Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/29/2019 09:00 AM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
09:01:17 AM Start
09:01:42 AM HB20
10:45:16 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Fiscal Note Discussion
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 29, 2019                                                                                            
                         9:01 a.m.                                                                                              
9:01:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Wilson  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 9:01 a.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Tammie Wilson, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Jennifer Johnston, Vice-Chair                                                                                    
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Kelly Merrick                                                                                                    
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Sylvan  Robb, Administrative  Services Director,  Department                                                                    
of  Corrections,  Office  of Management  and  Budget;  Kelly                                                                    
Goode,  Deputy  Commissioner,   Department  of  Corrections;                                                                    
Nancy  Meade, General  Counsel, Alaska  Court System;  Kelly                                                                    
Howell,  Special   Assistant,  Division   of  Administrative                                                                    
Services, Department of Public Safety.                                                                                          
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Rob Henderson,  Deputy Attorney General,  Criminal Division,                                                                    
Department  of  Law;  James  Stinson,  Director,  Office  of                                                                    
Public   Advocacy,   Department  of   Administration;   Beth                                                                    
Goldstein, Acting  Public Defender, Public  Defender Agency,                                                                    
Department  of  Administration;   David  Kanaris,  Assistant                                                                    
chief, Forensic Laboratories, Department of Public Safety.                                                                      
HB 20     SEXUAL ASSAULT EXAMINATION KITS                                                                                       
          HB 20 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
HOUSE BILL NO. 20                                                                                                             
     "An  Act requiring  law  enforcement  agencies to  send                                                                    
     sexual assault examination kits  for testing within six                                                                    
     months   after  collection;   and   providing  for   an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
9:01:42 AM                                                                                                                    
SYLVAN  ROBB, ADMINISTRATIVE  SERVICES DIRECTOR,  DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF CORRECTIONS,  OFFICE OF  MANAGEMENT AND  BUDGET, reviewed                                                                    
the  new   fiscal  impact  note   from  the   Department  of                                                                    
Corrections  (DOC),  Population  Management,  OMB  Component                                                                    
Number 1381.  She elaborated that  the bill affected  DOC in                                                                    
three  areas:   tampering  with  an   electronic  monitoring                                                                    
device;  the   changes  to  misconduct  with   a  controlled                                                                    
substance; and changes to the  sentencing ranges for Class B                                                                    
felonies. The  department determined that the  changes would                                                                    
increase expenditures  in FY 2020.  The increased  number of                                                                    
offenders would stabilize in the  second year and subsequent                                                                    
years. She  pointed to  the analysis on  the second  page of                                                                    
the fiscal  note. The department  projected that  the number                                                                    
of inmates  would increase by 130  in the first year  and by                                                                    
328  each subsequent  year.  The  department averaged  4,485                                                                    
inmates during the  first quarter of CY  19, [calendar year]                                                                    
leaving  the   system  with  additional  capacity   for  179                                                                    
additional inmates.  In the first  year, because  the system                                                                    
had capacity for  the additional inmates, costs  for the 130                                                                    
additional inmates  was calculated  at the marginal  cost of                                                                    
$44.98 per day for a  total cost of $2,132.7. The additional                                                                    
149 inmates  that exceed  existing capacity  were calculated                                                                    
at the full cost care rate of $168.74 per inmate per day.                                                                       
9:04:52 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Johnston  asked whether the current  cost of care                                                                    
included  expenditures  for  behavioral health  issues.  She                                                                    
asked how behavioral health fit into the fiscal note.                                                                           
Ms. Robb replied that the  inmates that exceeded the current                                                                    
capacity  with  a  cost of  $168.74  included  physical  and                                                                    
behavioral health  care. Vice-Chair Johnston noted  that the                                                                    
extra capacity  was presently 179. She  inquired whether DOC                                                                    
was able to address the  behavioral health costs for the 179                                                                    
extra inmates.  Ms. Robb answered that  the numbers provided                                                                    
for the level of care the state currently provided.                                                                             
9:06:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  LeBon noted  that  the  bill made  tampering                                                                    
with an electronic monitoring (EM)  device a crime. He asked                                                                    
whether  tampering  was  currently  a  crime  and  what  had                                                                    
changed  in the  bill. Ms.  Robb  was unable  to answer  the                                                                    
question.  Representative LeBon  referred to  page 2  of the                                                                    
fiscal note that stated,  in  CY 18 there were 110 instances                                                                    
of EM  tampering  and asked  if the fiscal note  assumed the                                                                    
same  number  of tampering  in  subsequent  years. He  asked                                                                    
whether it  was possible  the number  would decrease  due to                                                                    
the  increased sentence  for  tampering.  Ms. Robb  answered                                                                    
that  the  historical data  were  the  only assumptions  DOC                                                                    
could base its fiscal notes  on. She offered that attempting                                                                    
to predict behavior based on statute changes was difficult.                                                                     
Representative  Josephson noted  that the  bill incorporated                                                                    
much  of  HB49-Crimes;  Sentencing;  Drugs;  Theft;  Reports                                                                    
introduced by the governor. He  could see why the governor's                                                                    
proposed reforms may cost $40  million. He asked whether the                                                                    
$40 million was  anticipated and reflected by  the Office of                                                                    
Management  and   Budget  (OMB)   in  the  budget   and  the                                                                    
governors overall fiscal plan.                                                                                                  
9:09:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Robb replied  that the governor had  made his commitment                                                                    
to  public safety  clear  and he  was  prepared to  increase                                                                    
public safety budgets. She deferred the answer to OMB.                                                                          
Co-Chair Wilson  calculated that 4,664 inmates  averaged 485                                                                    
beds but currently,  she was informed that  there were about                                                                    
450 beds. She asked about  the 179 beds currently available.                                                                    
Ms. Robb  delineated that  she used  the daily  average rate                                                                    
for   the  first  quarter  of CY  19  and reminded  Co-Chair                                                                    
Wilson  that the  prison  population  fluctuated daily.  She                                                                    
determined  that  using  a  quarterly  average  was  a  more                                                                    
reliable  statistic  than  merely  basing the  number  on  a                                                                    
single day.                                                                                                                     
Co-Chair Wilson  asked what percentage  of capacity  the 179                                                                    
beds reflected.  Co-Chair Wilson determined that  the answer                                                                    
was around  97 to 98  percent capacity and that  the average                                                                    
seemed high compared to  the  current daily numbers of 90 to                                                                    
91 percent. Ms. Robb guessed  that the Co-Chair obtained the                                                                    
numbers from the  daily count sheets. The  daily count sheet                                                                    
average  percentages  were  compared  against  the  absolute                                                                    
maximum  capacity of  4,838. The  department was  prohibited                                                                    
from operating  at maximum capacity  for more than  30 days,                                                                    
due to the  Cleary Court case [Cleary versus  State   1976].                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson   asked  what  percentage   was  considered                                                                    
maximum for  practical purposes.  Ms. Robb replied  that the                                                                    
general capacity was 4,664 inmates  and DOC could operate at                                                                    
the  capacity indefinitely.  Co-Chair  Wilson  asked if  the                                                                    
department could operate  at that range even  though DOC was                                                                    
short 70  correctional officers. Ms. Robb  answered that the                                                                    
officers  were   working  overtime.   She  added   that  the                                                                    
department   was  working   hard  to   recruit  correctional                                                                    
officers.  Co-Chair Wilson  wanted  to  ensure the  capacity                                                                    
numbers  corresponded to  a certain  number of  correctional                                                                    
officers. She  asked whether Ms. Robb  had additional backup                                                                    
statistics; the  department had only  considered FY  18. She                                                                    
described the data as a   snapshot  versus examining several                                                                    
years of data or further back  to prior SB 91. She read from                                                                    
page 2 of the fiscal note:                                                                                                      
     For  felony  A,  felony  B  and felony  C  as  well  as                                                                    
     misdemeanor   B  cases   of   misconduct  involving   a                                                                    
     controlled   substance  the   department  projects   an                                                                    
     increase  in   inmates.  The  department   projects  an                                                                    
     additional  118.9 inmates  per day  for year  1 and  an                                                                    
     increase of 260.0  inmates in the second  year and each                                                                    
     subsequent year.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair  Wilson wondered  exactly  where  the numbers  were                                                                    
derived and what years they were  based on and at what level                                                                    
of  crime; misdemeanors  of felonies.  She  assumed DOC  had                                                                    
research staff.                                                                                                                 
9:14:03 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Robb affirmed  that a  research analyst  was assembling                                                                    
the  data   for  the  department.  She   reported  that  the                                                                    
department strove  for the  best analysis  and best  data in                                                                    
order  to  obtain   a  reflection   that  was  as  close  as                                                                    
possible  to the proposed changes  in law.  She offered more                                                                    
information. She  used a felony  B crime as an  example. She                                                                    
explained  that for  the felony  B  sentence increases,  she                                                                    
took the length of stay for  felony B inmates from CY 14 and                                                                    
CY 18  and noted the  difference. She elucidated that  CY 14                                                                    
was chosen because it was prior  to passage of SB 91 and was                                                                    
also used as the baseline year  for SB 91 numbers. The CY 14                                                                    
number was larger, and she  employed the increased length of                                                                    
stay relative  to the current  numbers to the  numbers prior                                                                    
to passage of  SB 91 measured against how  many offenders in                                                                    
2018.  Co-Chair Wilson  requested the  data. She  understood                                                                    
that  it was  only as  accurate as  who broke  the law.  She                                                                    
acknowledged  that the  numbers  would change  based on  any                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter asked  why  DOC  could employ  the                                                                    
the marginal  cost rate  versus the full  cost of  care rate                                                                    
for the  179 and additional  inmates at full cost.  He asked                                                                    
why DOC used the full  rate later. Ms. Robb acknowledged the                                                                    
rates were confusing. She responded  that until they reached                                                                    
the point  where the system exceeded  capacity, the marginal                                                                    
rate represented the additional  cost of the 179 individuals                                                                    
at  $44.98  per  person.  She  elucidated  that  the  number                                                                    
reflected  food, medical  care, medications,  clothing, etc.                                                                    
Once the  institutions exceeded  capacity the  system needed                                                                    
to  gain  additional  capacity,  and  it  was  necessary  to                                                                    
account for  all costs at  $168.74 per inmate per  day, that                                                                    
was  inclusive   of  running  a   facility,  transportation,                                                                    
healthcare, utilities,  staffing, etc. as well  as the items                                                                    
included in the marginal care rate.                                                                                             
9:18:29 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter listed  what was  included in  the                                                                    
marginal care rate  and deduced that the  rate was effective                                                                    
while  institutions operated  at  general  capacity and  any                                                                    
amount over  general capacity meant  the full rate  would be                                                                    
necessary. Ms. Robb answered in  the affirmative. She used a                                                                    
classroom as an example  where the population increased from                                                                    
23 to  24, which incurred  only marginal costs.  She offered                                                                    
that  at some  point  a  tipping point  was  reached in  the                                                                    
system and beyond  that point a cost  increase occurred. The                                                                    
situation was similar with DOCs institutions.                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Johnston  asked about  overtime and  the capacity                                                                    
of employees. She stated that  there were currently up to 70                                                                    
positions  unfilled,  which  required  overtime  from  other                                                                    
employees.  She asked  whether  the  current costs  included                                                                    
overtime. Ms. Robb  replied that since they  were not paying                                                                    
for  the 70  positions and  the slack  in the  budget helped                                                                    
cover the costs  for overtime. She stressed  that DOC wanted                                                                    
to fill  the full time positions.  Vice-Chair Johnston asked                                                                    
if  the cost  of overtime  did not  exceed the  vacancy. Ms.                                                                    
Robb replied  in the affirmative. Vice-Chair  Johnston asked                                                                    
about the  cost of hiring  and training an employee  for the                                                                    
positions.  Ms. Robb  answered DOC  had calculated  training                                                                    
costs of  approximately $43,000 including  the cost  to send                                                                    
the officer  to the  7 week correctional  academy, transport                                                                    
to  the academy  in Palmer,  per diem,  pay while  training,                                                                    
coverage  while  an  employee was  training,  academy  staff                                                                    
costs, and officer supplies.                                                                                                    
9:22:28 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Johnston asked if the  number was included in the                                                                    
costs reflected on  the  fiscal note. Ms. Robb answered that                                                                    
the  $168.74 number  was inclusive  of everything  including                                                                    
the training elements.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair Wilson questioned whether  all costs were inclusive                                                                    
in the rate.  Ms. Robb replied in the  affirmative and added                                                                    
that the number included all  direct and indirect costs. Co-                                                                    
Chair  Wilson asked  about the  anticipated amount  of over-                                                                    
time  and  how much  was  currently  spent. Ms.  Robb  would                                                                    
follow up. Co-Chair Wilson asked  whether she kept a running                                                                    
total of overtime  and if there was a way  to mitigate it or                                                                    
did  the  department  rely  on  supplemental  appropriations                                                                    
instead. Ms. Robb  replied that the department  did not just                                                                    
spend  and ask  for supplemental  revenue. She  acknowledged                                                                    
that  proper  coverage was  maintained  but  DOC was  always                                                                    
looking for  ways to keep cost  down and kept close  tabs on                                                                    
the budget. She  noted that if costs increased  in one area,                                                                    
the  department looked  for ways  to   contract  in  another                                                                    
9:24:56 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson  asked what the  financial plan for  DOC was                                                                    
if  it  could  not  hire  enough  officers.  She  noted  the                                                                    
department was down by a  significant number of correctional                                                                    
officers. She  noted that current  officers were  racking up                                                                    
overtime. She  wondered whether there  was a point  where it                                                                    
became too expensive. Ms. Robb  responded that there was not                                                                    
really a  replacement for the needed  correctional officers.                                                                    
There  was  not  an  outlet   valve  due  to  the  stringent                                                                    
requirements.  The  department  had about  904  correctional                                                                    
officer positions  and it  eventually filled  the vacancies,                                                                    
but it was a strain.                                                                                                            
Representative  Carpenter asked  where the  break point  was                                                                    
when the marginal  rate could be achieved.  Ms. Robb replied                                                                    
that it was  the point where the system  reached the general                                                                    
capacity  number of  4,664. Representative  Carpenter looked                                                                    
at  the marginal  cost  rate.  He asked  at  what number  of                                                                    
inmates DOC  stopped using the  full cost rate and  moved to                                                                    
the marginal rate.  Ms. Robb responded that  the $168.74 was                                                                    
the  cost to  run  the institution  which  included a  large                                                                    
amount of  overhead costs. The  utilities do not  change per                                                                    
number of  inmates and  some other  costs were  not variable                                                                    
upon the  number of inmates.  She delineated that  once they                                                                    
were above capacity they started taking in the full costs.                                                                      
9:28:36 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Robb  pointed out that  the marginal rate had  been used                                                                    
up to  capacity and  the full  rate beyond  that. Healthcare                                                                    
was  included  in the  cost  of  care,  but the  costs  were                                                                    
reported in  its own fiscal  note because it was  a separate                                                                    
Ms.  Robb  moved   to  new  fiscal  impact   note  from  the                                                                    
Department   of  Corrections,   Health  and   Rehabilitation                                                                    
Services, OMB  Component Number 2952. She  detailed that the                                                                    
bill pushed  the prison population beyond  current capacity.                                                                    
The department  proposed to  reopen the  Palmer Correctional                                                                    
Center  (PCC). The  department would  need  to rehire  seven                                                                    
individuals to  provide medical care  to reopen  a facility.                                                                    
The fiscal  note showed the  costs in the  personal services                                                                    
line  [$908.5   thousand].  The  miscellaneous   line  costs                                                                    
reflected healthcare cost  encompassing contractual services                                                                    
and  commodities calculated  at $36.86  per inmate  per day.                                                                    
The total for 149 inmates  was approximately $2 million. The                                                                    
total cost to reopen the  section of the Palmer facility was                                                                    
estimated at $2.9 million.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Wilson wondered  what DOC  was planning  regarding                                                                    
the  shortage of  healthcare professionals  including mental                                                                    
health  professionals. She  understood  that the  department                                                                    
was   currently  short   staffed  in   the  areas   and  was                                                                    
encountering difficulty hiring staff.                                                                                           
9:31:12 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Robb  responded  that  the  department  had  difficulty                                                                    
recruiting   healthcare  providers   for  its   correctional                                                                    
facilities.  She reported  that DOC  was short  by about  50                                                                    
people  in  the   healthcare  rehabilitation  services  area                                                                    
including psychiatric  nurses and health  practitioners. The                                                                    
Division  of  Personnel  had  done a  study  on  nurses  and                                                                    
resulted in  a pay  increase that she  hoped would  make the                                                                    
positions more competitive.                                                                                                     
Representative    Sullivan-Leonard    asked   whether    the                                                                    
institution  looked  at  a   job-share  program  with  local                                                                    
hospitals  to   rotate  nurses.   Ms.  Robb   answered  that                                                                    
currently  when the  facilities  were short  on nurses,  DOC                                                                    
asked  existing staff  to travel  to  provide coverage.  She                                                                    
exemplified  that   the  Lemon  Creek   Correctional  Center                                                                    
(LCCC)[Juneau]  lacked  enough  nursing staff,  nurses  from                                                                    
Southcentral  Alaska  were  brought  in  when  available  or                                                                    
contract   agency  nurses   were   used.   She  noted   that                                                                    
Representative Sullivan-Leonards idea was interesting.                                                                          
Vice-Chair  Johnston  remembered  that  25  percent  of  the                                                                    
prison  population  was  considered to  have  severe  mental                                                                    
health issues.  She asked whether the  department considered                                                                    
the idea  of enlisting  one facility  to house  the severely                                                                    
mentally   ill  population,   which  could   lead  to   cost                                                                    
9:34:04 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Robb could  not answer  if the  discussion regarding  a                                                                    
mental health unit  ever took place. She  offered that there                                                                    
were challenges related to  the transportation of prisoners.                                                                    
She related that the department  was always looking for ways                                                                    
to  save  costs  on  healthcare   and  the  idea  was  worth                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson  wished  that the  commissioner  or  deputy                                                                    
commissioner were  also available  to answer  policy related                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter noted  that all  three DOC  fiscal                                                                    
notes  referred  to  inmate population  increases  exceeding                                                                    
current  capacity. He  asked whether  the number  included a                                                                    
reduction in the number of  inmates due to sending some out-                                                                    
of-state or  if the number reflected  the entire anticipated                                                                    
population. Ms.  Robb answered that  the fiscal note  was in                                                                    
response to  the budget passed  by the House  that precluded                                                                    
sending inmates out-of-state.                                                                                                   
9:35:43 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Robb  addressed  a  new fiscal  impact  note  from  the                                                                    
Department of Corrections,  Population Management, allocated                                                                    
to  the Palmer  Correctional  Center,  OMB Component  Number                                                                    
712.  She explained  that  the  appropriation reflected  the                                                                    
one-time  costs  for  reopening   the  facility  at  minimum                                                                    
capacity.  She delineated  that  the  costs associated  with                                                                    
staffing  the   42  PCNs  [Position  Control   Number]  were                                                                    
included on  the  Institution Director's  Office fiscal note                                                                    
because  the positions  were included  in the  full cost  of                                                                    
care number. The  building was empty since the  fall of 2016                                                                    
and needed  some routine work  before opening.  In addition,                                                                    
any  useful   equipment  was  repurposed  when   closed  and                                                                    
required replacing.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair  Wilson  surmised  that  the  total  cost  for  the                                                                    
additional 149  inmates was  approximately $15  million when                                                                    
she   added  the   health  and   rehabilitation,  population                                                                    
management   institution  appropriations   along  with   the                                                                    
current fiscal  note. Ms. Robb  replied in  the affirmative.                                                                    
She clarified  that the numbers included  the one-time costs                                                                    
reflected  on  the  Palmer  correctional  fiscal  note,  the                                                                    
inmate  full  costs  shown  on  the  Institution  Director's                                                                    
Office   fiscal  note,   and   the   healthcare  costs   for                                                                    
individuals that exceeded  current capacity. Co-Chair Wilson                                                                    
asked what the total cost  to reopen the Palmer facility for                                                                    
the 149 individuals was. Ms.  Robb was unable to provide the                                                                    
answer  and  would  follow   up.  Co-Chair  Wilson  inquired                                                                    
whether DOC  should consider closing smaller  facilities and                                                                    
open more of the Palmer  facility for cost efficiencies. Ms.                                                                    
Robb  replied  that  the   Palmer  Correctional  Center  was                                                                    
comprised  of several  buildings. The  minimum section  that                                                                    
was  reopening  was  a  self-contained  building  with  food                                                                    
service.  Co-Chair Wilson  asked about  the capacity  of the                                                                    
building.  Ms. Robb  replied that  the  building housed  176                                                                    
people. Co-Chair Wilson  surmised that they would  be at the                                                                    
full capacity  of the building.  However, if  the population                                                                    
exceeded the projection,  she asked whether DOC  had to open                                                                    
another  building at  what cost.  Ms. Robb  agreed that  the                                                                    
Palmer building  would be close  to capacity.  She indicated                                                                    
that if  a different bill  passed that increased  the number                                                                    
of  inmates, DOC  would look  at opening  the entire  Palmer                                                                    
facility,  which included  a medium  security unit  that was                                                                    
larger than  the minimum security. Co-Chair  Wilson asked if                                                                    
Palmer  had  two buildings  and  once  the minimum  security                                                                    
building was reopened, any  additional need required opening                                                                    
the entire facility.                                                                                                            
9:40:55 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Robb replied that she  did not know the specific answer,                                                                    
but  DOC would  consider  opening the  entire facility.  She                                                                    
noted it would be preferable  to defer the answer to experts                                                                    
in the department.                                                                                                              
Representative   Josephson   relayed   that   the   governor                                                                    
introduced other crime bills that  would increase the inmate                                                                    
population.  He  informed  the   committee  that  the  bills                                                                    
pertained to  pretrial, and probation  and parole.  He asked                                                                    
what  the  administration's  plan  was in  terms  of  inmate                                                                    
growth  regarding  passage  of  the other  bills.  Ms.  Robb                                                                    
answered  that DOC  would need  to  see where  they were  in                                                                    
terms of  legislation that passed.  She remarked  that there                                                                    
were  currently 16  crime bills  under consideration  by the                                                                    
legislature.  The scenario  could lead  to increases  beyond                                                                    
the  Palmer  facility  capacity,  but some  inmates  may  be                                                                    
eligible candidates for Community  Regional Centers (CRC) or                                                                    
EM  release.  Co-Chair  Wilson asked  what  the  anticipated                                                                    
incarcerated population  was if all three  of the governor's                                                                    
crime  legislation  passed. Ms.  Robb  replied  that HB  51-                                                                    
Probation;  Parole; Sentences;  Credits and  HB 52-  Crimes;                                                                    
Sex  Crimes; Sentencing;  Parole were  primarily focused  on                                                                    
probation, parole,  and pretrial  and did  not significantly                                                                    
impact the  prison population. House  Bill 49  would greatly                                                                    
increase the state's prison population  by about 525 inmates                                                                    
and had  the largest impact on  the incarcerated population.                                                                    
She  highlighted  that  the  HB   49  projections  were  465                                                                    
additional inmates  in the  first year, and  523 and  528 in                                                                    
the subsequent two years.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Wilson  asked whether  the  impact  to the  prison                                                                    
population  was minimal,  if the  other  bills that  removed                                                                    
credit for time on pretrial EM were adopted.                                                                                    
9:44:25 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Robb  replied that adoption  might have some  effect but                                                                    
most of  the impact on the  prison population was due  to HB
49. Co-Chair  Wilson noted that  the pretrial  provision was                                                                    
not contained in HB 49  but could be included via amendment.                                                                    
She deemed  that if  less offenders  received credit  for EM                                                                    
jail time  would increase. She  wondered how passage  of the                                                                    
bill resulted in minimal impact  because the credit would no                                                                    
longer  exist.  Ms.  Robb  replied   that  she  was  not  in                                                                    
possession  of  all  the   information  regarding  the  many                                                                    
versions of the crime bills. She offered to follow up.                                                                          
Representative Josephson  asked whether  the 525  figure was                                                                    
the  number   anticipated  by  the  administration   if  the                                                                    
governor's  entire  crime  bill  package  passed.  Ms.  Robb                                                                    
replied that the number was only  based on passage of HB 49.                                                                    
Representative  Josephson  inquired   whether  the  governor                                                                    
recommended  moving  prisoners   out-of-state  due  to  cost                                                                    
savings and  lack of capacity.  Ms. Robb responded  that she                                                                    
was not part of the discussion and would not speculate.                                                                         
9:46:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Josephson  was  broadly  supportive  of  the                                                                    
governor's  crime  bills,  albeit  with  some  concerns.  He                                                                    
reiterated  his prior  question.  He was  starting to  sense                                                                    
that  the  state  would  not have  the  capacity.  He  asked                                                                    
whether the  governor had  proposed sending  inmates out-of-                                                                    
state for both reasons; capacity and costs.                                                                                     
KELLY    GOODE,   DEPUTY    COMMISSIONER,   DEPARTMENT    OF                                                                    
CORRECTIONS, understood  that the proposal had  been limited                                                                    
to a  cost savings  measure. Representative  Josephson asked                                                                    
for verification that the measure  was proposed for only one                                                                    
purpose. Ms. Goode  believed that the decision  was merely a                                                                    
cost savings measure.                                                                                                           
Vice-Chair  Ortiz  thought the  proposal  was  all the  same                                                                    
thing - trying  to save money one way or  another. Ms. Goode                                                                    
agreed that the connection existed.                                                                                             
Co-Chair  Wilson  surmised   that  Representative  Josephson                                                                    
point  was that  DOC was  not  going to  shut down  Wildwood                                                                    
Correctional Center because the  population was growing  big                                                                    
time and the state was not saving money.                                                                                        
9:49:03 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Sullivan-Leonard  spoke to the  high priority                                                                    
of  public  safety and  acknowledged  that  the bills  would                                                                    
increase  the prison  population. She  conjectured that  the                                                                    
legislation  was  a response  to  public  outcry. Ms.  Goode                                                                    
asked  for clarification.  She interpreted  the question  to                                                                    
mean  that the  bills  addressed the  publics  concern  over                                                                    
crime  and  public safety.  Representative  Sullivan-Leonard                                                                    
replied  in  the  affirmative. Ms.  Goode  answered  in  the                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson  asked where  the administrations   data was                                                                    
showing that if  a person was locked up for  a longer period                                                                    
that  somehow  it would  reduce  recidivism.  She noted  the                                                                    
premise  that  without  proper  treatment  an  inmate  would                                                                    
reoffend,  which was  the  premise of  SB  91. She  wondered                                                                    
where  the administrations   data was  refuting the  premise                                                                    
and  demonstrating   that  longer  incarceration   was  most                                                                    
effective. Ms.  Goode noted that  the question was  a policy                                                                    
question  for  the  administration. Co-Chair  Wilson  stated                                                                    
that  DOC was  before the  committee and  the administration                                                                    
was uncommunicative.                                                                                                            
Representative Carpenter commented  that if  offenders chose                                                                    
not  to they  will not  be reformed.   The public  needed to                                                                    
realize that  some people were  bad   individuals and policy                                                                    
was necessary to reflect the  belief. He cited the following                                                                    
from the page 2 fiscal note analysis:                                                                                           
     Services  include fire  sprinkler/alarm inspection  and                                                                    
     repair (if needed), fence alarm  testing and repair (if                                                                    
     needed), back flow preventer  inspection and repair (if                                                                    
     needed), water testing  and Department of Environmental                                                                    
     Conservation approval to  operate, waste water operator                                                                    
     training/certification,  phone  system  activation  and                                                                    
     programming,    boiler    inspection    and    service,                                                                    
     freezer/cooler  inspection  and startup,  kitchen  hood                                                                    
     inspection, and other smaller services.                                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter deduced  that  the inspections  to                                                                    
determine   whether  the   repairs   or  replacements   were                                                                    
necessary  had  not been  performed.  He  asked whether  the                                                                    
numbers  accounted  for repair  and  replacement  of if  the                                                                    
costs could grow.                                                                                                               
9:52:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.   Robb  replied   that  the   department  felt    fairly                                                                    
confident   with  the number.  The  facility  had only  been                                                                    
closed  since  the fall  of  2016.  The department  did  not                                                                    
anticipate everything  would need repair but  had included a                                                                    
margin in  the fiscal note  with the anticipation  that some                                                                    
items   would   need   repairs.   Representative   Carpenter                                                                    
concluded  that the  scenario opened  the possibility  for a                                                                    
supplemental to cover the cost  if something was found to be                                                                    
wrong with the facility.                                                                                                        
Representative  Merrick pointed  to  the cost  care rate  of                                                                    
$168.74  and asked  if the  rate  was the  same at  maximum,                                                                    
medium,  and  minimum security.  Ms.  Robb  answered in  the                                                                    
affirmative and added that the  number was inclusive for the                                                                    
whole system.                                                                                                                   
9:54:20 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Merrick asked about  the difference between a                                                                    
minimum,  medium, and  maximum security  and the  facilities                                                                    
associated with them.                                                                                                           
Ms. Goode asked  if she was speaking  specifically about the                                                                    
Palmer  Correctional  Facility. Representative  Merrick  was                                                                    
speaking to  correctional facilities  in general.  Ms. Goode                                                                    
replied  that  minimum  security like  the  Point  Mackenzie                                                                    
Correctional  Farm and  the minimum  facility at  the Palmer                                                                    
Correctional  Center  did  not have  fencing  and  contained                                                                    
various  housing  structures.  She  elaborated  that  medium                                                                    
security facilities  had more security  and maximum  had the                                                                    
highest  level of  security and  was  considered a   closed                                                                     
facility that  in some cases used  double perimeter fencing.                                                                    
Representative  Merrick  surmised   that  a  lower  security                                                                    
prison  would cost  less to  run than  a maximum.  Ms. Goode                                                                    
asked   for   clarification.  Representative   Merrick   was                                                                    
speaking  about  facilities in  general.  She  asked if  the                                                                    
reason  inmates  were  sent to  a  minimum  security  prison                                                                    
versus a medium security facility was due to cost savings.                                                                      
Ms.  Robb replied  that the  department would  never send  a                                                                    
person to a minimum security  prison only to save money. She                                                                    
reiterated  that the  cost of  care  was aggregated  because                                                                    
some inmates care was very  expensive for things like mental                                                                    
health and detox  treatment that cost roughly  $800 per day.                                                                    
In  addition, cost  of care  varied by  areas of  the state;                                                                    
Nome and Bethel facilities were  more costly to operate. She                                                                    
recapped that the $168.74 was an aggregate number.                                                                              
9:57:17 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   Wilson  referenced   the   earlier  question   by                                                                    
Representative  Josephson  regarding  the passage  of  other                                                                    
crime bills  impact on costs.  She asked how many additional                                                                    
inmates beyond  the 525 in  HB 49  the bills would  add. Ms.                                                                    
Goode would  prefer to provide additional  fiscal notes from                                                                    
other bills to show the exact numbers.                                                                                          
Representative  Josephson  stated  that he  could  find  the                                                                    
information.  He asked  whether the  fiscal notes  expressed                                                                    
the  population increase  expected for  each bill.  He hoped                                                                    
that the department had thought  about the  totality  of the                                                                    
combined  legislation and  the  number  of individuals  that                                                                    
would be  added to the  system. Ms. Goode answered  that the                                                                    
department   had  taken   the  issue   very  seriously   and                                                                    
considered  the totality  of the  crime bills.  She directed                                                                    
Representative  Josephson to  the  analysis  of each  fiscal                                                                    
note for details.                                                                                                               
Co-Chair Wilson surmised that the  bills effect on increased                                                                    
population would exceed the 525 number.                                                                                         
Representative Carpenter  asked whether DOC  shipped inmates                                                                    
from full capacity  centers to other areas in  the state due                                                                    
to the closure  of the Palmer facility.  He wondered whether                                                                    
every facility would be at  maximum capacity when the Palmer                                                                    
facility reopened.                                                                                                              
9:59:50 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Robb replied  in the  affirmative. She  added that  the                                                                    
current general  capacity of 4,664 inmates  included all the                                                                    
department's institutions.  Representative Carpenter thought                                                                    
that the costs in rural  facilities were more expensive than                                                                    
urban  areas. Ms.  Robb agreed;  running a  prison in  rural                                                                    
Alaska   was   more   expensive   than   in   urban   areas.                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter guessed  that  DOC  filled up  the                                                                    
most expensive  prisons in order  to close a  less expensive                                                                    
facility.  Ms. Goode  answered that  the rural  prisons were                                                                    
operating at capacity.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair Wilson asked how the  department dealt with opening                                                                    
a  building  that  was  only  one  level  with  an  expected                                                                    
increase  in more  dangerous offenders.  Ms. Goode  answered                                                                    
that DOC had  explored the scenario and  were confident they                                                                    
had  enough  minimum  security individuals  to  fill  Palmer                                                                    
included in the fiscal note.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson deduced  that the  inmates did  not qualify                                                                    
for a CRC or EM. Ms.  Goode answered in the affirmative. Co-                                                                    
Chair Wilson  asked what types  of crimes qualified  for the                                                                    
minimum  level.  Ms.  Goode  answered  that  many  were  sex                                                                    
offenders  that  could not  be  released  in CRCs.  Co-Chair                                                                    
Wilson questioned  whether the  179 individuals  were mostly                                                                    
sex offenders.  Ms. Goode  answered that  not all,  but some                                                                    
were sex offenders.  She added that the  prior population of                                                                    
Palmer  included sex  offenders. Co-Chair  Wilson questioned                                                                    
whether most of the 179 inmates would be sex offenders.                                                                         
10:03:52 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms.  Goode responded  that  many the  inmates  would be  sex                                                                    
offenders. She  assured Co-Chair  Wilson that  DOC confirmed                                                                    
with  Classifications that  enough minimum  security inmates                                                                    
were expected  to fill the Palmer  facility. Co-Chair Wilson                                                                    
wanted  specific data  and requested  that the  data analyst                                                                    
testify when necessary. Ms. Goode  replied that the data was                                                                    
reflected in the analysis but would comply.                                                                                     
Ms.  Robb  reviewed the  new  fiscal  impact note  from  the                                                                    
Department of Corrections,  24 Hour Institutional Utilities,                                                                    
OMB  Component Number  2976. She  explained that  facilities                                                                    
were included in the daily  cost of care rate. However, when                                                                    
the Palmer  facility was  closed the  cost of  utilities was                                                                    
not  decremented  and due  to  inflation  utility costs  had                                                                    
increased. The  current cost  of utilities  for the  24 Hour                                                                    
Institutional  Utilities line  was  fully  expended and  the                                                                    
fiscal  note  projected  the  utility  cost  at  the  Palmer                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson noted  that the  $168 was  an average.  She                                                                    
asked  why it  would not  reflect  the true  cost in  Palmer                                                                    
where energy  costs were more  affordable. Ms.  Robb replied                                                                    
that the department currently spent  all the money allocated                                                                    
for utilities.  Co-Chair Wilson stressed that  the projected                                                                    
inmates were new  and calculated at the full  costs of care.                                                                    
She  assumed  utilities  were included  in  the  costs.  She                                                                    
wondered why,  in relation the  new inmates at full  cost of                                                                    
care,  funding was  taken out  of  the department's  current                                                                    
utility  budget.  Ms.  Robb  affirmed  that  utilities  were                                                                    
included  in  the cost  of  care  but  worried that  due  to                                                                    
utility  increases the  number  would  fall short.  Co-Chair                                                                    
Wilson remained confused by the answer.                                                                                         
Vice-Chair  Johnston  thought the  fiscal  note  could be  a                                                                    
result of  the recent spikes  in utility costs.  She thought                                                                    
that departments  might have placed utilities  as a separate                                                                    
line  item  in their  budgets.  She  believed that  deferred                                                                    
maintenance caused  a significant increase in  utility costs                                                                    
and significant  increases within the  Regulatory Commission                                                                    
of  Alaska  (RCA)  were  expected.  She  surmised  that  the                                                                    
scenario impacted the Palmer facility  and DOC was acting in                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson judged  that the  $168 was  not the   true                                                                     
amount and suggested  the number be adjusted  to reflect the                                                                    
cost  of  utilities. She  believed  that  the utility  issue                                                                    
affected other  DOC facilities and suggested  a breakdown by                                                                    
facility. She stated  that  she was pretty  sure that Palmer                                                                    
[utilities] was cheaper than Fairbanks.                                                                                         
Representative Merrick asked if  the inmates did anything to                                                                    
raise   revenue.   Ms.   Goode  asked   for   clarification.                                                                    
Representative  Merrick clarified  that  she  was asking  if                                                                    
inmates had  a way  of generating  revenue. Ms.  Goode noted                                                                    
that the term was  prison  industry  that included the Lemon                                                                    
Creek facility doing laundry for  the ferry system. However,                                                                    
currently  no  major  prison   industry  was  in  operation.                                                                    
Representative Merrick asked  whether inmates offered public                                                                    
services  or community  service. Ms.  Goode answered  in the                                                                    
affirmative and  reported that the  inmates at  the Wildwood                                                                    
facility   grew  vegetables   and  decided   what  community                                                                    
organizations would receive the vegetables.                                                                                     
10:11:00 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard   cited  the   fiscal  note                                                                    
analysis showing  that the utilities  costs in 2016  for PCC                                                                    
were  $830  thousand.  Ms.  Goode  affirmed  the  statement.                                                                    
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard  did  not  believe  that  a                                                                    
portion of the $168. costs  went to utilities. She asked for                                                                    
a  breakdown  of  costs  for each  facility  and  costs  per                                                                    
inmate. Ms. Robb would follow up.                                                                                               
Representative  Carpenter looked  at the  $830 thousand  for                                                                    
2016  utilities for  PCC. He  deduced  that examining  PCCs                                                                     
historical  usage and  comparing it  to current  rates would                                                                    
show the expected cost in  current dollars and reflected the                                                                    
 actual number eliminating the need for guessing.                                                                               
10:13:19 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms. Robb offered to follow up by looking at the actuals.                                                                        
Co-Chair Wilson  was uncertain  whether the  costs reflected                                                                    
the utilities  in one building  or the entire  facility. She                                                                    
wanted a cost breakdown.                                                                                                        
Representative  Carpenter stated  his  understanding of  the                                                                    
previous  conversation regarding  the  inclusion of  utility                                                                    
costs,  yet  they  were  engaged  in  a  conversation  about                                                                    
additional  utility  costs.  He   thought  it  should  be  a                                                                    
function of the number of inmates divided by costs.                                                                             
Co-Chair Wilson reiterated  that the number may  not be $168                                                                    
per  inmate  and  agreed  that  a  breakdown  of  costs  per                                                                    
institution was necessary.                                                                                                      
10:14:58 AM                                                                                                                   
ROB HENDERSON,  DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  LAW (via  teleconference), addressed  the new                                                                    
fiscal  impact note  from the  Department  of Law,  Criminal                                                                    
Division, OMB  Component Number 2202. He  explained that the                                                                    
fiscal  note showed  an  appropriation in  the  amount of  $                                                                    
1,121.1  million  for  the addition  of  5  new  prosecutors                                                                    
statewide and  associated support  staff. He  indicated that                                                                    
the  primary   driver  of  the   increased  cost   for  five                                                                    
additional  prosecutors was  related  to the  change in  the                                                                    
drug  laws. He  elucidated  that  law enforcement  referrals                                                                    
dropped  significantly by  740 cases  between 2015  and 2017                                                                    
due  to reclassifying  all  the  drug distribution  offenses                                                                    
down   one  classification   or   two  classifications   and                                                                    
reclassifying  all  drug   possession  to  misdemeanor  drug                                                                    
referrals. The  Department of Law  (DOL) predicted  that the                                                                    
referrals would  increase as  a result of  passage of  HB 20                                                                    
because  law enforcement  would reprioritize  investigations                                                                    
of drug offenses. The department  observed a decrease in the                                                                    
number  of misdemeanor  drug prosecutions  in the  same time                                                                    
period and expected them to return to pre-2016 levels.                                                                          
10:17:18 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
10:18:36 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Wilson  noted that the committee  needed an updated                                                                    
fiscal note  and would take  the issue  up at the  1:30 p.m.                                                                    
10:19:10 AM                                                                                                                   
NANCY MEADE, GENERAL COUNSEL,  ALASKA COURT SYSTEM, reviewed                                                                    
the  new fiscal  impact  note from  Judiciary, Alaska  Court                                                                    
System, OMB  Component Number 768.  She reiterated  that DOL                                                                    
would have  an updated fiscal  impact note for the  five new                                                                    
prosecutors  and  four  new  staff based  on  the  new  drug                                                                    
classifications and   anticipation of new  drug cases filed.                                                                    
She communicated  that in response, the  Court System needed                                                                    
staff and  judges to  account for  the increase.  The system                                                                    
was  seeking  to bring  back  two  pro tem  judges  [retired                                                                    
judges]  to  travel around  the  state  along with  a  court                                                                    
clerk.  The  system also  needed  five  additional staff  to                                                                    
account  for  the  increases.  She  noted  that  the  Public                                                                    
Defender Agency  (PDA) and Office  of Public  Advocacy (OPA)                                                                    
also requested additional attorneys.                                                                                            
Vice-Chair Johnston asked if the  state had the capacity for                                                                    
pro tem  judges. She asked if  any were able and  willing to                                                                    
fill the  positions. Ms. Mead  answered in  the affirmative.                                                                    
She  indicated  that some  judges  may  want  to work  on  a                                                                    
specific case and  others for example, were  willing to take                                                                    
on  a one-year  assignment in  Bethel or  travel around  the                                                                    
state.  Co-Chair Wilson  asked whether  more cases  would be                                                                    
heard through the increased attorneys and judges.                                                                               
10:22:15 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms. Mead answered  that the positions the  court was seeking                                                                    
were in response to the  bill. Co-Chair Wilson reported that                                                                    
there were  750 additional individuals who  would be charged                                                                    
with felonies.  She mentioned the  current case  backlog and                                                                    
wondered  if  the  backlog would  increase  or  through  the                                                                    
addition of  the positions would  remain at the  same level.                                                                    
Ms. Mead expectated  that adding the two pro  tem judges and                                                                    
five  clerks would  be  enough  to keep  pace  with the  750                                                                    
additional cases  resulting from  the bill.  Co-Chair Wilson                                                                    
commented that the point was fast justice.                                                                                      
Representative Josephson  was considering an  amendment that                                                                    
would  back  away from  the  bill  regarding the  governor's                                                                    
proposal to treat  first time offenders for  misconduct of a                                                                    
controlled  substance  in  the  fourth  degree  as  Class  C                                                                    
felons.  His proposal  would impose  the  first time  felony                                                                    
only  if  the  offenders  did  not  complete  treatment.  He                                                                    
considered how  to calculate the  cost of the  treatment. He                                                                    
looked  at  the Court  System  database  and listed  various                                                                    
courts  including therapeutic,  tribal, veterans,  and other                                                                    
courts.  He  wanted  to determine  how  his  proposal  would                                                                    
affect the Court Systems costs.                                                                                                 
10:25:12 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms.  Mead  asked  for  clarity.   She  wondered  if  he  was                                                                    
proposing  to  expand  therapeutic   courts  in  general  or                                                                    
whether  there  would  be   additional  suspended  entry  of                                                                    
judgment (SEJ) cases.  Representative Josephson responded in                                                                    
the affirmative. Ms. Mead answered  that a successful felony                                                                    
or misdemeanor  SEJ resulted  in case  dismissal. Additional                                                                    
SEJs would not cost the  Court System more. The expansion of                                                                    
therapeutic  court would  have a  substantial fiscal  impact                                                                    
creating   logistical   problems   and  was   difficult   to                                                                    
implement.   She    delineated   that    Judiciary   favored                                                                    
therapeutic  courts but  the reason  they were  not expanded                                                                    
was due  to the lack  of housing, treatment,  and employment                                                                    
in  communities.  Representative  Josephson noted  that  the                                                                    
state could not offer the  same thing in every community. He                                                                    
used  an  example  of  a  person  located  in  Selawick.  He                                                                    
wondered  how the  courts  dealt with  the  issue. Ms.  Mead                                                                    
clarified  that Representative  Josephsons   point was  what                                                                    
happened if  an offender  resided in  a community  where the                                                                    
therapeutic court  was at capacity  or did not exist  in the                                                                    
area.  She relayed  that  the issue  was  not resolved.  The                                                                    
court was a benefit that  could be offered in some locations                                                                    
but not others.  She determined that if  an offender desired                                                                    
a resolution  in therapeutic court it  possibly could happen                                                                    
but would not  be in the offenders  home  community. A legal                                                                    
resolution for the matter was nonexistent.                                                                                      
10:28:51 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Wilson  asked whether anyone tracked  the number of                                                                    
individuals on EM versus those  who received credit for time                                                                    
on  EM. Ms.  Mead answered  that  the Court  System did  not                                                                    
track  the   information.  She  was   unsure  who   had  the                                                                    
10:29:48 AM                                                                                                                   
JAMES   STINSON,  DIRECTOR,   OFFICE  OF   PUBLIC  ADVOCACY,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION  (via teleconference), reviewed                                                                    
the  new   fiscal  impact  note   from  the   Department  of                                                                    
Administration,  Office of  Public  Advocacy, OMB  Component                                                                    
Number 43. He  explained that the Office  of Public Advocacy                                                                    
(OPA)  fiscal note  appropriated $350.9  thousand and  noted                                                                    
that  the  impact was  largely  based  on figures  from  the                                                                    
Department of Law. The easiest  changes to quantify were the                                                                    
increase in felony drug prosecutions  amounting to 750 cases                                                                    
and  resulted  in  a  substantial  increase  in  workload  -                                                                    
anywhere  from  150  to 200  additional  felony  cases.  The                                                                    
agency  would  need two  attorney  positions  and one  staff                                                                    
position  to handle  the anticipated  increase in  workload.                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson noted  that the office was  asking for fewer                                                                    
positions  than DOL.  She asked  if the  reason was  because                                                                    
some of  the cases were  assigned to  OPA and others  to the                                                                    
Public  Defenders  Agency.  Mr.   Stinson  answered  in  the                                                                    
affirmative.  He detailed  that  OPA received  cases when  a                                                                    
conflict  of  interest  was determined  between  the  public                                                                    
defenders and client. He offered  that some cases required a                                                                    
substantial   amount  of   investigation   and  carried   an                                                                    
estimated 25 percent conflict rate  that varied depending on                                                                    
the community.                                                                                                                  
10:32:22 AM                                                                                                                   
BETH  GOLDSTEIN,  ACTING  PUBLIC DEFENDER,  PUBLIC  DEFENDER                                                                    
AGENCY, DEPARTMENT  OF ADMINISTRATION  (via teleconference),                                                                    
reviewed the new  fiscal impact note from  the Department of                                                                    
Administration,  Public   Defender  Agency,   OMB  Component                                                                    
Number 1631.  She repeated that  the Public  Defender Agency                                                                    
(PDA)  was  requesting an  increase  primarily  due to  drug                                                                    
offenses and  increasing case load.  She expounded  that the                                                                    
agency would  not receive  roughly 20  percent of  the cases                                                                    
due  to ineligibility  and  conflicts.  Therefore, based  on                                                                    
DOLs  figures of  an increase of 750 cases,  PDA expected an                                                                    
additional 600  cases. The agency  used the standard  set by                                                                    
the American  Bar Association of  150 felonies per  year per                                                                    
attorney that resulted  in a request of 4  new attorneys and                                                                    
4 support  staff positions.  She informed  committee members                                                                    
that  the one  to one  ratio of  attorney and  staff was  in                                                                    
response to  the agency currently lacking  support staff and                                                                    
was  not  operating on  a  one  to  one ratio.  The  request                                                                    
included  one  additional staff  in  addition  to the  three                                                                    
necessary to handle the caseload.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Wilson thanked the department for the information.                                                                     
10:34:08 AM                                                                                                                   
KELLY HOWELL, SPECIAL  ASSISTANT, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC SAFETY,  addressed the  new                                                                    
fiscal  impact note  from the  Department of  Public Safety,                                                                    
Statewide Support,  OMB Component Number 527.  She explained                                                                    
that the cost  increase was for all  laboratory services due                                                                    
to  testing all  sexual  assault kits.  The provisions  were                                                                    
found in  Sections 35  through 38 of  HB 20.  The department                                                                    
requested  two additional  Forensic Scientist  III positions                                                                    
that  were necessary  to address  the increase  in caseload.                                                                    
Additionally, the  crime lab needed to  outsource testing of                                                                    
sexual assault  kits for the  first year to account  for the                                                                    
time and  resources needed to  fully train two  new forensic                                                                    
scientists and  maintain the workload. The  total first year                                                                    
costs were estimated at $555,124.  The second and subsequent                                                                    
year costs were estimated at $278,8 thousand.                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Wilson asked  how  difficult it  was  to fill  the                                                                    
positions.  Ms.  Howell  answered  that the  Crime  Lab  had                                                                    
trouble   filling  the   positions   and   had  to   recruit                                                                    
nationwide. She deferred to the  crime labs  chief assistant                                                                    
for further details.                                                                                                            
DAVID  KANARIS,  ASSISTANT   CHIEF,  FORENSIC  LABORATORIES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC SAFETY (via  teleconference), answered                                                                    
that  the lab  was   typically  successful  with  nationwide                                                                    
recruitments but  still need to  find candidates  within the                                                                    
state  that  met  minimum   qualifications  but  lacked  any                                                                    
experience.   The   state    typically   trained   the   new                                                                    
inexperienced  hires for  one year.  He elaborated  that the                                                                    
outsourcing costs  were approximately  $1,100 per  kit times                                                                    
288  kits  and  was  budgeted based  on  the  two  positions                                                                    
requested  who would  test  roughly 72  kits  each per  year                                                                    
totaling  144  kits plus  the  time  it  took to  train  the                                                                    
analyst requiring  the help  of two  experienced scientists,                                                                    
which required another 144 kits to be outsourced.                                                                               
10:37:56 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Wilson asked  whether the lab had a plan  to use an                                                                    
out-of-state  facility during  the recruitment  and training                                                                    
stage of the  two positions. She asked  whether the scenario                                                                    
was  included in  the outsourcing  cost of  $316.8 thousand.                                                                    
Mr. Kanaris answered in the affirmative.                                                                                        
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard asked  if there  were other                                                                    
crime labs  outside of Anchorage. Mr.  Kanaris answered that                                                                    
no  other full  service crime  labs existed  outside of  the                                                                    
state  lab. He  added that  the Anchorage  Police Department                                                                    
(APD)  had a  limited crime  lab that  performed fingerprint                                                                    
analysis    and   worked    with   a    firearms   database.                                                                    
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard  thought   she  recalled  a                                                                    
discussion about  a lab  in Fairbanks.  Mr. Kanaris  did not                                                                    
believe  there  was  a  lab   available  in  Fairbanks  that                                                                    
performed forensic analysis.                                                                                                    
Representative Merrick asked if  all the sexual assault kits                                                                    
tested were  entered into  a database  once the  testing was                                                                    
complete. If  so, she wondered  if the database  provided an                                                                    
automatic  notification  if there  was  a  match to  another                                                                    
crime that had occurred  in another location. Alternatively,                                                                    
she wondered if  the database user would have  to search for                                                                    
a potential match.  Mr. Kanaris answered that  if there were                                                                    
probative findings on a case,  if a DNA result was generally                                                                    
good,  the information  was entered  into  the database.  He                                                                    
confirmed that when  a new entry was made,  the database was                                                                    
proactively  searched  to  identify potential  matches  with                                                                    
historical data.                                                                                                                
10:40:34 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Carpenter referred  to  the  $1,100 cost  to                                                                    
process  each  kit.  He  asked for  a  cost  breakdown.  Mr.                                                                    
Kanaris  replied that  approximately $750  to $1000  was the                                                                    
cost for  testing the kit  to generate the DNA  profile. The                                                                    
additional  $100  was  for  the review  of  each  case.  The                                                                    
process  was very  time consuming  and was  outsourced at  a                                                                    
cost of $100 per case.                                                                                                          
Representative Carpenter asked about  the task being done to                                                                    
account for the  $750 for testing. Mr.  Kanaris replied that                                                                    
the  cost was  primarily  for  salary, training,  equipment,                                                                    
consumables.  Co-Chair Wilson  asked for  a cost  breakdown.                                                                    
She asked how much the same  tests would cost to send out of                                                                    
state.  Mr.  Kanaris asked  Co-Chair  Wilson  to repeat  the                                                                    
question.  Co-Chair  Wilson   complied.  Mr.  Kanaris  would                                                                    
follow up.                                                                                                                      
10:43:16 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Wilson pointed  to an  updated  Department of  Law                                                                    
fiscal  impact  note.  She noted  the  committee  would  ask                                                                    
questions  on  the  note  at   the  afternoon  meeting.  She                                                                    
reviewed the agenda for the 1:30 p.m. meeting.                                                                                  
10:45:16 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 20 NEW FISCAL NOTES ALL.pdf HFIN 4/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
HB 20