Legislature(1999 - 2000)

05/10/1999 01:38 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
         HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                    May 10, 1999                                                                                                
                     1:38 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pete Kott, Chairman                                                                                              
Representative Joe Green                                                                                                        
Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                                                                  
Representative Jeannette James                                                                                                  
Representative Lisa Murkowski                                                                                                   
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 4(FIN)                                                                                                   
"An Act relating to victims' rights; relating to establishing an                                                                
office of victims' rights; relating to compensation of victims of                                                               
violent crimes; relating to eligibility for a permanent fund                                                                    
dividend for persons convicted of and incarcerated for certain                                                                  
offenses; relating to notice of appropriations concerning victims'                                                              
rights; and amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure,                                                               
Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska Rules of                                                                 
Evidence; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD; ASSIGNED TO SUBCOMMITTEE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 172                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing the office of victims' advocacy in the                                                                     
Department of Law; and amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal                                                               
Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska                                                               
Rules of Evidence."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD; ASSIGNED TO SUBCOMMITTEE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 219                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the rule against perpetuities, nonvested                                                                    
property interests, and powers of appointment; and providing for an                                                             
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 221                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a trustee's duties to inform and account to                                                                 
beneficiaries; relating to the revocation, modification,                                                                        
termination, reformation, construction, and trustees of trusts; and                                                             
relating to transfer restrictions in trusts."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
(* First public hearing)                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB   4                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: OFFICE OF VICTIMS' RIGHTS                                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) HALFORD, Donley, Green, Leman, Taylor,                                                                   
Wilken, Kelly Tim, Lincoln, Ellis, Parnell, Mackie, Miller, Kelly                                                               
Pete, Ward, REPRESENTATIVE(S) Porter                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 1/19/99        13     (S)  PREFILE RELEASED - 1/8/99                                                                           
 1/19/99        14     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 1/19/99        14     (S)  JUD, FIN                                                                                            
 1/22/99               (S)  JUD AT  1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                                                                      
 1/22/99               (S)  MOVED CS (JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                     
 1/22/99               (S)  MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                         
 1/25/99        77     (S)  JUD RPT  CS  3DP 1NR      SAME TITLE                                                                
 1/25/99        77     (S)  DP: TAYLOR, HALFORD, ELLIS;NR:                                                                      
                            TORGERSON                                                                                           
 1/25/99        77     (S)  FNS TO SB & CS (LAA, DPS, COR)                                                                      
 1/25/99        77     (S)  INDETERMINATE FN TO SB & CS (LAW)                                                                   
 1/25/99        77     (S)  ZERO FNS TO SB & CS (ADM-2, DPS)                                                                    
 3/30/99               (S)  FIN AT  8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                  
 3/30/99               (S)  HEARD AND HELD                                                                                      
 3/30/99               (S)  MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                         
 3/30/99       740     (S)  COSPONSOR(S): WILKEN                                                                                
 4/22/99               (S)  FIN AT  6:00 PM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                  
 4/22/99               (S)  HEARD AND HELD                                                                                      
 4/27/99               (S)  FIN AT  9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                  
 4/27/99               (S)  MOVED CS (FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                     
 4/27/99      1130     (S)  FIN RPT  CS  7DP 1NR      NEW TITLE                                                                 
 4/27/99      1131     (S)  LETTER OF INTENT WITH FIN REPORT                                                                    
 4/27/99      1131     (S)  DP: TORGERSON, PARNELL, PHILLIPS,                                                                   
                            GREEN                                                                                               
 4/27/99      1131     (S)  PETE KELLY, DONLEY, WILKEN; NR: ADAMS                                                               
 4/27/99      1131     (S)  PREVIOUS ZERO FNS (ADM-2, DPS)                                                                      
 4/27/99      1131     (S)  PREVIOUS FNS (COR, DPS)                                                                             
 4/27/99      1131     (S)  PREVIOUS INDETERMINATE FN (LAW)                                                                     
 4/28/99               (S)  RLS AT 11:45 AM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                      
 4/28/99               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                         
 4/28/99      1148     (S)  FISCAL NOTE TO CS (DPS)                                                                             
 4/29/99      1170     (S)  RULES TO CALENDAR  4/29/99                                                                          
 4/29/99      1171     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                                
 4/29/99      1172     (S)  FIN CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                                                                         
 4/29/99      1172     (S)  ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                                                                      
                            CONSENT                                                                                             
 4/29/99      1172     (S)  READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 4(FIN)                                                                    
 4/29/99      1172     (S)  (S) ADOPTED FIN  LETTER OF INTENT                                                                   
 4/29/99      1172     (S)  COSPONSOR(S): TIM KELLY, LINCOLN,                                                                   
                            ELLIS,                                                                                              
 4/29/99      1172     (S)  PARNELL, MACKIE, MILLER, PETE KELLY,                                                                
 4/29/99      1172     (S)  WARD                                                                                                
 4/29/99      1173     (S)  PASSED Y18 N- E2                                                                                    
 4/29/99      1173     (S)  EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                                                                   
 4/29/99      1173     (S)  COURT RULE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                                                                       
 4/29/99      1175     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                  
 4/30/99      1101     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 4/30/99      1101     (H)  JUD, FIN                                                                                            
 5/03/99      1145     (H)  CROSS SPONSOR(S): PORTER                                                                            
 5/10/99               (H)  JUD AT  1:30 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 172                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: OFFICE OF VICTIMS' ADVOCACY                                                                                        
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) CROFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 3/31/99       627     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 3/31/99       627     (H)  JUD, FIN                                                                                            
 5/10/99               (H)  JUD AT  1:30 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 219                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: RULE AGAINST PERPETUITIES                                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY BY REQUEST                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 5/04/99      1158     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 5/04/99      1158     (H)  JUDICIARY                                                                                           
 5/07/99               (H)  JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                         
 5/07/99               (H)  SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                             
 5/10/99               (H)  JUD AT  1:30 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
BRETT HUBER, Legislative Assistant                                                                                              
   to Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 121                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-4958                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Present sponsor statement on SB 4.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DEL SMITH, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                  
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
P.O. Box 111200                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200                                                                                                       
Telephone:  (907) 465-4322                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on SB 4.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ANNE D. CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                   
Legal Services Section-Juneau                                                                                                   
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law                                                                                                               
P.O. Box 110300                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300                                                                                                       
Telephone:  (907) 465-3428                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on SB 4.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KAREN CAMPBELL                                                                                                                  
2024 Saratoga Drive                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska 99517                                                                                                         
Telephone:  (907) 261-7662                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on SB 4.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHARLOTTE PHELPS, Advocate                                                                                                      
Victims For Justice                                                                                                             
733 West 4th Avenue, Suite 690                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
Telephone:  (907) 278-0988                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on SB 4.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LAUREE HUGONIN, Director                                                                                                        
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence                                                                                             
   and Sexual Assault                                                                                                           
130 Seward Street, Room 209                                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
Telephone:  (907) 586-3650                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on SB 4.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CORY WINCHELL, Administrative Assistant                                                                                         
   to Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 118                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented sponsor statement on HB 219.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC KNEFFNER, Attorney                                                                                                         
Faulkner Banfield P C                                                                                                           
302 Gold Street                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
Telephone:  (907) 586-2210                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 219.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DICK THWAITES                                                                                                                   
604 West 2nd Avenue                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
Telephone:  (907) 277-1595                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 219.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TERRY BANNISTER, Attorney                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
130 Seward Street, Suite 409                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska 99801-2105                                                                                                       
Telephone:  (907) 465-2450                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered questions regarding HB 219.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
RICH HOMPESCH                                                                                                                   
119 North Cushman Street, Suite 690                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                                                                         
Telephone:  (907) 452-1700                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 219.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SHARALYN SUE WRIGHT                                                                                                             
Address not provided                                                                                                            
Telephone:  (Not provided)                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 219.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-61, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT called the House Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                
meeting to order at 1:38 p.m.  Members present at the call to order                                                             
were Representatives Kott, Green, Rokeberg and James.                                                                           
Representatives Kerttula, Croft and Murkowski arrived at 1:39 p.m.,                                                             
1:40 p.m. and 2:36 p.m., respectively.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 4(FIN) - OFFICE OF VICTIMS' RIGHTS                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the first order of business is CS FOR                                                                   
SENATE BILL NO. 4(FIN), "An Act relating to victims' rights;                                                                    
relating to establishing an office of victims' rights; relating to                                                              
compensation of victims of violent crimes; relating to eligibility                                                              
for a permanent fund dividend for persons convicted of and                                                                      
incarcerated for certain offenses; relating to notice of                                                                        
appropriations concerning victims' rights; and amending Rule 16,                                                                
Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency                                                                  
Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska Rules of Evidence; and providing for an                                                             
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0068                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRETT HUBER, Legislative Assistant to Senator Rick Halford, Alaska                                                              
State Legislature, came before the committee to present the sponsor                                                             
statement.  He stated that CSSB 4(FIN) passed the Senate with                                                                   
unanimous bipartisan support and 13 co-sponsors.  He noted that                                                                 
similar legislation was before this committee last year in the form                                                             
of SB 219.  The thrust of the legislation is to provide a mechanism                                                             
for the practical application of the Victims' Rights Amendment to                                                               
the constitution ratified by popular vote on November 8, 1994.  The                                                             
bill establishes the office of victims' rights in the Department of                                                             
Public Safety and tasks the advocate with assisting crime victims                                                               
in obtaining rights that they are guaranteed under the constitution                                                             
and laws of the state in regards to contact with state justice                                                                  
agencies.  Crime victims are all too often left to deal with the                                                                
justice system that's heavily weighted to the benefit of the                                                                    
criminal and filled with legalize and technicalities.  The passage                                                              
of the bill would provide victims of crimes with an advocate who                                                                
understands and is experienced with criminal law and is familiar                                                                
with the justice process.  It would not preclude the responsibility                                                             
of the prosecutor's office to fulfill its statutory obligations.                                                                
It would not preclude the need for organizations, such as Victims                                                               
For Justice.  In fact, their effectiveness would be bolstered by                                                                
the office of victims' rights.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0229                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER presented the following sectional analysis:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1 provides the short title;                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2 allows the victims' advocate to make statements                                                                  
     at the time of sentencing in-lieu-of the victim, if                                                                        
     requested;                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3 amends AS 12.61 by adding new sections, which                                                                    
     creates the office in the Department of Public Safety                                                                      
     [Mr. Huber noted that the original version of the bill                                                                     
     would have placed the office within the legislative                                                                        
     branch and would be modeled after the ombudsman office];                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.200 (a) creates the office, provides for                                                                   
          the appointment of the advocate by the                                                                                
          commissioner, and allows employment for an                                                                            
          assistant advocate and clerical staff;                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.200 (b) sets up the tasks of the office;                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.200 (c) requires the cooperation of state                                                                  
          agencies;                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.200 (d) provides the office the authority to                                                               
          administer grants to nonprofit organizations;                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.200 (e) establishes the qualifications for the                                                             
          advocate;                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.210 (a) requires the advocate to adopt                                                                     
          regulations;                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.210 (b) disallows the office to charge fees                                                                
          for its services;                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.220 (a) establishes the advocate's                                                                         
          jurisdiction;                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.220 (b) directs the advocate to exercise                                                                   
          reasonable care, to not interfere with ongoing cases, and                                                             
          to not make extra judicial statements;                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.220 (c) restricts the advocate from advising                                                               
          a victim against cooperating with an investigation,                                                                   
          providing information, or testifying;                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.230 sets out the authority to advocate on                                                                  
          behalf of crime victims and to access records;                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.240 lists how and when the advocate may                                                                    
          conduct investigations, provides subpoena power, requires                                                             
          consultations with the justice agencies prior to the                                                                  
          release of a report, lines out the advocate's duties upon                                                             
          completion of an investigation, and permits the advocate                                                              
          to report public opinions and recommendations;                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.250 requires the advocate to publish an annual                                                             
          report;                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.260 limits the judicial challenge of the                                                                   
          advocate's actions;                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.270 provides immunity for the advocate;                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.280 provides evidentiary privilege against                                                                 
          being compelled to testify;                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.290 sets out a criminal penalty for                                                                        
          obstruction of the advocate's duties;                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 12.61.300 provides definitions ["justice agency" and                                                             
          "victim"];                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4 increases the compensation available for                                                                         
     victims of crime under AS 18.67 as decided by the Violent                                                                  
     Crimes Compensation Board;                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5 allows the board to increase the compensation                                                                    
     levels by regulation in order to account for inflation;                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6 brings the advocate under the partially exempt                                                                   
     status;                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7 provides for Permanent Fund Dividend                                                                             
     ineligibility for a misdemeanant who is incarcerated for                                                                   
     all or part of a qualifying year and who has either one                                                                    
     prior felony or two prior misdemeanor convictions;                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8 provides that the proceeds of the dividend may                                                                   
     be used to fund the office;                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Sections 9 and 10 provide for a court rule change notice;                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 11 allows the office space to be obtained,                                                                         
     equipped and staffed in the FY [fiscal year] 00 budget                                                                     
     for a July 2001 start;                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Sections 12 and 13 are the effective date clauses.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0523                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Huber to share with the committee the                                                                   
discussion from the Senate on those who have committed a                                                                        
misdemeanor with prior convictions and their loss of their                                                                      
permanent fund dividend.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0545                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied the current law says that anybody who is                                                                      
incarcerated for all or part of a qualifying year and has two prior                                                             
convictions are ineligible for the dividend.  This bill changes the                                                             
two prior convictions to one prior felony or two prior                                                                          
misdemeanors.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0598                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Mr. Huber to explain the other changes                                                               
that the Senate Finance Standing Committee made.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied the main change was the transfer of the office                                                                
from the legislature to the Department of Public Safety.  The                                                                   
committee also added the word "reasonable" [page 2, line 2] in                                                                  
response to testimony.  Language was also added to allow the                                                                    
legislature the right to grant money to non-profit victims' rights                                                              
organization from the same pool of dividend ineligible money.  The                                                              
committee also included the bifurcated effective date that allows                                                               
for the beginning of the supplies, staffing, and procurement of                                                                 
office space, but it doesn't allow for the operation of the office                                                              
until the FY 01 budget.  In addition, the committee adopted a                                                                   
letter-of-intent that speaks to entities currently allowed to                                                                   
receive funding from the ineligible dividend pool of money.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0722                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated the letter-of-intent attached to the                                                                
Department of Public Safety's fiscal note looks like $73,000 for                                                                
this year with a steady state of $450,000, which the department                                                                 
expects to receive from the ineligible dividend funding mechanism.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER pointed out that the fiscal note does not reflect the                                                                 
money coming into the department; it just speaks to the cost of the                                                             
office.  The $73,000 is the anticipated cost of getting the office                                                              
ready.  The $450,000 is the ongoing funding requirement for the                                                                 
office.  He referred to a spreadsheet illustrating the revenue                                                                  
stream from the ineligible dividend mechanism.  It shows $391,000                                                               
in the first fiscal year.  It also shows that amount increasing                                                                 
each year, which speaks to the ability to look back to the                                                                      
out-years for prior crimes.  The spreadsheet was calculated at last                                                             
year's dividend.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0840                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated it was brought to his attention that                                                                
the PFD [Permanent Fund Dividend] would be available for the Child                                                              
Support Enforcement Division [Department of Revenue] or to directly                                                             
compensate victims.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER stated that was a policy call made at the time of the                                                                 
initial PFD ineligible pool of money.  The bill doesn't really                                                                  
speak to the use of that money as a policy call; it merely expands                                                              
the pool of funds.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0929                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Mr. Huber what would happen if the                                                                   
office was set up and there wasn't enough money.  Would the                                                                     
legislature have to use general fund money?                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied the bill creates a possible pool of funds that                                                                
are, of course, subject to the governor's recommended usage and the                                                             
appropriation of the legislature.  It would be an annual policy                                                                 
call as to the appropriation of the funds.  It was the sponsor's                                                                
intent to create a funding mechanism that more than pay for the                                                                 
program, especially as the growth of the pool increases in the                                                                  
out-years.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1025                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DEL SMITH, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Public Safety, came                                                               
before the committee to testify.  The placement of the office in                                                                
the Department of Public Safety is of concern to him and the                                                                    
commissioner.  They are concerned about bringing in close to                                                                    
$500,000 - no matter the source - in the event there might not be                                                               
sufficient funding thereby impacting the department's ability to                                                                
fund its primary mission - state troopers, fire prevention, fish                                                                
and wildlife protection, and several other programs.  They are also                                                             
concerned about the administrative impact of the office.  It                                                                    
potentially pits departments against each other.  The bill was                                                                  
originally designed by the sponsor so that the office was in the                                                                
legislative branch similar to the Office of the Ombudsman with some                                                             
distance between it and the line-departments.  In addition, the                                                                 
department might be the actual agency a victim is complaining                                                                   
about, given that it deals with victims.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1164                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Mr. Smith what he thinks about the                                                                   
office being within the Department of Administration.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH replied it's certainly an option.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1230                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANNE D. CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Legal Services                                                                   
Section-Juneau, Criminal Division, Department of Law, came before                                                               
the committee to testify.  The department has reservations about                                                                
the bill because it tries to deliver paralegal services that are                                                                
guaranteed by the Victims' Rights Amendment which have not                                                                      
increased since before that time.  The department deals with about                                                              
40,000 to 50,000 contacts with victims every year - notifying them                                                              
of hearings, schedule changes, and last minute hearings - which is                                                              
required in statute.  The department also tries to deliver services                                                             
that are guaranteed under the amendment even in circumstances that                                                              
are not specifically required by the prosecuting attorney.  The                                                                 
most common complaint from victims is a lack of notification of                                                                 
schedule changes, which she can understand.  But it cannot be done                                                              
for all cases given the number of paralegals involved.  Ms.                                                                     
Carpeneti further stated that putting the office in the Department                                                              
of Public Safety is even more problematical.  It delivers some of                                                               
the services, therefore, it would be investigating itself.  It                                                                  
would also be investigating the Department of Law which is a                                                                    
client.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1391                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Ms. Carpeneti whether her concerns were aired                                                               
in the Senate.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied yes her concerns were aired in the Senate                                                                 
Judiciary and Senate Finance Standing Committees.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1407                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Ms. Carpeneti whether the department's                                                               
chores would be simplified by simply notifying the advocate.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied, according to her understanding, the advocate                                                             
would not be delivering services directly but helping victims who                                                               
feel that they have not been provided their constitutional rights                                                               
after the fact.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1482                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Ms. Carpeneti whether her concerns were                                                              
considered in the Senate; the bill passed the Senate                                                                            
overwhelmingly.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied the committee substitute, that moved the                                                                  
office to the Department of Public Safety, was introduced in the                                                                
Senate Finance Standing Committee where she testified that it would                                                             
cause problems between departments.  No questions were asked.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1534                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Ms. Carpeneti whether there is a way to                                                              
address victims' rights that wouldn't cause such a high fiscal                                                                  
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied the Department of Law thinks it could provide                                                             
better services to victims if it had more paralegals to deliver                                                                 
them, which would have a more direct impact on how they feel about                                                              
the criminal justice system than somebody investigating a mistake                                                               
after the fact.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Ms. Carpeneti whether the Department of                                                              
Law conducts an internal audit that reviews its procedures.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied the complaints that the department gets are                                                               
from those victims who have not been notified of a hearing.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1662                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Ms. Carpeneti whether the office could                                                               
assume some of the notification duties of the Department of Law,                                                                
given the duties of the office listed in the bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied if those duties were made a lot clearer it                                                                
would possible.  House Bill 172 actually says that the office can                                                               
deliver services listed in AS 12.61.015.  She further noted that if                                                             
the office was in the Department of Law, it would have to be in a                                                               
separate office because it's charged with investigating.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1721                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA suggested a hotline for a listing of the                                                                
hearings.  That way a victim would be able to call to determine the                                                             
status of a hearing.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA referred to the language - "(c) The                                                                     
victims' advocate may not advise, counsel, or advocate on behalf                                                                
of a victim in a way that would, (1) prevent or discourage a victim                                                             
from cooperating with law enforcement authorities in a criminal                                                                 
investigation; (2) encourage a victim to withhold evidence from law                                                             
enforcement authorities in a criminal investigation" -  and asked                                                               
Ms. Carpeneti whether it should also include defense attorneys,                                                                 
especially in regards to withholding evidence.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied they probably should be specified since they                                                              
aren't included in law enforcement.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said conceivably an equal protection                                                                    
argument could be made because a victim could indicate in a trial                                                               
that he/she was advised not to talk to the defense attorney.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1880                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Ms. Carpeneti whether she has any                                                                    
indication of the types of things that the paralegals are doing for                                                             
notifying victims in relation to other things.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied the paralegals spend most of their time on                                                                
victim services.  She also noted that the district attorneys also                                                               
assist victims.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1929                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Ms. Carpeneti whether she knows what                                                                 
kind of numbers the Department of Law is looking at for additional                                                              
paralegals.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied no.  But she would find out and provide the                                                               
committee with that information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1987                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Ms. Carpeneti whether she has a feel of                                                              
what it would cost for more paralegals to help with notification                                                                
and to handhold the victims.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied no.  She would get that information and bring                                                             
it back to the committee later.  She doesn't write the fiscal                                                                   
notes.  But she does know that paralegals are a lot less expensive                                                              
than lawyers.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2049                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KAREN CAMPBELL testified via teleconference from Anchorage.  She                                                                
stressed that this is not an issue of adding paralegals.  She is                                                                
the mother of Bonnie Craig, who was murdered on September 28, 1994.                                                             
She is here today because she doesn't want other victims to go                                                                  
through the same hell and pain that she went through and will                                                                   
continue to go through.  The pain of childbirth and kidney stones                                                               
do not even come close to the pain of one's child having been                                                                   
murder.  She noted that Bonnie was abducted on her way to UAA                                                                   
[University of Alaska, Anchorage].  She was brutally raped and                                                                  
murdered.  Her autopsy indicated that she was repeatedly hit over                                                               
the head again and again.  Her body was found floating in McHugh                                                                
Creek.  Her murderer is still free.  Ms. Campbell stated that                                                                   
Bonnie was an angel and described the activities she was involved                                                               
in before her death.  She said, "In Bonnie's honor I'm asking you                                                               
to work effectively and be responsible by enacting and passing SB                                                               
4."                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. CAMPBELL further stated that the idea of putting the office                                                                 
into the Department of Public Safety is wrong.  It won't work that                                                              
way.  The department can't be policing itself.  She suggested                                                                   
putting it back in the legislative branch.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. CAMPBELL further explained the pain of being a victim.  She                                                                 
cited a story of a mother whose child had been murdered who was not                                                             
informed of the hearing because the paralegal was off that                                                                      
particular day.  The judge went ahead and read the verdict without                                                              
her being present.  She said, "I can't describe to you the amount                                                               
of pain that would cause a mother of a murdered child.  To be so                                                                
disrespectful to read a verdict and not bother ... This is in                                                                   
comprehensive to me.  And who can she go to?  The judge should                                                                  
never have read the verdict without inquiring where the mother was.                                                             
And this goes on again and again, and it's not going to be a                                                                    
paralegal that can fix that situation.  We need to have an attorney                                                             
that will actually be able to put some teeth into the                                                                           
constitutional amendment giving victims rights."  She also resents                                                              
the idea that no money should come from the general fund when so                                                                
much of it goes to protecting rights of criminals.  The system                                                                  
needs to start looking at the rights of victims and affording them                                                              
the same amount of  rights that are afforded to criminals.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2296                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES expressed her sympathy to Ms. Campbell, and                                                                
noted that the bill seems to protect a victim after the fact when                                                               
it seems that it's important for a notice to be given in the first                                                              
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CAMPBELL stated, right now, when something goes wrong and a                                                                 
victim's rights are not afforded nothing is done.  Maybe the judge                                                              
and paralegal said that they were sorry, but sorry's don't cut it.                                                              
There needs to be some kind of peace so that those types of things                                                              
don't continue.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2362                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHARLOTTE PHELPS, Advocate, Victims For Justice, testified via                                                                  
teleconference from Anchorage.  She is a victim also.  Her son was                                                              
murdered by a drunk driver about three years ago.  She asked the                                                                
committee members to pass the bill from the committee with a                                                                    
favorable vote today.  She suggested moving the office back to the                                                              
jurisdiction of the legislature rather than the Department of Law                                                               
or Department of Public Safety to ensure the greatest degree of                                                                 
impartiality.  If it was under either one of those department, it                                                               
would create a conflict of interest for the advocate and make it                                                                
more difficult for that advocate to investigate reports of                                                                      
violations.  Victims For Justice also does not feel that this is a                                                              
paralegal issue as Ms. Campbell has indicated.  In closing, she                                                                 
stated the comment earlier made by Representative Green in regards                                                              
to hand-holding is very offense to victims.  It implies that they                                                               
are children, when they are fighting very much to become survivors                                                              
and are demanding respect.  They demand the same respect and                                                                    
protection that the constitution gives criminals.  The office of                                                                
victims' rights would ensure that respect and right.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2449                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CAMPBELL noted that if a victim's rights have been violated any                                                             
lawyer will say, "Well, you can't sue the government for being                                                                  
incompetent..."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-61, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LAUREE HUGONIN, Director, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and                                                               
Sexual Assault, testified in Juneau.  In terms of helping victims                                                               
of domestic violence and sexual assault exercise their rights, she                                                              
noted that there is a legal advocacy project funded through the                                                                 
federal violence against women Act (S.T.O.P.), which trains                                                                     
designated legal advocates.  She cited there are 22 legal advocates                                                             
across the state.  They help victims access the civil justice                                                                   
system through protective orders, custody, and divorce proceedings.                                                             
They also help victims through the criminal justice system during                                                               
a trial.  There is also a funding mechanism with grants to                                                                      
encourage arrests.  The Department of Law receives some funding to                                                              
establish volunteer programs to assist paralegals in providing                                                                  
notices to victims.  That program is in its second year and the                                                                 
department has received funding for the next fiscal year to try and                                                             
solidify these programs.  Hopefully, they will help relieve the                                                                 
pressures on the paralegals.  She further mentioned that HB 67                                                                  
requires the court to inquire whether or not a victim has been                                                                  
notified in sexual assault cases.  She also mentioned the VINE                                                                  
[Victim Information and Notification Everyday] system in the                                                                    
Department of Corrections, a system whereby victims can call an                                                                 
automated phone line to ascertain the status of an inmate.  She                                                                 
further mentioned that the Alaska Court System, through S.T.O.P.                                                                
will be starting a pilot project this coming year for a person to                                                               
be onsite and available in the Anchorage court facility.  She                                                                   
further mentioned that the Alaska Judicial Council distributes                                                                  
brochures on victims' rights in English, Spanish and other                                                                      
languages supplementing the pamphlets that the Department of Law                                                                
provides.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0188                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that he has the utmost empathy for                                                                  
somebody who is a victim of a violent crime.  He asked Ms. Hugonin                                                              
what else can the state do, given there are agencies, brochures,                                                                
and groups that are available to talk to victims.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0229                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUGONIN replied, personally, she thinks it's important to do as                                                             
much as possible in the beginning of the process to ensure that                                                                 
victims know their rights and to inform them of the availability of                                                             
assistance in exercising those rights.  It's also important to                                                                  
ensure that there are protocols in place both at the prosecutorial                                                              
level in the court system and advocacy groups to ensure that it                                                                 
happens.  There may need to be a mechanism at the end of the                                                                    
process, but that should be further down the list.  She noted that                                                              
SB 4 is very helpful in terms of restitution for victims, which is                                                              
necessary in some situations because, right now, there is a low                                                                 
upper limit of what victims can receive.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0318                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated it seems that the most important thing                                                              
for a victim is to have the proper notification, otherwise that                                                                 
victim is being "damaged" again.  She is, therefore, struggling                                                                 
with the bill because it puts those efforts in the wrong place.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUGONIN stated the best place for a notice is in the beginning                                                              
because it's the best time to arrange for help, so that they can be                                                             
involved in every step of the process.  She understands that                                                                    
sometimes the hearings are postponed or accelerated in a quick                                                                  
period of time and it's very difficult to reach all the necessary                                                               
parties, but HB 67 will make some allowances for that problem.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0443                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated a hearing won't go forward if the                                                                   
criminal has not been notified, so it seems that nothing should                                                                 
happen until the victim has been notified.  But this bill does not                                                              
do that.  She suggested looking at extending the process in HB 67                                                               
to other victims, not just to victims of sexual assault and                                                                     
domestic violence.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0509                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to AS 12.61.250 and asked Mr. Huber who the                                                              
public is that the office would be submitting a report to.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied the report submitted to the public would include                                                              
the governor, attorney general, legislature, a grand jury, the                                                                  
public, or any of those.  He imaged that it would be published like                                                             
any other agency's report and be made available to the executive                                                                
branch, legislature, and general public.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0542                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT stated a change was made in statute whereby the                                                                   
annual reports of the various agencies and departments "shall be                                                                
made available" to the legislature.  The bill says, "shall submit."                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied he does not know how that interacts with the                                                                  
recent change on making reports available versus providing actual                                                               
hard copies.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT reiterated he is just wondering who the public is in                                                              
this case.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0577                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to page 4 of the bill and asked whether a                                                                
person can be less than 21 years of age and be licensed to practice                                                             
law in the state; and, if a person is less than 21 years of age,                                                                
does that person have significant experience in criminal law?  He's                                                             
not sure of the interaction between the qualifications for the                                                                  
advocate.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER stated the criteria were based on what it would take to                                                               
be appointed to the bench.  It was also built around the office                                                                 
being in the legislature and similar to the Office of the                                                                       
Ombudsman.  He agrees that it would be hard to find a factual                                                                   
circumstance where somebody meets all of the rest of the criteria                                                               
and is not 21 years of age.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0641                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES confirmed as to whether a person cannot engage                                                             
in another occupation and get paid for it.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied that is correct.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0653                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Huber whether the sponsor had discussed the                                                             
issue of moving the office to the Department of Public Safety prior                                                             
to the change.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied no.  It came about through a committee substitute                                                             
in the Senate Finance Standing Committee.  The sponsor had not seen                                                             
the committee substitute until he arrived at the committee hearing.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0703                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER stated, as closing remarks, that the concept of victims'                                                              
rights are relatively new - the constitutional amendment just                                                                   
passed in 1994.  Those who work in this area and those who have                                                                 
been victims agree that the issues need to be flushed out and that                                                              
there needs to be an understanding of what these rights mean and                                                                
how they balance with the constitutional rights of the accused and                                                              
the rights and responsibilities of the state.  It's not just a                                                                  
matter of notice, according to the stories and information that the                                                             
sponsor has received.  It's dealing with people who are facing a                                                                
traumatic time and who are thrust into a system where the                                                                       
prosecutors seek justice for the state, and the defense attorneys                                                               
make sure that the rights of the accused are cared for at all steps                                                             
of the process.  The victims feel that there is nobody representing                                                             
them.  The issue of notice was only a portion of the constitutional                                                             
amendment on victims' rights.  There was also the ability to confer                                                             
with the prosecution, to confer with the investigation, and to be                                                               
treated with dignity and respect.  The idea of the office is to                                                                 
give victims a place to go that just has their interests in mind                                                                
and is looking out for them.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER further stated the Department of Corrections' fiscal note                                                             
adds an administrative clerk to do the PFD ineligibility                                                                        
calculation, which has been asked for and denied through the budget                                                             
process three to four years in a row.  He's not sure whether that                                                               
position is specific to the changes in the bill, or more of a wish                                                              
of the department.  The Violent Crimes Compensation Board's fiscal                                                              
note is a reflection of the additional increase in caps and the                                                                 
ability to adjust for inflation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER further stated that a lot of the bill is based on the                                                                 
Office of the Ombudsman, which looks at other ways to deliver                                                                   
services without additional money.  Maybe those who are delivering                                                              
services need to be more aware of the issues that are important to                                                              
the public.  It's the intent of the sponsor to flush those types of                                                             
things out to make the system in general more responsive to                                                                     
victims.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0892                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Mr. Huber what he envisions happening if                                                             
a victim is not notified.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied he envisions the victim going to the advocate and                                                             
inquiring why something happened.  The advocate would then issue a                                                              
report indicating the findings of what happened.  The advocate                                                                  
would not be able to turn back the clock, but may be able to                                                                    
provide a better mechanism to deal with similar situations in the                                                               
future.  He further noted that a victim has the right to look at a                                                              
civil remediation.  But the office is not set up to look at that.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0994                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked Mr. Huber whether the advocate would be                                                              
present in court with a victim.  If she was a victim sitting in a                                                               
courtroom observing the process, it would be nice to have someone                                                               
to ask whether or not her rights are being protected.  She further                                                              
stated that the $450,000 fiscal note seems like a pittance of what                                                              
it would take to really give victims the protection that they need.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER replied there is no guarantee that everybody would feel                                                               
- with or without this office - that their rights have been                                                                     
protected to the degree that they would like them to be.  The                                                                   
staffing level envisioned in the current fiscal note includes the                                                               
advocate, three assistants, two paralegals, and clerical staff.  An                                                             
office would be in Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks where the bulk                                                              
of the court cases are dealt with.  Is that enough to do                                                                        
everything? he asked.  He doesn't think so, but if a level of                                                                   
awareness has been increased and those participating in the system                                                              
know that somebody is watching them and that reports and                                                                        
recommendations are coming forward to make the system work better,                                                              
the amount of effort by this office might diminish over time.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1234                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT closed the meeting to public testimony.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she is struggling with putting the office                                                             
in the Department of Public Safety in terms of that being a                                                                     
conflict of interest.  She doesn't necessarily want to put in the                                                               
legislature either.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1256                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted, the figure of 40,000 to 50,000 contacts                                                             
per year, equates to about 200 a day.  The legislature has a role                                                               
to play in this, but he doesn't want to be the one responsible for                                                              
missing one of those 200 phone calls a day.  In the House version                                                               
- HB 172 - the office is in the Department of Law only because that                                                             
is where a lot of the notices are generated.  The statute says,                                                                 
"the attorney general shall notify" and putting it anyplace else                                                                
might bring up the question of responsibility.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1369                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented she is still visualizing that there                                                              
aren't enough paralegals in the Department of Law to notify                                                                     
victims, and that there ought to be a connection between them and                                                               
the advocate; however, they really do have different missions.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1473                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA stated, for all of the reasons that the                                                                 
Department of Law and Public Safety have testified about, she is                                                                
concerned about having the office in either one.  She thinks that                                                               
the Department of Administration might be the best place because                                                                
the Public Defender Agency and the Office of Public Advocacy are                                                                
both there and it isn't a law enforcement agency.  She thinks that                                                              
even the victims would feel better represented if it wasn't in one                                                              
of those two departments.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1504                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that victims and victims' rights groups                                                              
that he has talked to indicated that they didn't want the office to                                                             
be under the Public Defender Agency or the Office of Public                                                                     
Advocacy.  But it might make sense to have it in the Department of                                                              
Administration working collaterally.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1548                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT referred the bill to a subcommittee consisting of                                                                 
Representatives Green, Murkowski and Kerttula.  He charged the                                                                  
subcommittee with addressing the following concerns:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - The issue of the placement of the office;                                                                                
     - The issue of the qualifications of the advocate;                                                                         
     - The issue of the advocate being able to counsel; and                                                                     
     - The issue of the report being submitted to the public.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 172 - OFFICE OF VICTIMS' ADVOCACY                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next order of business is HOUSE BILL                                                                
NO. 172, "An Act establishing the office of victims' advocacy in                                                                
the Department of Law; and amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of                                                                    
Criminal Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501,                                                             
Alaska Rules of Evidence."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1697                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated, as sponsor of the bill, he directed                                                                
the bill drafter to model HB 172 exactly after Senator Halford's                                                                
bill with the exception of putting the office back into the                                                                     
executive branch and removing the permanent fund dividend                                                                       
allocation.  In relation to the dividend allocation, he was                                                                     
concerned about other agencies, such as the Child Support                                                                       
Enforcement Division [Department of Revenue], in terms of their                                                                 
ability to recover fines.  He referred to page 2, lines 17-18, of                                                               
the bill, and noted that AS 12.61.015 is one of the advantages of                                                               
including the office in the Department of Law.  AS 12.61.015 lists                                                              
what the department has to do in regards to victims, and the bill                                                               
says that the office can do that as well, when directed.  It                                                                    
creates some efficiencies having the office close by.  It also                                                                  
coordinates well with other activities within the department.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1904                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Representative Croft whether he feels                                                                
that having the office in the Department of Law or Public Safety                                                                
would influence it.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT replied that's a legitimate concern because at                                                             
various time the office would be questioning the actions of the                                                                 
Department of Public Safety, Department of Law, Department of                                                                   
Corrections, and possibly the Public Defender Agency and the Office                                                             
of Public Advocacy.  It seems that the function of the office is                                                                
most often performed by the Department of Law and most analogous to                                                             
it.  He suggested, as another approach, putting more sideboards on                                                              
the appointment and firing of the advocate in terms of insulating                                                               
that person within the Department of Law as is done with                                                                        
appointments and confirmations.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2068                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated the Public Defender Agency and the                                                                  
Office of Public Advocacy are not necessarily always on the same                                                                
side of an issue.  Therefore, it seems that having the office                                                                   
within the Department of Administration wouldn't have the same                                                                  
conflict as it would have within the Department of Law.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated the Department of Administration is                                                                 
often a place where offices are put that need autonomy and that                                                                 
don't fit anyplace else.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2121                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT stated the bill does not list the qualifications for                                                              
the advocate.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT replied the list of qualifications in SB 4 is                                                              
relatively new.  He's not opposed to that list other than it seems                                                              
rather long.  He offered to the committee members to provide an                                                                 
analysis of the differences between the two bills.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2235                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT assigned the bill to a subcommittee consisting of                                                                 
Representatives Croft, as chairman, Kerttula and Murkowski.  He                                                                 
charged the subcommittee with brining back the differences between                                                              
the two bills.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-62, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 219 - RULE AGAINST PERPETUITIES                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next order of business is HOUSE BILL                                                                
NO. 219, "An Act relating to the rule against perpetuities,                                                                     
nonvested property interests, and powers of appointment; and                                                                    
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0079                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CORY WINCHELL, Administrative Assistant to Representative Pete                                                                  
Kott, Alaska State Legislature, came before the committee and                                                                   
presented the following sponsor statement:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This legislation corrects a technical problem created by                                                                   
     the Alaska Trust Act.  The Alaska Trust Act effectively                                                                    
     repealed the rule against perpetuities.  As a practical                                                                    
     matter, this old common rule prevented the continuation                                                                    
     of trusts for longer than 90 to 110 years.  The Alaska                                                                     
     Trust Act changed the common law rule to allow a trust to                                                                  
     continue in perpetuity if the income of principle of the                                                                   
     trust could be distributed in the discretion of the                                                                        
     trustee to a person who was living when the trust was                                                                      
     created.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The problem with the Alaska Trust Act is that it does not                                                                  
     allow a person to create a perpetual charitable lead                                                                       
     trust.  A typical perpetual charitable lead would pay all                                                                  
     income to a charity for a term of 20 years (not to a                                                                       
     person who was living when the trust was created) and                                                                      
     then would continue in perpetuity for the benefit of the                                                                   
     descendants of the person creating the trust.  Since the                                                                   
     passage of the Alaska Trust Act, many persons have                                                                         
     contacted trust companies and attorneys in Alaska and                                                                      
     have expressed a desire to create perpetual charitable                                                                     
     lead trusts.  This new legislation would completely                                                                        
     repeal the rule against perpetuities and would permit the                                                                  
     creating of perpetual charitable lead trusts.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0241                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT referred to Section 2 of the bill and noted                                                                
that it doesn't eliminate perpetuities, but that it gives a 90-year                                                             
optional savings clause.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WINCHELL stated under the language in the bill a person would                                                               
not be able to create a trust so that a person's descendants would                                                              
receive money from it.  However, a trust could be created as a                                                                  
charitable lead so that a person's descendants could take advantage                                                             
of it.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0360                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked Mr. Winchell what the reason is for                                                              
the April 2, 1997 date in the bill [Section 7].                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES noted that is the date of the Alaska Trust                                                                 
Act.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0400                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ERIC KNEFFNER, Attorney, Faulkner Banfield P C, testified in                                                                    
Juneau.  The real reason for the bill is to allow charitable lead                                                               
trusts for a state to take a charitable deduction thereby "getting                                                              
money to charities that might not otherwise get there."  In                                                                     
contrast, a charitable remainder trust is one in which the benefits                                                             
go to human beings first and the remainder goes to charities.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0483                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said in either case a trust has to satisfy the                                                             
old rule against perpetuities, or vest or terminate within 90                                                                   
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER said that's right.  That's his understanding.  The                                                                 
existing rule required "life" for the first period rather than a                                                                
charity or institution.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0580                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked Mr. Kneffner whether there was a                                                                 
point - prior to enacting the Alaska Trust Act - when the state did                                                             
not have a rule against perpetuities.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER replied a modification was made at the same time of                                                                
the Alaska Trust Act.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI said then, prior to April 2, 1997 the                                                                  
state has always had a rule against perpetuities.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER replied that's his recollection.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0623                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA referred to the language - "A nonvested                                                                 
property interest is invalid unless the interest is created on or                                                               
after January 1, 1996, and before the effective date of this Act                                                                
and" [Section 2] -  and asked Mr. Kneffner why there is a window.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER replied that's when the rule against perpetuities was                                                              
modified.  The period between January 1, 1996 and April [2], 1997                                                               
is the section that needs to be applied.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said:  "Don't you want to change it so that                                                             
they can always be done?  Why would you want it only for that                                                                   
window of time?"                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER replied prior to that time the rule against                                                                        
perpetuities was in effect...                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA interjected and said:  "Right.  During this                                                             
time only the other Act is in effect and then there's some interim                                                              
Act in effect and then the final Act comes into effect."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER said what is being done with the bill would be in                                                                  
effect since April [2], 1997.  It can't go back beyond January [1],                                                             
1996 because that's when the rule was modified the first time                                                                   
around.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0718                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked Mr. Kneffner what the modification                                                               
was in 1996.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER replied, according to his recollection, it was                                                                     
modified to vest or terminate in 90 years.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0771                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked Mr. Kneffner why the bill is being                                                                
limited to before the effective date of the Act in Sections 2, 4                                                                
and 5; they create a window.  She is concerned about creating a                                                                 
window upon which it drops out again.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER replied that's not the intention.  The sections talk                                                               
about three different kinds of powers or trusts, which is why the                                                               
language has to be repeated for each section.  He further noted                                                                 
that after the date of the Act the common law is superseded.                                                                    
Therefore, in going forward it is not needed anymore.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0914                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated that he thinks there was a pure rule                                                                
against perpetuities until January 1, 1996 and then there were                                                                  
modifications made to the Alaska Trust Act - the 90 years.  The                                                                 
statute refers to SLA 1994, which went into effect on January 1,                                                                
1996.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0990                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said, given this particular topic, she is                                                               
concerned about inadvertently dropping the whole thing, especially                                                              
since Section 6 talks about the extent provided under AS 34.27.050                                                              
- 34.27.090.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER noted that Section 6 is key because it supersedes the                                                              
rule of the common law.  The other four sections deal with the                                                                  
interim period.  After that interim period, it is completely                                                                    
repealed, which is why there are Sections 3, 4 and 5 - to deal with                                                             
the period from January 1, 1996 to April 2, 1997.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA noted the language appears to be circular.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1067                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DICK THWAITES testified via teleconference from Anchorage.  He                                                                  
explained that the pure version of the Act was amended in 1994 to                                                               
provide clarification in limiting the rule against perpetuities to                                                              
90 years.  When the Alaska Trust Act was adopted in 1997, the                                                                   
concept of charitable lead trusts were overwhelming; therefore,                                                                 
they were left out.  The bill attempts to bring forward that period                                                             
because there are charitable lead trusts that have been created in                                                              
other jurisdictions that have mobility language:  language that                                                                 
allows them to be transferred to one of the Alaska trust                                                                        
institutions, if they can get around the rule of a 1996 effective                                                               
date of the state's 90-year rule against perpetuities.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1213                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked Mr. Thwaites to explain - in real                                                                
terms - what the adoption of HB 219 would mean for the state.  In                                                               
other words, would it increase business for the state?                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. THWAITES replied he believes that it would bring increased                                                                  
business to the state.  A charitable lead trust is a device used in                                                             
the estate planning world that allows for someone with a fair                                                                   
amount of wealth to give money to a charity, to receive an income                                                               
tax deduction (the difference in value between what goes to charity                                                             
and what goes to the rest of the family), and to set up a perpetual                                                             
benefit to the family and successive generations - the intent of                                                                
the Alaska Trust Act.  He further noted that many of the                                                                        
practitioners around the country have indicated that the Alaska                                                                 
Trust Act is flawed in that regard.  He reiterated the intent of                                                                
the bill is to bring charitable lead trusts into Alaska in order to                                                             
be administered by one of the Alaska trust institutions.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1310                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Mr. Thwaites what the flaw was.  The                                                                 
biggest change in the bill is to AS 34.27.050, which is only the                                                                
deletion of an "or" provision.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. THWAITES deferred the question to the bill drafter [Terry                                                                   
Bannister, Legislative Affairs Agency].                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Ms. Bannister to explain the effective                                                               
dates - January 1, 1996 and April 2, 1997.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1354                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TERRY BANNISTER, Attorney, Legislative Legal Counsel, Legislative                                                               
Legal and Research Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, replied                                                                
January 1, 1996 is the date that the current modification of the                                                                
rule against perpetuities went into effect - the 90 years.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Ms. Bannister why there needs to be a                                                                
window for that modification.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BANNISTER replied the abolition in the bill starts                                                                          
prospectively, except for a few things in AS 34.27.042.  The other                                                              
property interests that have been created before the effective date                                                             
are to be covered as they are currently being covered.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Ms. Bannister what happens after the                                                                 
effective date of the Act.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BANNISTER replied the bill creates a window for both interests.                                                             
She doesn't know the reason for it, however.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said that Section 2 would invalidate the                                                                   
interest created by the window.  He asked Ms. Bannister what would                                                              
be the state of the law after the effective date of the Act in                                                                  
regards to Section 2.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BANNISTER replied the property interests created and subjected                                                              
to the current statute would still be covered under AS 34.27 -                                                                  
Sections 2-6 in the bill.  The property interests created                                                                       
afterwards in AS 34.27.042 would be handled by the new prospective                                                              
law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Ms. Bannister where the new prospective                                                              
law is referred to in the bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BANNISTER replied in Section 1.  There are two sections within                                                              
Section 1 - AS 34.27.040 and 34.27.042.  The limited coverage of                                                                
current interests are covered in 34.27.042.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said:  "So, there's no 90-day [year] limit                                                                 
either.  I mean, we've gotten rid of the 90-day [year].  So,                                                                    
getting through all that Mr. Chairman, why is it a good idea to get                                                             
through the 90-day [year] and just abolish ... We've in effect                                                                  
created a complicated rule or 90-day [year] and then we're just                                                                 
saying forget the whole thing and just do what you want.  Why                                                                   
wouldn't it be appropriate to keep some sort of outer clear limit                                                               
like the 90-day [year] we have?"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER replied that's a policy question for the legislature                                                               
to decide.  The reason for the bill is to create a fair amount of                                                               
flexibility for charitable lead trusts.  The existence of the                                                                   
Alaska Trust Act contemplates perpetual trusts; and, under that                                                                 
scheme, it's already assumed that the legislature has decided - in                                                              
some circumstances - that perpetual trusts are a good idea.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1585                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BANNISTER said that the application-back erases contract                                                                    
impairment issues.  However, it's not a great idea to change                                                                    
contracts that have already been entered into before putting in a                                                               
new bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1629                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said, as he recalls, the rule against                                                                      
perpetuities was put on because there were tax consequences to                                                                  
vesting back in the time of Henry VIII.  He asked Mr. Thwaites how                                                              
true is that now; have the tax consequences changed so that's not                                                               
as significant?                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. THWAITES replied yes there is the generation skipping transfer                                                              
tax now.  The purpose of the rule then was because of an                                                                        
inexhaustible supply of land, and the idea of commerce was to keep                                                              
the land revolving in "the commerce."  Now, with conservation                                                                   
easements, for example, land is perpetually protected from                                                                      
development.  It's a change of policy from the 1600s to now.  He                                                                
further noted that the actual provision, under the rule against                                                                 
perpetuities, is found in AS 34.27.050 (3), which states that the                                                               
interest is in a trust and all or part of the income or principle                                                               
of the trust may be distributed, at the discretion of the trustee,                                                              
to a person who is living when the trust is created.  He noted, of                                                              
course, a charity is not a person; therefore, repealing the Act in                                                              
this sense would allow Alaska to have perpetual trusts for                                                                      
charitable lead trusts.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1764                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said:  "Why would you want to get rid of                                                                   
subsection (3) then?  Do we get ourselves in any bind by--I mean                                                                
why wouldn't you want to just say what we say in Sections 1 and 2.                                                              
Create this window for the current law and then know that you could                                                             
write these--these ones that start with the designation of a                                                                    
charity only after the effective date."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. THWAITES said the discussion following the passage of the                                                                   
Alaska Trust Act was to create a more aggressive environment in the                                                             
estate planning area, which is what the bill does.  He noted that                                                               
the state of Delaware, within 16 weeks after the Alaska Trust Act                                                               
was effectuated, included the language - "this is an act to keep                                                                
Delaware the preeminent trust jurisdiction like the Alaska                                                                      
statute."  The state of Delaware also repealed the rule against                                                                 
perpetuities entirely because there doesn't seem to be a lot of                                                                 
reason for continuing exceptions because of the way society has                                                                 
developed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1853                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RICH HOMPESCH testified via teleconference from Fairbanks.  Section                                                             
1 - AS 34.27.040 - abolishes the rule as to nonvested property                                                                  
interest, a general power of appointment not presently exercisable.                                                             
He noted, because the existing law took effect January 1, 1996,                                                                 
Sections 2, 3 and 5 have to be carried in the bill.  But from then                                                              
on, the rule against perpetuities would be abolished.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1899                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNEFFNER stated, at the time the rule against perpetuities was                                                              
created, there weren't things like charitable trusts or                                                                         
foundations.  Those kinds of charitable enterprises are already                                                                 
allowed to be perpetual under Alaska law.  He said, "If your                                                                    
looking for a reason to evolve into allowing to have perpetual                                                                  
trusts, that's perhaps one reason.  I'm not saying that's the                                                                   
defining one, but it's certainly something to consider."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1941                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SHARALYN SUE WRIGHT testified in Juneau as the beneficiary of a                                                                 
trust.  She is concerned that the bill would benefit a few                                                                      
attorneys, when it isn't necessarily true that the money would stay                                                             
in the state.  She mentioned that the committee hasn't heard from                                                               
any bankers yet that would benefit from this.  Furthermore, if this                                                             
bill perpetuates trusts, it would also perpetuate trust violations                                                              
and the bad things that go on with trustees.  However, she is                                                                   
mostly concerned that the bill is being rushed, given its magnitude                                                             
and given that very educated and concerned people don't fully                                                                   
understand it.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2031                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT indicated that the bill would be held over for                                                                    
further consideration; there wasn't a quorum to conduct business.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2040                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT adjourned the House Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                  
meeting at 3:48 p.m.                                                                                                            

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