Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/22/1993 01:00 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE February 22, 1993 1:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Rep. Brian Porter, Chairman Rep. Jeannette James, Vice-Chair Rep. Pete Kott Rep. Gail Phillips Rep. Cliff Davidson Rep. Jim Nordlund MEMBERS ABSENT Rep. Joe Green COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HB 151: "An Act relating to payment by indigent persons for legal services and related costs; and providing for an effective date." PASSED OUT WITH A DO PASS RECOMMENDATION *HB 120: "An Act changing the date by which jury lists must be prepared; requiring the use of the list of the current year's permanent fund dividend applicants in preparing the jury list; and changing the date by which state departments must submit certain lists to the Alaska Court System." PASSED OUT WITH A DO PASS RECOMMENDATION HJR 15: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the duration of a regular session. PASSED OUT WITH NO RECOMMENDATION HB 100: "An Act relating to criminal charges brought against minors." HEARD AND HELD IN COMMITTEE (* First public hearing.) WITNESS REGISTER CHRIS CHRISTENSEN Staff Counsel Alaska Court System 303 K Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Phone: 264-8228 Position Statement: Supported HB 151 MARILYN MAY Department of Law 1031 West Fourth Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Phone: 269-5199 Position Statement: Explained HB 151 TOM WILLIAMS Permanent Fund Division Department of Revenue P.O. Box 110460 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0460 Phone: 465-2323 Position Statement: Commented on HB 120 REP. PETE KOTT Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 409 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-3777 Position Statement: Prime sponsor of HJR 15 REP. CON BUNDE Alaska State Legislature Capitol Room 112 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-4843 Position Statement: Prime sponsor of HB 100 JAY PAGE, Chairman Anchorage Chamber Crime Prevention Committee P.O. Box 92090 Anchorage, Alaska 99509 Phone: 265-3860 Position Statement: Supported HB 100 JANET LOWN 210 Admiral Way Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: 586-2780 Position Statement: Supported HB 100 KATHY WELTZIN P.O. Box 210665 Auke Bay, Alaska 99821 Phone: 463-1850 Position Statement: Commented on HB 100 RANDALL HINES Youth Corrections Specialist Division of Family and Youth Services Department of Health and Social Services P. O. Box 110630 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0630 Position Statement: Commented on HB 100 SHERRIE GOLL Alaska Women's Lobby P.O. Box 22156 Juneau, Alaska 99802 Phone: 463-6744 Position Statement: Opposed HB 100 CAREN ROBINSON P.O. Box 33702 Juneau, Alaska 99803 Phone: 586-1107 Position Statement: Commented on HB 100 DEAN GUANELI Assistant Attorney General and Criminal Division Administrator Department of Law P.O. Box K Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Phone: 465-3428 Position Statement: Commented on HB 100 ELMER LINDSTROM Special Assistant to the Commissioner Department of Health and Social Services P. O. Box 110601 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0601 Phone: 465-3030 Position Statement: Commented on HB 100 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 151 SHORT TITLE: PAYMENT BY INDIGENTS FOR LEGAL SERVICES BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY TITLE: "An Act relating to payment by indigent persons for legal services and related costs; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/15/93 345 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/15/93 345 (H) JUDICIARY, FINANCE 02/22/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 120 SHORT TITLE: JURY LIST PREPARATION BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY TITLE: "An Act changing the date by which jury lists must be prepared; requiring the use of the list of the current year's permanent fund dividend applicants in preparing the jury list; and changing the date by which state departments must submit certain lists to the Alaska Court System." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/03/93 215 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/03/93 215 (H) JUDICIARY 02/22/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HJR 15 SHORT TITLE: 100 DAY SESSION LIMIT BILL VERSION: SSHJR 15 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT TITLE: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the duration of a regular session. JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/14/93 58 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/14/93 58 (H) STATE AFFAIRS,JUDICIARY,FINANCE 01/20/93 113 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS 01/20/93 113 (H) STATE AFFAIRS,JUDICIARY,FINANCE 01/26/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/26/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/26/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/30/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/30/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/06/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/11/93 319 (H) STA RPT 4DP 3NR 02/11/93 319 (H) DP: VEZEY,OLBERG,SANDERS,KOTT 02/11/93 319 (H) NR: ULMER, B.DAVIS, G.DAVIS 02/11/93 319 (H) -2 FISCAL NOTES (GOV, LAA) 2/11/93 02/11/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/11/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/13/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/22/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 100 SHORT TITLE: PROSECUTION OF JUVENILE FELONS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE,Green TITLE: "An Act relating to criminal charges brought against minors." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/29/93 178 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/29/93 178 (H) HES, JUDICIARY 02/03/93 224 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 02/05/93 240 (H) HES WAIVED 5-DAY HEARING NOTICE,RULE 23 02/08/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/08/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 02/10/93 289 (H) HES RPT 5DP 1DNP 2NR 02/10/93 289 (H) DP:KOTT,VEZEY,BUNDE,TOOHEY, OLBERG 02/10/93 289 (H) DNP: NICHOLIA 02/10/93 289 (H) NR: G.DAVIS, BRICE 02/10/93 289 (H) -2 FNS (ADM, ADM) 2/10/93 02/10/93 289 (H) -2 ZERO FNS (DPS, DHSS) 2/10/93 02/10/93 289 (H) REFERRED TO JUDICIARY 02/17/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 02/17/93 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 02/17/93 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 02/22/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-18, SIDE A Number 000 The House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was called to order at 1:12 p.m. on February 22, 1993. A quorum was present. CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that the meeting was being teleconferenced. He noted that four bills were on the day's calendar. He said that he would like to take up HB 100, Prosecution of Juvenile Felons, at or around 1:30 p.m. He announced that HB 151, Payment by Indigents for Legal Services, would be before the committee first. HB 151 PAYMENT BY INDIGENTS FOR LEGAL SERVICES Number 034 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, STAFF COUNSEL, ALASKA COURT SYSTEM, noted that HB 151 had been introduced by the House Judiciary Committee, at the request of the Supreme Court. He said that under the state and U.S. constitutions, a criminal defendant had the right to an attorney. If the defendant could not afford an attorney, one had to be provided to him by the state, he added. MR. CHRISTENSEN commented that up until 1990, courts could order indigent defendants to pay for their defense services, to the extent that the defendant could afford to pay. He said that for a variety of reasons that law was ineffective. One main reason that the law was ineffective, he said, was that it addressed a defendant's current ability to pay for defense costs and not his or her future ability. MR. CHRISTENSEN noted that in 1990, the legislature amended the law to allow civil judgments to be brought against defendants who had been represented by public defenders without taking into consideration the defendant's current ability to pay. If a defendant became solvent at a later date, he said, the judgment could then be enforced. However, if the defendant did not become solvent at a later date, the judgment would not be enforced. MR. CHRISTENSEN stated that the legislature also amended the law in 1990 to prohibit civil judgments against defendants who were not actually convicted and to prohibit execution on a judgment for three years after a defendant was released from incarceration. He said HB 151 proposed to change these two amendments made by the legislature in 1990. He said HB 151 would allow judgments to be entered against defendants who had been represented by public defenders, whether or not the defendant was convicted. He stated that the philosophy behind this change was that because non-indigent defendants had to pay for their defense costs, whether or not they were convicted, indigent defendants should be treated the same way. MR. CHRISTENSEN said HB 151 would also eliminate the three year moratorium on repayment that currently followed incarceration. He noted that the moratorium made it substantially more difficult for the state to recover defense costs in a timely manner. (Rep. James arrived.) Number 137 REP. PHILLIPS asked Mr. Christensen how many people would be affected by HB 151. Number 144 MR. CHRISTENSEN replied that Marilyn May could better address her question. He said that he did know that in the six months since the adoption of a court rule on the same subject, approximately 1,000 judgments totally about $200,000 had been entered against indigent defendants. However, he commented that only about $17,000 had been collected by the Attorney General. He called the members' attention to a copy of Criminal Rule 39, which set forth the charges made to indigent defendants for legal services. Number 165 MARILYN MAY, of the ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. She commented that she was the attorney for the Collections Unit, and received judgments entered under Criminal Rule 39. She noted that the rule had only been in effect since the beginning of the fiscal year. She said that about 1,200 judgments, worth approximately $240,000, had been entered. Of those, she added, 123 had been paid, netting the state $21,000. MS. MAY stated that her office expected to receive 5,000 judgments per year, worth over $1 million. She commented that current law hampered the Collection Unit's ability to collect on judgments. Number 224 REP. PHILLIPS asked Ms. May to explain how the fee schedule in Rule 39 was developed. She commented that the fees were ridiculously low. Number 231 MS. MAY replied that a committee, including representatives from the Public Defender's Office, the Office of Public Advocacy, the Court System and the Attorney General's Office, had come up with the fee schedule. She said that the intent of the committee was to determine a fee that an indigent person would be able to pay that would help defray the cost of the counsel. Number 250 REP. PHILLIPS noted that what might be fair to an indigent defendant certainly was not fair to the state. She said that she found the fee schedule to be completely out of line. Number 257 MS. MAY said that the committee considered the fact that in some cases very little work was involved. Number 273 REP. NORDLUND expressed concern that judgments would be filed against indigent defendants who were found not guilty. He asked if court-assigned attorneys were mandatory. (Rep. Davidson arrived.) Number 290 MR. CHRISTENSEN responded that, in his understanding, defendants were asked whether or not they wanted an attorney. He said that if a case actually went to trial, the court might be able to impose an attorney on a defendant under certain circumstances. Number 300 REP. NORDLUND asked if judges assessed a defendant's capability of defending himself or herself. Number 302 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that he believed that such an assessment was made. REP. NORDLUND noted his concern that an indigent defendant might be involuntarily assigned an attorney, be found not guilty, and have to pay for legal costs. Number 318 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that the standard for finding a defendant guilty was very high. He said that the fact that a person was not convicted did not establish innocence. He added that he could not think of any situations like the one that Rep. Nordlund had described. Number 339 REP. NORDLUND stated that if he were charged with a crime that he was completely innocent of, and was asked if he wanted to pay for an attorney, he would probably elect to not have a court-appointed attorney. He said that innocent people were sometimes accused of crimes. He added that he thought that HB 151 would be unfair to some defendants. Number 355 REP. PHILLIPS made a motion to move HB 151 out of committee, with individual recommendations. Number 358 REP. DAVIDSON objected. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Porter, Phillips, James, and Kott voted "yea"; Representatives Davidson and Nordlund voted "nay." And so, HB 151 moved out of the Judiciary Committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. Number 370 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that HB 120, Jury List Preparation, was the next item of business before the committee. HB 120 JURY LIST PREPARATION Number 378 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that HB 120 was very non-controversial. He said that currently, the Court System was required to prepare a list each year of persons eligible for jury service. The list was created from those individuals who applied for permanent fund dividends. He said that currently, the list had to be prepared by March 15 of each year. He noted that the Department of Revenue (DOR) submitted its list to the Court System by the preceding January 15. He said that HB 120 would require the Court System to prepare its list by November 30 of each year, and DOR to submit its list to the Court System by the preceding September 30. He noted that HB 120 would increase the administrative efficiency of the Court System. He stated that the bill would result in no additional cost to the state. Number 404 TOM WILLIAMS, DIRECTOR of DOR's PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND DIVISION, said that he had no problem with HB 120. Number 411 REP. PHILLIPS noted that a similar bill had died the year before, in the Senate Rules Committee. She asked why this had occurred. Number 412 MR. CHRISTENSEN replied that time had simply run out. REP. PHILLIPS commented that since permanent fund dividend applications had to be submitted by June 30 of each year, DOR should have no difficulty submitting its list to the Court System by September 30. Number 420 REP. DAVIDSON asked Mr. Christensen why many people were reluctant to serve on juries. Number 428 MR. CHRISTENSEN responded that no formal research had been done on the subject. However, he noted that many people disliked taking time off of work and not being compensated by their employers, arranging for day care, and otherwise incurring expenses as a result of their jury service. Number 438 REP. JAMES made a motion to pass HB 120 out of committee, with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN PORTER, hearing no objection, ordered HB 120 moved out of committee, with individual recommendations. He announced that HJR 15, 100-Day Session Limit, was the next item of business before the committee. HJR 15 100 DAY SESSION LIMIT Number 456 REP. KOTT, sponsor of HJR 15, noted that the idea of a shorter legislative session was not new. He said that the resolution would reduce the session from 120 days to 100 days. He noted that from 1975 to 1984, the legislative sessions averaged 146 days. Then, he said, a constitutional amendment was passed, requiring a 120-day limit on legislative sessions. Since then, he noted, the shortest session had been 119 days. He called his resolution a moderate approach, and said that there was fairly strong support for a shorter session. REP. KOTT commented that several similar measures had been introduced since 1984. He noted that 26 states currently had shorter legislative sessions than Alaska did. He said that shortening legislative sessions would send a clear message to the public that the legislature meant business when it came to cutting the budget. He indicated his belief that the voters would approve HJR 15. Number 500 REP. DAVIDSON noted that democracy was not an efficient process. He asked that Rep. Kott provide specific reasons for shortening the legislative session, besides saving money. He also asked Rep. Kott what prevented the legislature from finishing up its business before the 120- day deadline now in place. He questioned the wisdom of placing further artificial restraints on lawmakers' ability to conduct business. He said that a shorter process might make for hasty legislation. He stated that he was not convinced that the state's business should be hurried. Number 536 REP. KOTT commented that during his campaign, voters repeatedly said that the legislative session was too long. He reiterated Rep. Davidson's point that democracy was not a swift process. He noted that prior to 1984, sessions averaged 146 days, but said that once the constitutional amendment had passed, legislators had managed to finish their business in 120 days. He noted that given 120 days, the legislature would take that long to accomplish its business. REP. KOTT mentioned the majority caucus' moderate proposal to adjourn after approximately 110 days. He cited support for a shorter session, from the Anchorage Daily News, the public, and the Governor. Number 567 REP. JAMES noted that as a freshman legislator, she had seen some processes which could be speeded up, but also noted her concern at the speed at which some things did happen. An example of hurried legislation that she cited was the constitutional budget reserve fund. She said that if that amendment had been more carefully analyzed and prepared, the legislature would not face the problems in its interpretation that now had to be faced. REP. JAMES commented that she could not honestly say that she was familiar with every bill before her. She added her belief that the legislature needed to closely deliberate legislation. She said that a 100-day session would not necessarily change the public's view that legislators took the public's money and did absolutely nothing with it. She expressed certainty that the voters would approve a measure creating a 100-day session, but said she was not convinced that the legislature should give the public that opportunity. Number 598 REP. PHILLIPS stated that her grandfather had been a member of the territorial legislature. She noted the travel hardships experienced by legislators in those days, and said that sessions then lasted no more than 60 days. Her grandfather had told her that the session did not need to last longer than 60 days, as the territory had no money to spend. REP. PHILLIPS commented that the legislature had always been comprised of citizen legislators. She said that in the 1970s people saw that lengthy sessions precluded many people from participating in the legislature, as many people were unable to be away from their jobs and other responsibilities for extended periods of time. REP. PHILLIPS said that the legislature should do all it could to ensure that it remained a citizen legislature. She commented that HJR 15 was a step in the right direction. REP. KOTT noted that computer technology had helped to speed up the legislature's job. Number 651 REP. DAVIDSON mentioned that in 45 days, the legislature had still not managed to fill all of the seats on the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics. He noted that some things took longer than others. He questioned the wisdom of constitutionally mandating the number of days in which the legislature was required to accomplish its business. He noted that the public had little idea of how the legislature functioned. REP. DAVIDSON commented that while the legislature was away, the executive branch played. He mentioned the checks and balances system in government. He noted that nothing now prevented the legislature from getting the job done early. He said that the legislative process was a long, slow and arduous one, and that no more artificial restrictions should be placed on it. He said that the more the legislature was confined, the more debate and deliberation and democracy would suffer. Number 707 REP. KOTT responded that if, while the legislature was away, the executive branch played, perhaps the legislature should meet for 365 days. He noted that the legislature would use as much time as the constitution allowed. Number 725 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that when he first arrived in Juneau, he felt that a shorter session was appropriate. He said that his constituents also felt that way. However, he noted that he was no longer so certain that a shorter session was a good idea. He said that he would support passing the bill out of committee, due to statements he had made prior to arriving in Juneau. He stated that the legislative process was not designed to be quick. REP. JAMES made a motion to move HJR 15 out of committee, with individual recommendations. Number 750 CHAIRMAN PORTER, hearing objection, held a roll call vote. Reps. Nordlund, Phillips, Kott, James and Porter voted "yea." Rep. Davidson voted "nay." And so, HJR 15 moved out of committee with individual recommendations. Number 757 REP. DAVIDSON expressed his concern that HJR 15 was the second constitutional amendment that had been swiftly approved by the committee. He said that he would like to hear more about the 26 states that had session limitations like the one proposed in HJR 15. He said that he had hoped that the Judiciary Committee would put more effort into looking at all perspectives on an issue to ensure sufficient discussion. He mentioned the value of Judge Stewart's comments on HJR 1. He said that he feared what would have become of HJR 1 had Judge Stewart not been present to testify. REP. DAVIDSON commented that the committee should hear from citizens who thought that session limitations were a good idea, to find out what their understanding of the legislative process was. He noted that there was always a perspective that was not examined or understood. He expressed his belief that hasty constitutional amendments chipped away at the foundations upon which our government was built. He stated that he felt that the committee had not sufficiently examined HJR 15, and said that he doubted that any other committee would seriously examine the resolution either. He commented that the committee was acting irresponsibly. CHAIRMAN PORTER responded that he did not disagree with any of Rep. Davidson's comments. He noted his surprise that there were not any individuals who wanted to testify on the issue. He indicated his belief that the resolution would receive ample discussion between now and when it was voted on, on the House floor. CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that HB 100, Prosecution of Juvenile Felons, was the next item of business before the committee. HB 100 PROSECUTION OF JUVENILE FELONS TAPE 93-18, SIDE B Number 000 REP. CON BUNDE, PRIME SPONSOR of HB 100, said that his bill was an attempt to make the state's juvenile criminal justice system more productive. He added that many juveniles considered the juvenile justice system a joke. He commented that young people were much more sophisticated today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. He said that although the rights of young people were clearly addressed in law, there had not been an equal focus on the responsibilities of those young people. He noted that he wanted to make young people very aware of what the boundaries of acceptable behavior were. He added that society did a great disservice to youth by sending them "soft" or "fuzzy" messages about what behavior was and was not acceptable. Number 050 REP. BUNDE stated his belief that society was accidentally encouraging young people to become career criminals. He said that the state needed to intervene early on to encourage young people to change their behavior. He cited the high rate of recidivism in the adult justice system, and commented that intervention had to begin before people reached the adult justice system. He cited a 50+ percent recidivism rate among juveniles, and said that indicated that the system was not working and should be changed. He said that HB 100 was one such effort, as it would allow young people to be tried as adults for felonies and other major crimes. REP. BUNDE commented that HB 100 was an attempt to encourage fair and equitable treatment of young adults and to encourage them to become responsible citizens. REP. DAVIDSON asked how Rep. Bunde had arrived at the age of 16 for the purposes of his bill. He asked why Rep. Bunde had not used the age of 10 in his bill. REP. BUNDE asked if Rep. Davidson were suggesting an amendment. REP. DAVIDSON said that he was not suggesting an amendment; rather, he was trying to learn the basis upon which Rep. Bunde had used the age of 16 in HB 100. REP. BUNDE said that he had wanted to use the age of 15 in his bill. He noted that in his experience, most 10-year- olds did not have sufficient judgment to make it appropriate to try them as adults. He stated that experts with whom he had consulted indicated that children aged 14 or 15 would have a better grasp of right and wrong. Number 127 REP. DAVIDSON asked Rep. Bunde at which "magic age" did a child acquire judgment. REP. BUNDE responded that many children aged 30 and 40 had not yet reached that magic age, but that perhaps that was due to the fact that they had not been encouraged to be responsible at a young age. Number 140 REP. DAVIDSON noted that HB 100 was an attempt to deal with young people after they had committed crimes. He stated his belief that an effort should be made to intervene before a young person committed a crime. Number 148 REP. BUNDE commented that if certain behaviors were punished, they were not apt to be repeated. Therefore, he said, if a behavior that someone committed at the age of 15 were punished, that person would probably not repeat that behavior when she or he was 30. Number 160 JAY PAGE, CHAIRMAN of the ANCHORAGE CHAMBER CRIME PREVENTION COMMITTEE, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He cited his community service work with juveniles and the justice system. He thanked Rep. Bunde for introducing HB 100, and said that the Anchorage Chamber Crime Prevention Committee supported the bill. MR. PAGE commented that juvenile law was embodied in Title 47 of the Alaska Statutes. He said that the basic premise of Title 47 was that juveniles did not have sufficient capacity to understand the outcomes of their actions. Therefore, juveniles could only commit crime-like activity and not actual crimes, he said. The only sanction in the juvenile system was rehabilitation, he added. There was no sanction for punishment. MR. PAGE indicated that the nature of juveniles today was not like the nature of juveniles at the time that Title 47 was written 30 years earlier. Today, he said, there were some young people without consciences. He said that society needed to focus on the root causes of some of these problems. In the meantime, he noted, the state needed to deal with those young people who were already out there. He stated HB 100 was a step in that direction. MR. PAGE said that HB 100 would shift the responsibility for proving amenability to rehabilitation from the state and to the juvenile. He cited a court decision two years ago that held that a juvenile and her or his counsel were not required to be present, in the waiver proceeding, for the findings of any psychological evaluations. Mr. Page noted that, without psychological findings, trying to prove that the minor was not amenable to treatment was tantamount to trying to fly. MR. PAGE commented that it was high time to make some changes to Title 47. He said that HB 100 was a demonstration of society's compassion for children and the hope that they could live decent adult lives. He indicated his committee's 100 percent support for HB 100. Number 262 REP. DAVIDSON asked Mr. Page if, in light of his strong preference for HB 100, he also had a strong preference for coming up with the public resources to ensure implementation of the bill's provisions. Number 272 MR. PAGE noted that instead of talking about inefficiencies in the system, people talked about perhaps not being so tough on crime because of its high cost. He said that waiver proceedings, whether the burden of proof was on the juvenile or on the state, would cost a similar amount of money. In that light, he said that he did not expect HB 100 to result in an increased cost. Number 286 REP. DAVIDSON asked Mr. Page to clarify his reasoning as to why HB 100 would not result in a significant cost increase to the state. Number 290 MR. PAGE said that the waiver of juvenile offenders would continue to occur, whether or not HB 100 passed. He said that HB 100 would simply change some of the parameters of those waiver hearings. Number 298 REP. DAVIDSON asked Mr. Page if he would, if necessary, support the need for increased public resources to implement HB 100. MR. PAGE indicated that he would support the need for increased public resources, if necessary. REP. JAMES left the meeting. Number 320 JANET LOWN, a POLICE INVESTIGATOR from Juneau, spoke to the committee about HB 100. She said that she supported HB 100, but thought that it should be amended to waive to adult court juveniles charged with first offenses of unclassified and class A felonies. REP. NORDLUND noted that there was already a procedure in statute for waiving juveniles into adult court. He said that the discussion he had heard thus far assumed that no such procedure was currently in place. Number 348 MS. LOWN commented that it was her understanding that in Juneau it was currently difficult to use that procedure to waive a child into adult court without showing extreme prior offenses. She expressed her belief that the waivers should be automatic. Number 353 REP. KOTT asked Ms. Lown if she had any statistics that would support her statement about it being very difficult to waive children into adult court. Number 357 MS. LOWN responded that all juvenile court proceedings were confidential. At age 18, she said, a young person was considered to have committed no prior crimes. Except in the case of severe crimes, she noted, juvenile records were sealed. In the case of sex crimes, she said, an 18-year-old could go to work in a day care center without her or his employer being able to check court records. Number 380 REP. KOTT asked Ms. Lown to indicate what approximate percentage of waivers were actually granted. Number 384 MS. LOWN said that in Juneau very few juvenile cases were waived into adult court. Number 391 REP. DAVIDSON asked Ms. Lown what was missing from juvenile offenders' backgrounds that made them not understand what was right and what was wrong. Number 397 MS. LOWN replied that juvenile offenders did know the difference between right and wrong. She commented that she could not guess at the dysfunctional backgrounds of these offenders, but said prevention was preferable to intervention. She added that there was not currently an effective prevention program in place. Number 406 REP. DAVIDSON asked if children who had been tried as adults experienced a change in attitude regarding the crime they had committed. Number 410 MS. LOWN said that some children's attitudes toward their behavior changed when they were held accountable for that behavior. Without that accountability, she noted, there was often no change in behavior. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if a child's knowledge that he or she would be treated as an adult upon committing a crime would serve as a deterrent. Number 422 MS. LOWN replied that she believed that this knowledge would serve as a deterrent. Number 426 REP. KOTT asked Ms. Lown if, as a rule, juvenile offenders came from dysfunctional families. MS. LOWN said that an argument could be made that everyone who ever committed a crime had some dysfunction in his or her background. She asked Rep. Kott what he meant by the term "dysfunctional family." REP. JAMES returned. MS. LOWN expressed her belief that the number of parents in a household was not terribly significant. She said that years could be spent arguing about what factors caused juveniles to commit crimes. However, she noted, now was the time to create an effective deterrent. Number 458 KATHY WELTZIN, a MIDDLE SCHOOL DRUG AND ALCOHOL COUNSELOR, said that prior to today's meeting, she had spoken with many school and social services officials. She noted that she and the others were unanimous in their belief that kids should start out in the criminal justice system as adults. She said that she viewed HB 100 as a prevention tool. She commented that kids knew how the system worked, and the situation now in place was not effectively addressing the problem of juvenile crime. MS. WELTZIN noted that children matured at different rates. She said that she had spoken with school children before the meeting and their response had been that children capable of committing crimes should face the consequences. MS. WELTZIN stated that, in her opinion, waivers should be neither easy nor automatic. She said that she was afraid of slamming the door on certain children who did not belong in the adult justice system. However, she advocated putting them there in the first place and putting the burden on them to prove their way out of the adult system. Ms. Weltzin added that she thought that the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program was a wonderful prevention program. Number 524 REP. JAMES noted that since the time when she was a child, societal changes had caused children to have different attitudes. One change was that society had made children responsible by giving them rights, she said. She asked Ms. Weltzin if she had seen any evidence of children feeling that they had rights but no responsibilities. Number 536 MS. WELTZIN indicated her agreement with Rep. James. She noted that when society imposed certain age limitations on behavior, kids often initiated that behavior some time before those limitations. For example, she said that when the drinking age was 18, children would begin to use alcohol close to that age. However, she said, when the drinking age was 21, children began to drink closer to the age of 21. She expressed her opinion that society needed to give children limits against which to "bump." She mentioned that all families experienced periods of function and dysfunction. Number 553 REP. PHILLIPS mentioned her appreciation for Ms. Weltzin's consultation with children and those who worked with children. She asked Ms. Weltzin if any punishment served as a true deterrent. Number 562 MS. WELTZIN responded that kids needed to be taught to respect society. Number 565 REP. PHILLIPS asked how that could be accomplished, other than through fear. Number 566 MS. WELTZIN replied that lowering age limits for certain behavior was a significant step in the right direction. Number 574 REP. NORDLUND stated that he agreed with Ms. Weltzin's contention that children matured at different rates. However, he noted that HB 100 would require automatic waivers, taking away a judge's ability to view each child differently. He commented that it almost sounded as if Ms. Weltzin were testifying against HB 100 and automatic waivers. Number 588 MS. WELTZIN responded that she believed that children should be initially brought into the adult justice system, but given an opportunity to prove their way back to the juvenile justice system. Number 599 REP. DAVIDSON sought to clarify Ms. Weltzin's comments. He asked her what criteria ought to be used to determine whether a child should be transferred back into the juvenile justice system. Number 608 MS. WELTZIN commented that the child should undergo a screening process. Number 615 REP. DAVIDSON asked Ms. Weltzin if there were family and environmental characteristics common to juvenile offenders. MS. WELTZIN stated that it sounded as if Rep. Davidson was referring to "tough love" -- giving children boundaries as an expression of love. She said that children wanted and needed confrontation, boundaries, and guidelines from their parents. She noted that to some degree, adults had abdicated that responsibility. She noted that many times a child's bad behavior was not her or his "fault." However, she said that holding the children blameless would not improve the situation. MS. WELTZIN said that there were identifiable risks for children, including alienation from family and society. Number 671 REP. JAMES stated that Ms. Weltzin had supported her theory that "normal" was "dysfunctional." She commented that life was tough and people needed to learn how to cope with difficult situations. She asked if there had been a change in attitudes toward counseling over the last 20 years. Number 686 MS. WELTZIN replied that, in her opinion, there had been a change in the attitude toward counseling. She said that she would tell a child that she or he could either use bad situations as an excuse or get on with their lives. Number 691 REP. KOTT asked Ms. Weltzin if a juvenile convicted in adult court could later be rehabilitated. Number 700 MS. WELTZIN replied that there were opportunities for rehabilitation in that situation, but leverage was necessary. Number 707 REP. KOTT asked if a juvenile serving a sentence in an adult prison could be rehabilitated. Number 712 MS. WELTZIN said that a juvenile in that situation could be rehabilitated, in her opinion. TAPE 93-19, SIDE A Number 000 REP. DAVIDSON noted the burden on schools to provide children with values. He mentioned that Captain Kangaroo had said that our society faced a generation of "moral illiterates." He asked Ms. Weltzin to comment on those issues. Number 046 MS. WELTZIN responded by saying that things were cyclical, and she found hope in that. Number 058 RANDALL HINES, YOUTH CORRECTIONS SPECIALIST, DIVISION OF FAMILY AND YOUTH SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES (DHSS), offered to answer any questions that committee members might have. Number 072 REP. NORDLUND noted that HB 100 was presumably an attempt to incarcerate more children who needed to be treated more harshly than they were currently treated. Yet the DHSS fiscal note showed no impact, he said. He asked Mr. Hines to explain. Number 084 MR. HINES replied that children tried and convicted in adult court, under the provisions of HB 100, would be housed by the Department of Corrections (DOC), therefore not impacting his department. Number 094 REP. NORDLUND asked if children were required to be housed separately from adult offenders. Number 100 MR. HINES commented that currently, when children were waived into the adult system, they were moved from DHSS youth facilities to DOC adult facilities. He said that he would defer to DOC officials on the question of segregating children and adults. He said he assumed that children affected by HB 100 would be housed as adults, given their waivers into the adult system. Number 133 REP. PHILLIPS noted that the DOC had submitted a zero fiscal note and expressed her hope that the department would explain that later. Number 142 MR. HINES noted that he was unsure where juveniles under HB 100's provisions would be housed. He said that he had assumed that DOC would house them. He stated that he would have to create a new fiscal note if the juveniles would be housed by the DHSS. He noted that, in general, the younger an offender was, the better the juvenile's chances for rehabilitation. He commented that fifteen-year-olds had better opportunities for rehabilitation in a juvenile system than in an adult system. He expressed his concern that the age of fifteen was on the "low end" and current law allowed children of that age to be waived into adult court if they had committed serious offenses. He noted his concern over automatically waiving children of that age into adult court. Number 192 REP. PHILLIPS asked if DHSS had analyzed the policy implications of HB 100. Number 196 MR. HINES replied that such an analysis was currently being prepared. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Hines to outline the juvenile justice process as it now existed. Number 215 MR. HINES remarked that if a child were referred to DHSS on a charge of murder, the case would be screened to determine whether or not a chargeable offense had occurred. If it was determined that the child was going to stay in the juvenile system, then the child would be adjudicated and institution- alized for a period of up to two years, or until the child's 19th birthday, whichever occurred first. He noted that the department could petition the court to incarcerate a child for longer than two years in certain cases. Number 245 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Hines if a child who was not waived into the adult system, and who had committed murder, would be released from custody at the age of 20, at the latest. MR. HINES said that the Chairman was correct. Number 255 REP. DAVIDSON asked Mr. Hines how many youth, currently in the custody of the department, would be affected by HB 100. Number 262 MR. HINES replied that he did not have any detailed numbers to provide to Rep. Davidson. Number 268 REP. DAVIDSON asked about the relative costs of housing juveniles in the juvenile system and the adult system. Number 273 MR. HINES said he was unaware of the relative costs of incarceration under each system. However, he noted that an overall differentiation was made in terms of the length of incarceration. A juvenile who had committed a serious crime and was adjudicated in the juvenile system would only be incarcerated until his or her twentieth birthday. A juvenile who had committed a serious crime and was convicted in the adult system would face a much longer period of incarceration, thus increasing the cost to the state. Number 286 SHERRIE GOLL, representing the ALASKA WOMEN'S LOBBY, spoke in favor of judicial discretion, as was provided for under current law. She said she was aware of the popularity of the idea of "automatic waivers." She commented that judicial discretion had worked in the past and it was important to continue using the existing system. Number 300 MS. GOLL mentioned a recent Supreme Court case that had prompted introduction of HB 100. That case held that a psychiatric evaluation could not be performed if a child did not agree to it. Therefore, she said, it was thought that automatic waivers were necessary to shift the burden of proof from the court to the juvenile. MS. GOLL noted that in reading through the court case, she found that the court indicated that the testimony of experts was not a necessary condition of waivers. She said the court held that the state did not need to present any psychiatric evidence to support its assertion that a child was not amenable to treatment. MS. GOLL stated that the court found that the lack of psychiatric evidence, in some situations, made the state's burden of proof more difficult to meet. But, the court held, the state's interest in lightening its burden was not justification for subverting the established burden of proof. She said that HB 100 completely subverted the burden of proof by placing the burden on the juvenile. MS. GOLL noted that the Supreme Court had consistently upheld lower court orders waiving juveniles to the adult system, in cases of murder involving extreme and unprovoked violence. She said that the committee should look into actual cases in which waivers were requested by the state and denied. She noted that in 1989, there were fourteen petitions for waivers, and all were granted. MS. GOLL expressed her opinion that judges should decide on waivers on a case-by-case basis. She cited a Juneau case in which a young girl murdered her parents who had severely abused her for years. The girl was not waived into adult court due to the circumstances of her case. She noted that usually, in the case of murder, children were waived into adult court. MS. GOLL stated that putting juveniles into the adult system increased the likelihood that they would become hardened criminals. She said that when juveniles were housed in adult facilities, their suicide rates increased by four to six times. Number 407 REP. DAVIDSON commented that juveniles incarcerated in adult facilities were going from the "high school" of criminal knowledge to "graduate school," where they learned more sophisticated criminal techniques. REP. PHILLIPS asked Ms. Goll to reiterate her suicide statistics. MS. GOLL repeated the statistics and said that they had come from a U.S. Department of Justice publication. REP. PHILLIPS asked Ms. Goll if she had looked at the statistics for twenty and twenty-one-year-olds. MS. GOLL said that the information Rep. Phillips was asking for was not included in the publication. Number 432 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if Ms. Goll's statistics pertained to juveniles in general, or just those juveniles incarcerated in adult facilities. MS. GOLL said that the statistics were for juveniles in adult facilities. She noted that in listening to testimony on HB 100 and its companion, SB 54, the issue of housing had never been adequately addressed. She expressed her hope that the Judiciary Committee would decide where the juveniles affected by HB 100 would be housed and obtain the appropriate fiscal notes. Number 444 REP. JAMES asked Ms. Goll to address the deterrent effect of HB 100. Number 472 MS. GOLL responded by saying that it seemed that some young people did not think about the consequences of their actions before committing a crime. She said that she did not necessarily believe that a change in law would influence those juveniles who could not tell right from wrong to begin with. Number 505 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Ms. Goll whether mitigating circumstances that might prevent a child being placed in the adult system would also play a role in the child's defense, if the child were indeed placed in the adult system. Number 512 MS. GOLL said that even if that happened, the child would still be incarcerated in adult facilities. Number 526 CAREN ROBINSON, a LOBBYIST for the LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS (LWV), indicated that that organization had no position on HB 100. However, she said that she wanted to testify on her own behalf as the mother of a 21-year-old son. She wondered aloud what was wrong with the system now in place. She said that she had yet to hear someone say that the current system was not working. If it was not working, she said, what specifically needed to be fixed? MS. ROBINSON expressed her support for continued judicial discretion. She expressed fear that children who had been sexually abused, were not treated, and went on to commit sex crimes, would be automatically waived into the adult system. She cited the need for prevention programs for these children. Number 560 MS. ROBINSON mentioned that in the case of murder, automatic waivers might be appropriate. She cited the confusing messages that society gave young people by imposing different ages of majority on them. She noted her concern over where juveniles impacted by HB 100 would be housed. She indicated her understanding that there needed to be "sight and sound separation" of juveniles and adults incarcerated in the same facility. Number 611 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that what was wrong with the current system was that many more juveniles were committing many more serious violent felonies. MS. ROBINSON suggested reopening the state's Office of Prevention, re-funding the Foster Care Review Board, and implementing more prevention and intervention programs. Number 634 REP. NORDLUND underscored Ms. Robinson's testimony. He said he understood that there was an increase in the number and severity of juvenile crimes. However, he believed that the current waiver system worked. Number 644 REP. BUNDE said that his main thrust in introducing HB 100 was not to punish, but to deter. He expressed concern about juveniles who were manipulated into committing crimes by adults who told them that they would be treated gently. He said that HB 100 would give juveniles a tool for saying no to those adults. REP. BUNDE mentioned that the DOC felt that the number of individuals impacted by HB 100 would be inconsequential, which was why they submitted a zero fiscal note. He noted that HB 100 would probably only result in two, three, or four additional juveniles being housed in the adult system each year. Number 660 REP. BUNDE said that it was the DOC's policy to house youthful offenders out of the sight and sound of adult offenders. He said that some people had expressed concern that HB 100 provided that juveniles would, at the time of arrest, be housed in adult facilities, but would be housed in juvenile facilities if they were later transferred back to the juvenile court system. He said that some people felt that these juveniles would then "contaminate" other youths in the juvenile facilities. He said that he feared the reverse: that juveniles who had committed heinous crimes were already in the juvenile system "contaminating" the other, less violent youths. REP. BUNDE noted that the pendulum was currently swinging away from criminals' rights and towards victims' rights. REP. NORDLUND called attention to charts provided by the sponsor. He said the charts did not indicate which of the juveniles had been waived to adult court. Number 719 REP. BUNDE responded that he did not have that information. However, he noted that in previous years, most juveniles were not waived into adult court. He said that some people had speculated that when young people knew that they faced the potential of adult punishment, their behavior in the juvenile justice system would change. Number 740 REP. NORDLUND said there were probably very good reasons why certain waivers were not granted. REP. KOTT asked Rep. Bunde to go over his statistics again. REP. BUNDE cited statistics on requests for waivers and how many of those requests were granted. REP. PHILLIPS noted her concern over the DOC's zero fiscal note. Number 790 REP. BUNDE commented that not all juveniles waived to adult court were convicted; therefore, not all waivers resulted in a housing cost for the DOC, he said. Number 799 REP. NORDLUND indicated that at $100 per day, the DOC fiscal note did not compute with HB 100's intent of incarcerating more juveniles. Number 817 REP. JAMES expressed her belief that if the legislature found a good idea, then they needed to find a way to fund it. TAPE 93-19, SIDE B Number 000 REP. BUNDE responded that juveniles would either be housed by the DOC or DHSS, so the state would pay either way. Number 009 REP. JAMES noted that if HB 100 served as a deterrent, it ought to result in a cost savings. Number 015 REP. KOTT expressed skepticism that HB 100 would serve as a deterrent. He expressed concern that the legislature was allowing DOC the freedom to choose whether or not to segregate juveniles and adults. He noted that crowding in prisons could erode that policy, resulting in reduced rehabilitation of youthful offenders. Number 048 REP. BUNDE said that some sixteen-year-old criminals were the victims of adult criminals, and other sixteen-year-olds were victimizing younger kids. He said that someone would end up being the victim, whether severe juvenile offenders were housed with other juveniles or with adults. He said his sympathies lay with 14-year-olds in the system for minor offenses, instead of with hardened 16-year-old criminals. Number 084 REP. NORDLUND mentioned that the state received federal funds which were linked to the state's ability to separate youthful offenders from adult offenders. He said if HB 100 resulted in housing youths with adults, the state could stand to lose some federal money. REP. BUNDE said that it was not his intent that youths and adults be housed together. REP. PHILLIPS cited Alaska Statute 47.10.130, which required that children under the age of 18, who were being held pending a hearing, could not be housed so that they could communicate with or view adult prisoners. Number 128 DEAN GUANELI, of the DEPARTMENT OF LAW'S CRIMINAL DIVISION, noted that juveniles who had been waived into the adult system, or those who had been charged with an adult driving offense, would not be covered by the statute cited by Rep. Phillips. MR. GUANELI mentioned a recent case involving a 17-year-old who had committed murder. He noted that the boy was housed in a juvenile facility, but he had been disruptive. The boy agreed to go into adult court as part of a plea negotiation, but there was no formal waiver procedure, he said. As soon as the agreement was made, he noted, the boy was sent to an adult facility. Number 135 MR. GUANELI said that in his opinion, juveniles waived into adult court would be housed by the DOC. He said that by increasing the number of children waived into adult court, there would be a fiscal impact on the DOC. MR. GUANELI said that the legislature had drawn a general line at the age of 18, between treating people as juveniles and adults. There were some exceptions to that rule, however, he noted. He said that HB 100 and SB 54 were similar bills, but took somewhat different approaches to the juvenile waiver process. He mentioned that the Governor intended to introduce another similar bill, which will take a still different approach. Number 145 MR. GUANELI noted that both procedural and substantive issues were involved. He said that the administration preferred to use the simplest procedure possible by redrawing the line at age 16 for certain offenses. The substantive question was for which offenses would that new line apply. He said that the administration preferred to apply that new line only to murder and attempted murder offenses. MR. GUANELI noted that he did not know of a case in which the state had not been successful in waiving a juvenile charged with murder into the adult system. He said it was felt that the age should be lowered to 16 for murder and attempted murder offenses, so as to eliminate the long, cumbersome process of petitioning for waivers. MR. GUANELI commented that HB 100 took a slightly different approach from that of the Governor's bill, in that a youth would be charged as an adult for certain offenses and the defense would challenge that charge by petitioning for a reverse waiver. He said that the process in SB 54 would be an automatic waiver applied to murder as well as other unclassified and class A felony offenses. MR. GUANELI expressed his opinion that some class A felonies, including arson and date rape, could be legitimately dealt with in the juvenile system. He recommended that the committee go through a list of offenses one by one to determine which they felt could be adequately treated in the juvenile system and which could be better addressed in the adult system. REP. PHILLIPS asked Mr. Guaneli if the Department of Law (DOL) supported HB 100. Number 374 MR. GUANELI responded that the DOL preferred a different approach, but supported juvenile waiver legislation in general. He said if HB 100 passed, he would probably not recommend that the Governor veto it. REP. PHILLIPS asked if HB 100 would conflict with the overall scope of Title 47. Number 385 MR. GUANELI replied that he did not believe that there would be a conflict, as HB 100 actually amended Title 47. CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that there were three basic versions of the juvenile waiver legislation. One was a committee substitute which reflected the original SB 54. He noted that the bill said that 16- and 17-year-olds would be automatically waived into adult court for unclassified and class A felonies. Rep. Bunde's bill held that 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds charged with unclassified and class A felonies would be automatically waived into adult court, with the ability of the defendant to petition her or his way back into juvenile court, he said. The third bill was due to be introduced by the Governor and would address automatic waivers for 16- and 17-year-olds accused of first-degree murder. That bill would not provide for the automatic ability of defendants to petition to overcome that presumption. Number 431 ELMER LINDSTROM, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE COMMISSIONER of DHSS, said that additional analysis of the impacts of HB 100 would be available the following morning. He said that his department wholeheartedly supported waivers for first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, and second-degree murder. He said that opinions began to diverge quickly when crimes other than murder offenses were mentioned. Number 450 MR. LINDSTROM expressed his support for SB 25, which related to sight and sound separation of juveniles from adult offenders. He said that due to the State of Alaska's lack of compliance with federal sight and sound separation requirements, federal dollars could be lost. Number 491 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if the sight and sound separation rule pertained to juveniles who had been adjudicated in the juvenile system, as opposed to juveniles who had been waived into the adult system. MR. LINDSTROM indicated that the Chairman was correct. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Lindstrom to provide the aforementioned analysis to the committee as soon as possible. He said that HB 100 would be back before the committee on the following Friday. Number 521 REP. NORDLUND asked that a DOC representative address the committee on Friday to explain their fiscal note. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the meeting at 3:50 p.m.