Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 120

03/17/2014 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
--Delayed to 1:15 p.m. Today--
+ HB 366 INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 366(STA) Out of Committee
*+ HB 369 IMMUNITY FOR DRUG RELATED OFFENSE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HJR 18 CONST. AM: ELECTED ATTORNEY GENERAL TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 17, 2014                                                                                         
                           1:20 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wes Keller, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 18                                                                                                   
Proposing amendments to  the Constitution of the  State of Alaska                                                               
relating to the office of attorney general.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HJR 18 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 366                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to reporting  an  involuntary  mental  health                                                               
commitment  to the  National  Instant  Criminal Background  Check                                                               
System; and relating  to relief from disabilities of  a record of                                                               
involuntary commitment  and an adjudication of  mental illness or                                                               
mental incompetence."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 366(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 369                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to limited  immunity from  criminal prosecution                                                               
for  a  person   who  seeks  medical  assistance   for  a  person                                                               
experiencing a drug overdose."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 18                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONST. AM: ELECTED ATTORNEY GENERAL                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) STOLTZE                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
01/21/14       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/10/14                                                                               
01/21/14       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/14       (H)       STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
02/04/14       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/04/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/04/14       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/11/14       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/11/14       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/11/14       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/12/14       (H)       STA RPT 2DP 2NR 2AM                                                                                    
02/12/14       (H)       DP: GATTIS, KELLER                                                                                     
02/12/14       (H)       NR: KREISS-TOMKINS, LYNN                                                                               
02/12/14       (H)       AM: ISAACSON, HUGHES                                                                                   
02/19/14       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/19/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/19/14       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/28/14       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/28/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/28/14       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/03/14       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/03/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/14       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/12/14       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/12/14       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/14/14       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/14/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/14/14       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/17/14       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 366                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) PRUITT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/26/14       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/26/14       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/11/14       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/11/14       (H)       Moved CSHB 366(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/11/14       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/12/14       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) NT 2DP 3NR 1AM                                                                         
03/12/14       (H)       DP: KELLER, KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                             
03/12/14       (H)       NR: GATTIS, HUGHES, LYNN                                                                               
03/12/14       (H)       AM: ISAACSON                                                                                           
03/17/14       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 369                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: IMMUNITY FOR DRUG RELATED OFFENSE                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) PRUITT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/26/14       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/26/14       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/17/14       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MORGAN HOPSON, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of the prime sponsor,                                                                          
Representative Lance Pruitt, presented a technical overview of                                                                  
HB 366.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel                                                                                                    
Administrative Staff                                                                                                            
Office of the Administrative Director                                                                                           
Alaska Court System (ACS)                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 366.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAKE McGUIGAN, Director                                                                                                         
Government Relations and State Affairs                                                                                          
National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Inc.                                                                                
Newtown, Connecticut                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 366.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KATHLEEN STRASBAUGH, Attorney                                                                                                   
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 366.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS                                                                                                                      
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Requested clarification of veterans' issues                                                              
regarding HB 366.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DARYL NELSON                                                                                                                    
MindFreedom Alaska, Affiliate                                                                                                   
MindFreedom International                                                                                                       
Chugiak, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 366.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BONNIE NELSON                                                                                                                   
MindFreedom Alaska, Affiliate                                                                                                   
MindFreedom International                                                                                                       
Chugiak, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 366.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MORGAN HOPSON, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of the prime sponsor,                                                                          
Representative Lance Pruitt, presented an overview of HB 369.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KATHLEEN STRASBAUGH, Attorney                                                                                                   
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 369.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                      
Legal Services Section                                                                                                          
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 369.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:20:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WES  KELLER called the  House Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order  at 1:20 p.m.   Representatives Millett, Pruitt,                                                               
Gruenberg  and  Keller  were  present   at  the  call  to  order.                                                               
Representative Lynn arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
           HJR 18-CONST. AM: ELECTED ATTORNEY GENERAL                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:21:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HJR 18, Proposing amendments to  the Constitution of the State of                                                               
Alaska relating to the office of attorney general.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:22:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  moved to  report HJR  18 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   objected   and  then   removed   his                                                               
objection.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:22:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further objection,  HJR 18 was reported  from the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:22:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:22 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                 HB 366-INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:25:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HB  366, "An  Act  relating to  reporting  an involuntary  mental                                                               
health  commitment to  the National  Instant Criminal  Background                                                               
Check  System; and  relating  to relief  from  disabilities of  a                                                               
record of  involuntary commitment  and an adjudication  of mental                                                               
illness or mental incompetence."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:25:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT moved  to  adopt [CSHB  366(STA)] as  the                                                               
working document.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER objected.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:25:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT, speaking  as the  prime sponsor,  advised                                                               
that  HB  366  was  requested by  the  National  Shooting  Sports                                                               
Foundation  (NSSF),  which  includes  entities such  as  Smith  &                                                               
Wesson, Ruger,  and other gun manufacturers  typically identified                                                               
with  guns.    House  Bill 366  communicates  information  of  an                                                               
individual  who has  been adjudicated  with a  30-day involuntary                                                               
commitment  to the  National  Instant  Criminal Background  Check                                                               
System  (NICS) database.    The  database is  used  by a  Federal                                                               
Firearms Licensee  (FFL) when performing  background checks.   He                                                               
explained  that the  database informs  the FFL  of three  things:                                                               
yes, no, or  need more time of which is  the 3-day waiting period                                                               
when  further investigation  is required.   He  further explained                                                               
that the  information passed on  to the database is  very minimal                                                               
and   does  not   include  [diagnostic   or  clinical   treatment                                                               
information]  regarding the  30-day  involuntary commitment,  but                                                               
does  offer the  individual's  name, date  of  birth, and  social                                                               
security number, if the information  is available.  He said there                                                               
is a provision  for [relief from legal  disability], which offers                                                               
the  individual  the ability  to  remove  his/her name  from  the                                                               
[NICS] database  after a period of  time, several considerations,                                                               
and a judge's determination.  He  stated that HB 366 is not anti-                                                               
gun  legislation nor  targeted  against  individuals with  mental                                                               
health concerns:   It is a pragmatic approach  to concerns people                                                               
have related  to gun  sales.  The  National Rifle  Association of                                                               
America (NRA)  and President [Barack Obama]  indicated, after the                                                               
recent  event  at  Sandy Hook,  that  [legislatures]  should  put                                                               
additional effort into determining  which individuals have mental                                                               
challenges and  offering individuals  with mental  challenges the                                                               
services they  need.  Therefore, additional  checks are necessary                                                               
to establish that gun ownership is  placed in the right hands, he                                                               
opined.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:29:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MORGAN HOPSON,  Staff, Representative Lance Pruitt,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, informed  the committee  that in  2013 the  FFL made                                                               
over 90,000  inquiries to  the database.   She explained  that an                                                               
inquiry is noted  each time an individual attempts  to purchase a                                                               
firearm; the FFL's check the  NICS database to determine if there                                                               
is a  reason to deny,  proceed, or delay  the decision to  sell a                                                               
firearm  to  that individual.    Alaska  has the  second  highest                                                               
amount   of  inquiries   in  the   nation,  in   the  amount   of                                                               
approximately  127  inquiries  per   1,000  Alaskans  each  year.                                                               
However, currently,  there is only  one Alaskan name in  the NICS                                                               
database  that is  precluded from  gun [ownership]  under federal                                                               
law for mental health reasons.   In comparison, Texas has several                                                               
hundred  thousand  people  in  the NICS  database.    Ms.  Hopson                                                               
conveyed  that  each  member's packet  contains  a  map  entitled                                                               
"Where Does Your State Stand"  which depicts the number of mental                                                               
health records provided  to NICS from each state.   She explained                                                               
that  although it  is  federal law,  Alaska is  one  of very  few                                                               
states that  does not  report certain  persons for  mental health                                                               
reason.   When an individual  is adjudicated in the  courts their                                                               
name, date of  birth, social security number,  and state driver's                                                               
license, if known, is reported to the courts, she explained.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:31:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOPSON noted  that she and Nancy Meade,  Alaska Court System,                                                               
worked together in  determining that it would be  an easy process                                                               
for  [the  court]   reporting  and  ensuring  that   all  of  the                                                               
aforementioned  information, if  known, was  critical because  in                                                               
many of these  cases the information is not available.   Under HB                                                               
366,  subsequent to  an individual  being adjudicated  for mental                                                               
health  reasons, he/she  is involuntarily  committed and  at that                                                               
point  the  courts transfer  these  records  "immediately."   She                                                               
opined  that  due  to  the  essence of  the  issue,  the  sponsor                                                               
specifically  included the  word "immediately."   She  noted that                                                               
other states  have "looser"  reporting requirements  than Alaska.                                                               
For   instance,  Minnesota   has  a   3-business  day   reporting                                                               
requirement, while others require reporting  within 30 days.  The                                                               
federal term is  different and probably not as  up-to-date as the                                                               
terms used  in the Alaska  State Statute for persons  with mental                                                               
health  issues.    Individuals  who  are  precluded  are  already                                                               
precluded under  federal law, Alaska  has not set up  a reporting                                                               
system for  that to take  place.   Within the 90,000  inquiries a                                                               
year, there  are persons with  very serious mental  health issues                                                               
to  whom  FFLs  should  not  be selling  firearms  as  it  is  an                                                               
increased liability to  the FFLs and to Alaskans as  well.  There                                                               
is a very strict process  within which an individual's name could                                                               
be removed  from the list.   Ms. Hopson stated they  had reviewed                                                               
other states  with an  appeal process and  spoke with  NRA people                                                               
who  had reviewed  this  process  in other  states,  in order  to                                                               
determine that  the appeal process  is very accessible  to people                                                               
while  offering a  very high  level of  scrutiny to  their mental                                                               
health at that time.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:33:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT surmised  that  information is  precluded                                                               
for  individuals who  have not  committed a  crime but  have been                                                               
adjudicated to a  mental health facility for 30 days  by a parent                                                               
and/or guardian ad litem.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOPSON responded  that if a family member  or someone brought                                                               
to the  attention of the  court system that an  individual should                                                               
be   evaluated,  subsequent   to  the   judge  adjudicating   [an                                                               
involuntary commitment], the person's name would be forwarded.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  further surmised  that an  individual who                                                               
is picked up, taken to  Providence for a mental health screening,                                                               
and is held for 24 hours are not included in HB 366.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOPSON responded, "That is correct."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:35:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MILLETT  remarked   that  she   understands  the                                                               
liability  for  gun  manufacturers.   With  regard  to  the  mass                                                               
shootings that  have happened,  she inquired as  to how  many [of                                                               
the  perpetrators/shooters  in  the   mass  shootings]  had  been                                                               
adjudicated and should have been  on NICS database.  She recalled                                                               
that most of the shooters  [in the mass shootings] shouldn't have                                                               
owned guns as  they were under the  age of 18 and  had stolen the                                                               
guns.  She queried whether HB 366  is fixing a problem.  She also                                                               
queried  whether  there   is  any  other  reason   than  the  gun                                                               
manufacturers that would support the adoption of HB 366.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOPSON responded  that according  to  Legislative Legal  and                                                               
Research Services, HB 366 would  not have prevented Sandy Hook as                                                               
the individual  did not  go through an  FFL to  purchase weapons.                                                               
However, HB  366 would  have prevented  the shooting  at Virginia                                                               
Tech wherein  the individual  should have  been in  the database.                                                               
This proposed legislation would  have prevented the 2004 shooting                                                               
of two Alabama  police officers by Farron Barksdale  who passed a                                                               
background check  and purchased a  rifle even though he  had been                                                               
involuntarily  committed multiple  times.   This legislation,  HB                                                               
366, would  have also  prevented the 1998  killing of  two police                                                               
officers at  the U.S.  Capitol by Russell  Eugene Weston  Jr. who                                                               
had  passed a  background check,  but should  have been  flagged.                                                               
Another incident  that could've been  prevented by HB 366  is the                                                               
2011  shooting spree  in which  Jared Lee  Loughner killed  6 and                                                               
wounded 13,  including Congresswoman Gabrielle  "Gabby" Giffords.                                                               
She  opined that  there are  multiple shooting  incidents HB  366                                                               
would have prevented.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:38:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER  referring to  Section 3, page  3, [lines  9-18] and                                                               
questioned if  the terms  "sealing" and  "expunging" are  used in                                                               
Sections 4 and 5.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOPSON responded  she  does  not believe  Sections  4 and  5                                                               
address sealing or expunging.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:38:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER clarified  that Section 3 is similar  to a reviser's                                                               
bill as it could be taken out  and it would make no difference to                                                               
HB  366.   He  recalled  that [AS  47.30.851]  Relief from  legal                                                               
disability or  record was  discussed in  the House  State Affairs                                                               
Standing  Committee  and  Ms.  Hopson and  the  court  agreed  to                                                               
provide information for changing Section  3 to be consistent with                                                               
existing law.  Although it's an  option for the courts to expunge                                                               
or seal  records, currently  the courts  do not  expunge records.                                                               
He  explained  that  the  driver   in  HB  366  is  that  records                                                               
definitely  cannot be  expunged  from  NICS as  it  is a  federal                                                               
database  and   Alaska  does  not   have  control   over  federal                                                               
information.  He related his  understanding that the Alaska State                                                               
Legislature could require expungement  of Alaska's court files as                                                               
the legislature gave  [the court] the option in the  past; HB 366                                                               
removes expungement and goes to the sealing of records.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:41:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  MEADE, General  Counsel, Administrative  Staff, Office  of                                                               
the  Administrative  Director,  Alaska  Court  System  (ACS),  in                                                               
response  to Representative  Gruenberg, explained  the court  has                                                               
two levels of privacy for  court records:  expunging and sealing.                                                               
One is  confidential records and  the other is sealing,  which is                                                               
much more restrictive, she explained.   The court does not have a                                                               
means of expunging.  Although  the court would expunge records if                                                               
the legislature  told it to do  so, the definition of  expunge is                                                               
not in the Alaska Rules of  Court, she noted.  She concluded that                                                               
expunge  would  mean  the  absolute  destruction  of  the  record                                                               
whether  by  burning  or  shredding.    In  further  response  to                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg, Ms.  Meade reiterated  that the  court                                                               
system does not expunge records.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:43:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG surmised then  that someone could review                                                               
a record marked confidential.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:43:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE responded that the  court has very distinct definitions                                                               
of sealed  versus confidential.  She  explained that confidential                                                               
records  are  accessible  by  the judge,  parties  to  the  case,                                                               
attorneys to  the case, and  court personnel for  case processing                                                               
purposes only.   They are kept  in a florescent envelope  and are                                                               
never handed  across the counter to  someone and are kept  off of                                                               
CourtView.   She further explained  that sealed records  are more                                                               
restrictive as  they are only accessible  to the judge and  to an                                                               
individual  with  a  written  court order,  not  to  the  judge's                                                               
administrative assistant, not  to court clerks, no  one can touch                                                               
those.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAKE McGUIGAN, Director, Government  Relations and State Affairs,                                                               
National Shooting  Sports Foundation  (NSSF), Inc.,  advised that                                                               
the  National  Shooting Sports  Foundation  (NSSF)  is the  trade                                                               
association for  the firearms industry and  represent over 10,000                                                               
manufacturers,  retailers, and  distributors nationwide  and over                                                               
50 members  are based in Alaska.   He explained that  the FixNICS                                                               
initiative  is  a nationwide  campaign  by  NSSF to  ensure  that                                                               
mental  health  records  are utilized  in  the  National  Instant                                                               
Criminal Background  Check System  (NICS).   He related  that the                                                               
intention is  not to expand categories  of prohibited individuals                                                               
but  rather  to  include  in   NICS  individuals  who  have  been                                                               
involuntarily committed.   He submitted  that under  federal law,                                                               
involuntarily committed individuals are  prohibited from owning a                                                               
firearm.  With  regard to events that could  have been prevented,                                                               
Virginia Tech is  one of the highest profile events  in which the                                                               
individual  [shooter] would  have been  in system  and unable  to                                                               
purchase a  firearm.  In  a more  recent incident, the  Navy yard                                                               
shooter had some  "situations" in Rhode Island, which  is a state                                                               
that does not share mental health  records with NICS.  He related                                                               
that  the National  Shooting  Sports  Foundation's lobbyists  and                                                               
consultants, in  roughly 12  states, have had  a great  amount of                                                               
success  in both  the last  and this  legislative session.   Most                                                               
recently, the South Dakota governor  signed the FixNICS bill into                                                               
law.   He  described programs  offered by  NSSF, such  as Project                                                               
Child Safe  that focuses on  the safe storage of  firearms; Don't                                                               
Lie for  the Other Guy that  attempts to stop store  purchases of                                                               
firearms  by prohibited  individuals;  and  the FixNICS  campaign                                                               
unveiled last year.  To be clear,  he said, NSSF does not want to                                                               
discourage anyone  from seeking  treatment for any  mental health                                                               
issues, from  seeing a psychiatrist,  or actually  seeking mental                                                               
health  assistance.   The  focus  of NSSF  is  solely to  include                                                               
individuals  that   have  gone  through  the   process  of  being                                                               
involuntarily committed  in the  NICS system.   Another important                                                               
part for NSSF,  as well as the National  Rifle Association (NRA),                                                               
is that an individual's rights  are appropriately restored, which                                                               
Representative Pruitt and  the Alaska Court System  made clear in                                                               
HB 366,  he noted.   He emphasized that  NSSF does not  intend to                                                               
thwart an  individual who has obtained  the appropriate treatment                                                               
and gone through the process from having their rights restored.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:50:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  whether   Mr.  McGuigan  is  an                                                               
attorney.   He then  asked if  HB 366 is  based upon  other state                                                               
laws, model acts, or uniform acts.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. McGUIGAN  responded that he is  not an attorney.   In further                                                               
response to  Representative Gruenberg,  he explained that  HB 366                                                               
has been used  in other states and each piece  is crafted for the                                                               
specific  state.   The  NSSF usually  uses  the legislation  that                                                               
passed in Mississippi and Louisiana.   [The proposed legislation,                                                               
HB 366,  in Alaska  does not  contain all  of the  categories the                                                               
NSSF  would  have  liked  to  be included  as  it  only  includes                                                               
involuntarily commitment; there  are other prohibitive categories                                                               
that could be included in the legislation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:51:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  whether there  are  significant                                                               
differences  in the  legislation that  passed in  Mississippi and                                                               
Louisiana.   He also  asked about [the  basis of]  South Dakota's                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT advised  that South  Dakota's legislation,                                                               
which passed last weekend, was based on other examples.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOPSON responded that the  sponsor reviewed several different                                                               
states,  including Hawaii  which  passed more  recently and  more                                                               
closely mirrors  Alaska Statutes and  the manner in  which Alaska                                                               
drafts legislation.   The  sponsor also  looked at  Colorado, she                                                               
noted.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:53:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG referred to  Section 4, AS 47.30.851(d),                                                               
page 4, lines [16-18], which read:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     A decision to  grant or deny relief  under this section                                                                    
     may  be  appealed as  provided  in  AS 22.05.010.    In                                                                    
     reviewing  the  decision  of the  superior  court,  the                                                                    
     standard of review may be de novo.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG stated  the aforementioned  language is                                                               
not in  any other statute in  Alaska and further stated  that the                                                               
Supreme Court  does not take  evidence and  does not do  de novo.                                                               
Therefore,  the use  of  the term  "may" is  ambiguous  so he  is                                                               
inclined to strike that sentence, he opined.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOPSON  related  that  the language  was  included  per  the                                                               
suggestion   of   other   states  that   had   implemented   this                                                               
legislation.    However,   Legislative  Legal  Counsel,  Kathleen                                                               
Strasbaugh, mentioned that it is  not a practice in Alaska, which                                                               
is explained in her memorandum dated February 24, 2014.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  specified that she  did not have an  opinion regarding                                                               
the  sentence as  she  understood  from Ms.  Hopson  that it  was                                                               
necessary  to  meet federal  requirements  and  was included  for                                                               
other reasons.  Ms.  Meade did not object or ask  for a change to                                                               
the  sentence  and does  not  have  any particular  insight  with                                                               
regard to it, she opined.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:58:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT,  in response  to Chair Keller,  read from                                                               
page 3 of Ms. Strasbaugh's, 2/24/14 memorandum:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     7.  De Novo  Judicial Review  of a  Denial:   The State                                                                
     provides  for   de  novo  judicial  review   of  relief                                                                    
     application   denials  that   includes  the   following                                                                    
     principals:                                                                                                                
          a. If relief is denied, the applicant may                                                                             
     petition  the State  court of  appropriate jurisdiction                                                                    
     to  review  the denial,  including  the  record of  the                                                                    
     denying  court,  board,   commission  or  other  lawful                                                                    
     authority.                                                                                                                 
          b. In cases of denial by a lawful authority other                                                                     
     than a  State court the reviewing  court has discretion                                                                    
     to receive additional evidence  necessary to conduct an                                                                    
     adequate review.                                                                                                           
          c. Judicial review is de novo in that the                                                                             
     reviewing  court  may, but  is  not  required to,  give                                                                    
     deference to the decision of  the lawful authority that                                                                    
     denied the application for relief.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:59:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  stated he  would  like  to review  any                                                               
federal requirements  because the word  "may" is ambiguous  as it                                                               
could be directory or discretionary.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:59:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:59:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER related that  Representative Gruenberg has indicated                                                               
that  the language  in  Section 4  on page  4,  lines 18-19,  may                                                               
require  a   court  rule  change.     He  further   related  that                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg questions  of whether  the standard  of                                                               
review  may  be  de  novo.     He  recalled  that  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg  also  inquired as  to  the  federal requirements  [the                                                               
issue] addresses.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:01:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHLEEN   STRASBAUGH,  Attorney,   Legislative  Legal   Counsel,                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and  Research Services,  Legislative  Affairs                                                               
Agency,  referring   to  her  2/14/14  memorandum,   related  her                                                               
understanding, after  reviewing the federal statute,  that a full                                                               
hearing would be required at  some point.  She acknowledged there                                                               
are those  who do not  agree, but  the legislation is  drafted so                                                               
that it does  not order the court to apply  a particular standard                                                               
of  review, and  thus  the  court "may"  apply  that standard  of                                                               
review.   She noted  that from  time to time  the court  does use                                                               
that terminology to address legal  matters and occasionally takes                                                               
a closer  look at the  factual determinations of the  lower court                                                               
than  it might  otherwise.   The legislation,  she said,  was not                                                               
designed to  force the  court to apply  a particular  standard of                                                               
review, and  therefore she does  not believe it requires  a court                                                               
rule  change.   Furthermore, she  opined  she was  not certain  a                                                               
court rule would be effective to do that.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:02:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT surmised  that  language  used, "may"  is                                                               
used rather than  "shall," provides the court an  option and does                                                               
not require a rule change.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. STRASBAUGH noted her  agreement with Representative Millett's                                                               
understanding.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:03:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  related his understanding that  in a de                                                               
novo situation there would be a  complete new hearing in front of                                                               
either the Supreme  Court or a special master.   He said he would                                                               
be surprised  if federal or  state law would require  the Supreme                                                               
Court  to  conduct  any  kind  of a  hearing  as  that  would  be                                                               
"totally" unique, except for cases  before the U.S. Supreme Court                                                               
in disputes  between states, mainly boundary  disputes, for which                                                               
the Supreme  Court appoints a  special master.  He  recalled that                                                               
occasionally an election  dispute in this state  [goes before the                                                               
Supreme Court].                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  clarified that  there is  a standard  of review  of de                                                               
novo review  and the Supreme  Court does  not conduct a  full new                                                               
trial with witnesses taking oaths  and testimony.  She noted that                                                               
it exists  as a way for  an appellate court to  review the record                                                               
of the lower court without  giving deference to the lower court's                                                               
opinion.   She  advised  that after  reading  [the language]  she                                                               
thought the  Supreme Court  could then  review it  without giving                                                               
deference to  the judge's determinations  of fact and  make their                                                               
own decision in that regard.   In echoing Representative Millett,                                                               
she said she read it as discretionary  due to the use of the term                                                               
"may"  and did  not  view it  as anything  that  would require  a                                                               
change to practices.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:05:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG stated  he had not read it  as Ms. Meade                                                               
presented it, although that is  probably the way it was intended.                                                               
Usually when  requesting an appellate  court to  review something                                                               
without deference to  the lower court, the  appellate court would                                                               
be provided more  direction.  He said he could  see why a federal                                                               
law advising  a state that  it may  provide either way,  but when                                                               
Alaska provides  new law  at the  state level  it should  be more                                                               
specific.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:06:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS, speaking for himself,  related his understanding that                                                               
the NICS check  is performed through Alaska NICS  and not through                                                               
the federal system.  He  then questioned how an individual's name                                                               
would be removed from the  NICS [database] when the individual is                                                               
no  longer  a  threat  to   themselves,  others,  or  the  public                                                               
interest.  Turning to another  issue, he noted that the Veteran's                                                               
Affairs  (VA)  is  currently putting  people's  names  into  NICS                                                               
because  they   are  being  treated  for   post-traumatic  stress                                                               
disorder  (PTSD), a  brain injury  sustained in  combat, or  have                                                               
been  prescribed  antidepressants,  yet   they  have  never  been                                                               
committed or  adjudicated.  He asked  whether HB 366 could  put a                                                               
stop to the VA's actions for veterans in Alaska.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT responded "No," Alaska  is not set up to do                                                               
its  own reporting.    Although  some states  do  have their  own                                                               
system, Alaska  uses the Federal  Bureau of  Investigation (FBI),                                                               
he  noted.    In  response  to the  second  issue,  the  district                                                               
attorney (DA) does  not randomly place information  into the NICS                                                               
database.   As a  matter of  fact there is  only one  record from                                                               
Alaska and  no one knows  how it got there,  he opined.   He then                                                               
reiterated that the  only way for information  to be communicated                                                               
to  the NICS  database is  through  an adjudication  of a  30-day                                                               
involuntary commitment and the process  includes a high threshold                                                               
of time in front of a judge and a specific process.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:10:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARYL  NELSON,  MindFreedom  Alaska,  MindFreedom  International,                                                               
related his  opposition to  HB 366 and  any background  checks or                                                               
approval  for people  who are  disabled  or mentally  ill of  any                                                               
kind.  He commended Representative  Millett for HB 69, last year,                                                               
and  stated  he supports  that  bill.    He  said he  is  against                                                               
Representative Kerttula  wherein the government can  dictate what                                                               
is  best for  an individual.    He opined  that individuals  with                                                               
disabilities are in  danger of losing their  civil rights because                                                               
they may decide  to live on the  street, they may not  want to be                                                               
in  a  nursing  home  or  assisted  living  home.    The  judge's                                                               
decisions  in  the mental  health  court  system are  based  upon                                                               
psychiatric  doctor's [evaluations]  and medications,  he opined.                                                               
He further opined that judges  listen to the psychiatric doctors,                                                               
who,  in most  cases, are  listening to  and driven  by the  drug                                                               
companies.    He remarked  that  psychiatric  doctors are  "being                                                               
bought off  by the  drug companies  and that  is dangerous."   He                                                               
related that he  has cerebral palsy and suffered  a brain injury,                                                               
which affects the  motor functions of his body,  and therefore he                                                               
is considered  a possible a danger  to himself.  In  that regard,                                                               
he said he  has always been afraid of losing  his civil rights as                                                               
it wouldn't  take much if it  wasn't for the support  he receives                                                               
from his  family.  Mr. Nelson  related his belief that  HB 366 is                                                               
moving in  the wrong  direction and he  is [not]  against federal                                                               
banning of mental health laws, he said.   He advised that he is a                                                               
member of the Repeal all Mental  Health Laws and that there are a                                                               
number of  members of MindFreedom  Alaska all over the  state and                                                               
nation.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:15:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER clarified that HB 366 does not restrict firearms.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:15:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  responded that she  had some of  the same                                                               
concerns as  Mr. Nelson, but  after reading through the  bill and                                                               
the  legal opinion  she understood  that  only if  Mr. Nelson  is                                                               
committed  to some  type of  psychiatric facility  with a  30-day                                                               
involuntary commitment would he fall  under HB 366 as individuals                                                               
with  disabilities  would not  fall  under  this category.    She                                                               
reiterated  that an  individual  with a  traumatic brain  injury,                                                               
mental or  physical disability  would not fall  under HB  366 and                                                               
their civil  liberties would not be  taken away.  House  Bill 366                                                               
protects  individuals  that are  not  disabled,  but suffer  from                                                               
psychiatric problems, she opined.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:17:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BONNIE  NELSON,  MindFreedom Alaska,  MindFreedom  International,                                                               
stated  she  is  Darryl  Nelson's mother  and  they  have  worked                                                               
extensively  with   The  Law   Project  for   Psychiatric  Rights                                                               
(PsychRights) as  well as  other international  organizations and                                                               
protection  and  advocacy centers,  such  as  the Disability  Law                                                               
Center  (DLC), and  in  other states  as well.    She voiced  her                                                               
disagreement  with Representative  Millett's comment.   She  said                                                               
she has  been advocating  for approximately 33  years due  to her                                                               
son's brain  injury and  due to  the stigma,  discrimination, and                                                               
labels he  has not  deserved.   She noted  that she  suffers from                                                               
multiple disabilities  and has  also been  discriminated against.                                                               
She related that her son now  has a college degree, has worked as                                                               
an  advocate  for five  years  with  the Alaska  Public  Interest                                                               
Research  Group (AKPIRG),  and has  worked as  a coordinator  for                                                               
several  years  with  Access  Alaska.    She  opined  that  brain                                                               
injuries are  defined as  a mental  defect in  some of  the laws,                                                               
such  as  the  Alaska  Mental Health  Trust  [Authority].    Many                                                               
individuals want to  live on the street, but  individuals who are                                                               
blind, deaf,  own a service  animal, or  are in a  wheelchair are                                                               
forced into nursing homes or  assisted living homes and told they                                                               
are  a danger  to themselves.   She  opined there  is a  separate                                                               
tracking system in civil and  mental health courts as individuals                                                               
do not  have the same  due process rights criminals  are afforded                                                               
in criminal  court.  She  further opined that judges  only listen                                                               
to the expert  testimony of a doctor and do  not listen to family                                                               
members.   Furthermore, she said  that individuals  cannot choose                                                               
their advocate or  doctor who will be called before  the judge to                                                               
offer expert  testimony.  She  expressed that when  an individual                                                               
is adjudicated for an evaluation  of 30-days, that individual can                                                               
lose his/her  right to  own a  gun.  She  remarked that  James B.                                                               
Gottstein, President, PsychRights, told  her that even though his                                                               
30-day commitment was 30 years ago  he still thinks he cannot own                                                               
a gun.  She  related that she and Mr. Nelson,  who has never been                                                               
a psychiatric  patient or in the  mental health system but  has a                                                               
brain injury, attempted  to buy a gun and [the  form] asks if the                                                               
individual has  ever been committed  and have to answer  "yes" or                                                               
"no," which  determines whether or  not one can  buy a gun.   She                                                               
pointed  out that  the word  "criminal" is  in the  title of  the                                                               
National Instant  Criminal Background  Check System  database and                                                               
there  are individuals  who  are  determined to  be  a danger  to                                                               
themselves  that  have never  broken  the  law or  done  anything                                                               
criminal,  and  are  usually  the   victims.    She  opined  that                                                               
individuals want  to live on the  street because there is  a long                                                               
waiting period  for public housing  and, she noted, if  they live                                                               
with  someone the  individual's name  is removed  from the  list.                                                               
She remarked  that when an  individual is committed they  are put                                                               
on Medicaid because  the system wants to get  paid, nursing homes                                                               
and even  community-based care  wants to get  paid on  the waiver                                                               
system.  "Follow the money," she  urged.  She stated that she and                                                               
Mr.  Nelson are  opposed to  the United  States federal  law, and                                                               
suggested  the Alaska  State Legislature  should rethink  HB 366.                                                               
She remarked  that the  33 states  not imposing  this legislation                                                               
are doing  a very good thing  by saying this is  a state's rights                                                               
issue.   She  expressed that  [18] U.S.C.  § 922(g)(4)  should be                                                               
changed because it is wrong to  say someone does not have rights,                                                               
particularly  since  people with  disabilities  are  the most  in                                                               
danger  of  being  a  victim,   not  a  criminal.    Rather,  the                                                               
legislature  should be  encouraging people  with disabilities  to                                                               
protect themselves from criminals, she opined                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:22:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NELSON stated  there is no statistical  reporting that people                                                               
diagnosed with  mental illness are  any more violent  or criminal                                                               
than the average population as  evidenced from the Bazelon Center                                                               
for  Mental Health  Law, which  works  on behalf  of people  with                                                               
mental  illness.   She reiterated  previous testimony  and opined                                                               
that [the  discussion is] state's rights,  civil liberties, right                                                               
to live,  and right  to protect yourself  issues.   Veterans with                                                               
post-traumatic  stress  disorder  (PTSD)  who  receive  a  30-day                                                               
commitment  should  not  receive  a lifetime  sentence  of  never                                                               
owning a  gun, and also  lose their Second Amendment  rights, she                                                               
opined.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:24:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:26:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:26:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  questioned  why  HB  366  language  is                                                               
limited to  involuntary mental  health commitments.   He  posed a                                                               
scenario wherein  an individual  concerned about  the involuntary                                                               
commitment issue decides  to commit themselves so  they cannot be                                                               
reported.   On the other  hand, he said,  it could be  a pressure                                                               
for an  individual to commit  themselves voluntarily in  order to                                                               
not be in the  data base.  He inquired as  to why the involuntary                                                               
aspect of the commitment is a determining factor.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT pointed out  that the authority regarding a                                                               
30-day  [involuntary] commitment  can be  found in  AS 47.30.730,                                                               
Procedure For 30-Day Commitment;  Petition For Commitment, and AS                                                               
47.30.735 is  the 30-day Commitment  hearing.  He  responded that                                                               
if  an individual  voluntarily decides  to commit  themselves and                                                               
the  state placed  their information  [on  NICS], the  individual                                                               
would not  have been  given the opportunity  to move  through the                                                               
judicial   process.      Involuntary  commitment   requires   the                                                               
involvement of  the judicial process  and seven  different pieces                                                               
must be  addressed in the  petition [before the matter]  moves to                                                               
hearing.   He  relayed  that  he would  be  uncomfortable with  a                                                               
process in which  an individual does not go  through the judicial                                                               
process and the  individual's name is sent to NICS.   Although he                                                               
acknowledged it was  possible for an individual to  go around the                                                               
system, he said he felt  more comfortable with language requiring                                                               
the judicial process.   He then explained that  the petition must                                                               
be signed by  two mental health professionals, one  of which must                                                               
be a physician,  who have examined the respondent.   The petition                                                               
must allege that the respondent is  mentally ill and is likely to                                                               
cause  harm to  self  or to  others.   There  are six  additional                                                               
pieces required  in the petition  and the  involuntary commitment                                                               
aspect of  HB 366 is  not addressing  an individual who  may have                                                               
some challenges, a  brain injury, or someone on  the streets with                                                               
mental concerns.   He opined  that the petition is  very detailed                                                               
and it must be shown to  the judge that the individual can either                                                               
harm  themselves,  or  harm  others.    He  described  the  seven                                                               
requirements as  high thresholds  for sending the  matter forward                                                               
to  the  judge.    He  acknowledged  that  the  National  Instant                                                               
Criminal Background  Check System  includes the  term "Criminal,"                                                               
but pointed  out this is a  federal law that was  written over 20                                                               
years  ago and  it would  literally take  an act  of Congress  to                                                               
change the name of the system, he opined.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:31:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  inquired  as  to  how  many  involuntary                                                               
commitments  have taken  place for  Alaskans over  the age  of 18                                                               
during the last 10 years.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE responded  there are  a  fairly high  number of  3-day                                                               
evaluations which are  specifically excluded by HB 366.   The 30-                                                               
day  involuntary  commitment  petitions   filed  per  year  total                                                               
approximately 200-250 and a little  under half of those petitions                                                               
are  granted.   Ms. Meade  emphasized there  is a  strict process                                                               
that  judges go  through in  following certain  requirements that                                                               
must be met before petitions are granted.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:33:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG referred  to  the language  on page  4,                                                               
line 11, which  requires the court to find the  relevant facts by                                                               
a preponderance of the evidence.   The language is written in the                                                               
passive tense  rather than  the active  tense, which  is normally                                                               
used.   Furthermore, the language does  not specifically indicate                                                               
who has the burden of proof,  although he assumed the state would                                                               
bring these actions and would have the burden of proof.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT  responded that  Representative  Gruenberg                                                               
was  referring to  Section  4, AS  47.30.851,  Relief from  legal                                                               
disability,  wherein  the  burden  of   proof  would  be  on  the                                                               
defendant and  further responded that  Section 4 is  the [remedy]                                                               
aspect of HB 366.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:35:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  asked   whether  there   was  similar                                                               
language in the initial petition or  in the law regarding who has                                                               
the burden of proof initially.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE  responded she  is  not  certain whether  the  statute                                                               
specifies what the  burden of proof is, although  it does specify                                                               
all the findings the court must make.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:36:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  moved to  report  CSHB  366(STA) out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:36:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG objected,  noting  he had  asked for  a                                                               
reasonable amount of time to review issues.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KELLER  related  his   understanding  that  the  questions                                                               
Representative Gruenberg raised have been answered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:36:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted  the first issue he  raised was on                                                               
page 4,  lines 18-19, regarding  the drafting and stated  that he                                                               
may the  only person on  his side of the  aisle to look  at these                                                               
issues.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KELLER   expressed  that   he  had   given  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg more than ample and  equal time today and his questions                                                               
had  been   thoroughly  answered.     Chair  Keller   then  asked                                                               
Representative Gruenberg to withdraw his objection.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG responded  that  he has  asked for  the                                                               
courtesy and did not see any  prejudice; HB 366 could be taken up                                                               
on Wednesday.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:37:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN conveyed  that it does not  make a difference                                                               
if a  member is in  the majority or  the minority as  the members                                                               
leave  their  party affiliation  at  the  door.   He  noted  that                                                               
Representative Gruenberg had stated several  times that he is the                                                               
only member of the minority  and Representative Lynn did not feel                                                               
those comments were appropriate to the committee's actions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER  noted that the committee  is run so there  is ample                                                               
time for  discussion and debate.   He then stated that  there are                                                               
the votes  to move the bill.   Furthermore, in light  of the fact                                                               
there are other bills pending, he requested the roll be called.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:38:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  removed his objection.   There being no                                                               
further  objection, CSHB  366(STA)  was reported  from the  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:39:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
            HB 369-IMMUNITY FOR DRUG RELATED OFFENSE                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:41:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER announced  that the last order of  business would be                                                               
HB  369,  "An Act  relating  to  limited immunity  from  criminal                                                               
prosecution  for a  person  who seeks  medical  assistance for  a                                                               
person experiencing a drug overdose."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:41:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT, speaking  as prime  sponsor, stated  that                                                               
HB 369  is a  form  of  limited criminal  immunity  for a  person                                                               
seeking medical assistance for an  individual experiencing a drug                                                               
overdose.   Fourteen states  have implemented  a form  of limited                                                               
immunity.   Legislative Legal and  Research Services  has offered                                                               
an analysis that was performed  in Washington that indicates what                                                               
could come  about from HB 369.   He opined that  this legislation                                                               
focuses  on  public  health rather  than  whether  an  individual                                                               
suffering from  an overdose should  go jail.   As an  example, he                                                               
related  a situation  in Washington  in which  two friends  drove                                                               
around with another  friend in the backseat who  had overdosed on                                                               
an  opiate.    The  two   friends,  who  were  fearful  of  legal                                                               
repercussions, were hoping their  friend who overdosed would just                                                               
come out  of it, but  the friend ended up  dying while in  a very                                                               
close proximity to a hospital.   Representative Pruitt noted that                                                               
in  Washington during  an overdose  scenario police  officers are                                                               
unlikely to  actually arrest the  individual or  his/her friends.                                                               
However,  he  contended,  most   people  in  that  situation  are                                                               
concerned  about the  legal aspects  of  such a  situation.   The                                                               
intent of HB 369 is to  create a situation in which an individual                                                               
does not have to decide between  whether or not he/she will go to                                                               
jail by helping someone who  is overdosing, but rather allows the                                                               
individual to make  a good faith effort to  assist the individual                                                               
wo his overdosing.  To be clear,  he said, HB 369 does not mean a                                                               
drug dealer/trafficker receives a "get  out of jail free" card as                                                               
that will  not happen.  Also,  the legislation does not  allow an                                                               
individual to use this immunity multiple  times as the goal is to                                                               
help people get  their lives back on track  without being worried                                                               
they have to make the choice  between their friend dying or going                                                               
to jail.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:46:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MORGAN HOPSON,  Staff, Representative Lance Pruitt,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  clarified  the  sponsor's  intent  with  CSHB  369,                                                               
Version  28-LS1515\N,  Strausbaugh,  3/14/14,  is  not  to  grant                                                               
immunity  to persons  who  have the  intention  to distribute  or                                                               
manufacture.     The  committee  substitute   specifically  lists                                                               
immunity  against certain  possession charges.   She  highlighted                                                               
that prior  to the State  of Washington's law going  into effect,                                                               
drug users  were polled  and approximately  50 percent  said they                                                               
would call  in regardless of  their fear of  legal ramifications.                                                               
After the  law was  passed, 88  percent of  drug users  said they                                                               
would  call in.   In  the State  of Washington,  the idea  was to                                                               
create assurances  to drug users  that they  could call in.   The                                                               
main focuses  of HB  366 are  saving the  life of  the individual                                                               
overdosing,  treating   the  individual  at  the   hospital,  and                                                               
referring them  for treatment.   She  explained that  the sponsor                                                               
would like a  good consensus on the appropriate  threshold as far                                                               
as using  HB 369  for immunity for  persons who  have possession,                                                               
but are not distributing or manufacturing.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:49:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  recalled that  during police  ride alongs                                                               
she  observed  individuals  who  were left  alone  after  a  drug                                                               
overdose by other  individuals were also using  or had possession                                                               
of a  small quantity of  drugs and did  not want a  legal problem                                                               
from   helping  the   individual   overdosing.     Drawing   from                                                               
conversations with users,  she surmised that an  overdose that is                                                               
rock  bottom and  they  turn  their lives  around  as  it is  not                                                               
something  that is  pleasant to  go through.   She  characterized                                                               
HB 369 as  a safety net  for people addicted  to drugs as  it may                                                               
keep them  from dying.   She noted  her appreciation for  HB 369,                                                               
particularly  since the  bill as  the drug  culture in  Alaska is                                                               
changing to  a young person's  game and the legislation  may save                                                               
lives.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:52:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  remarked that he  has no patience  with drug                                                               
abuse in  all varieties and  would prefer to see  stronger [drug]                                                               
laws rather  than weaker.  Having  said that, he related  that he                                                               
is  pro-life  and  the  state  cannot allow  someone  to  not  be                                                               
admitted for treatment for fear  of being prosecuted.  He related                                                               
his understanding  that HB  369 is  a one-time  "get out  of jail                                                               
free"  card  before  an  individual   goes  to  jail.    He  then                                                               
emphasized that  first it  is important to  save their  lives and                                                               
HB 369 is a step in the right direction.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:53:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT, in  response to  Chair Keller,  confirmed                                                               
that the committee  substitute is a work in progress  in order to                                                               
ascertain that  HB 369  is tight  enough that  individuals cannot                                                               
take  advantage  of  it.    Version N  is  the  version  Kathleen                                                               
Strasbaugh,  Legislative Legal  and Research  Services, and  Anne                                                               
Carpeneti, Department of Law (DOL), agreed upon, he related.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:54:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHLEEN   STRASBAUGH,  Attorney,   Legislative  Legal   Counsel,                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and  Research Services,  Legislative  Affairs                                                               
Agency, deferred to the sponsor  as to whether the draft achieves                                                               
the sponsor's  objectives.   She noted that  she worked  with the                                                               
Department of  Law and does not  know if other issues  need to be                                                               
discussed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:54:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  related his understanding  that Section                                                               
2  of  most  legislation  involving criminal  laws  is  regarding                                                               
applicability as it applies to  offenses occurring before, on, or                                                               
after the effective date of  the act.  He requested clarification                                                               
on the matter.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. STRASBAUGH responded  there is language in  HB 369 specifying                                                               
an  immunity rather  than  a defense.   Section  2  is a  general                                                               
formulation that  Legislative Legal  Services placed in  the bill                                                               
itself to show how it applies, she explained.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:56:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG suggested  that  rather  than having  a                                                               
"general" paragraph  in most of  the criminal laws,  there should                                                               
be  language in  Title  12  that specifies  unless  a bill  reads                                                               
otherwise, the  change occurs on  or after the effective  date of                                                               
the  act.   He  pondered  whether  the committee  should  explore                                                               
including  that language  in a  general  section in  the Code  of                                                               
Criminal  Procedure as  it  appears regularly  in  most of  these                                                               
criminal [bills].                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:57:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 2:57 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:01:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  CARPENETI,  Assistant   Attorney  General,  Legal  Services                                                               
Section, Criminal  Division, Department of Law  (DOL), responding                                                               
to  Representative  Gruenberg's  suggestion, stated  that  it  is                                                               
currently contained  in Title 1.   She explained  that generally,                                                               
unless  there is  an effective  date  and a  clear indication  of                                                               
legislative  intent to  have  a law  be  retrospective, that  new                                                               
bills  are  already  perspective.   She  offered  to  locate  the                                                               
statute and provide it to the committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:01:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that it  appears to be the current                                                               
practice, and  if that is  answered by the  general retrospective                                                               
statute then the  committee should be striking Section  2 and not                                                               
including Section 2 in the bills at all.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI responded that it  could be the Department of Law's                                                               
legislative  section that  is  looking to  include  Section 2  in                                                               
bills, especially  in criminal law  to clarify  the legislature's                                                               
intent regarding  whether or not something  should be prospective                                                               
or retrospective.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:03:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER announced that HB 369 would be set aside.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:04:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:04 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 366 - Sectional Analysis.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
CSHB 366 (STA) Proposed Amendment P.1.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
CSHB 366 (STA) Fiscal Note~OPA.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
CSHB 366 (STA) Fiscal Note~PDA.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
HB 366 - NSSF Fix NICS Status.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
HB 366 - NSSF Letter of Support.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
HB 366 - APOA Letter of Support.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
HB 366 - Congressional Research Office NICS and HIPPA.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
HB 366 - Presidential Memo to Agencies Re Records Jan 2013.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 366
HB 369 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
HB 369 - Version U.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
CSHB 369 ver. N Draft.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
HB 369 Fiscal Note~LAW.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
HB 369 Fiscal Note~OPA.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
HB 369 Fiscal Note~PDA.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
HB 369 - DPA Fact Sheet 911 Good Samaritan Laws Feb 2014.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
HB 369 Support Document~Leg. Research Brief on AK Controlled Substance Overdose Statistics.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
HJR 18 Proposed Amendment A.2.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HJR 18
HJR 18 Proposed Amendment A.6.pdf HJUD 3/17/2014 1:00:00 PM
HJR 18