Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/02/1998 03:40 PM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HOUSE RULES STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                   March 2, 1998                                               
                     3:40 p.m.                                                 
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
Representative Pete Kott, Chairman                                             
Representative Gail Phillips                                                   
Representative Brian Porter                                                    
Representative William K.(Bill) Williams                                       
Representative Kim Elton                                                       
Representative Irene Nicholia                                                  
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
Representative Al Vezey                                                        
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
HOUSE BILL NO. 310                                                             
"An Act relating to the utilization of groundfish; and providing               
for an effective date."                                                        
     - MOVED CSHB 310(RLS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 53                                                              
"An Act relating to the authority of the Department of Corrections             
to contract for facilities for the confinement and care of                     
prisoners, and annulling a regulation of the Department of                     
Corrections that limits the purposes for which an agreement with a             
private agency may be entered into; authorizing an agreement by                
which the Department of Corrections may, for the benefit of the                
state, enter into one lease of, or similar agreement to use, space             
within a correctional facility that is operated by a private                   
contractor, and setting conditions on the operation of the                     
correctional facility affected by the lease or use agreement; and              
giving notice of and approving a lease-purchase agreement or                   
similar use-purchase agreement for the design, construction, and               
operation of a correctional facility, and setting conditions and               
limitations on the facility's design, construction, and operation."            
     - MOVED CSHB 53(RLS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                     
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 275(STA)                                                
"An Act specifying time periods for making, soliciting, or                     
accepting campaign contributions to candidates for state office;               
and providing for an effective date."                                          
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                 
(* First public hearing)                                                       
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                
BILL: HB 310                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: UTILIZATION OF GROUNDFISH                                         
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) AUSTERMAN                                       
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
01/12/98      2025     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  

01/12/98 2026 (H) FISHERIES, RESOURCES

01/28/98 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124

01/28/98 (H) MINUTE(FSH)

01/30/98 2179 (H) FSH RPT 4DP

01/30/98 2179 (H) DP: OGAN, IVAN, HODGINS, KUBINA

01/30/98 2179 (H) AUSTERMAN

01/30/98 2179 (H) 2 ZERO FNS (DPS, F&G)

01/30/98 2179 (H) REFERRED TO RESOURCES 02/12/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/12/98 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/16/98 2326 (H) RES RPT 2DP 4NR 02/16/98 2326 (H) DP: OGAN, HUDSON; NR: DYSON, WILLIAMS, 02/16/98 2326 (H) BARNES, MASEK 02/16/98 2326 (H) 2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (DPS, F&G) 1/30/98 02/16/98 2327 (H) REFERRED TO RLS 03/02/98 (H) RLS AT 3:30 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 53 SHORT TITLE: LEASE-PURCHASE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) MULDER Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action

01/13/97 41 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/10/97


01/13/97 41 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 02/19/97 406 (H) JUD REFERRAL ADDED 02/21/97 428 (H) STA REFERRAL WAIVED 03/07/97 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/07/97 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 03/10/97 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/10/97 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 03/12/97 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/12/97 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 03/14/97 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/14/97 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 03/26/97 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/26/97 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 04/02/97 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 04/02/97 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 04/04/97 985 (H) JUD RPT CS(JUD) 2DNP 4NR 04/04/97 985 (H) DNP: CROFT, BERKOWITZ 04/04/97 985 (H) NR: GREEN, JAMES, BUNDE, PORTER 04/04/97 985 (H) 3 FNS (REV, DOT, COR) 04/04/97 985 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM) 02/03/98 (H) FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 02/03/98 (H) MINUTE(FIN) 02/06/98 (H) FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 02/06/98 (H) MINUTE(FIN) 02/10/98 (H) FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 02/10/98 (H) MINUTE(FIN) 02/11/98 (H) FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 02/17/98 (H) FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519 02/17/98 (H) MINUTE(FIN) 02/18/98 2343 (H) FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT 6DP 1NR 02/18/98 2344 (H) DP: THERRIAULT, HANLEY, MULDER, MARTIN, 02/18/98 2344 (H) KOHRING, DAVIS; NR: GRUSSENDORF 02/18/98 2344 (H) LETTER OF INTENT WITH FIN REPORT 02/18/98 2345 (H) INDETERMINATE FISCAL NOTE (COR) 02/18/98 2345 (H) 2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (ADM, REV) 02/18/98 2345 (H) REFERRED TO RULES 03/02/98 (H) RLS AT 3:30 PM CAPITOL 120 WITNESS REGISTER AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Alan Austerman Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 417 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4230 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 310. REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 501 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2647 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 53. MARGARET PUGH, Commissioner Department of Corrections 240 Main Street, Suite 700 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4652 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 53. MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-4338 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 53. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 98-4, SIDE A Number 0001 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT called the House Rules Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Kott, Phillips, Porter, Williams, Elton and Nicholia. HB 310 - UTILIZATION OF GROUNDFISH Number 0069 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the committee would address HB 310, "An Act relating to the utilization of groundfish; and providing for an effective date," sponsored by Representative Austerman. Number 0075 AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Alan Austerman, Alaska State Legislature, came before the committee to explain HB 310. She read the following statement into the record: "HB 310 extends, to other groundfish species, the current ban in state law regarding the waste of pollock. It enables the Board of Fish to require processors to meet minimal standards for the utilization of other groundfish in addition to pollock, similar to the regulations adopted by the Secretary of Commerce for offshore processors. The legislation is necessary because current state law only prohibits the waste of pollock and not other groundfish species, such as Pacific cod, rock sole and yellowfin sole." MS. DAUGHERTY informed the committee there is a proposed amendment. Number 0154 CHAIR KOTT explained it is a one word amendment on page 1, line 10, following the word "fish" insert "bait". MS. DAUGHERTY pointed out that the section lays out exemptions to the waste and the word "bait" would be inserted. It was brought up at the United Fishermen of Alaska meeting that this exemption was needed. Often groundfish and pollock are used (indisc.) in crab bait or halibut bait. She said that exemption needs to be included in the bill. Ms. Daugherty noted that Geron Bruce was in attendance if the committee would like more details on why the legislation is needed. She stated, "Essentially, the council oversees this IRU which is increased retention utilization for the offshore sector. And in fact the board has the authority on the vessels within three miles, but we need to extend the authority to the inshore sector - the processors." Number 0243 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON moved that the committee adopt Amendment 1. CHAIRMAN KOTT noted the word "bait" would be inserted after the word "fish", on page 1, line 10. He asked if there was an objection. There being none, Amendment 1 was adopted. Number 0302 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER made a motion to move HB 310, as amended, from committee with individual recommendations and with the attached fiscal notes. There being no objection CSHB 310(RLS) moved out of the House Rules Standing Committee. HB 53 - LEASE-PURCHASE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY Number 0371 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next order of business would be HB 53, "An Act relating to the authority of the Department of Corrections to contract for facilities for the confinement and care of prisoners, and annulling a regulation of the Department of Corrections that limits the purposes for which an agreement with a private agency may be entered into; authorizing an agreement by which the Department of Corrections may, for the benefit of the state, enter into one lease of, or similar agreement to use, space within a correctional facility that is operated by a private contractor, and setting conditions on the operation of the correctional facility affected by the lease or use agreement; and giving notice of and approving a lease-purchase agreement or similar use-purchase agreement for the design, construction, and operation of a correctional facility, and setting conditions and limitations on the facility's design, construction, and operation." CHAIRMAN KOTT noted there were several hearings on the legislation in the House Finance Committee. He said there is a proposed committee substitute, Version M, dated 3/2/98. Chairman Kott referred to the previous version of the bill, dated 2/26/98, and said the only change is in the title. Number 0450 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopt Version M, dated 3/2/98, Luckhaupt. There being no objection, Version M was before the committee. Number 0408 REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER, sponsor of HB 53, came before the committee to explain the legislation. He pointed out several sections have been added to the bill because of Judge Hunt's decision. He said the title was tightened up to make certain that the bill is very explicit in relation to what is being dealt with in the text of the bill. Number 0534 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER referred Section 1, "Legislative Intent," and said it deals mostly with the short-term solutions that the commissioner is going to be forced to deal with in the near-term to try and address overcrowding. He informed the committee that Judge Hunt directed the Department of Corrections to come below emergency capacity levels within the very near future. Currently, we are somewhere in excess of 500 to 550 inmates over capacity. He said what that means is somewhere between $10 million and $12 million will need to be added to the operating budget next year, alone, to reach the emergency capacity thresholds. The legislative intent in Section 1 addresses that directly. The most important part is contained within subsection (e) where the commissioner is supported in acquiring additional capacity at reasonable priced community residential centers, reasonably priced out-of-state facilities, the use of community jails more extensively as a temporary relief for overcrowding of state institutions and other reasonable cost efficient alternatives to confinement reviewed and approved by the legislature. He said these are all steps which are going to have to be taken to meet the court order. Number 0628 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER explained Section 2 and Section 3 are amendments to Title 29. He said in the context of the bill, those sections will allow the community of Delta Junction to be able to contract with the department for the ownership and operation of Fort Greely as it is converted to a private prison. Number 0655 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER explained Section 4 deals with Fort Greely, describing the unique nature and opportunity that Fort Greely offers the state. He said we currently house in excess of 300 inmates out of the state. There has been discussion and debate that the cost out of state is substantially less than it is in Alaska. It is anticipated that much of those same savings would be experienced if Fort Greely was converted into a private prison. He stated, "Our hope or our objective is that all we are doing is going to be transferring the inmates from out-of-state to Greely and basically experiencing the same cost, and the side benefit then saving the community economically as well as employing Alaskans as opposed to Arizonans and maintaining somewhere around $12 million of payroll to Alaskans as opposed to Arizonans. It does outline the parameters there." Representative Mulder said the House Finance Committee made an addition which can be found on page 3, lines 14 through 17. Some people were concerned about the procedure that Delta Junction would utilize or undertake in the selection of their contractor. He said read from the bill, "The commissioner of corrections may require in the agreement with the City of Delta Junction that the City of Delta Junction procure the private third-party operator through a process similar to the procedures established in AS 36.30 (State Procurement Code)." Number 0768 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that new language is contained on page 3, lines 13 through 16. He asked Representative Mulder to comment on the process that would be similar to those procedures that may be used by the department. Number 0790 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER explained the State Procurement Code is diverse in terms of what it stipulates or requires the state to do depending on the situation or the context. He said in this sense, it would allow the community of Delta Junction to have that same flexibility to operate or to apply the procurement procedures based on their unique context. Representative Mulder said he doesn't believe that it necessarily stipulates that you have to go with one particular method or another, just broad general guidelines that are contained within the procurement code which the state abides by. It just asks them to abide by the same rules the state does. Number 0835 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER referred the committee to subsection (3), lines 24 through 26, "the commissioner may not enter into an agreement with an agency unable to provide or cause to be provided a degree of custody, care, and discipline similar to that required by the laws of this state." He explained there was a concern raised by the representative of this area that we would examine this issue and come up with more explicit language if necessary. This was the language the committee came up with. Number 0790 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if the contractor would be required to provide the same kind of rehabilitation services that a state facility would provide. Number 0905 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said the answer is yes. Number 0915 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER informed the committee that Section 5 is new. It provides for the department to lease a correctional facility through the Municipality of Anchorage. The parameters of that facility provides that it should contain up to 400 beds. The capital costs could not exceed $50 million. The annual lease payment correspondingly should not exceed $4.8 million. The additional annual operating costs for the facility should not increase more than $6 million as a result of this replacement. Number 0968 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER referred to Section 6 and said before we exempted AS 33.30.031 (a) and (c), (c) was eliminated due to the additions that were added into Section 4 as it pertained to the procurement code. Representative Mulder said those are the changes. He added that he believes the bill is far more comprehensive than the approach taken earlier. The bill that the committee started with was simply the conversion of Fort Greely to a private prison. Representative Mulder said, "With the event of the court decision or ruling, we felt it was necessary and after consulting with a number of my colleagues on both sides that they desired to not have to face this issue three or four times, but rather would desire to put together a package that they felt would address the overcrowding problems. And this package, Mr. Chairman, I feel does meet that bill and will, in the long term, offer us a package that will be more affordable than what most of the alternatives out there are." Number 1044 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to Section 5, the new aspect dealing with the municipality's new facility, and asked if that has been scaled back from other versions of the legislation floating around in the legislature. Number 1059 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded, "There have been, Mr. Chairman, within the entire bill there have been a number of different considerations that have been included as permissive language for the commissioner. And this is something that we labored with in Finance as we talked about not only this bill, but also the entire address of the issue. This bill is permissive, Mr. Chairman, the commissioner can do these things on her own. And we would expect -- and it's always been my position that we should approach this with the fewest words possible and give her far more intent and far less directiveness to 'have to doing' or 'musts requirements' because that's their job. I mean in short-term, the commissioner does the contracting. She is the one who will draw the stipulations and requirements and it's her responsibility to ensure the fact that Alaskans are going to be safe and secure and that there is going to be proper confinement provided for, for those prisoners. So it's really the commissioner's job." He said there have been a number of drafts that have gone toward Section 4, subsection (b). Number 1154 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he was specifically referring to the new facility for the Municipality of Anchorage. The capital amount seems to be a lot smaller than what was in some of the earlier versions of the bill. He said he believes the amount has been scaled back tremendously from an earlier number he heard. He asked that as a result of that, has it also reduced the number of beds that was originally proposed for the facility. He asked if it will meet the scheme of the Cleary decision. Number 1184 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER explained the capital costs that are included in the legislation is $50 million. The capital request for the Anchorage sixth avenue jail replacement, as presented by the Governor, was $67 million. The mayor requested $58 million. He said the committee chose to go with $50 million for a number of reasons. He said, "First of all, we're trying to determine what we can afford, as a legislature in the future, also in trying to dissect the numbers as we've been given by the Administration, by the city of Anchorage, in terms of what is realistic within those costs. We felt that we should be able to do the project for $50 million, diminishing some of the administrative costs which they did include in it. Now there is the possibility, as you alluded to Mr. Chairman, that with $50 million it may have to be scaled back. And if that in fact is going to be the decision, my guess or determination - my guess is that as this bill goes through the process, there is still opportunity to expand that number if that would be the determination. I think the number of beds is important as that will, in fact, meet -- currently today, we are over capacity in Anchorage by I believe the sixth avenue jail is 106 emergency capacity. And we're bouncing anywhere from in excess of 150 to 180 inmates. And with projected growth, Cook Inlet pre- trial is also over capacity -- with projected growth, this facility would merely be built by the time it's completed. So it does need all that capacity. It's a long way again, Mr. Chairman, saying that if the numbers do warrant it, if better information is provided that those were the real costs, we could amend that through the process. Number 1297 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS asked if the bill is suppose to take care of the Cleary case for the short term. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said that is correct. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked when the Delta Junction facility will be ready. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded that currently, the base is scheduled for closure on January 1, 2001. It is hoped and anticipated that it will be ready sometime in that near proximity. He said there will be transition time. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked about the authorization to lease correctional facility in Anchorage. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said in discussions with the mayor's office, they're hoping to have it come on-line in the early part of the year 2000. Number 1370 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS referred to the Fort Greely facility and asked if we know for sure that the military will be moving out. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded in the affirmative. He said Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRCC) has what they call "warm- based" Fort Greely. He said all but a skeletal crew will be removed from Fort Greely. The line share of the maneuver space will still be maintained by the Army, but the facilities will close. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said under the findings it says, "The legislature expects the Governor to direct the attorney general to undertake all means to take care of our (indisc.) court problem." He asked if that is correct. Number 1415 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER referred to subsection (d), and said in the past resolutions have been passed directing the Attorney General to challenge those parts of Cleary that are not necessarily in the state's best interest in driving our costs of incarceration. He said from his standpoint, that means taking on the parts that just don't make sense and wouldn't be supported by the public. It is a further encouragement to the Attorney General to do that. Number 1445 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked, "So we're saying that the Fort Greely project, which is three and a half years down the road, that will satisfy this portion of it?" REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said he believes that Fort Greely in conjunction with the city of Anchorage jail will provide a very broad basis for relieving overcrowding in the jails or prisons. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said his concern is that the court has said what has to be done. He said, "I look at three and a half years down the road, and I sympathize with the people in Delta Junction because we, in Ketchikan, have went through that. So I can understand how they feel and I do want to help them. I'm just wondering whether this helps the state at the time, right now, to get out of this fix. So I'm not trying to argue that point. How would the Governor's supplemental budget that he had presented to us where the city of Ketchikan, and I think there is one other community that he put in for a youth correctional center be affected? How would say that this fits into that plan?" Number 1522 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER explained that juvenile corrections and crime are a very serious and important part of the overall criminal justice problem that Alaska faces today. Unfortunately, juvenile corrections is not within the Department of Corrections, it's within the Department of Health and Social Services. He said as much as we find it unacceptable that in Alaska, today the average per bed cost for an inmate is over $100. The juvenile beds in Alaska cost over $155 a day. He said while there is a need for us to resolve some of the juvenile problems, he believes it needs to be done in a broader context with the understanding that just bringing new beds on line isn't going to resolve the problem. It is going to create a tremendous financial operating burden on the state. Number 1579 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said, "So what you're saying then is that the Cleary isn't as specific with the youth correctional centers." REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said that is correct. Number 1590 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he has a concern with Section 5 where the monetary constraints are put on the Anchorage facility. He said he may have misunderstood Representative Mulder, but the Anchorage facility will come on-line sometime, hopefully, in the year 2000. He said, "This is a lower amount of money than the Governor has asked for and the municipality has asked for. Because of the $50 million figure, does that mean that the municipality is going to have to go back and redesign the facility and slow down construction of (indisc.) facilities?" REPRESENTATIVE MULDER explained the answer to that question is hard to reach. It is not his desire to slow the project down. Representative Mulder said in reviewing the back-up information, they had overhead costs that were built into the equation that he was not comfortable with. He said he wants to have a better understanding of those true costs and make sure that they are true costs. It is better to error to the side of caution. He stated, "This isn't the last stop for this bill. As it goes down the line, if in fact those costs do appear to me to be real and justified, I would request the committee, which ever committee it would be at in that point in time, to make adjustments. But for example, Representative Elton, the construction component within the Anchorage jail is slated to be about $39.5 million. The overhead cost beyond that is slated to be 45 percent of the cost of that $39.5 million. Now as a rule of thumb, DOT goes with 39 percent. So I've often argued that our own state DOT is not very cost affordable. In this situation, it's even worse than our own state. So I'm trying to make certain that we in fact are paying for all of those things we need to pay for - trying to get the best deal for the citizens of the state of Alaska, at the same time working with the Municipality of Anchorage to give them what, in fact, they do need." Number 1706 REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS referred to the Delta facility and the lease providing a minimum of 800 beds. She asked for a rough of example of how great that capacity could be if it was utilized to the fullest extent. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said he believes that Delta has the full capability or capacity to be expanded to 2,000 beds if there was a will to expand. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS said if we proceed with this project, we're setting a base line that could take care of our problems for years to come. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said that is very possible. He stated he has no burning desire to revisit this issue, personally. That'll be an issue that colleagues, sometime in the future, will have to deal with. Number 1742 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS asked if the new Anchorage facility will be classified the same as it currently is. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated it will not change classifications. He said, "For a jail type facility, it is interesting to note that jails are classified -- are built to the same specification as maximum security because you're uncertain of what type of inmate you have in there." Number 1770 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said one of the features of the Anchorage facility is that it has a magistrates office in it. This provision also would save money for the city and state in the long term as it would reduce transportation costs for prisoners. He said, "I believe that when we started discussion of the bill it was described as the short-term solution to correcting the problem. I think it might be better described as a mid-term solution. The short-term solutions, next week - next year, are going to have to be dealt with by the department and to the extent that we have overcrowding in the interim. There are plans (indisc.) to deal with that and this isn't that plan. Certainly, it is an overall required portion of the mid-term and long-term plan." REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said Representative Porter is correct. He said this does satisfy the long term. It does give the commissioner some assurance that while she deals with this in the short term, we understand her predicament and pledge to work with her in (indisc.) Section 1 in dealing with the short-term problem. Number 1826 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said if this package passes, it will certainly give an indication to the court that we are serious about addressing the problem which might help with some of the agreements on the short-term.... REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said he believes this will diminish, to some extent, Judge Hunt's ranker. Number 1850 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to the Anchorage jail and asked if the municipality has selected a site. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said they municipality is currently going through a site selection process. He said he believes they have narrowed it down to six, but they have not selected a site. They are being very sensitive to the residents of Anchorage. Representative Mulder pointed out that there is a fairly high degree of likelihood that it would be near the court building - within a mile or so. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked, "In your discussions with the municipality, do you know whether or not us placing a restriction on the maximum number of beds would eliminate any one of the sites that they're currently looking at?" REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said he doesn't recall. He said, "I don't believe there is anything within the municipal ordinance that would require us or limit us. Certainly has not been -- we worked in concert with the city administration and they've not alerted us to any potential problems with his language. Of course they would like a higher dollar figure, but beyond that I believe the remaining language is sufficient." Number 1916 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to the capping of the beds at 400 and said it might have some impact on that site selection. He said if it does, maybe it should be revisited given the fact that at some point, we're still going to have expand because of the growth in criminal activities. He said he would like to ensure that the next 200 bed addition can occur on the same piece of property. Chairman Kott said he hopes they're looking at it from a long term perspective. Number 1946 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the operative language is, "the lease may provide for a maximum of 400 beds." He said he thinks that it is being suggested that the Department of Corrections cap the lease at 400 and not the city to cap the potential of the facility. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded, "Exactly and, in fact, the Governor's plan for the jail replacement in Anchorage does call for a facility which could be expanded upon." Number 1898 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to the language in Section 5 and said it allows the Department of Corrections to enter into a lease agreement for jail facilities. He asked if concurrent language is needed that allows the court system to enter into a lease with the municipality for the provision of court offices or court space. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said that might be a question for the commissioner of the Department of Corrections. He said his gut level of response is that he doesn't believe that is necessary. Number 2015 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER noted he has given the committee members a letter of intent that includes general governing guidelines that is requested of the commissioner. Number 2039 MARGARET PUGH, Commissioner, Department of Corrections, came before the committee. She noted she would leave some charts and graphs for the committee to review. Commissioner Pugh explained the Department of Corrections, for some time, has had an overcrowding problem. She said in the past, they have been before the legislature with packages and expansion programs. Meanwhile, the number of inmates in the facilities has continued to grow, as projected, by 200 plus inmates a year. Currently, we are at approximately 590 over the court ordered capacity. She noted that number does vary a little bit every day, but it is an ever upward trend. The problem will continue to grow and be over 800 by the end of 1999 if there isn't substantial and immediate relief. Ms. Pugh said to compound that issue, Judge Karen Hunt has ordered that a plan be delivered to her by March 9, to reduce the prisoner count to the court ordered capacity of 2,691 by May 1, and the plan to maintain that count at that lower level. COMMISSIONER PUGH said she is happy to see the growing focus on the need to replace the existing Anchorage jail and focusing on it as a priority. She noted over 50 percent of the prisons in the correctional system come out of Anchorage. The sixth avenue jail is seriously overcrowded. Number 2200 COMMISSIONER PUGH said the committee substitute differs from the Governor's bill, HB 368. House Bill 368 envisions the state obtaining the financing and owning the facility. Obviously, there are advantages to the state for state financing and for state ownership. She said the other difference with the bill is that the Governor's bill did reflect a $67 million price tag for construction. She said they came to that number by working with the city of Anchorage and their architects. Commissioner Pugh stated, "I'm not clear what reducing it down to $50 million does. I certainly would not want to construct a substandard building or one that doesn't meet the needs of the law enforcement community in the city of Anchorage, and I'm certain that nobody else does either." She informed the committee that she isn't sure she has a copy of the new committee substitute and pointed out that she has Version J. CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out that Version J and Version M are virtually the same. COMMISSIONER PUGH said, "I question the reality of the $50 million after having Department of Correction's staff be working with the city for that amount of time, and I may caution you that you may well have to revisit that number after some more careful analysis. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that [HB] 368 also has two other provisions in it that this bill does not have, and that is that it, HB 368, expands the Bethel jail and expands our existing prison at the Palmer Correctional Center. Bethel is severely overcrowded, in fact, has been the state's most chronically overcrowded for some time. In spite of the fact that there now - some 75 community residential center beds in Bethel - that the facility, itself, continues every day to be overcrowded. So we had hoped that the $5 million project to build 48 more beds in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Correctional Center would surface to the level of priority that the Anchorage jail is beginning to do." Number 2328 COMMISSIONER PUGH showed the committee a chart that depicts the prisons and jails, their capacities and what they are normally experiencing. She stated that the committee substitute does allow for a competitive bid process. She said she is pleased because following a competitive process is good government. Also, good government would separate out of the facility lease from the operating lease, which the committee substitute does. Commissioner Pugh said something she had hoped to see in the committee substitute was for the department to do some cost benefit analysis and determine if there is some place else that might be a better deal for the state. Number 2378 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to the cost benefit aspect that Commissioner Pugh spoke of and asked if there is another better place in the state. He asked if she is looking at a different location. COMMISSIONER PUGH responded, "We have now, for some time, in discussing HB 53 - have put out the idea that it would be made -- find the best deal for the state government if we were able to go out and perform a best interest finding. Go out and do some cost analysis. Find out what the market is out there and see if we can come in. The letter of intent that accompanies this bill says $70 a day. Is that acceptable? We're not quite clear what the $70 includes. So what if somebody else could do it for $50? Could we come up with a better price?" Number 2427 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS said that the Department of Corrections has known for quite a few years that this prison crisis has been coming upon us. She asked Commissioner Pugh what has been done over the last three years to identify that cost benefit process and to look at what to offer. She asked Commissioner Pugh what her suggestions are that she may have come up with. Number 2449 COMMISSIONER PUGH responded, "Actually we've had many discussions. When I first got here several years ago, we put together a package for expanding the state's facilities and it was quite a challenge. I'm not sure that people have understood, or did understand, at the time the seriousness of the problem facing us. I believe it's taken some time to elevate...." TAPE 98-4, SIDE B Number 0001 COMMISSIONER PUGH continued, "...know why anybody should care. And we have put together a number of proposals through time and there are other things that the department - other initiatives and other issues that we have addressed. We put together a plan three years ago that's entitled 'Protecting the Public,' and it's a three part plan. Building is just one piece of it. The state of Alaska can't possibly afford to build it's way out of this. There has to be several other things that take place at the same time - building. Then we have to take a look at the system and minimize the number of people that come into the system, and then we have to maximize the number of low risk people who get out on the back end. We now have some 641 CRC beds available in the state. We're doing pretty good at getting people out on the back end. We need to focus on the front end more. Representative Mulder serves with me on the Criminal Justice Assessment Commission and we have very active subcommittees that are working and looking at the front end. For example, the subcommittee that's working on looking at mentally ill. We have had a huge population of inmates that come in through the door who have mental illnesses, and the subcommittee is focusing on that population and has already worked with the Mental Health Trust Authority to give them (indisc.) funds, about $130,000, to start a diversion program in the city of Anchorage. So it's a longer term sort of issue than our immediate problem that has built up over the last several years." Number 0088 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS stated that the commissioner questions the $70 that is proposed in the legislation and that Commissioner Pugh made the statement that she wished there was language, in the bill, to allow the department to do a cost benefit analysis. She asked Commissioner Pugh what she has found in her analysis that would cost less than that $70 for a prison bed in the state of Alaska. Number 0145 COMMISSIONER PUGH responded that is why she made that statement, because she has not done a cost benefit analysis but would like to. Number 0154 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that in the time that he has been involved in this discussion, both in the legislature and prior to his term, there has been administrations and commissioners with varying plans on how to solve the problem of increased requirements for corrections. He asked the commissioner if she thought this bill, as it is now constituted, would be of assistance to that problem. Number 0175 COMMISSIONER PUGH responded that adding beds is of assistance to the problem, in the long term. She stated that the intent language will be of assistance to the court. Number 0191 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that Commissioner Pugh mentioned that she had to make a presentation before Judge Hunt next Monday on how the legislature is going to reduce the prison overcrowding problem in the state. He asked if he it was correct to say that the plan would then be implemented on May 1. COMMISSIONER PUGH replied that is correct. Number 0204 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the plan will include the ideas that are before the House Standing Rules Committee today. Number 0213 COMMISSIONER PUGH responded, "The court wants us to focus on the very immediate reduction and not on the long-term plan for the state." She stated that she has copies of Judge Hunt's order for the committee, and as she understands the order, Judge Hunt is interested in the long-term plan, but does not want to hear it at their meeting next week. The meeting will just focus on the short term plan. Number 0235 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that there is the letter of intent and there is Section 1, which states legislative intent. He asked if it would be better to try and incorporate elements of the letter of intent into the bill's Section 1 or if the letter of intent, by itself, adequately addresses the concerns that the commissioner has. Number 0257 COMMISSIONER PUGH replied that she did not know if one has more standing over the other. Number 0270 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that there is a reason for a letter of intent as well as legislative intent within the bill. The legislative intent in Section 1 is directed towards the court in relation to providing the commissioner with the Legislature's direction and support to address the immediate short term problem. The letter of intent addresses what should be addressed in the contract of the agreed proposal. He pointed out that they are addressing two different issues and they should be kept separate. Number 0315 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law, stated that she has been working with the Department of Corrections this last year on the prison overcrowding issue. She stated that in regards to the Anchorage replacement facility, there is a $10 million difference between the $57 million Anchorage has identified for the cost of the replacement facility and the $67 million the state has identified in the Governor's bill. She stated that she could identify, for the committee, what the state is getting in return for the $10 million. One part is a medical segregation unit, so that prisoners would not need to be taken to a hospital which has increased costs associated with it. The other part is to create a core for the jail that allows for further expansion in the future. She explained that Anchorage, in their trimmed down $57 million proposal, does not have this core while it is known that the number of incarcerated persons is increasing each year. She pointed out that within ten years it is expected that Anchorage's jail would need to house another 200 people. She stated that she has been working with an architectural firm, whose principle is Steve Fishback, and explained that increasing the core would address the plumbing capacity and kitchen capacity needed for a facility that would eventually house 600 prisoners. She stated that if this is not done, in ten years a separate facility would have to be built which would not be economical. It is more economical to add the $10 million at the start, but be able to expand the capacity of the jail by 50 percent. Number 0443 MS. KNUTH stated that it would be irresponsible of the Department of Law to leave the committee with the idea that by building a private prison at Fort Greely and by replacing the Anchorage jail the problem would be solved, because there are similar crises occurring in other areas in the state. She asserted the steps that are being taken now are not going to help the Fairbanks', Bethel's, Juneau's and Mat-Su's jail overcrowding problem. She informed the committee that all of those institutions have a population that circulates through the jail on a short term basis. There are about 3,000 beds in Alaska jails on any given day and there are 30,000 inmates who are cycling through those 3,000 beds. She stated that most of these 30,000 inmates are spending a short time in jail, as they are the driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenders, domestic violence offenders and theft offenders. She asserted that 90 percent of the criminal population is spending a short period of time in jail. She stated that the state cannot afford to send the prisoners from Bethel to Fort Greely for a three-day DWI sentence. She stated that Bethel's prison is the most overcrowded as it is running 30 percent over capacity and has reached a crisis situation that needs to be addressed. Number 0540 MS. KNUTH stated that there is an analysis that the Department of Corrections has performed, as to where Alaska can get the most economical care in the state. The results were to expand the Palmer Correctional Center. She stated that there is a cheaper cost of care in Palmer than is offered in Delta Junction and this is why it is a part of the Governor's plan. She stated that they have performed an analysis for the House Finance Standing Committee and offered to make copies available to this committee. Number 0588 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if she knew the cost differential between this proposal and Palmer's. Number 0596 MS. KNUTH replied that there is roughly a $6 a day difference. She stated that it would cost between $63 and $67 a day in Palmer. She stated that the question is, "What is the state getting for the price of $70?" She stated that no one is entirely certain, as it has not been laid out. She stated that the paper work detailing that is almost completed and the department should know shortly. Number 0635 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that Section 5 gives the authorization for the Department of Corrections to enter into a lease agreement with the Municipality of Anchorage for the jail. He asked if similar language is needed regarding the court system or magistrates' office to authorize lease of the facility. Number 0656 MS. KNUTH replied that the department could enter into a sublease agreement with the court system. Number 0672 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS stated that the legislature has made its position very clear to the Department of Corrections on not jailing DWI offenders, but she stated that they would not get into that argument. She said that she had a question on the expansion capabilities in the Governor's proposal versus the city's proposal that did not include the expansion proposal. She asked if it was a factor for not having the expansion proposal because the city did not want to have a larger than 400-unit jail in the downtown area. Number 0720 MS. KNUTH replied that the factor is cost. The city is using the same architectural firm as the department and the only difference between the two figures is the medical beds and the core expansion. She stated that in terms of which proposal to go forward with, there is a speculation process that both the municipality of Anchorage and the Governor's office goes through as to what could there be enough support for. She explained that people make their best guesses on whatever information is available to them. The state believes that is fiscally sound to put forward only the proposal that includes the possibility of the expansion of the facility. She stated that Anchorage was concerned about the $67 million price tag, but they have no dispute that is what it would cost to have the core expansion included. Number 0778 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS asked how much out of the $10 million dollar difference, is for the medical facility. MS. KNUTH stated that she did not know the exact breakdown, but believed the bulk of the $10 million is for the core expansion. Number 0823 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked Representative Mulder what the impetus was for leaving Bethel and Fairbanks out of the legislation. Number 0839 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER replied that there is a management problem on top of the capacity problem. He stated that it is his belief that if a larger facility is built, longer term inmates that are placed in the regional jails could be put in the centralized facility and a savings would be the result. He stated that Alaska has a series of regional jails, that are small, inefficient jails and operate as Alaska's prison system. He explained that by taking the long-term sentenced individuals out of the regional jails and putting them into a central facility, the short-term prisoners would then be able to revolve through the small regional jails. Number 0883 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER gave the example of the Bethel facility, that is housing 69 prisoners who have committed felonies. He stated that they are long-term prisoners who could be housed at a centralized facility. He stated that the Bethel facility has a capacity of 92 and is over by 47, even with the long term prisoners removed from the facility, some time down the road, the overcrowding issue would have to be revisited. He asserted that it would be worthwhile to have a centralized facility and then look at the problems of the regional jails. Number 0956 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that he is committed to work with the city of Anchorage to come up with realistic numbers and to make sure there is a good deal for the Alaskan tax payers. Number 0980 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that it seems like in the initial presentation by the Municipality of Anchorage, there was a provision built into the proposal that called for core expansion. He asked Representative Mulder if that was discussed in his meetings with the mayor. Number 0998 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded that the key difference between the Governor's plan and the mayor's plan is $10 million, which is for the medical beds and the core expansion. He stated that the core expansion would cost about $6 million and the medical beds would cost $4 million. He stated that he feels comfortable going forward with the $57 million number, with the understanding that it is a moving target that the legislature would continue to review through the process. Number 1043 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that there has been some discussion and comments by the commission about including the language lease agreement between the Department of Corrections and the municipality, to ensure that a magistrate would be housed in the new facility. He asked if Representative Mulder had any objections to that. Number 1063 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that he wanted to work with the city and the Department of Law to explore whatever is necessary. He stated that it is a cost deterrent in the long term for the legislature and it would make sense to provide for some opportunity in that sense. He stated he has not seen any language, but would be willing to work with the department and the city on it. Number 1081 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that it was in one of the municipality's proposal that the magistrate would be included in the salary to expedite things and reduce costs. Number 1090 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that it is the intent, but the problem is that he did not think the court system could be bound to an agreement. Number 1134 MS. KNUTH stated that she has received the figures that she earlier referred to and made them available to the committee. She stated that she would like to correct a statement. She explained that it may be accurate that there are 69 felons in the Bethel facility, but of those 46 are pre-sentenced. A pre-trial felon can not be moved to a central prison because they still have to go to court. She stated that out of the 139 prisoners in Bethel, only 23 are sentenced felons and of those, 12 are on the last three months of their sentence. Number 1192 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that this is a positive step forward to reduce the prison population and on a long-term basis get it down to a manageable level. Number 1225 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated he recognized as the sponsor has indicated that there will be some refinement, at least in relation to the Anchorage facility. However, he would recommend that CSHB 53(RLS), Version M, with the letter of intent be moved out of the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if there was an objection. Number 1244 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON objected to ask a question. He stated that he thought the bill would be moved in two motions. He stated that under the letter of intent, 2., "Guards employed in the prison meet the same training standards that are required of prison guards." He said that it is his understanding that the state is training the guards. He asked if the state would be required to train private prison guards or would the private prison operators be required to provide training similar to what the state guards are receiving. Number 1281 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that it is his impression that the provision asks that they receive the same level of training, but that it is not a requirement for the state to provide it. The Department of Corrections has the responsibility to make sure that the level of training has been reached. Number 1300 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that is his understanding as well and indicated that the prime sponsor of the bill is shaking his head in agreement. Number 1306 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON removed his objection. Number 1323 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if there were an further objections. Hearing none, CSHB 53(RLS), Version M, with the accompanying letter of intent, and attached fiscal noted moves from the House Rules Standing Committee. ADJOURNMENT Number 1337 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT adjourned that House Rules Standing Committee at 4:58 p.m.

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