-chair  Fairclough  noted  that  some  patrons  consider                                                                    
sexual activity with a minor  exotic, which meant that pimps                                                                    
would receive a  premium price. She explained  that this was                                                                    
the  reasoning  behind  increasing the  penalty  for  patron                                                                    
knowingly soliciting underage prostitutes.                                                                                      
Vice-chair  Fairclough  wondered   what  would  prevent  the                                                                    
department  from using  expert  witnesses  exclusively in  a                                                                    
two-way  video  conference.  She  thought  that  this  would                                                                    
ensure that the jury heard from the best experts possible.                                                                      
Ms.  Carpeneti responded  that the  reason  for putting  the                                                                    
possibility  in statute  was that  there was  a shortage  of                                                                    
psychiatrists and  psychologists that  had the  expertise to                                                                    
testify to the competency of  a person charged with a crime.                                                                    
She  said that  the approach  was to  use the  expertise and                                                                    
resources as  efficiently as  possible; for  example, having                                                                    
an  expert appear  by videoconference  in a  village, rather                                                                    
than having the  expert travel.  She stated that  as long as                                                                    
the court found  that it was fair, and  all participants had                                                                    
a fair  chance to examine the  witness, out-of-state experts                                                                    
could be used.                                                                                                                  
Vice-chair  Fairclough offered  that  a  defense would  then                                                                    
have the  same opportunity to  provide an expert.  She noted                                                                    
that weather conditions occasionally  made it impossible for                                                                    
in-time  arrival  to  some  communities.  She  believed  the                                                                    
benefits   of  the   two-way  conferencing   outweighed  the                                                                    
negatives. She  thought that it  was important  to recognize                                                                    
that     technological     advancements,    like     two-way                                                                    
videoconferencing, were realities to  consider in the future                                                                    
crafting of policy.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair Stoltze moved to amendments.                                                                                           
Representative Gara  had no intention of  offering amendment                                                                    
2. He stressed that the  amendment had not been written with                                                                    
the intention of re-victimizing witnesses.                                                                                      
Representative Gara MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                 
     Page 5, line 15:                                                                                                           
     After "under" delete "18"                                                                                                  
     After "under" insert "20"                                                                                                  
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                       
Representative Gara explained Amendment  1. He believed that                                                                    
young women  were barely out of  high school at age  20, and                                                                    
were therefore as impressionable as  someone who was 18.  He                                                                    
thought  that increasing  the penalty  for a  sex trafficker                                                                    
who  hired a  person under  age  20, rather  than 18,  would                                                                    
result in fewer young people entering the sex trade.                                                                            
Ms. Carpeneti  agreed that  people under  20 years  old were                                                                    
very vulnerable.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thomas   opined  that  defense  lawyers   for  sex                                                                    
traffickers  were  often  provided  at the  expense  of  the                                                                    
Representative   Costello   asked    what   the   sentencing                                                                    
guidelines would be for the  crime of sex trafficking in the                                                                    
first  degree involving  an  18 year-old,  as  the bill  was                                                                    
currently   written.  She   queried   the  same   sentencing                                                                    
guidelines and crime label if the victim was a 19 year-old.                                                                     
Ms.  Carpeneti  responded  that the  bill  would  raise  the                                                                    
penalty  for  a patronizing  an  under  aged prostitute  (if                                                                    
there was three years age  difference between the patron and                                                                    
the  prostitute) from  a Class  B misdemeanor  to a  Class C                                                                    
felony,  which was  five years  in jail.  She said  that sex                                                                    
trafficking  in the  first degree  would be  an unclassified                                                                    
felony if the  victim was under 18 years old  and would have                                                                    
a maximum term of 99 years.  Under current law if the victim                                                                    
was over  18 the  maximum term was  20 years.  She furthered                                                                    
that  sex trafficking  in the  second degree  was a  Class B                                                                    
felony that could result in  10 years in prison. She relayed                                                                    
that  sex trafficking  in the  third  degree was  a Class  C                                                                    
felony  and  carried a  maximum  term  of  5 years  and  sex                                                                    
trafficking in the fourth degree  was a Class A misdemeanor,                                                                    
with  a  maximum  term  of  one year.  She  noted  that  the                                                                    
penalties  for  sex  trafficking  were not  changed  in  the                                                                    
legislation.  She said  that  if the  age  was changed  from                                                                    
under 18  to under 20,  the penalty for people  that induced                                                                    
victims under 20 would be raised to an unclassified felony.                                                                     
Representative  Costello  wondered  whether  there  was  any                                                                    
overlap related to the minimum  and maximum terms that would                                                                    
be given to perpetrators.                                                                                                       
Ms. Carpeneti answered that she  had just listed the maximum                                                                    
terms  of imprisonment.  She specified  that the  sentencing                                                                    
ranges could be  found in AS 12.55.125. She  stated that the                                                                    
term would  depend on the  offender's criminal  history. She                                                                    
assured  the  committee  that   the  state  had  significant                                                                    
sentencing ranges for people who  victimized other people in                                                                    
a sexual way.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Costello probed  what  change the  amendment                                                                    
would have in the overall effect of the legislation.                                                                            
Co-Chair  Stoltze interjected  that the  question was  about                                                                    
what would happen to 19 year-old victims.                                                                                       
Ms. Carpeneti  replied that the  defendant would  be subject                                                                    
to an unclassified felony prosecution.  She added that under                                                                    
current law  someone found  guilty of  soliciting a  19 year                                                                    
old  would be  subject  to a  maximum term  of  20 years  in                                                                    
2:53:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Costello queried the minimum sentences.                                                                          
Ms. Carpeneti responded that a  defendant that was convicted                                                                    
of sex trafficking  in the first degree when  the victim was                                                                    
under 18,  and if the  victim was under 13  years-old, first                                                                    
offense: 25  to 35 years; 13  years-old and above: 20  to 30                                                                    
years. She added that the  range would increase if a firearm                                                                    
or weapon was used.                                                                                                             
Representative  Joule understood  the range  encompassed the                                                                    
minimum to the maximum sentence that could be given.                                                                            
Ms. Carpeneti  replied that  when a  judge was  sentencing a                                                                    
person for the first offense  of sex trafficking of a child,                                                                    
the range if  the victim was under 13 years-old  would be 25                                                                    
to 35  years. She said  that the  range would be  subject to                                                                    
alteration depending on mitigating or aggravating factors.                                                                      
Representative Joule surmised that  the minimum sentence was                                                                    
a   moving  target   based  on   aggravated  or   mitigating                                                                    
Ms. Carpeneti replied that that was true.                                                                                       
Representative Neuman understood that  the age change in the                                                                    
proposed amendment would make the law stricter.                                                                                 
Ms. Carpeneti responded in the affirmative.                                                                                     
Representative Gara  clarified that  the amendment  spoke to                                                                    
the sex trafficker and not the patron.                                                                                          
Representative Wilson wondered if  the amendment changed the                                                                    
original intent  of the  bill, which  was to  protect minors                                                                    
age 18 and under.                                                                                                               
Ms. Carpeneti  replied that  generally speaking  in criminal                                                                    
law terms  a minor was a  person under 18 who  was addressed                                                                    
by the  juvenile justice  system. She  said that  in certain                                                                    
circumstances the courts could  treat people as juveniles up                                                                    
to 20 years of age.                                                                                                             
2:58:35 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  wondered how the change  would impact                                                                    
the  fiscal  note.  She  maintained  her  OBJECTION  to  the                                                                    
Representative  Gara  clarified   that  the  amendment  only                                                                    
related  to  the sentence  against  the  sex trafficker.  He                                                                    
reiterated  that  it  would  not  change  any  of  the  laws                                                                    
relating to a minor.                                                                                                            
Ms. Carpeneti  agreed that the  amendment would  only change                                                                    
the penalty  for promoting prostitution in  the first degree                                                                    
for a person  who was guilty of the trafficking  of a person                                                                    
under the age of 20.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Stoltze reiterated  that the  amendment would  not                                                                    
affect the patron or the victim.                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  clarified  that  the  judge  had  the                                                                    
discretion to  declare a person  a minor even if  the person                                                                    
was over the age of 18.                                                                                                         
Ms. Carpeneti  responded that she  did not know  whether the                                                                    
judge  would  have  the authority.  She  stressed  that  the                                                                    
legislature would define the crime  in the bill, which would                                                                    
inform the prosecution and the  court system of the elements                                                                    
of the crime.                                                                                                                   
Representative Wilson WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                   
There being NO further OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was ADOPTED.                                                                      
3:02:12 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Thomas revisited whether  the bill could be changed                                                                    
so that  people accused of  sex trafficking would  be barred                                                                    
from retaining a state appointed public defender.                                                                               
Ms. Carpeneti  advised against limiting the  availability of                                                                    
public defenders. She stated that  the accused had the right                                                                    
under constitutional law to a criminal defense lawyer.                                                                          
Co-Chair Thomas  maintained his position that  defendants in                                                                    
sex trafficking cases  should not be allowed  a defense paid                                                                    
for by the state.                                                                                                               
Representative  Gara explained  that  public defenders  were                                                                    
awarded to defendants that  met specific poverty guidelines.                                                                    
He  added  that  not  many sex  traffickers  were  poor.  He                                                                    
recognized that defendants could hide their assets.                                                                             
Vice-chair  Fairclough pointed  to the  fiscal notes:  Court                                                                    
System, Department  of Administration, Department  of Public                                                                    
Safety, Department of Law, Department of Corrections.                                                                           
Representative Costello  pointed to a typo  in OMB component                                                                    
number 43 in the word substitute.                                                                                               
3:07:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Doogan  opined  that  another  indeterminate                                                                    
fiscal  note   was  attached   to  legislation   before  the                                                                    
Vice-chair Fairclough  MOVED to report CSHB  359(FIN) out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes. There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CSHB  359(FIN) was  REPORTED  out of  committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation and  with  two new  zero fiscal  notes                                                                    
from the  Department of Administration, two  new zero fiscal                                                                    
notes from  the Department  of Public  Safety, one  new zero                                                                    
fiscal   note  from   the  Department   of   Law,  one   new                                                                    
indeterminate note  from the Department of  Corrections, and                                                                    
one  previously  published  indeterminate fiscal  note:  FN8                                                                    
3:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
3:14:17 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 292                                                                                                            
     "An Act relating to  property exemptions for retirement                                                                    
     plans;  relating to  pleadings, orders,  liability, and                                                                    
     notices  under the  Uniform Probate  Code; relating  to                                                                    
     the Alaska  Principal and Income  Act; relating  to the                                                                    
     Alaska  Uniform Transfers  to Minors  Act; relating  to                                                                    
     the   disposition  of   human   remains;  relating   to                                                                    
     insurable  interests   for  life   insurance  policies;                                                                    
     relating to  transfers of individual  retirement plans;                                                                    
     relating to the community  property of married persons;                                                                    
     and amending Rule 301(a), Alaska Rules of Evidence."                                                                       
3:14:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-chair Fairclough MOVED CSHB  292(L&C), 27-LS1232/I as a                                                                    
working  document  before  the  committee.  There  being  NO                                                                    
OBJECTION it was so ordered.                                                                                                    
JANE   PIERSON,   STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   STEVE   THOMPSON,                                                                    
explained  the  legislation.  She   read  from  the  sponsor                                                                    
     House Bill 292 provides for amendments to statute in                                                                       
     the following areas:                                                                                                       
        · Extends protection  for retirement plan  assets to                                                                    
          the beneficiaries of retirement plans (often the                                                                      
          surviving spouse).                                                                                                    
        · Provides  means of  representation for  minors and                                                                    
          incapacitated persons in dealing with settlements                                                                     
          of accounts or settlement agreements.                                                                                 
        · Amends the  2003 Alaska  Principal and  Income Act                                                                    
          to conform to current IRS regulations.                                                                                
        · Provides  rules  concerning  who may  control  the                                                                    
          disposition of decedents' remains.                                                                                    
        · Makes  conforming  amendments   to  Alaska's  laws                                                                    
          regarding insurable interests to align with                                                                           
          changes to the Uniform Trust Code.                                                                                    
        · Provides  that IRA  interests  can be  voluntarily                                                                    
         transferred to a family member or trust.                                                                               
        · Makes  amendments to  Alaska's community  property                                                                    
          provisions to update and clarify the ownership of                                                                     
          community property.                                                                                                   
        · Allows  a beneficiary  to  extend  the time  funds                                                                    
          will be held in a Uniform Transfer to Minors                                                                          
3:17:08 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID    SHAFTEL,   PRIVATE    ATTORNEY,   ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  detailed the  sectional analysis  (copy on                                                                    
Representative Edgmon asked for the highlights of the bill.                                                                     
Mr. Shaftel  pointed to  Section 4 and  5, which  dealt with                                                                    
extending virtual  representation from agreements  that were                                                                    
reached in court to agreements  that were reached outside of                                                                    
court,  such   as  settlements  or  trust   accountings.  He                                                                    
furthered that  Sections 6 through  8 spoke to a  method for                                                                    
modifying  trust, and  had  been adopted  by  13 states.  He                                                                    
continued  to  explain that  Sections  9-25  dealt with  the                                                                    
Alaska  Principal  and  Income  Act,  and  incorporated  new                                                                    
federal  regulations   and  recommendations   from  national                                                                    
experts to  improve the income  act. Sections 26  through 28                                                                    
detailed  the  amendments  to Alaska  Uniform  Transfers  to                                                                    
Minors  Act; the  change allowed,  with the  minors consent,                                                                    
the  extension of  the accounts  beyond  the age  of 25.  He                                                                    
concluded that Section 29 related to decedents remains.                                                                         
3:22:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Costello asked  whether Sections  26 through                                                                    
28 provided  a ceiling of 25  years of age, or  extended the                                                                    
Mr. Shaftel replied  that the extension could  be applied to                                                                    
any age that was agreeable to the minor and the custodian.                                                                      
Representative  Costello asked  about the  priority list  in                                                                    
Section 29 related to the decision of disposing of remains.                                                                     
Mr. Shaftel answered  that the list could be  found on Pages                                                                    
24 and  25 of the  bill. He  continued to Section  30, which                                                                    
spoke to insurable interests and  clarified the law and made                                                                    
it clear  that trusts and  business entities could  own life                                                                    
insurance if the beneficiaries were  those with an insurable                                                                    
interest. He stated that Section  31 dealt with transfers of                                                                    
IRA interests and allowed for  the voluntary transfer of IRA                                                                    
interests for estate planning  purposes. Sections 32 through                                                                    
36 spoke to  the state community property  act and clarified                                                                    
survivorship questions and beneficiary designations.                                                                            
3:25:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg asked about  sections 6 through 8;                                                                    
particularly  the  last  paragraph. He  wondered  about  the                                                                    
level of flexibility that would  be allowed for adjusting to                                                                    
changing circumstances.                                                                                                         
Mr.  Shaftel  replied  that  the statute  was  a  result  of                                                                    
hearing  in New  York concerning  the balance  of correcting                                                                    
administrative types  of errors and dispositive  changes. He                                                                    
said that when making a  change to the trust the dispositive                                                                    
plan  in place  would  need  to be  followed.  He said  that                                                                    
increasingly he had  seen plans where the  trustee was given                                                                    
absolute  discretion to  make  distributions, which  allowed                                                                    
for more  leeway. He  relayed that there  was no  such thing                                                                    
anymore as a completely  irrevocable trust. He stressed that                                                                    
the provision had been carefully vetted.                                                                                        
3:27:58 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUGLAS    BLATTMACHR,    ALASKA    TRUST    COMPANY    (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in strong support of the bill.                                                                           
BETH CHAPMAN,  PRIVATE ATTORNEY, JUNEAU,  strongly supported                                                                    
the legislation.                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked whether  there was any language in                                                                    
the bill  that would weaken  the rights of  beneficiaries or                                                                    
victims of fraud.                                                                                                               
Ms. Chapman responded in the negative.                                                                                          
Co-Chair Thomas CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
Vice-chair  Fairclough discussed  the one  zero fiscal  note                                                                    
from   Department  of   Commerce,  Community   and  Economic                                                                    
Vice-chair Fairclough  MOVED to report CSHB  292(L&C) out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CSHB  292(L&C) was  REPORTED  out of  committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation and with  one previously published zero                                                                    
fiscal note: FN1 (CED).                                                                                                         
3:31:26 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:31 PM.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB292 Explanation of Changes from Version A to Version M.pdf HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
HB292 Legal Opinion.pdf HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
HB292 Sectional 2.24.12.pdf HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
Memo re Contracts Clause Issue.pdf HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
HB292 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
Memo re Single Subject rule.pdf HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 292
Westlaw Croft v. Parnell.pdf HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 289
HB 359 - LOS.PDF HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 359
HB359 Amendments Gara 1-2.pdf HFIN 4/2/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 359