Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/31/1996 01:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                        January 31, 1996                                       
                           1:30 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Brian Porter, Chairman                                         
 Representative Joe Green, Vice-Chairman                                       
 Representative Con Bunde                                                      
 Representative Bettye Davis                                                   
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Cynthia Toohey                                                 
 Representative David Finkelstein                                              
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 None                                                                          
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 CS HOUSE BILL NO. 229(JUD)                                                    
  "An Act prohibiting certain amplified sounds from automobiles; and           
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
  - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                    
                                                                               
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 428                                                           
 "An Act giving notice of and approving a lease-purchase agreement             
 for construction and operation of a correctional facility in the              
 Third Judicial District, and setting conditions and limitations on            
 the facility's construction and operation."                                   
                                                                               
  - HEARD AND HELD                                                             
                                                                               
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 429                                                           
 "An Act relating to the authority of the Department of Corrections            
 to contract for facilities for the confinement and care of                    
 prisoners; and annulling a regulation of the Department of                    
 Corrections that limits the purposes for which an agreement with a            
 private agency may be entered into."                                          
                                                                               
  - HEARD AND HELD                                                             
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 229                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: PROHIBIT LOUD VEHICLE SOUND SYSTEMS                              
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ROKEBERG; Toohey, Bunde                         
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG             ACTION                                        
 03/03/95       565    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/03/95       566    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, HES, JUDICIARY                     
 04/05/95      1039    (H)   STA REFERRAL WAIVED                               
 04/13/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 04/13/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/20/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 04/20/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/21/95      1423    (H)   HES RPT  2DP 1DNP 2NR 1AM                         
 04/21/95      1423    (H)   DP: ROKEBERG, TOOHEY                              
 04/21/95      1423    (H)   DNP: ROBINSON                                     
 04/21/95      1423    (H)   NR: BUNDE, BRICE                                  
 04/21/95      1423    (H)   AM: G.DAVIS                                       
 01/26/96              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 01/26/96              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 01/31/96              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/02/96              (H)   JUD RPT  CS(JUD) 4DP 1DNP 2NR                     
 02/01/96              (H)   DP: PORTER, BUNDE, TOOHEY, B.DAVIS                
 02/01/96              (H)   DNP: VEZEY                                        
 02/01/96              (H)   NR: GREEN, FINKELSTEIN                            
 02/01/96              (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DPS)                            
 02/02/96              (H)   REFERRED TO RULES                                 
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 428                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: LEASE-PURCHASE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY                             
 SPONSOR(S): FINANCE                                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG             ACTION                                        
 01/17/96      2470    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/17/96      2470    (H)   JUDICIARY, FINANCE                                
 01/26/96              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 01/26/96              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 01/31/96              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/02/96              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 429                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: CORRECTIONS: PRIVATE CONTRACT FACILITIES                         
 SPONSOR(S): FINANCE                                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG             ACTION                                        
                                                                               
 01/17/96      2470    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/17/96      2471    (H)   JUDICIARY, FINANCE                                
 01/26/96              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 01/26/96              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 01/31/96              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/02/96              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 NORMAN ROKEBERG, Representative                                               
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Room 110                                                                      
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4968                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of CSHB 229 as sponsor              
                                                                               
 BILL PARKER                                                                   
 HC 1 Box 934                                                                  
 Kenai, Alaska  99669                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 262-7677                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 229                                 
                                                                               
 SCOTT CALDER                                                                  
 P.O. Box 75011                                                                
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99707                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 474-0174                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 229                                 
                                                                               
 ELDON MULDER, Representative                                                  
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Room 411                                                                      
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2647                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 428(JUD) as                   
      sponsor.                                                                 
                                                                               
 JEFF SPOON, Vice President of Development                                     
 Wackenhut Corrections Corporation                                             
 1500 San Remo Avenue                                                          
 Coral Gables, Florida                                                         
 Telephone:  (800) 922-6488                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
 GEORGE VIKALIS, Operations Manager                                            
 Municipality of Anchorage                                                     
 632 West 6th Avenue                                                           
 Anchorage, Alaska  99519-6650                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 343-4431                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
 JOHN CHRISTENSEN, Chairman                                                    
 Chugach Alaska Corporation                                                    
 560 East 64th Ave., Suite 200                                                 
 Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 563-8866                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
 RUSS CLEMENS, Labor Economist                                                 
 American Federation of State, County and                                      
   Municipal Employees (AFSCME)                                                
 1625 L Street, N.W.                                                           
 Washington, D.C.  20036                                                       
 Telephone:  (202) 452-4800 ext. 1225                                          
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
 MARK ANTRIM                                                                   
 American Federation of State, County and                                      
   Municipal Employees (AFSCME)                                                
 P.O. Box 240243                                                               
 Douglas, Alaska  99824                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 465-6202                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
 BRUCE MASSEY, Food Service Manager                                            
 Lemon Creek Correctional Center                                               
 Department of Corrections                                                     
 4425 Poplar Avenue                                                            
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 789-6142                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                
                                                                               
 PHIL THINGSTAD, Business Manager                                              
 Carpenter's Union                                                             
 407 Denali Street                                                             
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 226-3533                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
 GARY SAMPSON, Corrections Representative                                      
 Alaska State Employees Association                                            
 641 W Willoughby Avenue                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 463-4949                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
 DON VALESCO, Business Manager                                                 
 Public Employees, Local 71 AFL-CIO                                            
 2510 Arctic Boulevard                                                         
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 276-7211                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 428(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 96-10, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER called the House Judiciary committee meeting            
 to order at 1:30 p.m.  Members present at the call to order were              
 Representatives Bunde, Vezey and Finkelstein.  Members initially              
 absent were Representatives Toohey, Davis and Green.  They each               
 arrived at a later time respectively, 1:37 p.m.; 1:50 p.m. and 1:35           
 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                               
 HB 229 - PROHIBIT LOUD VEHICLE SOUND SYSTEMS                                
                                                                               
 The first order of business to come before the House Judiciary                
 Committee was HB 229, "Prohibiting loud vehicle sound systems."               
 The sponsor of the bill was introduced, Norman Rokeberg.                      
                                                                               
 Number 069                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG briefly reviewed the sponsor                   
 statement related to HB 229 and he added that this bill had already           
 been heard in the HESS Committee.  This legislation gives law                 
 enforcement a number of tools to enforce the peace and tranquility            
 of neighborhoods.  It's primary purpose is to limit the amount of             
 amplified noise transmitted outside of a vehicle.  Secondly, it               
 reduces the hazards to emergency vehicles traversing through                  
 traffic by drivers unable to hear emergency vehicles warning                  
 signals.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that thirdly, residents should not             
 be subjected to loud amplified sounds in their neighborhoods.                 
 Fourthly, this legislation allows the law enforcement agencies to             
 ensure no additional laws are being broken, in other words, this              
 would allow them to have probable cause to stop a vehicle which was           
 emanating loud sounds, and help in the administration of other                
 laws.  It would meet constitutional tests for the gathering of                
 evidence.  Lastly, a number of elderly people will no longer have             
 to be frightened by groups of people who use loud noises to                   
 intimidate them, which Representative Rokeberg said can happen.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that this bill was neighborhood                  
 friendly and would alleviate unwanted noises, while allowing people           
 a means of recourse.  A violation of this provision is an                     
 infraction not limited to a fine of $300, but also not considered             
 a criminal offense.  He also cited recent studies which show an               
 alarming increase of hearing loss to young people.  He noted the              
 increased use of portable radios with ear phones may be responsible           
 for this phenomenon as well.  More specifically, he stated that the           
 stereo systems installed in                                                   
 vehicles are what's being considered by this legislation.                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out that the sound emanating from             
 these vehicles can also be physically felt.  In reviewing the                 
 statistics for this bill, he learned that 1000 megahertz of power             
 can literally be felt.  The City of Anchorage has an ordinance on             
 it's books and in the interim, the City of Fairbanks has adopted a            
 similar ordinance.  It would be a state infraction to be cited for            
 this offense.  Also, Representative Rokeberg said constructive                
 criticisms about this legislation resulted at the HESS committee              
 hearing, hence a CS version of 229 was drafted, version C, dated              
 4/27/95 as referenced by Representative Rokeberg.                             
                                                                               
 Number 375                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE moved to adopt the CSHB 229, version C as            
 the working document before the committee.  Hearing no objection,             
 this CS was adopted.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 390                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that the CS added a provision for               
 enforcing this law not only on an automobile driver, but also a               
 parked vehicle along a highway or other public areas.  There were             
 some amendments recommended to the committee, one of which                    
 rectifies the effective date of the CS as inaccurate.                         
 Representative Davis provided the amendments noted.  On amendment             
 number two, Representative Rokeberg recognized it as a friendly               
 amendment.  It merely corrects the affective date.  Representative            
 Rokeberg asked for further discussion on amendment number one and             
 opened up the floor for related questions.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 460                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN asked if the municipal ordinance             
 was similar enough that it wouldn't affect HB 229.                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said yes.  The modifications to the bill              
 were based on the ordinance in Anchorage and went one step further            
 by providing the criteria of "a distance of fifty feet or more."              
 This was consistent with the Anchorage and Fairbanks's ordinances.            
 This would make it easier to enforce.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 538                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated that he shared the same feelings            
 as Representative Rokeberg on this issue, but his concern was that            
 they shouldn't dictate to the rest of the state, most of which has            
 local powers already in place to remedy these situations.  The                
 areas that don't have ordinances to remedy this situation are                 
 generally so rural, it's not an issue.                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out that the areas which are not              
 heavily urban, namely class A or second class cities, are under the           
 jurisdiction of the State Troopers.  This bill would make this a              
 state law and a means to provide law enforcement a tool to enforce            
 these types of infractions.  When gathering public testimony, the             
 North Star Borough said they would be very receptive to this                  
 legislation because their noise ordinance was not being enforced              
 outside of the borough.                                                       
 Number 665                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE directed a question to the bill sponsor              
 about the enforcement clause of the legislation.  He thought that             
 the fifty feet distance outlined in the bill was a very subjective            
 judgment.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out that this language was outlined           
 in the amendment number two and the portion about "peace and                  
 tranquility" was slated to be deleted.  He felt as though the fifty           
 feet provision would help draw the standard to be completely                  
 empirical with judgment as to a police officer's view of fifty                
 feet.  This would do so without any further clouding of the                   
 language interpretatively as to the peace and tranquility of a                
 geographic area.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY was sympathetic to the intent of the                     
 legislation, but felt as though it was a poorly crafted bill.  He             
 felt as though sound was a quantifiable energy which can be                   
 measured.  He pointed out that the bill was nebulous and asked why            
 Representative Rokeberg didn't take the approach of what the                  
 permissible sound levels would be.  Representative Vezey noted the            
 allowable levels of sound in the work place as law.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he appreciated Representative Vezey's            
 editorial concerning the craftsmanship of the bill, however, to               
 speak to the question, he didn't believe that law enforcement                 
 throughout the state should be required to carry a DP (decibels)              
 meter in their possession, which would add further cost to the                
 enforcement.  This language is consistent with the ordinance                  
 already in effective in Anchorage, other state law and other                  
 jurisdictions.                                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said Representative Vezey was correct in              
 that there are industrial safety standards based on decibel levels.           
 In the context of a violation to be enforced by law enforcement               
 personnel, he didn't feel it was appropriate to mandate a more                
 stringent standard and also give a defendant the ability to                   
 challenge an offense because a law enforcement official was not               
 carrying a DP meter in their car.  He pointed out that it was for             
 this reason that the legislation was drafted so artfully.                     
                                                                               
 Number 899                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY reiterate his point by stating that the                  
 concept of audibility relates to the human ear and the function of            
 background noise.  If someone is in a neighborhood where the noise            
 level is already high, an allowable noise level would be much                 
 higher than a rural neighborhood where the background level is much           
 lower.                                                                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said this was very true, especially when              
 compared to a large jet way airport.  This is a clear case where              
 the judgment of a police officer on scene can determine whether the           
 specific noise is emanating from an automobile as versus the                  
 background noise.  He pointed out that certainly if there is other            
 background noise, plus the noise heard from the car, then there's             
 a problem exceeding any occupational DB levels that are accepted as           
 hazardous to a human ear.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 972                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if Representative Rokeberg anticipated that             
 there would have to be a police officer's involvement in hearing              
 such a violation before a case could be made or could a private               
 citizen file a claim on their own.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG deferred to Chairman Porter's expertise.              
 He likened this legislation to a speeding violation and asked if a            
 citizen could make such an arrest.                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER responded that yes, in the instance of a speeding             
 violation, a citizen could file a citation through a police                   
 officer, as long as that officer thought there was probable cause.            
 There would be a higher level of proof attached to this citation in           
 a court of law though.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1059                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked would removing a muffler from a three-             
 wheel vehicle be considered an amplification device.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG responded by stating that this bill                   
 specifically relates to sound amplification systems.  He also added           
 a comment to something Representative Vezey had asked earlier by              
 stating that Juneau does not have an ordinance such as the precepts           
 outlined in this pending legislation.  This would allow the city              
 and borough, as well as the state to enforce this legislation if              
 passed.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1184                                                                   
                                                                               
 BILL PARKER, testified against HB 229.  He felt as though Alaska              
 has enough unenforceable laws in Alaska already and that they don't           
 need anymore.  Mr. Parker used the example of the seat belt law.              
 He knew of no one who had ever been pulled over for this offense,             
 unless they got into an accident.  He also referred to the 50 foot            
 criteria and used the example of a car with it's top down.                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1258                                                                   
                                                                               
 SCOTT CALDER, agreed completely with Mr. Parker.  He pointed out              
 that if this legislation was about safety, a law enforcement                  
 official already has the power to intercede.  He also mentioned               
 disturbance of the peace laws already in effect.  Mr. Calder didn't           
 think it was necessary to create a separate pretext to determine              
 probable cause.  He felt the legislation would create an                      
 environment for harassment.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1409                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS then asked the sponsor whether or not             
 he accepted the amendments as she proposed after the public                   
 testimony was closed.                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that he considered amendment number            
 two to be a friendly one and in regards to amendment number one, he           
 pointed out that the provision of the first line of the amendment             
 where it reads [or the system disturbs the peace and tranquillity             
 of another person], he felt as though this too was a friendly                 
 change to the bill.  However, the portion below outlined under                
 subsection 3, [; or a motor vehicle engaged in advertising                    
 otherwise permitted by law.], he wished to keep this language                 
 intact.   Representative Rokeberg pointed out that this same                  
 language could be found in other similar ordinances as previously             
 discussed.  The intent is not to preclude common practices, such as           
 advertizing in parades, etc.                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved to amendment this amendment, to allow              
 for the language which Representative Rokeberg had requested to               
 retain.                                                                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER referenced this language for the record in the text           
 of the CS as existing on page one, line 9, the removal of the                 
 phrase, [or the system disturbs the peace and tranquillity of                 
 another person].                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move this amendment as                  
 amended to read as follows, "more feet.  This subsection does not             
 apply to (1) a person operating a sound amplification system to               
 request emergency assistance or to warn of a hazardous condition;             
 (2) an emergency or police motor vehicle; or (3) a motor vehicle              
 engaged in advertising otherwise permitted by law."  Hearing no               
 objections, amendment number one was so moved.                                
                                                                               
 Number 1580                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS made a motion to move amendment number two as            
 follows, "Sec. 2   This Act takes effect July 1, 1996."  Hearing no           
 objections, amendment number two was also moved.                              
                                                                               
 Number 1650                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN brought up a question which related to             
 amendment number one.  He wondered if this legislation would                  
 preclude someone from using megaphones to advertize from their                
 vehicle.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG felt as though this issue could be dealt              
 with on a local level depending on what the local ordinances                  
 allowed.  The intention was not to disallow this type of activity.            
 This was why subsection number 3 was included in this legislation.            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN questioned the utility of such                     
 legislation since someone who is not allowed to blast music from              
 the inside of their car could easily mount megaphones on the top of           
 their car to blast music instead.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out again that this activity would            
 be covered by permit and additional ordinances as a way to manage             
 this activity under local jurisdictions.  He added that not to                
 include this language would trample on First Amendment rights.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE added that these large car sound systems are             
 more serious than someone just playing their radio too loudly.  He            
 questioned the benefit to the general public related to this                  
 activity as versus the loudness of an airport, for example.  An               
 airport is loud, but it is a required benefit to society.                     
                                                                               
 Number 1807                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN pointed out the example of an ice cream truck            
 as possibly falling under this legislation.  Representative                   
 Finkelstein agreed and asked Representative Rokeberg how he could             
 philosophically justify this bill in the context of ice cream                 
 trucks where the broadcasting of music is clearly allowed.  How               
 could one activity be legislated and not the other.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG appreciated this question and that it goes            
 to the purpose of this bill.  He pointed out that this legislation            
 is directed to automobiles which cruise the streets and urban areas           
 with fighting gangs.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE added that the hearing of the young is in                
 serious jeopardy.  He understood that the legislature can't protect           
 people from themselves, if they choose to destroy their hearing,              
 but this legislation would help in discouraging this type of                  
 behavior.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move CSHB 229 as amended,               
 version (C) from committee with individual recommendations.                   
 Hearing no objection the bill was so moved.                                   
                                                                               
 HB 428 -  LEASE-PURCHASE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY                               
 HB 429 - CORRECTIONS: PRIVATE CONTRACT FACILITIES                             
                                                                              
 Number 1917                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced the committee would hear HB 428 and HB              
 429, which had been combined into a single CS.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to adopt the CSHB 428(JUD) which           
 in effect combined HB 428 and HB 429 to read as follows:  "An Act             
 relating to the authority of the Department of Corrections to                 
 contract for facilities for the confinement and care of prisoners,            
 and annulling a regulation of the Department of Corrections that              
 limits the purpose for which an agreement with a private agency may           
 be entered into; and giving notice of and approving a lease-                  
 purchase agreement for construction and operation of a correctional           
 facility in the Third Judicial District, and setting conditions and           
 limitations on the facility's construction and operation."  Hearing           
 no objection it was so moved.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER as sponsor came forward to present the                  
 premise to this legislation.  He stated that it was no secret to              
 anybody present or as chairman to the Corrections Budget                      
 SubCommittee that Alaska's prisons are bursting at the seams.  The            
 state is presently from 125 to 200 prisoners over capacity.  He               
 also made mention of the 205 Alaska prisoners down in Arizona                 
 presently.  Representative Mulder stated that Alaska needs more               
 prison beds.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER read the sponsor statement as follows:                  
                                                                               
 "HB 428, by the House Finance Committee, allows the Commissioner of           
 the Department of Corrections to pursue the use of private                    
 facilities for any prisoner as long as security at the facility is            
 consistent with the classification of the prisoners housed at the             
 facility.  It provides that the department may enter into a lease             
 purchase agreement with a private party to construct and operate a            
 prison in the Third Judicial District.  A group of employees from             
 the Department of Corrections could be the private contractor if              
 they bid competitively for the construction and operation of the              
 facility.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Legislative Counsel advised us in an October 20, 1995 memorandum,             
 'while the statutory basis for authorizing use of private                     
 facilities for state prisoners is probably adequate, albeit barely,           
 the regulations cited -- particularly 22 AAC 05.300(e) -- impose              
 real obstacles to extensive use of privately-contracted facilities,           
 whether in state or outside.'"                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER pointed out that originally there were two              
 bills HB 428 and HB 429 dealing with this legislation.  The second            
 bill 429 statutorily outlined that the Department of Corrections              
 can contract with a private contractor.  There seemed to be some              
 confusion or conflict with current statute and code in relation to            
 the state's ability to do this.  He went on to note that this                 
 combination of HB 428 and HB 429 was instituted because otherwise             
 the project would probably be debated in court, which could stall             
 or delay indefinitely.                                                        
                                                                               
 "This bill makes clear the legal authority of the Department of               
 Corrections to house any prisoners in private facilities for                  
 prisoners other than those in furlough status or in correctional              
 restitution centers.  This could be done by administrative action,            
 but a statute will make legislative intent crystal clear.                     
                                                                               
 The facility authorized by this legislation will include a maximum            
 of 1000 beds; be designed to allow expansion; include housing for             
 female prisoners [a need which today is under met and which is                
 recognized by the department as being very real]; not exceed                  
 construction costs of $100,000,000; be constructed under a project            
 labor agreement [to ensure maximum Alaska hire]; be accredited if             
 state facilities are accredited [that is to say currently state               
 facilities aren't accredited, but if they were going to accredit              
 state facilities, we would require that this private facility would           
 be accredited as well]; will have correctional officers with the              
 same training as state correctional officers."                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER went on to note that the Department of                  
 Corrections reported it was clearly exceeding the maximum emergency           
 capacity under the Cleary Agreement by over 100 prisoners every               
 day.  He again noted the Arizona prisoners and said this proposal             
 would address both these needs at a lower cost to the state.                  
 Representative Mulder stated that the Arizona prisoners cost $59 a            
 day and the average cost in the State of Alaska for a prisoner, per           
 day is $107.  He said that the need for beds can no longer be                 
 ignored and felt as though there were added costs accrued by                  
 shuffling prisoners around.                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER pointed out that there had been no negative             
 experiences with the private Arizona facility, since February 1995,           
 with the 206 Alaskan prisoners housed there.  The savings have been           
 significant.  He added that the figures cited previously for the              
 Arizona prisoners includes debt amortization figures for                      
 construction costs of a private facility.  The Alaskan numbers do             
 not include this debt amortization.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 2265                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said that a new contractor can bring new                
 ideas to the state of Alaska.  He added that competition spurns new           
 ideas and prompts state workers to think of new ways to deal with             
 old problems, which includes doing so with a less cost amount                 
 consciousness.  Representative Mulder reiterated that the private             
 facility correction officers will be trained to the same standard             
 as state correction officers and the facility would also become               
 accredited if required.  This legislation is also about jobs, since           
 six million dollars is being spent a year employing Arizona                   
 citizens, this facility would help keep employment in Alaska.                 
                                                                               
 Number 2387                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked generally about what this proposal would           
 cost per prisoner, would it be between $60 - $120 per prisoner.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that without having the bid out to               
 contractors, he was not totally sure, but said these figures were             
 what's anticipated.  He added that representatives from Corrections           
 Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut and others these figures           
 would fall between current price paid in Arizona said $70.  It was            
 his understanding that this would include the amortization and the            
 cost of operation.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 2435                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN agreed with Representative Mulder's                
 point that more prison capacity is needed in the state of Alaska.             
 He noted that whether the facility is private or public, the bottom           
 line is that the administration usually comes up with plans to                
 solve problems such as these.  After a plan is proposed by the                
 administration the legislature is responsible to fund it.  He                 
 questioned the need to have these proposals before them today and             
 said it seemed they weren't yet at this point.                                
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-10, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that he liked to take problems on,               
 deal with them, solve them and move on.  The past administration              
 and the present one have not dealt with this issue effectively.  To           
 ship prisoners out of state was supposed to be a short term stop-             
 gap solution, in his opinion, but it doesn't create jobs for                  
 Alaskans.  He noted that the budget to build a private facility               
 would take up the entire capitol budget, as an argument to support            
 privatization.                                                                
                                                                               
 JEFF SPOON, Vice-president of Development, Wackenhut Corrections              
 Corporation, testified by teleconference from Florida.  He stated             
 that his company was one of the oldest companies involved in the              
 privatization of prisons.  The situation of privatizing prisons               
 should not be seen as adversarial.  He reminded those present that            
 in the constitution it doesn't specify that the government is                 
 suppose to provide these types of services, but should govern the             
 services.  In recent years, especially the sun-belt states,                   
 privatization has proven to be very cost effective, not only from             
 the construction standpoint, but more importantly with the on-going           
 operations.  He stated that this latter aspect can make up 90                 
 percent of the daily cost of providing correctional services.                 
                                                                               
 MR. SPOON noted that the private correctional operations have                 
 demonstrated their ability to design, build and finance cost                  
 effectively towards a longer term period.  Because these costs can            
 be combined from the start, it is easier to track the increasing              
 costs of operation by good design, close operation and by                     
 monitoring outgoing costs.  He added that a good deal of                      
 individuals employed in private corporations were at one time                 
 employed in the public sector and learned the profession through              
 the government sector.   He noted the bureaucracy of government as            
 a hinderance and felt as though private interests could bring                 
 services to the tax payers through private sector channels with               
 cost savings and quality.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 284                                                                    
                                                                               
 GEORGE VIKALIS, Operations Manager, Municipality of Anchorage,                
 testified by teleconference from Anchorage.  Mr. Vikalis announced            
 that he was representing Mayor Myerstrom and reiterated that                  
 Anchorage was very concerned about the prison situation.  He added            
 that the municipality felt as though there was a great need for an            
 additional facility in the Anchorage area.  He noted that there is            
 a shortage of space and this affects the way Anchorage does                   
 business.  Mr. Vikalis stated that the municipality does not feel             
 strongly one way or another in regards to the facility being                  
 private or public.  Their main concern is to have a prison built              
 there to take care of the needs of the city and the state.                    
                                                                               
 MR. VIKALIS expressed a willingness of Anchorage to work and                  
 partner with the state in order to make this project a possibility,           
 including the role of a conduit for financing.  They are also                 
 willing to aid in a location decision, as well as get the word of             
 support out to the community.  He stressed they would support the             
 project which seemed more economically feasible, whether it be                
 private or public.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 360                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOHN CHRISTENSEN, Chairman, Chugach Alaska Corporation testified by           
 teleconference from Anchorage.  He outlined his points about HB 428           
 and HB 429 as follows:                                                        
                                                                               
 "At the table with me today is Roger Endell, a past Commissioner of           
 Corrections for the State and now Education Services Manager at the           
 Palmer Job Corps Center, which is managed by Chugach Development              
 Corporation (CDC), Chugach Alaska's main operation subsidiary.                
                                                                               
                                                                               
 We are here today to speak in support of HB 428 and HB 429.                   
                                                                               
 The Federal Government made the determination some years ago that             
 in many areas, the private sector could provide the same quality of           
 service as government agencies, but at lower cost.  For example,            
 Chugach has been awarded a number of federal contracts to provide             
 Base Operations Support services at military establishments                   
 including King Salmon AFB, Adak NAS, and Wake Island Army Base.               
 Recently we have been awarded the contract to provide Base                    
 Operations Support services at one of the Navy's largest facilities           
 on the West Coast, Whidbey Island NAS.                                        
                                                                               
 It is not just the military who look to the private sector for this           
 type of service.  We have contracts with the Department of Labor              
 (for the management of the Alaska Job Corps Center), the Patent               
 Office, the Department of Energy, and the Department of                       
 Transportation.  The concept of moving from government operated               
 services to private sector operations is accepted and proven.  In             
 the field of corrections, it has been reported that the five new              
 prisons being built by the Federal Bureau of Prison will be managed           
 by the private companies.                                                     
                                                                               
 Chugach Alaska sees HB 428 and HB 429 as the first of many steps to           
 be taken by the State of Alaska as we follow the lead of the                  
 Federal Government in reducing the cost of Government.  During a              
 time when the Administration is considering imposing new taxes on             
 the people of Alaska, it is important that the State be seen to be            
 exploring all possible ways of reducing cost.  It is not just a new           
 corrections facility that should be considered for privatization.             
 The Administration and Legislature should examine the entire                  
 bureaucracy, to find areas or even whole departments that could be            
 operated more efficiently by the private sector.                              
                                                                               
 The only question that has to be asked is 'Can the private sector           
 provide the required standard of service at a lower cost?'  To make           
 this determination, all costs have to be considered, including                
 capital and other costs that are often hidden.  When all the                  
 information is available, we believe the citizens of Alaska will              
 see, that in many cases, the private sector can provide equal or              
 better services at lower cost.                                                
                                                                               
 As you are well aware, it is not only cost that is important, but             
 skills and dedication.  Chugach recognized this, and has been                 
 working very closely with Correction Corporation of America (CCA)             
 to develop a first class team to design, finance, construct and               
 operate new corrections facilities.  The two companies make a very            
 strong team.  CCA has extensive experience and skills in the                  
 corrections industry, while Chugach has considerable experience in            
 managing complex facilities and providing education services.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
 It is obvious that some State employees are not too happy with the            
 concept of the private sector encroaching on their turf.  I have              
 read statements from state employees accusing the private sector of           
 being anti-union, of sending profits out of state, of employing               
 people who are unskilled and who lack the devotion to duty of the             
 state employee.                                                               
                                                                               
 It is necessary for me to set the record straight as far as Chugach           
 is concerned, and to correct these deliberate misstatements.                  
                                                                               
 First of all I would point out that Chugach is definitely not anti-           
 union.  Chugach has an excellent working relationship with the                
 Laborers Union, with the Teamsters and with the Operating                     
 Engineers.  All three unions have members working for Chugach                 
 subsidiaries, and they recognize, as do we, that to survive in this           
 world, we all have to be competitive.                                       
                                                                               
 Secondly, it has been claimed that a private prison operator will             
 take Alaska's money Outside.  All profits earned by Chugach go to             
 a Corporation wholly owned by Alaskan Natives.  Many Chugach                  
 employees are Chugach shareholders.  Others have spend their whole            
 lives in Alaska.  The award of a contract to Chugach will result in           
 more Alaskans being employed.                                                 
                                                                               
 As for dedication of service, it is hypocritical to suggest that              
 people in the private sector do not have the same dedication as               
 those in government service.  The performance of Chugach employees            
 working on federal contracts demonstrates the inaccuracies of those           
 statements.                                                                   
                                                                               
 The final charge levied against the private sector by some state              
 employees is that private companies do not have the necessary                 
 skills.  I challenge them to fault the qualifications of the                  
 Chugach/CCA team.                                                             
                                                                               
 As Roger Endell can tell you, the Job Corps Center in Palmer, was             
 rated in the top five out of 111 Centers in the US.  We are                   
 specialists in providing basic education and teaching work skills.            
 We provide drug and substance abuse counseling, and we teach social           
 and life skills to those who missed out on the normal educational             
 opportunities.  We also operate the medical and dental facilities             
 at the center.                                                                
                                                                               
 Chugach has received commendations from the Navy and the Air Force            
 for the quality of its work at bases around the world.  This work             
 consists of maintaining isolated bases in inhospitable                        
 environments.  We will operate and maintain correction facilities           
 in a similar professional manner.                                             
                                                                               
 I will let our partners from CCA speak for themselves.  However I             
 do know that many CCA employees came into the private corrections             
 industry after long careers in the public corrections industry.               
 In conclusion, we believe all Alaskans will benefit if private                
 companies are allowed to compete against State Agencies.  The                 
 competitive market process will determine whether the private or              
 public sector is best qualified to design, build and operate a new            
 correction facility for Alaska.                                               
                                                                               
 I urge you to support these bills."                                           
                                                                               
 Number 692                                                                    
                                                                               
 RUSS CLEMENS, Labor Economist, Department of Research and                     
 Collective Bargaining Services, American Federation of State,                 
 County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents Alaska              
 State Employee's Association (ASEA), Local 52 in Alaska was next to           
 testify about HB 428(JUD).  Mr. Clemens thanked the committee                 
 members on behalf of the over 1 million of AFSCME and the 75,000              
 state correctional officers which they represent for the                      
 opportunity to speak on this proposed legislation.                            
                                                                               
 "The issue of prison privatization as you may suspect is one that             
 concerns us because of its implication for public policy.  The                
 appeal of prison privatization is an alluring, yet beguiling one.             
 In theory, it is a relatively simple proposition--fill cells, cut             
 costs, and pass the savings on to government.  The reality,                   
 however, belies the simplicity of the theory.  The twin imperatives           
 of cutting costs and filling cells translates most often into                 
 cutting corners in the operation of prisons both of which have                
 severe consequences that have manifested themselves in several ways           
 which ought to be of concern to you as members of this committee              
 and as a legislature as a whole.                                              
                                                                               
 Problems with security and escapes have characterized privately-              
 operated prisons from the beginning.  AFSCME has not been the only            
 one questioning the consequences for prison security of introducing           
 the profit motive into the management and operation of prisons.               
 After five men, including one charged with stabbing a woman to                
 death, escaped from the privately-operated Bay County, Florida                
 Jail, the editors of the St. Petersburg Times raised these                    
 questions about privately-operated prisons:  'Will a private                  
 company supply adequate staff to maintain institutional security?             
 Will it have enough manpower to prevent escapes?'                             
                                                                               
 Others have expressed concern about the wisdom of privately-                  
 operated prisons, especially when it comes to security.  In fact,             
 a much awaited audit of the privately-operated South Central                  
 Tennessee Correctional Center (SCCC) comparing it with two state-             
 operated prisons found that 214 incidents of injuries occurred at             
 SCCC during a 15 month period whereas 72 such incidents occurred at           
 the two state operated facilities combined.  Actually, security               
 problems characterized this prison from its beginning.  Between               
 March, 1992 and April 1992 eight escapes occurred at the prison,              
 which also had other security problems ranging from finding an                
 inmate with a handgun during a routine search to inmates being                
 inebriated in their cells.  These experiences prompted the Memphis            
 Commercial Appeal to comment as follows: 'Tennessee's experiment              
 with a privately operated medium security prison looked lean and              
 clean when reporters and officials toured the new South Central               
 Corrections Center.  ..The problems arrived with the prisoners.'              
                                                                               
 In view of the imperatives driving prison privatization, these                
 problems ought to come as no surprise since among the costs that              
 private corporations seek to cut are staffing, which accounts for             
 approximately 60% of the operating costs of a prison.  The                    
 Corrections Corporation of America slashed staffing by 17% at the             
 Hernando County, Florida Jail when it assumed control of the                  
 facility.  Inmate escapes in 1990 prompted the County Commission to           
 request an inspection by the National Institute of Corrections                
 (NIC), an agency within the United States Department of Justice.              
 The NIC identified under staffing as a major problem at the jail              
 and commended that additional correctional officers be hired.                 
 However, the comments of the company's jail administrator, which is           
 comparable to a warden or superintendent, offer a valuable insight            
 into a corporation's perspective regarding staffing a prison.  'The           
 county can agree with (adding the guards) if they want to,' the               
 administrator asserted, 'but that means the price of poker goes up            
 as far as you're concerned.'                                                  
                                                                               
 Viewed from that perspective, it ought not to be surprising when              
 one of the players folds and walks away from the game.  Shortly               
 after Wackenhut Corrections Corporation assumed control of the                
 Monroe County, Florida jail in 1990, the county and a state                   
 inspector informed the corporation that the state had previously              
 ordered 11 security posts staffed.  Served with a deficiency                  
 notice, the company increased its manpower, but to a level that               
 remained below state requirements.  The company then billed the               
 county for an extra $780,000 and demanded it to pay an additional             
 $2.6 million over the four-year term of its contract.  The county             
 refused, insisting that the corporation should have know about the            
 state's staffing requirements.  Wackenhut then terminated the                 
 contract.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Loss of control is a danger when any public service is privatized.            
 With a function as essential to public safety as the corrections              
 system, the consequences are potentially ominous.  Yet the drive to           
 fill cells, which is the other imperative by which private                    
 corporations make money, can have such consequences.  A few years             
 after having been awarded a contract to manage and operate the                
 Hamilton County, Tennessee penal farm, the Corrections Corporation            
 of America notified county officials that, because of overcrowding            
 at the facility, it would no longer indemnify (or insure) the                 
 county against lawsuits.  'We must speculate,' the County Attorney            
 responded, 'that your action is a ploy to coerce Hamilton County              
 officials into constructing additional facilities for the housing             
 of the overflowing state prison population so that CCA may continue           
 to reap monies for housing these prisoners.  If this position of              
 the company is not reversed or clarified without exception, we will           
 have no recourse but to consider this an act of default and                   
 consider remedies, including contract termination.'  Neither the              
 Santa Fe County Commission nor the County Sheriff were notified               
 when the corporation operating the county jail imported 54 inmates            
 from the State of Oregon to fill cells at the facility.  As things            
 turned out, their backgrounds were not what the community had been            
 led to believe.  None of the inmates were supposed to have been               
 convicted of a crime more serious than armed robbery.  In reality,            
 the group included 11 murderers, 17 rapists, and 2 kidnappers.                
 County officials asked that the inmates be returned to Oregon, but            
 only when threatened with the loss of its contract did the company            
 operating the prison agree do so.                                             
                                                                               
 I would be remiss in my responsibilities as a representative of               
 AFSCME if I did not address the impact of prison privatization upon           
 employees.  Available information indicates that corporations pay             
 wages that are 6%-19% lower and provide fewer benefits to                     
 correctional officers than public jurisdictions.  But isn't this a            
 good idea you may wonder, since it means lower costs and thus                 
 savings for taxpayers?  Not necessarily, for at least a few                   
 reasons.  John Donahue, who has been a professor of public policy             
 at Harvard University notes in Prisons for Profit:  Public Justice,           
 Private Interests that low wages compromise the quality of the                
 correctional officer labor force: 'Public (correctional officers)             
 Donahue writes, are more likely to be high school graduates, to               
 work full-time and year-round at their jobs, and to be of prime               
 working age.  Employers who hire the private-guard labor pool pay             
 less mostly because they get less; lower labor costs mean a lower             
 quality workforce.'  A study by the Urban Institute comparing a               
 privately-operated and publicly-operated prison in the State of               
 Kentucky confirms that staff of the state-directed institution were           
 significantly older, better educated, had worked at the facility              
 longer, and had wider correctional experience than the personnel at           
 the privately-managed prison.  Staff qualifications, the report               
 concluded, '...favor better performance from the publicly managed             
 facility.'  And perhaps you might wish to consider this.  Public              
 employees are also citizens and taxpayers.  We spend our earnings             
 in the communities where we work:  we purchase homes there, we bank           
 there providing a pool of money with which to lend to others; we              
 buy our cars there; and we support the numerous small businesses              
 that constitute the fabric of community life throughout Alaska.               
 Put another way, our money stays in the community.  It doesn't go             
 out of state to contribute toward the profits of others.                      
                                                                               
 Secondly, after all is said and done, after corners have been cut,            
 staff reduced, accountability jeopardized, and paying lower wages             
 and fewer benefits, has prison privatization really saved money for           
 public jurisdictions?  After reviewing the literature on the issue,           
 the U.S. Government General Accounting Office (GAO), an independent           
 agency that analyzes federal programs for Congress, found that the            
 evidence is inconclusive--hardly a resounding endorsement.  In                
 fact, the 1995 Tennessee audit comparing the privately-operated               
 medium security prison with two of the state's publicly-operated              
 prisons found negligible savings.  Impartial observers have begun             
 to question whether privately-operated prisons actually save money.           
 'It's not easy to make a profit in that business, so they've got to           
 cut corners any way they can,' writes Dennis Palumbo, a criminal              
 justice professor at Arizona State University. 'Private prisons may           
 well cost more in the long run, not only in terms of taxpayer                 
 money, but also in the health and safety of prison staff and other            
 law enforcement officers.'                                                    
                                                                               
 At the very least, the serious doubts regarding the efficacy of               
 privately-operated prisons ought to be of sufficient concern to               
 require a feasibility study pertaining to the applicability of this           
 idea to Alaska.  Such a study, it seems, would be essential before            
 a policy decision is made to privatize a prison.  Yet, the proposed           
 legislature that you have before you contains no provision for such           
 a study.                                                                      
                                                                               
 The failure to privatize does not necessarily preclude the state              
 from addressing its problems regarding overcrowding.  The                     
 construction of a mega-facility as proposed in the bill may not               
 necessarily meet the needs of the entire state in this regard.  As            
 some of our members will probably tell you, when they have the                
 opportunities to speak before you this afternoon, in view of a                
 system that has been developed around the idea of regionalization,            
 it may make more sense to consider the expansion of existing                  
 facilities, which may also prove less expensive."                             
                                                                               
 Number 1205                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked Mr. Clemens if he had a choice, would             
 he send prisoners out of state due to overcrowding or build a                 
 private prison, supposing these are the only two issues.                      
                                                                               
 MR. CLEMENS said there are some possible alternatives between                 
 either of the extremes Representative Toohey outlined, one of which           
 would be to add on to already existing facilities.                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY responded that this was not what she had                
 asked.  Mr. Clemens said he knew that, but could not accept the two           
 extremes by which she stated her question.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1245                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked about Mr. Clemen's comments regarding              
 expanding already existing facilities in light of Alaska's                    
 prisoners costing so much because of economy of scale.  He thought            
 that what Mr. Clemen's was suggesting would be in opposition to               
 this concept of expansion.                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. CLEMENS said that this could possibly be in opposition, but               
 they would be willing to work with the committee on the numbers.              
                                                                               
 Number 1300                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked Mr. Clemens that when he is required to            
 testify on this subject before other bodies of government and such,           
 does he testify on existing legislation that's pending or is it in            
 the context of helping states decide whether to privatize or not.             
 She asked about a time line for negotiating such issues.                      
                                                                               
 MR. CLEMENS offered that he is usually asked to testify on proposed           
 legislation and in the process of doing this, he suggests                     
 alternatives rather than privatization.  He suggested that                    
 privatization is often a knee-jerk reaction.  Mr. Clemens said                
 there is an entire range of alternatives, including that if the               
 decision is made to build an additional facility they should try to           
 keep it public.  He pointed out that efficiency and cost-savings              
 are the sole prerogative of the private sector, public management             
 can be just as innovative and creative.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1419                                                                   
                                                                               
 MARK ANTRIM, a Correction Officer III, a Sergeant at Lemon Creek              
 Correctional Center and also a member of ASFCME testified that the            
 correctional officers across the state applaud the efforts of the             
 legislature in passing stronger laws with stiffer sentences.                  
 Generally, the correction officers see HB 428 and HB 429 as a                 
 mistake.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM stated that this bill encapsulates a collision of two              
 basic values in society, these being private enterprise and public            
 safety.  He noted that the most prominent value in the private                
 sector is the bottom line.  Unfortunately, when looking at public             
 safety, the bottom line is very hard to determine.                            
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM agreed with Representative Mulder's number of $107 per             
 day, per prisoner in Alaska.  He noted that the facility outlined             
 in HB 428(JUD) will only hold classified male and female prisoners.           
 He further stated that this is what the state of Alaska will not              
 get for their $100 million the cost outlined in the pending                   
 legislation: the prison won't be a booking facility, something                
 Anchorage is screaming for and also a facility such as this one has           
 a lot of hidden costs, such as fingerprinting, drug addicted                  
 prisoners, diseases and fighting.  These types of things affect the           
 bottom line in a very big way.  The private contractors, CCA or               
 Wackenhut will not want to accommodate these types of special                 
 needs.                                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM offered that this new prison will not remotely deal with           
 pre-trial operations, such as Cook Inlet for example.  Pre-trial              
 people are breaking into the system and need special services.                
 They need more visiting time with attorneys and families.  After              
 such visits the prisoner needs to be strip searched, which is a               
 very work intense procedure.  Again, he noted that the private                
 contractors will not be able or willing to accommodate these types            
 of needs because it affects the bottom line.                                  
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM stated that the facility outlined in the legislation               
 would not house maximum security prisoners.  He said this was                 
 probably because maximum security prisoners break a lot of things             
 and are dangerous to be around.  Normally these prisoners are                 
 housed in a separate cell.  He also noted a wing at the Cook Inlet            
 facility that accommodates mentally ill prisoners.  This is another           
 service which will not be provided in a private facility because of           
 expense.   Mr. Antrim was skeptical that the private facility would           
 be able to house female offenders as specified.                               
                                                                               
 Number 1700                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM pointed out that some of the prisoners housed in Arizona           
 had to be shipped back to Alaska because they became unmanageable             
 and the state had to pick up the travel costs.  How would the                 
 prisoner transports say, to and from a hospital be affected.  These           
 types of costs would need to be absorbed and in the context of a              
 1000 bed facility, this would appear to cause problems.                       
 Comparatively, with a facility this large, they would probably have           
 to transport any where from 50 to 100 prisoners per day.  He                  
 guessed that all these services as listed previously would                    
 eventually be absorbed by the public sector, since eventually the             
 private companies would not be able to deliver.  This would also              
 affect the price per day, per prisoner figure.                                
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM stated that the correction officers propose instead of             
 a 1000 bed facility, smaller capitol construction projects slated             
 for already existing facilities around the state.  This way the               
 beds would be in locations where they're needed, which would cut              
 down on prisoner transport costs.  He also noted the benefits to              
 adding onto existing facilities, such as kitchens and other in-               
 house services already established.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM said that the facilities are really secondary to a good            
 staff.  A good staff working inside prisons keep things from                  
 getting out of hand and prevent escapes.  Mr. Antrim was skeptical            
 about how private security guards would meet the same standards as            
 correction officers.  He made mention of present correction officer           
 positions which can't be filled, due to the fact that a work force            
 doesn't exist.  It's not because they don't want to fill these                
 positions.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM outlined for the committee, the various stages that                
 prospective correction officers must complete.  He used as an                 
 example 150 recruits signing up in an academy.  Out of this number            
 maybe 25 qualified people graduate.  The same standards which apply           
 to a police officer also apply to a corrections officer.  They must           
 submit to extensive background checks, mental health screening, an            
 interview, and then an enrollment in the academy.  After six weeks            
 of academy training, they are sent to a prison facility and while             
 there complete a three month field training officers program.                 
 After this, they endure a one year probationary period.                       
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM stressed that states assumes all the liability of these            
 private prison facilities.  After some initial research Mr. Antrim            
 found out that these facilities are not currently underwritten by             
 a major insurance company.  They're all self-insured using their              
 own assets or the government entity of the state assumes liability.           
 He pointed out that if you pay less, you get less.  Would these               
 security guards be willing to prevent fights or escapes? Would they           
 be willing to shoot someone going over the fence?  Would they be              
 willing to do this for eight bucks an hour, or ten bucks an hour?             
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM appealed to the committee that they research this                  
 privatization concept further.  He asked that they look through               
 periodical indices of towns where these private CCA and Wackenhut             
 facilities exist.  Generally his impression is that these towns are           
 concerned about the staffing at these facilities and about escapes.           
                                                                               
 Number 2145                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if he understood that Mr. Antrim working           
 as a state employee within a state facility which didn't book for             
 pre-trial or accommodate female prisoners, that the overall cost              
 would come down.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM responded by saying absolutely, because the $107 figure            
 as noted is an average of what the cost is for all Alaskan                    
 facilities, including medical costs, transportation, etc., but he             
 pointed out that these numbers are static.  The $59 spent in                  
 Arizona does not cover these costs.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 2237                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked what amount of wage would the department           
 need to offer in order to fill correction officer positions.                  
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM answered that the offer would have to be enough to                 
 attract people of caliber.  He said he'd have to look to the people           
 they turn down to fill the positions open now.  He pointed out that           
 if the public prisons are such white elephants and the employees              
 are grossly over-paid, he asked why there are so many open                    
 positions for correctional officers.  Mr. Antrim stressed that                
 these jobs should be filled by competent people.                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 2354                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked again how much of a wage increase would            
 be necessary to fill the gap.                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM answered he did not know.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 2388                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked what a level entry correction officer             
 would make at Lemon Creek after training.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM answered that it was a range 13, based on an 84 hour               
 work week, maybe 13 or 14 dollars an hour.  Mr. Antrim said he                
 would provide the committee with this exact information.                      
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-11, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN referred to the information presented by Mr.             
 Antrim concerning the difference of incarceration costs of out-of-            
 state prisoners now, including medical and transportation costs.              
 He asked what a rational number would be for the cost of such a               
 prisoner.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. ANTRIM said he would get this information for the committee.              
                                                                               
 Number 184                                                                    
                                                                               
 BRUCE MASSEY, Food Service Manager, Lemon Creek Correctional                  
 Facility, was next to testify.   Initially, Mr. Massey said he had            
 doubts about this legislation.  The State of Alaska stands alone in           
 regards to zero incidences of staff members or inmate killed by               
 another inmate.  The department has accomplished this because they            
 employ professional people.  He pointed out that Lemon Creek is a             
 hostile environment.  Mr. Massey takes a great deal of pride in his           
 work as a professional chef.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. MASSEY stated that when he changed over from the private to the           
 public sector he was astounded at the tethers which were placed on            
 him when he tried coming up with work related innovate ideas.  He's           
 been given a lot more leigh way lately in being able to cut their             
 price per meal from $2.17 in FY 91 to $1.37 which is the current              
 average.  This translates to a savings of $170 per month and an               
 annual savings of $163,500.                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. MASSEY wondered where the real savings was going to take place            
 with a private prison facility.  He cited the job experience he and           
 his staff bring to Lemon Creek.  He also noted that 90 percentage             
 of disturbances in prison facilities revolve around the food and              
 the kitchen staff create the peace by feeding the population good             
 meals.  Mr. Massey asked that the committee require sound                     
 accountability for the private corporation's numbers, especially              
 when it comes to their food service.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. MASSEY noted that the participants all wouldn't be present at             
 this meeting if the legislature thought the department of                     
 corrections was providing an adequate service, but he also noted              
 again how his hands are tied when trying to institute progressive             
 changes in policy.  He cited specific examples of prices for goods            
 which were over-priced and of deficient quality, in relation to the           
 lack of a level playing field when it comes to the food service               
 industry.  He noted that the public sector is more tied to buying             
 particular goods because of contract relationships, rather than the           
 private sector which has more freedom to be flexible.                         
                                                                               
 Number 578                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said she enjoyed Mr. Massey's testimony and              
 realized there were conditions which kept him from doing his job,             
 regulations which need to be done away with or statutes that need             
 to be changed.  She said she didn't want to necessarily speak for             
 the sponsor, but said she didn't believe this bill was introduced             
 to point out that state workers weren't doing their jobs properly             
 or that someone can do their job better.  There is no evidence or             
 studies which say this.                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS also noted that there are more than likely               
 hidden costs in the dollar amount for the prisoners housed in                 
 Arizona.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 737                                                                    
                                                                               
 PHIL THINGSTAD, Business Agent, Carpenter's Union, initially                  
 testified that he represented the majority of the Western Alaska              
 building trades in support of HB 428 and HB 429 given the following           
 conditions: firstly, that under a level playing field, if the state           
 can truly save money, then they support this legislation.                     
 Secondly, that if the individuals involved with the construction              
 and management of the facility are Alaskan hires, then they could             
 support the project as well.  If these two things can be                      
 guaranteed, as well as there being no displacement of the current             
 correctional employees, then they could support HB 428(JUD).                  
                                                                               
 Number 835                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked about the suggestion of adding on            
 to existing facilities.  Would the building trades support this.              
                                                                               
 MR. THINGSTAD said they were not against any other alternatives to            
 be explored, however, he pointed out how not too long ago the                 
 legislature was going to look for a stable 300 million capital                
 budget and as the operating budget continues to grow, the capital             
 budget continues to shrink.  He pointed out how when the                      
 infrastructure grows, this prompts new business into the private              
 sector.  If the capital budget grows too much, there will be no               
 private sector construction companies left.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 955                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN pointed out how the situation with                 
 corrections is different than other items of the capital  budget,             
 number one is that it's very prone to bonding and secondly, the               
 legislature is under court order to budget the necessary money for            
 operations.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1017                                                                   
                                                                               
 GARY SAMPSON, Corrections Representative, Alaska State Employees              
 Association testified by teleconference from Seward.  He stated               
 that the introduction of this legislation has caused great alarm to           
 the association.  He cited that there are no quick, cheap fixes to            
 the corrections problem.  The desire to cut costs should not be the           
 primary concern of corrections.  The quality of service, safety and           
 security must be of primary concern.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. SAMPSON stated that after his travels around the country he is            
 confident that the quality of service provided by the Alaska                  
 Department of Corrections is the best in the country.  They operate           
 a safe, secure prison system which is free of corruption and treats           
 prisoners humanely.  He said it was doubtful that this standard               
 could be matched by any private company.  He said it was necessary            
 to look at private facility incidences beyond the "pie in the sky"            
 sales pitches of private corporations.  Mr. Sampson said the facts            
 need to be observed.                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. SAMPSON noted the private run facilities are frequently                   
 compromised on security in order to maximize profits, since 60                
 percent of the operational costs of a facility is made up of labor,           
 reducing staff and limiting training seems to be a vital part of              
 the strategy instituted by private corporations which operate                 
 prisons.  He cited the increased incidences of assaults and escapes           
 in privately run facilities.  In an effort to reduce costs inmate             
 services are cut, often in violation of their contracts which have            
 been made with the state.  These programs are often essential for             
 the reclamation of prisoners.                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. SAMPSON broadly pointed out that there is little evidence that            
 a privately run facility saves any money over a publicly run                  
 facility.  Numerous studies by the National Institute of Justice,             
 the National Institute of Corrections, the General Accounting                 
 Office, among others, have concluded there were no significant                
 savings with the private facilities.  In fact, many private                   
 facilities in the long run may actually cost more fiscally, as well           
 as compromising the health and safety of prison staff and other law           
 enforcement officers.                                                         
 MR. SAMPSON summed up his comments by stating that the primary                
 purpose of corrections is to provide a public service and provide             
 for the public security.  The primary purpose of a private company            
 is to make a profit and these two purposes are contradictory.  The            
 one has served our citizens well, the other will put our society in           
 jeopardy.  He indicated Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA)             
 and AFSCME would be happy to work with the committee to come up               
 with viable alternatives to the solution of this problem, rather              
 than support the ushering in of private prison facilities.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1242                                                                   
                                                                               
 DON VALESCO, Business Manager, Public Employees, Local 71 AFL-CIO,            
 testified by teleconference from Homer on behalf of the cooks,                
 building maintenance people and the warehouse people in the                   
 correctional facilities of Alaska.  He noted that these public                
 employees are concerned about providing the best service for the              
 least cost.  Mr. Valesco's main concern about this legislation is             
 that it's a major policy change for Alaska.  He asked that the                
 legislature take their time to review this proposition and talk               
 with their constituents.  He stated that many people question the             
 concept of privatization.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. VALESCO referred to publications which have dealt with this               
 concept of privatization and the problems with it.  He asked the              
 committee members to read and research these periodicals.  He                 
 questioned the whole concept of turning corrections over to private           
 companies in order that they make money off of the tax payers.  He            
 noted other methods which are much more cost effective, one being             
 the expansion of existing facilities.  With the exception of the              
 Ketchikan facility, all of the prisons around the state can                   
 accommodate expansion at a much lesser cost than building a new               
 facility, which no less, would need to be staffed and furnished as            
 well.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. VALESCO used the example of Spring Creek as a facility which              
 could actually be doubled in size.  He agreed that more beds are              
 needed, but not necessarily in one location only.                             
                                                                               
 Number 11628                                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that the committee would continue the public           
 hearing related to HB 428(JUD) until 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February            
 2, 1996.                                                                      
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the meeting at 3:35 p.m.                            
                                                                               
                                                                               

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