Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/13/2013 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
--Recessed to Call on 4/14/13 for SB 18 & HR 8--
+= SB 18 BUDGET: CAPITAL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held over to 4/14/13
+ HB 192 PAYMENT OF FISHERY RESOURCE LANDING TAX TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HR 8 TASK FORCE ON SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Held Over to 4/14/13>
+ SB 56 RECLASSIFYING CERTAIN DRUG OFFENSES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 49 MEDICAID PAYMENT FOR ABORTIONS; TERMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- NO Public Testimony at this time --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 57 LITERACY, PUPIL TRANSP, TEACHER NOTICES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 57(EDC) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 13, 2013                                                                                            
                         9:27 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:27:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 9:27 a.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Scott Kawasaki, Alternate                                                                                        
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Chuck Kopp,  Staff, Senator Fred Dyson;  Senator Fred Dyson,                                                                    
Sponsor; Forest Dunbar,  Attorney, Juneau; Richard Svobodny,                                                                    
Deputy  Attorney General,  Criminal Division,  Department of                                                                    
Law;  Tim   Lamkin,  Staff,  Senator  Gary   Stevens;  Bruce                                                                    
Johnson,  Executive  Director,   Alaska  Council  of  School                                                                    
Administrators; Senator John  Coghill, Sponsor, Senator Mike                                                                    
Dunleavy.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Sidney  Billingslea, Self,  Anchorage; Walt  Monegan, Alaska                                                                    
Native Justice Center,  Anchorage; Niesja Steinkruger, Self,                                                                    
Fairbanks; Carmen  Gutierrez, Prisoner Re-Entry  Task Force,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Scott  Sterling,   Office  of  Public  Advocacy,                                                                    
Anchorage; Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Public                                                                             
Defender's Office, Anchorage.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 192    PAYMENT OF FISHERY RESOURCE LANDING TAX                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HB 192 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HR 8      TASK FORCE ON SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          HR  8 was  REPORTED out  of committee  with a  "do                                                                    
          pass" recommendation and with  one new fiscal note                                                                    
          from the legislature.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          [Note: The  meeting was recessed until  12:00 p.m.                                                                    
          on  April 14,  2013  and HR  8  was reported  from                                                                    
          committee  at  that  time.   See  April  14,  2013                                                                    
          minutes for detail.]                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 18(FIN)am                                                                                                                  
          BUDGET: CAPITAL                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          HCS  CSSB 18(FIN)  was REPORTED  out of  committee                                                                    
          with a "do pass" recommendation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          [Note: The  meeting was recessed until  12:00 p.m.                                                                    
          on  April  14,  2013  and  HCS  CSSB  18(FIN)  was                                                                    
          reported from  committee at  that time.  See April                                                                    
          14, 2013 minutes for detail.]                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SSSB 49 am                                                                                                                      
          MEDICAID PAYMENT FOR ABORTIONS; TERMS                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          SSSB 49  am was  HEARD and  HELD in  committee for                                                                    
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 56(JUD)                                                                                                                    
          RECLASSIFYING CERTAIN DRUG OFFENSES                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          CSSB 56 (JUD) was HEARD  and HELD in committee for                                                                    
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 57(FIN)                                                                                                                    
          LITERACY, PUPIL TRANSP, TEACHER NOTICES                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CSSB 57  was REPORTED out of  committee with a                                                                    
          "do pass"  recommendation and with one  new fiscal                                                                    
          impact  note  from  Department  of  Education  and                                                                    
          Early   Development;   one  previously   published                                                                    
          fiscal impact  note: FN2(EED); and  one previously                                                                    
          published zero note: FN4(EED).                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:27:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  relayed that  the capital budget  would be                                                                    
heard  later  in the  day.  He  discussed bills  before  the                                                                    
committee and his intent for the meeting.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 56(JUD)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to certain crimes involving                                                                               
     controlled substances; and providing for an effective                                                                      
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:30:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK  KOPP, STAFF,  SENATOR FRED  DYSON, communicated  that                                                                    
the bill  was part of  a national reform movement  being led                                                                    
by  conservative states;  he referred  the "Right  on Crime"                                                                    
movement  in  Texas,  Oklahoma,  Arkansas,  and  other.  The                                                                    
movement  addressed  the  spiraling correctional  costs  and                                                                    
existing  policies  that  were  causing  prison  systems  to                                                                    
dramatically  increase. He  relayed that  the Alaska  prison                                                                    
system  was  growing  at  the fourth  fastest  rate  in  the                                                                    
nation;  the  state had  one  of  the highest  incarceration                                                                    
rates in  the country. He  believed it was  unfortunate that                                                                    
an earlier prediction  that a new prison  would be necessary                                                                    
had  come  to  fruition.  He communicated  that  it  may  be                                                                    
necessary to build another prison  in 2016. As a result, the                                                                    
sponsor had begun  looking at the primary  growth drivers of                                                                    
the state's prison population.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kopp relayed that a  considerable amount of evidence had                                                                    
come  from  various  groups   including  the  Department  of                                                                    
Corrections  (DOC) and  the Criminal  Justice Working  Group                                                                    
(made up of leaders in  DOC, the Department of Public Safety                                                                    
(DPS),  the Attorney  General's office,  and other  drug and                                                                    
substance abuse groups); the groups  had identified that the                                                                    
primary   growth  drivers   were   simple  possession   drug                                                                    
offences,  theft,  and  petition to  revoke  probation.  The                                                                    
sponsor had addressed reasons  for incarceration and whether                                                                    
it was viable  to have a prison population that  in 10 years                                                                    
had  gone   from  40  percent   nonviolent  to   64  percent                                                                    
nonviolent with an annual cost  of $54,000 per prisoner. The                                                                    
bill  aimed  to  correct  an  incongruity  in  existing  law                                                                    
specifying that any amount of a  schedule IA or IIA drug was                                                                    
a  felony offence.  The law  specifically  stated that  drug                                                                    
quantity did  not have to  be usable  (e.g. a shaving  of an                                                                    
oxycodone pill); it  only had to be sufficient  enough to be                                                                    
identified in a narcotics test.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Kopp  relayed  that  the  existing  law  had  caught  a                                                                    
significant  number  of youths  up  in  a felony  conviction                                                                    
status; the  felony was never  dropped from  an individual's                                                                    
record. Consequences  included the inability to  qualify for                                                                    
a  student  loan, affordable  housing,  and  a job  in  many                                                                    
cases.  He relayed  that the  bill  made no  changes to  the                                                                    
felony offence for  the distribution and sale  of drugs. The                                                                    
bill impacted initial, small  quantity possession for simple                                                                    
drug amounts. He  relayed that under the current  law it was                                                                    
a class  C felony  to possess  any amount  of a  schedule IA                                                                    
controlled substance (e.g. opium,  morphine, and pain killer                                                                    
drugs)  or   a  schedule  IIA  controlled   substance  (e.g.                                                                    
cocaine).                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:34:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kopp  explained that the  bill would make  possession of                                                                    
the  controlled substances  a  class C  felony  only if  the                                                                    
defendant in the seven years  preceding the offence had been                                                                    
convicted  two  or  more times  of  misconduct  involving  a                                                                    
controlled  substance in  the  first  through fifth  degree;                                                                    
misconduct included  unclassified felonies (such  as selling                                                                    
schedule I drugs  to a child) down to a  class A misdemeanor                                                                    
offence.  He pointed  to driving  under the  influence (DUI)                                                                    
offences  as  another example  of  a  third-strike law;  DUI                                                                    
offenders were subject  to a felony on  their third offence.                                                                    
He  emphasized  that DUI  is  lethal  behavior and  the  law                                                                    
treated the  first two offences  as misdemeanors.  He looked                                                                    
at  domestic violence,  assault, and  theft where  the first                                                                    
two  offences were  treated as  misdemeanors  and the  third                                                                    
offence  was a  felony.  He stressed  that the  three-strike                                                                    
policy worked;  70 percent  of the  people arrested  for DUI                                                                    
never  reoffend. He  stated  that  one-third of  individuals                                                                    
sent to jail never reoffended.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kopp addressed  a second element of the  bill related to                                                                    
a  felony threshold  for the  drug amount  possessed on  the                                                                    
first offence. The sponsor had  looked to 14 states that had                                                                    
implemented the  approach; the states had  received positive                                                                    
results in the  rate of violence and person  crime. The bill                                                                    
set the felony  threshold at 15 or more pills  of a schedule                                                                    
IA or  IIA substance; likewise, 3  or more grams would  be a                                                                    
felony. Due  to the  lethal and  addictive nature  of heroin                                                                    
the threshold  was 0.5 grams  or 500  milligrams; similarly,                                                                    
an exception had  also been made for LSD  at 300 milligrams.                                                                    
Any amount  exceeding the thresholds  would be a  felony for                                                                    
the  first  offence.  He  noted  that  Legislative  Research                                                                    
Services  estimated that  the change  would  save the  state                                                                    
approximately  $14 million  per year;  departments including                                                                    
the  Department of  Law (DOL)  estimated that  savings would                                                                    
occur.  He   noted  that  the  committee   would  hear  from                                                                    
researcher  Forest Dunbar  who  had studied  at Harvard  and                                                                    
Yale.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze welcomed  the  bill  sponsor Senator  Fred                                                                    
Dyson to the committee room.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FOREST  DUNBAR,  ATTORNEY,  JUNEAU,  provided  a  PowerPoint                                                                    
presentation   titled   "Reclassifying   Nonviolent,   Small                                                                    
Quantity Possession Potential Impact  on Alaska's Budget and                                                                    
Society"  (copy on  file). He  noted that  the research  had                                                                    
involved  the  Office  of   Public  Advocacy;  however,  his                                                                    
testimony  was  not  affiliated with  any  state  or  public                                                                    
agency.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dunbar  pointed to slide  1 titled  "Reclassification of                                                                    
Drug  Possession."  He  stressed  that the  bill  would  not                                                                    
prevent DOL from prosecuting drug  distribution as a felony;                                                                    
the crime was a felony if  a person was caught with evidence                                                                    
to distribute  drugs of any  quantity. He believed  the bill                                                                    
would  lead to  a  reduction in  costs for  the  state in  a                                                                    
variety of ways,  which he would discuss. He  moved to slide                                                                    
2 titled "Alaska's Prison Population  Growth"; the graph had                                                                    
been  presented by  DOC to  multiple  committees during  the                                                                    
current legislative  session. The  red line  represented the                                                                    
number of prison  beds; the number spiked  in 2012/2013 with                                                                    
the  opening of  Goose Creek  Correctional Center.  The blue                                                                    
line  represented the  total  prison  population; the  graph                                                                    
indicated  that  in  2016  the  number  of  prisoners  would                                                                    
outnumber the number  of prison beds. He  discussed that the                                                                    
state  would  need  to decide  whether  it  would  construct                                                                    
another prison  or begin exporting  prisoners out  of state.                                                                    
He  communicated  that  the state's  incarceration  [growth]                                                                    
rate  was  approximately 3  percent,  which  was double  the                                                                    
general population growth.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dunbar  turned to  slide 3  titled "Drivers  of Alaska's                                                                    
Prison Population  Growth." He relayed that  the information                                                                    
came from  an internal DOC  memo dated August 24,  2012. The                                                                    
memo  identified three  primary drivers  including increased                                                                    
felony  theft  in  the  second  degree;  a  rise  in  prison                                                                    
admission related  to drug offences (nonviolent  offences in                                                                    
particular);  and   an  increase  in  Petitions   to  Revoke                                                                    
Probation  (PTRP). He  stated that  the  bill addressed  the                                                                    
second and  third points on  the slide; it would  reduce the                                                                    
number of  people on felony  probation, which  should reduce                                                                    
the number of people subject to a PTRP.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:42:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dunbar addressed  a chart titled "Cases  Filed in Alaska                                                                    
Court  System  with  MICS-4 Charges,  by  Year  (2008-2012)"                                                                    
(slide  4).   He  explained  that  Misconduct   Involving  a                                                                    
Controlled Substance  in the fourth degree  (MICS-4) was the                                                                    
state's lowest  level drug felony and  related to possession                                                                    
of any  schedule IA  or IIA  substance. A  graph on  slide 4                                                                    
showed  that in  the past  five years  the number  of MICS-4                                                                    
cases   filed  had   increased   dramatically;  the   growth                                                                    
coincided with  an increase  in incarcerated  prisoners with                                                                    
the charge and with a felony record.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dunbar moved to slide  5 titled "Collateral Consequences                                                                    
from  Small-quantity Drug  Felonies."  He communicated  that                                                                    
the most significant consequence  was providing a barrier to                                                                    
employment;  other  potential  factors included  a  loss  of                                                                    
federal benefits,  affordable housing,  and more.  He shared                                                                    
that certain consequences related  to employment went beyond                                                                    
Alaska  statutes. For  example,  an individual  with a  drug                                                                    
felony of any  kind prohibited work in  a facility receiving                                                                    
Medicare or Medicaid funds; he  believed the prohibition was                                                                    
too broad.  Additionally, the Anchorage School  District and                                                                    
the North  Slope would  not hire an  individual with  a drug                                                                    
felony for  a period of  10 years. He communicated  that the                                                                    
inability  to find  employment was  a recidivism  driver. He                                                                    
explained  that  when  people  serve  or  avoid  time  on  a                                                                    
Suspending Imposition  of Sentence (SIS) it  did not provide                                                                    
them with a clean record. He  noted that an SIS was the most                                                                    
common  way  people  were adjudicated  on  first  time  drug                                                                    
felony offences.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Dunbar directed  attention to  slide 6  titled "Reduced                                                                    
Legal an  Adjudication Costs." He  highlighted that  it took                                                                    
close  to twice  as long  to reach  disposition in  a felony                                                                    
case compared to a misdemeanor  case in Anchorage courts. He                                                                    
stated that  people fought felonies  much harder due  to the                                                                    
repercussions. He pointed to slide  7 titled "Annual Savings                                                                    
from  Reduced Legal  and Adjudication  Costs." He  explained                                                                    
that the reduction in the  number of days to disposition had                                                                    
a  direct impact  on cost.  Additionally, other  cost savers                                                                    
included that a grand jury  was not required for misdemeanor                                                                    
cases, fewer jurors were required  if the case went to trial                                                                    
(6  instead  of 12),  defense  agencies  and DOL  used  less                                                                    
expensive  attorneys  for   processing  misdemeanors  versus                                                                    
felonies.  As a  result, he  projected between  $400,000 and                                                                    
$800,000 in  annual savings to  the Alaska Court  System and                                                                    
the  legal  agencies  combined.  He  pointed  out  that  the                                                                    
estimate  did  not include  any  potential  DOL savings.  He                                                                    
noted  that DOL  had been  unable to  provide data  when the                                                                    
estimates had been done in the fall of 2012.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:46:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Dunbar turned  to slide  8 titled  "Projected Range  of                                                                    
Annual   Savings   to    DOC   from   Reduced   Incarcerated                                                                    
Population." He  shared that the  projections were  based on                                                                    
estimates  done   on  a  similar  reform   in  Colorado  and                                                                    
California; Colorado  had passed the reform,  but California                                                                    
had not.  He had  used the California  and Colorado  data on                                                                    
hard-bed  impact  and  had  changed  it  for  Alaska's  cost                                                                    
structure to reach  estimates used on slide  8. He estimated                                                                    
between $1.5  million and  $2 million  in annual  savings to                                                                    
DOC  within 3  or 4  years.  He noted  that the  Legislative                                                                    
Legal Services  report estimated  that current  law resulted                                                                    
in costs of  approximately $14 million per  year; the report                                                                    
had  not stated  that the  amount could  all be  captured as                                                                    
savings if  the law  was changed.  However, he  believed the                                                                    
findings were  indicative that millions to  tens of millions                                                                    
of dollars could be saved through the reform.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dunbar addressed  slide 9 titled "Public  Safety: Map of                                                                    
Lower-48  States Where  Drug Possession  is a  Misdemeanor."                                                                    
The  map  showed  14  states where  drug  possession  was  a                                                                    
misdemeanor.  Slide  10 illustrated  that  there  was not  a                                                                    
variable skewing the  data towards the 14  states; the group                                                                    
included poor states like Mississippi,  rich states like New                                                                    
York,  urban liberal  states like  Massachusetts, and  rural                                                                    
conservative states  like Wyoming. He relayed  that the bill                                                                    
had  been  most closely  drafted  after  Wyoming's law;  the                                                                    
state had 3  gram drug limit with a  300 milligram exception                                                                    
for  liquid heroin.  The slide  showed a  comparison between                                                                    
states  where  possession  was a  felony  and  states  where                                                                    
possession was a  misdemeanor. He was not  claiming that the                                                                    
reform would  lead to  the listed outcomes,  but it  was the                                                                    
case  in  states where  possession  was  a misdemeanor  that                                                                    
lower  rates  existed  for violent  crime,  property  crime,                                                                    
incarceration,  illicit drug  use, rape,  physical violence,                                                                    
stalking, and  other kinds of  domestic violence  and higher                                                                    
rates of  drug treatment existed.  He stated that  there had                                                                    
been some argument that reform  would prevent the state from                                                                    
administering  drug treatment;  however, there  was evidence                                                                    
of  higher levels  of drug  treatment in  states where  drug                                                                    
possession was a misdemeanor. He  noted that date rape drugs                                                                    
would be excluded from the reform.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Dunbar provided  conclusions on  slide 11.  He did  not                                                                    
predict that the  reform would have a  significant impact on                                                                    
public  safety.  The  reform  would  reduce  the  number  of                                                                    
individuals with felony records,  which would hopefully lead                                                                    
to a reduction in unemployment  rates and help drive some of                                                                    
the positive  outcomes witnessed  in other states.  He noted                                                                    
that the data  did show that the reform  caused the positive                                                                    
outcomes  in other  states; he  surmised  that the  outcomes                                                                    
were connected  to employment. Additionally, the  bill would                                                                    
reduce  DOC probation  officer  caseloads.  He relayed  that                                                                    
offenders would not go unsupervised.  Alaska and Wyoming did                                                                    
not  have misdemeanor  probation  officers. He  communicated                                                                    
that  under  the legislation  every  person  convicted of  a                                                                    
MICS-5 offence  would be screened  and sent to  treatment if                                                                    
they were  found to have  a drug addiction.  The individuals                                                                    
would  be monitored  through informal  misdemeanor probation                                                                    
and  by  Department of  Health  and  Social Services  (DHSS)                                                                    
probation officers  if in treatment.  He concluded  that the                                                                    
reform  would save  the  state  up to  tens  of millions  of                                                                    
dollars over  the upcoming decade.  He emphasized  that real                                                                    
savings would  come to  the state  by decreasing  the prison                                                                    
population growth  curve and delaying  the need  for another                                                                    
$250 million prison like Goose Creek.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:51:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  discussed  that questions  would  not  be                                                                    
addressed  during the  meeting.  He relayed  that the  issue                                                                    
would  be  examined over  the  interim.  He invited  DOL  to                                                                    
testify  regarding  their concerns.  He  wanted  to set  the                                                                    
framework  for  issues  that  the  committee  would  try  to                                                                    
address regarding the legislation.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD   SVOBODNY,   DEPUTY  ATTORNEY   GENERAL,   CRIMINAL                                                                    
DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF  LAW, stated  that any  revision to                                                                    
criminal law  in the state  was establishing  public policy.                                                                    
He detailed that the legislature  was responsible for policy                                                                    
decisions whether  the police or  a prosecutor in  any local                                                                    
community  had  a  like  or dislike  for  the  current  drug                                                                    
possession law. He  acknowledged that the bill  had merit as                                                                    
part of  a general review of  sentencing criteria, policies,                                                                    
and  costs in  Alaska; however,  it  did not  mean that  the                                                                    
police community  or the district  attorney offices  did not                                                                    
have concerns  that may not  be readily apparent.  He shared                                                                    
that the  Alaska Peace Officers  Association and  the Juneau                                                                    
and  Anchorage Police  Departments  had  spoken against  the                                                                    
bill  in other  committees. He  noted that  the sponsor  had                                                                    
allowed   the  department   to   make   amendments  to   the                                                                    
legislation; DOL  had been very  concerned that  the initial                                                                    
bill  would have  made it  a misdemeanor  to possess  common                                                                    
date rape  drugs. He  relayed that  the sponsor  had quickly                                                                    
agreed  to  amend the  portion  of  the bill.  He  discussed                                                                    
certain  areas the  sponsor  did not  want  amended such  as                                                                    
weight  thresholds   for  particular  types  of   drugs.  He                                                                    
explained that  in some  instances such  as LSD,  weight was                                                                    
meaningless;  commercial  transaction  dosages of  the  drug                                                                    
were  minimal.   The  department   had  suggested   using  a                                                                    
threshold  of five  blotter pieces  of  paper; however,  the                                                                    
crime lab had relayed that  it could be distributed in items                                                                    
such as Jell-O shots.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Svobodny communicated  that DOL's  primary concern  was                                                                    
dealing with  treatment. He understood that  the legislation                                                                    
did not do away with  treatment, but he addressed collateral                                                                    
consequences. He  stated that one  reason the  possession of                                                                    
heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and  LSD had been a felony                                                                    
since  before statehood  was to  guarantee that  a certified                                                                    
felony   probation  officer   would  be   assigned  to   the                                                                    
individuals. He  noted the  distinction between  a certified                                                                    
probation  officer and  a DHSS  probation officer;  a felony                                                                    
probation  officer was  certified  by  the Police  Standards                                                                    
Council and  could conduct searches  and carry  firearms. He                                                                    
stressed that the certified officers  would not be available                                                                    
in misdemeanant possession cases.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:57:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Svobodny  stated that in misdemeanant  cases a probation                                                                    
officer  would  not  be  available  to  monitor  whether  an                                                                    
offender  had  gone to  treatment.  He  relayed that  felony                                                                    
probation officers  were necessary  for two reasons:  (1) to                                                                    
ensure  offenders  with  addiction  problems  are  attending                                                                    
treatment  and   (2)  to  ensure  that   offenders  are  not                                                                    
burglarizing  homes  or  other  to  feed  an  addiction.  He                                                                    
emphasized that  most possession cases for  small amounts of                                                                    
drugs were  really distribution cases that  had been reduced                                                                    
to  possession.   He  pointed  to  a   considerable  problem                                                                    
statewide  with drugs  such as  Oxycotton [OxyContin]  which                                                                    
was a  schedule IA controlled substance  (the most dangerous                                                                    
type of drug). There had  been an epidemic of youths selling                                                                    
Oxycotton (three pills cost  approximately $150 in Anchorage                                                                    
and $300  in Juneau);  in recognition  that the  youths were                                                                    
not likely to  reoffend, prosecutors had tended  to drop the                                                                    
charge to possession, which reduced  the charge from a class                                                                    
A to a  class C felony. He stated that  changing the offence                                                                    
from  a class  A  felony  to a  class  A  misdemeanor was  a                                                                    
substantial drop.  He was  concerned that  prosecutors would                                                                    
be willing to cut breaks to young kids.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:00:03 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:00:54 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman took over as meeting chair.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Svobodny communicated  that DOL's  primary concern  was                                                                    
that the bill did not deal with treatment for drug addicts.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:01:36 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:02:20 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Svobodny  continued to discuss the  department's concern                                                                    
that the bill would  have unforeseen consequences related to                                                                    
drug rehabilitation.  The concern  was that there  would not                                                                    
be sufficient motivation  for people to be  in the programs.                                                                    
For example,  currently in Anchorage people  preferred to go                                                                    
to  jail  on  a  class  C  felony  offence  rather  than  to                                                                    
therapeutic court.  He stated that with  the proposed reform                                                                    
people  would not  go to  therapeutic  courts. He  cautioned                                                                    
about the  use of models  and statistics from  other states.                                                                    
He relayed  that Wyoming had  a lifetime  look-back compared                                                                    
to the  seven-year look-back  used in  the bill  [related to                                                                    
the  three-strike rule].  He noted  that the  difference was                                                                    
substantial. The  bill had originally included  a three-year                                                                    
look-back; the department had requested  an amendment to ten                                                                    
years  and the  sponsor  had compromised  with a  seven-year                                                                    
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Svobodny  advised the  committee  to  be cautious  when                                                                    
reviewing the  number data provided.  He stated  that crimes                                                                    
against  people  were listed  in  AS  11.41 and  under  some                                                                    
municipality  ordinances; the  list  did  not include  items                                                                    
such as  arson or blowing  up a pipeline. The  numbers cited                                                                    
in   support  of   the  legislation   counted  a   group  of                                                                    
individuals who should be in  jail; people who had committed                                                                    
multiple burglaries or other.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:05:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Svobodny  agreed that it  sounded like a waste  of state                                                                    
money that offenders  were in jail for crimes  that were not                                                                    
crimes  against people;  however,  he pointed  to a  current                                                                    
court of appeals decision related  to a person with 50 prior                                                                    
convictions. He  stated that the  individual deserved  to be                                                                    
in jail. He  reiterated his words of caution  about what the                                                                    
numbers  provided in  support of  the legislation  meant. He                                                                    
emphasized   that  the   department's  concerns   about  the                                                                    
legislation  did not  mean there  should not  be a  holistic                                                                    
review of the state's  correctional system. He detailed that                                                                    
the U.S.  had a  higher incarceration  rate than  almost any                                                                    
other  nation, which  meant that  something the  country was                                                                    
doing  was not  right. He  referred to  a current  bill that                                                                    
would create a  sentencing commission to look  at the issues                                                                    
holistically rather  than looking only at  certain drugs. He                                                                    
credited Kelly Howell with DOC  [corrected to DPS below] for                                                                    
catching that  the bill  would have  made the  most commonly                                                                    
used  date  rape  drug a  misdemeanor.  He  emphasized  that                                                                    
further review  and something  like a  sentencing commission                                                                    
was needed.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  corrected that  Kelly Howell  was the                                                                    
legislative liaison for DPS. Mr. Svobodny agreed.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:07:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Holmes   shared   the  concern   that   the                                                                    
legislation would effectively  remove probation officers for                                                                    
offenders  and  that  treatment  would  not  be  as  readily                                                                    
available.  She  wondered  if   the  answer  was  to  either                                                                    
maintain  the  felony  charge or  to  extend  probation  and                                                                    
treatment  to  the  class  of  offences  whether  they  were                                                                    
misdemeanors or felonies.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Svobodny did not know  whether either of the options was                                                                    
the  right answer.  He noted  that the  state had  used both                                                                    
kinds  of   systems.  He  opined   that  people   with  drug                                                                    
addictions should be treated before  getting to the criminal                                                                    
justice system.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:08:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SIDNEY  BILLINGSLEA, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  support of the  bill. She provided  her background                                                                    
as a  private criminal  defense attorney.  She pointed  to a                                                                    
letter  of support  she  had provided  (copy  on file).  She                                                                    
believed the  production of possession crimes  from a felony                                                                    
to  a misdemeanor  for  the first  two  offences within  the                                                                    
look-back  period was  a humane  and honest  way of  dealing                                                                    
with  the  problem that  was  criminal,  but also  addiction                                                                    
driven. She  stated that there  was a need for  treatment of                                                                    
individuals  with  addiction  problems  or  an  illegal  use                                                                    
problem. She detailed that the  existing model was dependent                                                                    
on  discretion  of  individual  prosecutors  throughout  the                                                                    
state and  of the  defense attorney  (many class  C felonies                                                                    
could  be  reduced to  a  misdemeanor  for possession  of  a                                                                    
controlled  substance);  the   conviction  depended  on  the                                                                    
prosecutor, the  day of the  week, and the  person appearing                                                                    
before the  court. She reiterated  her belief  that reducing                                                                    
the  crime  to a  misdemeanor  would  be  an honest  way  of                                                                    
dealing with the system.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Billingslea believed the savings  over time could result                                                                    
in  an allocation  of resources  to  treatment programs  and                                                                    
facilities. She  pointed to the  multitude of  failures that                                                                    
occurred   when  individuals   did   not  receive   adequate                                                                    
treatment.   She   respectfully   disagreed   with   earlier                                                                    
statements  that  the  bill  would   result  in  a  lack  of                                                                    
oversight  for  offenders.  She  expounded  that  there  was                                                                    
significant  oversight   for  community  work   service  and                                                                    
alcohol safety  action program participants; people  did get                                                                    
misdemeanant  petitions to  revoke probation  when they  did                                                                    
not do  their community service  and other. She  stated that                                                                    
most people did not  reoffend. She acknowledged that addicts                                                                    
may offend  a couple of  times and she believed  the statute                                                                    
addressed  the issue.  She pointed  to 1988  when sentencing                                                                    
guidelines had  gone into effect; federal  statutes provided                                                                    
for misdemeanor possession of controlled substances.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:14:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WALT MONEGAN,  ALASKA NATIVE JUSTICE CENTER,  ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  the legislation.                                                                    
He spoke  to his  law enforcement  background in  Alaska. He                                                                    
discussed  the  necessity  of  conceiving  a  strategy  when                                                                    
fighting  crime  in  order  to  be  the  most  effective  in                                                                    
addressing the issue.  He stated that under  the current law                                                                    
individuals had been put in  jail in record numbers for drug                                                                    
possession.  He spoke  to the  importance  of reviewing  the                                                                    
strategy.  He  stated that  although  the  existing law  had                                                                    
removed people from the streets,  it had caused an imbalance                                                                    
within the  criminal justice system. He  asked the committee                                                                    
to  support the  bill  in order  to  reevaluate the  current                                                                    
strategy.  He discussed  that the  three-strike rule  worked                                                                    
for  DUI cases.  He  believed the  bill  presented a  better                                                                    
strategy; he  noted that if  it was unsuccessful  the system                                                                    
could  revert to  the current  law. He  emphasized that  the                                                                    
U.S.  had  a  higher   incarceration  rate  than  any  other                                                                    
country. He believed the bill  provided a better way to move                                                                    
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:17:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
NIESJA  STEINKRUGER, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of the  legislation. She  provided her                                                                    
background as  a former superior  court judge  in Fairbanks.                                                                    
She spoke to costs  related to felonies versus misdemeanors.                                                                    
She  observed that  the  state had  gone  through a  25-year                                                                    
period where  a belief  existed that a  crime was  not taken                                                                    
seriously unless  it was  a felony.  She discussed  what she                                                                    
called the "felony machine" in  Alaska; the machine used the                                                                    
top   flight  resources   including  the   most  experienced                                                                    
district  attorneys   and  public  defenders.   Felons  also                                                                    
received probation  officers and  cases were handled  in the                                                                    
superior court  versus the district  court. She  stated that                                                                    
drug  crimes were  competing to  get on  the superior  court                                                                    
schedule  with  domestic  violence,  sexual  assault,  child                                                                    
abuse, and crimes of violence.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Steinkruger stated that her  primary concern was related                                                                    
to the  use of the  grand jury system particularly  in rural                                                                    
Alaska.  She explained  that each  felony crime  required an                                                                    
indictment  by  the  grand jury;  it  required  that  police                                                                    
officers and  witnesses sit in  a hallway waiting to  get in                                                                    
front  of the  grand  jury. Additionally,  60 citizens  were                                                                    
called  in to  fill  18  slots and  anywhere  from  4 to  12                                                                    
alternate slots. In rural Alaska  the state paid to bring in                                                                    
potential  jurors by  airplane, snow  machine and  boat. The                                                                    
state also paid for  the individuals' hotel. The individuals                                                                    
missed work, could  not find child care, and  had to travel.                                                                    
She communicated  that a number  of Alaskans did  respond to                                                                    
the  summonses and  the jury  pool  had been  worn out.  She                                                                    
relayed that the number of  felonies continued to grow until                                                                    
an indictment was required.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Steinkruger furthered  that  the state  was not  always                                                                    
receiving  a positive  percentage return  on grand  jury and                                                                    
the  expense  was  substantial.  She  explained  that  grand                                                                    
jurors  in rural  Alaska  sat for  1 to  3  months and  were                                                                    
required to come  in every week. She urged  the committee to                                                                    
take  the  human  cost  of  the  system  into  account.  She                                                                    
observed that  consequences and  treatment were  desired for                                                                    
drug possession cases. She  stressed that treatment programs                                                                    
were lacking in  Alaska, but similarly to DUI  they could be                                                                    
provided if  focus was given  to the issue. She  assured the                                                                    
committee that  the legislature's  examination of  the issue                                                                    
would remind  judges that  misdemeanors were  serious crimes                                                                    
as  well. She  urged the  committee to  consider saving  the                                                                    
felony machine  for the  worst offenders  and in  cases when                                                                    
intervention was not successful.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:22:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson wondered  if the  necessary treatment                                                                    
would still  be available for  offenders or if  the proposed                                                                    
reform  would increase  the level  of repeat  offenders. Ms.                                                                    
Steinkruger replied that treatment  was a serious problem in                                                                    
the state whether the offense  was classified as a felony or                                                                    
misdemeanor;  however,  the  largest   drug  in  Alaska  was                                                                    
alcohol and she  believed the state was  slowly beginning to                                                                    
address alcohol treatment and  statutes. She elaborated that                                                                    
a focus on  treatment was beginning to effect  change in the                                                                    
state. She  did not  believe there was  a magic  answer, but                                                                    
she  did  believe  that   intervention  with  treatment  was                                                                    
necessary.  She  stated  that  felonies  did  not  guarantee                                                                    
treatment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  thanked   Ms.  Steinkruger  for  her                                                                    
comments.  He appreciated  her clarity  and emphasis  on how                                                                    
the issue was impacting rural Alaska.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  relayed  Co-Chair  Stoltze's  intent  to                                                                    
refer  the bill  to a  subcommittee for  further review.  He                                                                    
noted  that testimony  during the  meeting had  been invited                                                                    
and public testimony would occur at a later time.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:25:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CARMEN  GUTIERREZ, PRISONER  RE-ENTRY TASK  FORCE, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), voiced  support for  the legislation.                                                                    
She spoke to her background  as a criminal law attorney. She                                                                    
discussed the  annual prison population growth  of 3 percent                                                                    
and  the continued  growth of  the  DOC budget.  In 2002  42                                                                    
percent  of  the  prison   population  had  been  considered                                                                    
nonviolent; the number had grown  to 62 percent in 2011. She                                                                    
believed  it  was  important  to   look  at  the  number  of                                                                    
admissions that  DOC received for felony  drug offences. She                                                                    
relayed that  from 2002 to  2012 admissions for  felony drug                                                                    
offences had  risen by over  81 percent. She stated  that it                                                                    
was important to  note who the offenders  were. For example,                                                                    
in 2011  348 admissions  for felony  drug offences  were for                                                                    
individuals between  the ages of  18 and 29.  She emphasized                                                                    
that  the  individuals  would remain  convicted  felons  for                                                                    
their entire  lives; they  would be  required to  report the                                                                    
information whenever  applying for employment.  She stressed                                                                    
that   the  felony   conviction   had  substantial   lasting                                                                    
consequences on an  individual in terms of  their ability to                                                                    
receive school loans and employment.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Gutierrez communicated  that over the past  10 years the                                                                    
length  of stay  for felony  offenders had  increased by  an                                                                    
additional year.  She asked the  committee to  consider that                                                                    
the DOC  budget, length  of prison stay,  and the  number of                                                                    
individuals convicted  as felons all continued  to increase.                                                                    
She stated  that the statistics  would be acceptable  if the                                                                    
items were  effective in reducing recidivism;  however, that                                                                    
was  not the  case. She  referenced a  2011 Alaska  Judicial                                                                    
Council finding that  two out of three  Alaskans returned to                                                                    
prison for a probation violation  or arrest within the first                                                                    
three years  of their release.  She stressed that  the state                                                                    
was not receiving  good value for money spent  on the prison                                                                    
system.  She applauded  the committee  for its  attention to                                                                    
the important issue.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Gutierrez  continued  that the  state  had  effectively                                                                    
dealt with DUI  crime by making the third  offence a felony.                                                                    
She  stated  that the  recidivism  rate  for first-time  DUI                                                                    
offenders was  low because the individuals  were required to                                                                    
go to  the Alcohol Safety  Action program for  screening and                                                                    
to  follow  through  with  treatment.  She  emphasized  that                                                                    
individuals under  the legislation  would be required  to do                                                                    
the same. She stated that  an individual would be designated                                                                    
a  felony offender  if they  could  not come  to terms  with                                                                    
their  addiction. She  believed  the  individuals should  be                                                                    
given  the  opportunity  to  deal with  an  issue  that  was                                                                    
predominately addiction related versus criminal activity.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:31:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT STERLING,  OFFICE OF  PUBLIC ADVOCACY,  ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support  of the bill.  The Office                                                                    
of  Public Advocacy  (OPA) believed  the bill  would benefit                                                                    
its  clients  who  would  be  labeled  as  misdemeanants  as                                                                    
opposed to  felons, which would enable  them to reintegrate,                                                                    
help  to  reduce  recidivism, and  to  find  employment.  He                                                                    
relayed  that the  two primary  deterrents to  crime were  a                                                                    
stable  family   environment  and  employment.   The  office                                                                    
believed  that  the bill  may  help  keep families  together                                                                    
because incarcerated  parents had a very  negative effect on                                                                    
children  and  family  members.   He  referred  to  research                                                                    
reporting that an incarcerated parent  had the same negative                                                                    
effect as  domestic violence. He furthered  that children of                                                                    
incarcerated  parents were  more  likely to  end  up in  the                                                                    
juvenile  justice  system. He  stated  that  the bill  would                                                                    
reduce  agency  expenses   because  misdemeanor  cases  were                                                                    
typically less  expensive to handle. He  agreed with earlier                                                                    
testimony that top flight  personnel including attorneys and                                                                    
courts tended to focus on felonies.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:33:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
QUINLAN STEINER, PUBLIC  DEFENDER, PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),  voiced  support  for  the                                                                    
bill.  He  stated that  the  bill  would primarily  have  an                                                                    
impact  on  young people  in  the  state. He  observed  that                                                                    
youths tended to make decisions  that were not fully thought                                                                    
through;  youths ended  up in  the situation  prior to  when                                                                    
true addictions  developed, but were then  labeled as felons                                                                    
for their entire  lives. He stated that  the label prevented                                                                    
the  individuals  from  an ability  to  be  productive.  The                                                                    
proposal   would   allow   individuals  to   take   personal                                                                    
responsibility  for their  decisions  and  to correct  their                                                                    
behavior.  He stated  that  misdemeanors  were an  effective                                                                    
penalty  and the  alcohol screening  and treatment  referral                                                                    
was a  robust process that  ensured a person was  matched up                                                                    
with the  appropriate program.  He pointed  to a  concern of                                                                    
over  supervision  in  felony  cases,  which  could  have  a                                                                    
negative  impact  on  a  person's  ability  to  rehabilitate                                                                    
themselves. He believed  the bill would allow  the system to                                                                    
differentiate between  people who  could be diverted  by one                                                                    
interaction with the criminal  justice system and others who                                                                    
had   developed   true   addictions  needing   more   active                                                                    
supervision.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:36:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   wondered    about   felonies   for                                                                    
juveniles; she thought that juvenile records were sealed.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steiner replied  that a felony was part  of a juvenile's                                                                    
record, but it  was confidential; however, it  could be used                                                                    
against an individual later. He  stated that youths over the                                                                    
age of  18 would have felony  records for the rest  of their                                                                    
lives. He  noted that  significant research  existed showing                                                                    
that  brain development  and decision  making did  not fully                                                                    
mature until a person's mid-20s.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:37:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman ClOSED invited testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy joined the room.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kopp spoke to recognition  by prior testifiers of a need                                                                    
for  reform.   The  sponsor's  goal   was  to   address  the                                                                    
brokenness of  the system. He  pointed to his  background in                                                                    
law  enforcement.  He  recalled   many  years  of  arresting                                                                    
individuals for the possession of  minimal amounts of drugs;                                                                    
after 20  years it had  begun to  bother him. He  pointed to                                                                    
the  cycle  of  brokenness  in  families  with  incarcerated                                                                    
parents. He  emphasized that the incarceration  approach was                                                                    
not  solving  the  problem. He  contended  that  the  bill's                                                                    
treatment  amendment  was  very  robust. He  pointed  to  15                                                                    
alcohol  safety action  programs in  the state  and multiple                                                                    
drug treatment  programs. He relayed that  the amendment had                                                                    
been  done at  DOL's request;  he was  surprised to  receive                                                                    
pushback from  the department. He shared  that the look-back                                                                    
period  had been  extended;  if an  individual  did have  an                                                                    
addiction problem  they would quickly  earn a  felony label.                                                                    
He  communicated  that  the  date rape  drug  GHB  had  been                                                                    
excluded from the proposed  reform; following the amendment,                                                                    
the Alaska  Network on Domestic Violence  and Sexual Assault                                                                    
had expressed support for the legislation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 56(JUD)  was HEARD  and HELD  in committee  for further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:41:12 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:43:10 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 57(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to  parental involvement in education;                                                                    
     adjusting  pupil transportation  funding; amending  the                                                                    
     time required  for employers  to give  tenured teachers                                                                    
     notification of  their nonretention; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:43:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello  moved HCS  CSSB 57(EDC)  before the                                                                    
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TIM LAMKIN,  STAFF, SENATOR GARY STEVENS,  communicated that                                                                    
the bill  did three things.  First, there was  an increasing                                                                    
body of  evidence that  it was critical  for children  to be                                                                    
proficient in  reading by  the third  grade. He  shared that                                                                    
many  states had  policies to  address  the issue  including                                                                    
identification  in  the  form of  assessments;  intervention                                                                    
with  programs  such  as  summer   school  or  home  reading                                                                    
programs;  and  retention  (holding students  back  a  grade                                                                    
level).  He  noted  that identification,  intervention,  and                                                                    
retention  all  fell under  local  control.  The bill  would                                                                    
allow for the state to  take action by providing information                                                                    
to parents  about the importance  of reading  proficiency by                                                                    
grade  3.  Pamphlets  including  the  information  would  be                                                                    
provided to  districts to inform  parents of  the importance                                                                    
of  their involvement  including reading  at home.  The bill                                                                    
also required the department to establish a media campaign.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Lamkin  addressed  the second  component  of  the  bill                                                                    
related  to layoff  notifications for  tenured teachers.  He                                                                    
detailed that March  16 had been established as  the date as                                                                    
early as  1949. He communicated that  the legislature rarely                                                                    
knew  what  the   budget  would  look  like   by  March  16.                                                                    
Subsequently requiring districts  to provide notification to                                                                    
teachers by March 16 without  knowing the next year's budget                                                                    
caused unnecessary angst. The bill  would change the date to                                                                    
May  15  in order  to  accommodate  the legislative  session                                                                    
schedule and to provide districts with flexibility.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lamkin addressed the third  component of the legislation                                                                    
related  to  pupil  transportation. He  discussed  that  the                                                                    
legislature  had come  close to  passing an  annual Consumer                                                                    
Price Index  adjustment for pupil  transportation contracts.                                                                    
He  explained that  districts had  the pupil  transportation                                                                    
adjustments  built  into  their  contracts;  therefore,  the                                                                    
money  would ultimately  come out  of classrooms  if funding                                                                    
was not  provided. The provision would  provide a three-year                                                                    
funding  mechanism for  an  adjustment  in inflation,  which                                                                    
would sunset with the anticipation of a statewide contract.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:47:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson referred  to  a  literacy blue  print                                                                    
that had  been funded the  prior year. She  wondered whether                                                                    
the item  fell into the  K-3 parent information.  Mr. Lamkin                                                                    
deferred the question to the department.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman OPENED public testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ALASKA COUNCIL OF SCHOOL                                                                    
ADMINISTRATORS,  spoke in  support  of the  bill. He  stated                                                                    
that  early literacy  was  critically  important for  future                                                                    
school  and  life  success.  He   relayed  that  the  layoff                                                                    
provision  would   provide  increased  flexibility   in  the                                                                    
issuance of pink slips and  layoffs under consideration. The                                                                    
change  would also  provide more  time for  a teacher  under                                                                    
review to  show improvement. He relayed  that most contracts                                                                    
were  issued beginning  in February  in  rural districts  as                                                                    
they prepared for  the following year and  attending the job                                                                    
fair that  was currently underway in  Anchorage. He detailed                                                                    
that many  teachers were  offered contracts  as soon  as the                                                                    
district knew  it was in  the clear financially.  He relayed                                                                    
that  the districts  would not  be waiting  until May  15 to                                                                    
offer contracts.  He spoke  to the  importance of  the pupil                                                                    
transportation  issue;  the  transportation was  costly  and                                                                    
money would be taken from  classrooms if the legislature did                                                                    
not provide funding.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:49:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  whether  there were  districts                                                                    
that  did  not  provide  information on  the  importance  of                                                                    
reading.  Mr. Johnson  believed every  district did  address                                                                    
the issue, but perhaps not in a formal or written way.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello spoke  to the  three fiscal  notes.                                                                    
Fiscal Note  2 from  the Department  of Education  and Early                                                                    
Development had  a zero impact.  A new fiscal note  from the                                                                    
Department of Education and Early  Development had an impact                                                                    
of $736,300 in FY 14, $1,502,000  in FY 15, $3,435,800 in FY                                                                    
16  through FY  19. Fiscal  Note  4 from  the Department  of                                                                    
Education and Early Development had  an impact of $45,400 in                                                                    
FY 14 through FY 19.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson   added  that  the   legislature  had                                                                    
increased  funding  for  literacy  in  the  budget  for  the                                                                    
upcoming year. She hoped the  department would work with the                                                                    
districts on utilizing the funds.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  MOVED to  REPORT HCS  CSSB 57  out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes. There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB 57  was REPORTED out of committee with  a "do pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and with  one new  fiscal  impact note  from                                                                    
Department   of  Education   and   Early  Development;   one                                                                    
previously   published  fiscal   note:  FN2(EED);   and  one                                                                    
previously published zero note: FN4(EED).                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:52:47 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:56:18 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze resumed as meeting chair.                                                                                      
10:56:28 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:00:33 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 49 am                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to women's health services and                                                                            
     defining 'medically necessary abortion' for purposes                                                                       
     of making payments under the state Medicaid program."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MOVED to  ADOPT the proposed committee                                                                    
substitute   for  SSSB   49(FIN),  Work   Draft  28-LS0410\Y                                                                    
(Mischel, 4/13/13).                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello OBJECTED.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  began and was voided by  Co-Chair Stoltze prior                                                                    
to its completion.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:02:10 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:02:29 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  referred to the  previous motion  to adopt                                                                    
the CS. He asked the  bill sponsor to explain his preference                                                                    
and  the  substantive differences  between  the  CS and  the                                                                    
prior bill version.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHN  COGHILL, SPONSOR, spoke  in favor of  the bill                                                                    
version that removed a family  planning mandate; he believed                                                                    
the  cost would  be approximately  $1 million  per year.  He                                                                    
relayed that much  of the provision would  do something that                                                                    
was  already done  in  the state.  He  believed the  current                                                                    
operating  budget  had  addressed  some of  the  issues.  He                                                                    
relayed  that   there  were  18  core   services  under  the                                                                    
component  for  women,  children, and  family  services.  He                                                                    
listed  some  of  the  services  including  school  nursing,                                                                    
school   health  consultation,   technical  assistance   for                                                                    
optimal  health  and  safety,  and  educational  achievement                                                                    
growth  and  development  for school-aged  children  (AS  10                                                                    
related  to  child  health; AS  5  related  to  reproductive                                                                    
health  services). Additional  services included  a prenatal                                                                    
health  program  aimed  at safeguarding  and  promoting  the                                                                    
health of Alaskan mothers and  babies through leadership and                                                                    
partnering and promoting professional standards.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Coghill  listed additional  core services  under the                                                                    
women, children,  and family  component including  a women's                                                                    
health program  that promoted resources and  was essentially                                                                    
about healthy living. He stated  the program was at the core                                                                    
of what the amendment had  requested. The fifth core service                                                                    
related  to  an  adolescence  health team,  out  of  wedlock                                                                    
prevention  program  to  promote healthy  relationships  and                                                                    
strategies to  prevent "mistimed" pregnancies.  Another core                                                                    
service related  to emergency and disaster  preparedness for                                                                    
pregnant  and postpartum  women,  children, and  adolescents                                                                    
(particularly  for  individuals  with  special  health  care                                                                    
needs). He discussed a data  analysis resulting from surveys                                                                    
on pregnancy  risk assessment and  monitoring. Additionally,                                                                    
a maternal,  infant, and child  death review  was conducted.                                                                    
He  stated that  the amendment  directed the  state to  do a                                                                    
"health care plan rewrite."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Coghill  mentioned a request  from the  current year                                                                    
and budgetary  struggles. The request would  add federal and                                                                    
state funds into  the program on top of  current funding. He                                                                    
read from component challenges related  to the Department of                                                                    
Health and  Social Services  (DHSS) budget:  "continued lack                                                                    
of access to family planning  providers in many areas of the                                                                    
state contribute  to the persistently  high mistimed  out of                                                                    
wedlock  teen  births."  He  relayed   that  help  had  been                                                                    
requested.  He encouraged  that  "if we  really  want to  do                                                                    
this, we can  do it much more measured rather  than doing it                                                                    
under this, what  I would consider a  rather large mandate."                                                                    
The mandate  would require  a rewrite  of the  entire health                                                                    
plan to  be submitted to  the U.S. Department of  Health and                                                                    
Human  Services  for  approval.  He  relayed  that  approval                                                                    
already  existed  and the  issue  was  talked about  in  the                                                                    
existing DHSS budget.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:06:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  stressed that  the bill focused  on a                                                                    
"hugely controversial"  issue. He requested to  come back to                                                                    
the bill after the House floor session.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Coghill  offered to  make the  information available                                                                    
to committee members.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze  deferred   to  Representative   Edgmon's                                                                    
request. He expressed his desire  to vote on the adoption of                                                                    
the  CS prior  to  recessing. He  expected  that a  vigorous                                                                    
debate would  occur at a later  time. He wanted to  have the                                                                    
discussion with the "member's" bill before the committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  requested  to defer  action  on  the                                                                    
adoption  of  the  CS.  Co-Chair  Stoltze  agreed  to  defer                                                                    
action.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Edgmon   requested    an   opportunity   to                                                                    
contemplate the adoption of the CS.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:07:45 AM                                                                                                                   
RECESSED                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:21:09 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 18(FIN) am                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An    Act    making,     amending,    and    repealing                                                                    
     appropriations,   including   capital   appropriations,                                                                    
     supplemental   appropriations,  reappropriations,   and                                                                    
     other   appropriations;    making   appropriations   to                                                                    
     capitalize  funds;  and   providing  for  an  effective                                                                    
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:21:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  discussed a workdraft for  CSSB 18(FIN) am                                                                    
and relayed that  it contained several errors  that would be                                                                    
corrected following its adoption.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Costello  MOVED   to  ADOPT   the  proposed                                                                    
committee  substitute for  CSSB 18(FIN)  am, Work  Draft 28-                                                                    
GS1798\H  (Martin, 4/13/13).  There being  NO OBJECTION,  it                                                                    
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  RECESSED the  meeting until  the following                                                                    
day.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 192                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to the filing date for the final quarterly                                                                     
payment of, and to the assessment of penalties under, the                                                                       
fishery resource landing tax."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 192 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
7:23:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RECESSED UNTIL 12:16 PM, APRIL 14, 2013.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
04082013_SB57_SponsorStatement_VersionR.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
04082013_SB57_Sectional_VersionR.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
03182013_SB57_Letter_NEA.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_SupportLetters.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_ECS_Third Grade Literacy Policies.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122013_SB57_Third Grade Reading Policies.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
SB 49 HCS WORKDRAFT 49 FIN 28-LS0410 Y.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
03122013_SB57_SampleParentInvolvement_Pamphlet_Idaho.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
Letter from Clarkson.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
SB49_Backup_ 2001 Planned Parenthood Case from Alaska Supreme Court.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
SB049SSam-DHSS-MAA-4-11-13.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
SB049SSam-DHSS-FS-4-12-13.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
SB049SS(am)-DHSS-HCMS-4-11-13.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
SB49_Backup_ Executive Order 13535 from President Obama.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
Sectional SB 49 FOR HOUSE FINANCE 4 11 13.docx HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
Sectional SB 49 FOR HOUSE FINANCE 4 11 13.docx HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
SB49_Backup_Quantitative Reasons Women have Abortions.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
SB49_Backup_Hyde Amendment.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
HR8 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
HR 8
CS for HR8 Changes.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
HR 8
1 - HCS CSSB 56(JUD) Hearing Request.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
2 - HCS CSSB 56(JUD) Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
5 - HCS CSSB 56(JUD) Explanation of Changes.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
6 - HCS CSSB 56(JUD) Letters - Support & Oppose.PDF HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
7 - HCS SB 56(JUD) Section Analysis.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
8 - SB56 Research MICS-4 Report_01_15_13.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
8.0 - HCS CSSB 56(JUD) Reclassification Presentation_Edited_03_14_13.pptx HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
8.1 - SB56 Factors Driving AK Prison Pop Growth.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
8.2 - SB56 Prison_Count_2010-2.jpg HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
9 - SB56 LRS Fiscal Impact of Reclassifying Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance IV.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
10 - SB56 Wyoming Drug Law Comparison to Alaska.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
11 - SB 56 - Response to questions of March 18 Senate Finance Hearing.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
12 - SB 56 & HB 178 Companion - Response to April 3 Dept. of Law Concerns.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
HB 178
SB 56
13 - Senate Judiciary Prisoner Re-Entry Recidivism Presentation 1-28-13(2).pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
14 - HCS CSSB 56 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Editorial 3-27-13.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
15 - HCS CSSB 56 New York Times Editorial 3-23-13.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
16 - HCS CSSB 56 Anchorage Daily News 04-10-13.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
18 - SB56 SUPPORTERS.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
NationalSurveyResearchPaper on Corrections Policy.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 56
SB 18 HCS WORKDRAFT FIN 28-GS1798 H .pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 18
HR 8 CS WORKDRAFT OVersion.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
HR 8
SB 49 Letters PKT - 1.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49
SB 49 - 2013 Induced Termination of Pregnancy Statistics.pdf HFIN 4/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 49