Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/24/1997 08:07 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE April 24, 1997 8:07 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jeannette James, Chair Representative Ethan Berkowitz Representative Fred Dyson Representative Kim Elton Representative Mark Hodgins Representative Ivan Ivan Representative Al Vezey MEMBERS ABSENT All members present. COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 124 "An Act relating to salmon classics and race classics." - MOVED SB 124 OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 245 "An Act relating to minimum sentences for assault in the fourth degree that is a crime involving domestic violence; providing that a prisoner may not contact the victim of the offense when provided access to a telephone or otherwise immediately after an arrest; and amending Rule 5(b), Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure." - MOVED HB 245 OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 9 Proposing amendments to the Uniform Rules of the Alaska State Legislature relating to committee meetings; and providing for an effective date. - MOVED CSHCR 9(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 47 "An Act relating to authorizing the Department of Corrections to provide an automated victim notification and prisoner information system." - HEARD AND HELD * HOUSE BILL NO. 48 "An Act making a special appropriation for an automated victim notification system; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: SB 124 SHORT TITLE: CHARITABLE GAMING SALMON AND RACE CLASSIC SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) TORGERSON JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/07/97 627 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/07/97 627 (S) STATE AFFAIRS 04/03/97 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 04/04/97 983 (S) STA RPT 3DP 1NR 04/04/97 983 (S) DP: GREEN, MILLER, WARD; NR: DUNCAN 04/04/97 983 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (REV) 04/07/97 (S) RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 04/07/97 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 04/07/97 1024 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/7/97 04/07/97 1025 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 04/07/97 1025 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 04/07/97 1025 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME SB 124 04/07/97 1025 (S) PASSED Y11 N9 04/07/97 1025 (S) LINCOLN NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 04/09/97 1063 (S) RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING 04/09/97 1064 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y11 N8 A1 04/09/97 1065 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/10/97 1052 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/10/97 1052 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 04/22/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 04/22/97 (H) MINUTE(STA) 04/24/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 245 SHORT TITLE: DOM. VIOL. ASSAULTS;PRISONER CONTACTS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) DYSON, Berkowitz JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/10/97 1061 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/10/97 1061 (H) STA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 04/18/97 1189 (H) BERKOWITZ CHANGED TO COSPONSOR 04/18/97 1189 (H) DYSON CHANGED TO PRIME SPONSOR 04/24/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HCR 9 SHORT TITLE: AMEND UN RLS: COMMITTEE ACTION ON BILLS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ROKEBERG JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/17/97 373 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/17/97 373 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE, RULES 04/22/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 04/22/97 (H) MINUTE(STA) 04/24/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 47 SHORT TITLE: TELEPHONE VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KEMPLEN, Kubina, Croft, Dyson JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/97 40 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 40 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 40 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/10/97 617 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA 03/26/97 862 (H) COSPONSOR(S): CROFT 04/03/97 978 (H) COSPONSOR(S): DYSON 04/24/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 48 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KEMPLEN, Kubina, Croft, Dyson JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/97 40 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 40 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 40 (H) STA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/10/97 617 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA 03/26/97 863 (H) COSPONSOR(S): CROFT 04/03/97 978 (H) COSPONSOR(S): DYSON 04/24/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 WITNESS REGISTER SENATOR JOHN TORGERSON Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 514 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2828 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 124. PATRICK FLYNN, Researcher to Representative Ethan Berkowitz State Capitol, Room 406 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4919 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 245. JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 11120 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200 Telephone: (907) 465-4356 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 245. ROBERT COLE, Director Division of Administrative Services Department of Corrections P.O. Box 112000 Juneau, Alaska 99811-2000 Telephone: (907) 465-3342 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 245, HB 47 and HB 48. BARBARA BRINK, Acting Public Defender State of Alaska 900 West 5th Avenue, Suite 200 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 264-4414 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 245. ETHEL L. BARENZ P.O. Box 774505 Eagle River, Alaska 99577 Telephone: (907) 696-3238 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 245, HB 47 and HB 48. CARLA TIMPONE, Lobbyist Alaska Women's Lobby; and Co-Chair AWARE Shelter 211 4th Street, Suite 108 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 463-6744 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 245. REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 24 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4968 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HCR 9. REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN J. KEMPLEN Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 112 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2435 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 47 and HB 48. SERGEANT BARRY C. ALLEN Sitka Police Department 305 Lake Street Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-3245 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. CHRISTINE McLEOD, Director Sitkans Against Family Violence P.O. Box 6136 Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-3370 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. LAURENTIA CHAMBLEE 3776 Lake Street Homer, Alaska 99603 Telephone: (907) 235-7712 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. JANICE LIENHART, Executive Director VICTIMS for Justice 619 East Fifth Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 278-0977 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. SANDY SAMANIEGO, Executive Director Women In Crisis-Counselling and Assistance 717 Ninth Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-2293 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. DEB PEXA, Representative Advocates for Victims of Violence in Valdez P.O. Box 524 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Telephone: (907) 835-2980 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. JOHN RICHARDS Address not provided Telephone: not provided POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. RON MOORE, Account Executive The VINE Company 332 West Broadway, Suite 1300 Louisville, Kentucky 40202 Telephone: (800) 816-0491 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 47 and HB 48. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-49, SIDE A Number 0001 The House State Affairs Standing Committee was called to order by Chair Jeannette James at 8:07 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives James, Berkowitz, Dyson, Hodgins, Ivan and Vezey. Members absent were Elton. Representative Kim Elton arrived at 8:08 a.m. SB 124 - CHARITABLE GAMING SALMON AND RACE CLASSIC The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs Standing Committee was SB 124, "An Act relating to salmon classics and race classics." Number 0060 SENATOR JOHN TORGERSON, Alaska State Legislature, read the following sponsor statement into the record: "This legislation amends AS 05.15.100(a) by including race classics as one of the games of chance which municipalities or qualified organizations are allowed to conduct. One function of this bill is to authorize a classic for the Seward Mt. Marathon Race, to be operated by the Seward Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors' Bureau. The bill therefore includes a definition for "race" classics. "The bill also amends AS 05.15.690(40) by extending the definition of a salmon classic to include the Seward Silver Salmon Derby Classic and the Sterling Area Senior Citizen's, Inc. Sockeye Salmon Crossing Classic. "Both the Seward Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors' Bureau and the Sterling Area Senior Citizen's, Inc., are non-profit corporations. Both entities provide a valuable community service and, like many local service organizations, they are searching for ways to supplement their revenues. "Providing these potential revenue vehicles will assist these service organizations in the continuation of the services they provide for their respective communities." Number 0159 CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES asked Senator Torgerson how did he get the bill to the House State Affairs Standing Committee without it becoming a christmas tree? SENATOR TORGERSON replied he did not know. Number 0184 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN stated he appreciated the bill. He had targeted similar bills before statute by statute. He was sorry that the state did not have one statute that covered all activities like this, or that the activities were regulated by the Charitable Gaming Division, instead of addressing each activity one by one. Number 0224 SENATOR TORGERSON replied he had tried to work with the division. His approach was that anything under a certain dollar amount would not need legislative approval. There must be a happy medium, however, so that a bill was not needed every time a non-profit wanted an opportunity to supplement its revenue. The fear was that anything not created by the legislature could go away by regulation. Therefore, non-profit organizations did not want to spend a lot of money initially for a program for fear it would go away after a couple of years, for example. Number 0306 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS moved that SB 124 move from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). There was no objection, SB 124 was so moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee. HB 245 - DOM. VIOL. ASSAULTS;PRISONER CONTACTS The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Standing Committee was HB 245, "An Act relating to minimum sentences for assault in the fourth degree that is a crime involving domestic violence; providing that a prisoner may not contact the victim of the offense when provided access to a telephone or otherwise immediately after an arrest; and amending Rule 5(b), Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure." Number 0360 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON, sponsor of HB 245, explained the bill tightened the restraints that the state had on domestic violence perpetrators by setting progressively stiffer penalties; and by prohibiting the perpetrator from using the mandated phone call to further harass the victim. Number 0487 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN applauded the sponsor and announced his support for the bill because it protected families from domestic violence. Natives were the minority in the state but the majority in the prison population. Number 0520 CHAIR JAMES stated the disparity between the Native and non-Native incarcerated population was evident. We were all striving to reduce incarceration as a result of discrimination. Number 0558 CHAIR JAMES asked how the phone calls would be controlled? Number 0586 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ replied sometimes law enforcement dialed the phone number; and, sometimes a sign was posted to indicate if the phone was monitored or not. Number 0635 CHAIR JAMES wondered about a victim indicating that the perpetrator called when in fact he did not. How would that be verified? she asked. Number 0668 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied it could be verified by keeping track of the phone numbers dialed. If it was a false report it would be a different type of crime created by the victim. CHAIR JAMES asked, for clarification, if there was a way to monitor the phone numbers dialed? REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied, "Yes." Number 0690 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY applauded the intent of the bill and agreed with the direction. However, he wondered if the language "employer" should be included to challenge the department's authority to investigate a legitimate relationship. He explained recently he had been the subject of an investigation by the Department of Corrections due to an employee-employer relationship with a prisoner. Number 0802 PATRICK FLYNN, Researcher to Representative Ethan Berkowitz, explained the term "friend" was considered broad enough to include employer. Number 0856 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY wondered why the Department of Corrections would feel it was necessary to investigate a person who had a statutory right to visit a prisoner. "We don't make exception here for the moral standing of this friend or relative." Number 0891 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained that anybody could contact the lawyer and the lawyer had the right to visit his or her incarcerated client. The courts would interpret the term "friend" broadly; it was used more for the purposes of social graces. Number 0926 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY apologized. He had misread the bill. He thought it was the friend or relative that had the right to visit, it was the attorney. Number 0956 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Department of Public Safety, explained the council had not had an opportunity to review the bill but the concepts introduced were ones that the council supported. The first issue of prohibiting the perpetrator from contacting the victim, was brought to the council's attention by a police officer from a small police department when a prisoner tried to contact the victim within 15 minutes of his arrest. In regards to the issue of enforcement, there were a number of smaller jails and facilities where the officer actually dialed the number. In other cases, the victims informed law enforcement of the contact which could be traced and verified. The second issue of increasing penalties for repeated first degree assault offenses was of concern because there had not been additional consequences for additional charges. The new domestic violence law was trying to intervene earlier in the domestic violence cycle and to hold the offender accountable. Therefore, the additional consequences sent the right message. Number 1097 CHAIR JAMES cited a case of a prisoner in Fairbanks who repeatedly called a young girl on the phone. She wondered about the controls involved. She did not believe a prisoner should have the benefit of picking up a phone and calling anybody. Number 1183 ROBERT COLE, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Corrections, explained telephone use by inmates was a serious issue a few years ago due to a conspiracy that resulted in a bombing and murder. As a result, all calls were monitored at the facility. He would provide to the committee members a detailed description of the telephone security for the entire set of institutions. CHAIR JAMES stated she would appreciate a description. It was a problem that had yet to be fixed. We were pursuing a "no frills" bill for prisoners so it seemed an incarcerated prisoner should be out of touch, except under special conditions. Number 1246 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained there was a provision in the "no frills" bill addressing the issue. Number 1256 MR. COLE stated for the past four years to five years Mr. Allen J. Cooper, Division of Institutions, Department of Corrections, had tried to get private telephone companies to install a surveillance system across all of the institutions, but there were problems with the volume and rate structure. Number 1315 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked what the difference was between a third degree and fourth degree assault? Number 1329 MS. ANDREEN replied a fourth degree assault was a Class A misdemeanor while a third degree assault was a Class C felony. The difference was in the weapon used in the assault. Number 1348 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked if judges in domestic violence cases tended to assign offenders to attend an anger management program? Number 1361 MS. ANDREEN replied it varied from community to community; and, from judge to judge. The new domestic violence law provided for a batterers program to accept referrals from the court system or the Department of Corrections as a condition of release. The programs had to meet standards established by corrections in conjunction with the council. The standards were now in place but there was no funding to implement them. However, we currently had a small reimbursable agreement with the court system so someone was on-line as of this month to start monitoring. Number 1411 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated, for clarification, that the new domestic violence law mandated a class for batterers; and, that many of the courts did not have a service readily available to send a batterer to but the future was optimistic. Number 1442 MS. ANDREEN stated it would be interesting to see how it worked. We were aware of approximately 20 to 25 programs around the state that were interested in receiving approval. Most were located in the high population areas - Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. There were going to be a number of areas in the state that were a long way from having a batterers intervention program. It was important to not look at it as an either-or situation because many viewed an intervention program as an easy out or a way out of jail when there was not verifiable proof that a batterers program was effective. Therefore, it was important that the courts used a combination of options. Number 1488 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY wondered, if assault in the third degree involved a weapon, what weapons were involved in a first and second degree assault. Weapons of mass destruction, or what? he asked. Number 1505 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied it depended on causal injury. He read the various provisions of assaults from the statute. They were each a sliding scale that could be argued either way for the different portions. Number 1600 BARBARA BRINK, Acting Public Defender, State of Alaska, was the next person to testify via teleconference in Anchorage. She noted the unintended consequences of the bill. Mandatory minimum sentences removed the ability of any judge to fation an appropriate punishment. A judge was suppose to consider the seriousness of the harm, the rehabilitation potential, the deterrent value of a sentence, the isolation of the defendant, and society's requirement to reaffirm its norms. She feared a mandatory minimum sentence would discourage people from admitting their conduct. In addition, a mandatory minimum sentenced created an anomaly in the overall scheme of assault charges. Under the bill a person would be required to receive 30 or 60 days in jail - more time than if he or she committed a more serious felony offense. She cited last year the state prosecuted 1,279 domestic assaults. The municipality of Anchorage prosecuted an additional 1,500 assaults. It was estimated that about 30 percent to 50 percent of the cases were repeat offenders. Therefore, if even a small portion of the cases chose to go to trial instead of pleading out, the financial burden on the public defender and the court system would be enormous. She could not predict how many would go to trial, however. She reiterated a person who had the opportunity to plead his or her case to a judge was much more likely to go this way. But a person facing a mandatory jail sentence was more likely to take any avenue to get off, including a jury trial. Moreover, if was important to ensure that a prisoner was notified of the prohibition of contacting the victim. Unless there was a clear posting of the notification, a prisoner would not know. It was important given the fact that most called their relatives once incarcerated. Number 1770 CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Brink if the bill would deter repeat offenses? Number 1795 MS. BRINK replied she wished there was proof that harsher penalties and punishments deterred repeat offenses. Domestic violence; however, by definition, was an emotionally charged situation usually aggravated by the influence of a substance. She feared it would discourage some people from calling the police knowing that the consequences would be an automatic 60 days in jail. Often the police were called just to remove people from the situation and whether or not a harsher penalty was appropriate should not be determined by the victim. Number 1839 CHAIR JAMES agreed that domestic violence was spontaneous and aggravated by certain conditions. Therefore, everyone should agree in addressing the issue in a preventative way. Number 1910 MS. BRINK stated she understood the need for graduated penalties. Her experience had shown that it already happened in court, however. Judges sentenced a repeat offender harsher than a first- time offender. It simply was a matter of whether or not you wished to determine the sentence or a judge. Number 1976 ETHEL L. BARENZ was the first person to testify in Juneau. She needed this type of bill because her offender had over 18 different types of assaults on his record. "Even though with that he was not sentenced severely enough to realize that he needed to leave me and my children alone for us to be safe." Consequently, he was out from the assault charge within three months. She, therefore, supported stiffer penalties. Number 2010 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Ms. Barenz if alcohol was involved in his offenses? Number 2017 MS. BARENZ replied most of his offenses were alcohol related. He had a problem with alcohol and attended many rehabilitation programs. But, every time he was kicked out of the rehabilitation program he would stalk and threaten her and her family. Number 2044 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented that the assailant of Ms. Barenz was jailed for 90 days when the bill talked about 30 and 60 day sentences. He was a little confused. MS. BARENZ replied her assailant was sentenced to jail for 90 days after 18 offenses, not a first or second offense. The judge in court indicated that he was approaching "worse offender status" for driving under the influence and assault. For him, 30 or 60 days would not work, but for a lot of people it could be a deterrent. Progressive terms were needed for the general public as well. Number 2076 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Ms. Barenz if her testimony, therefore, would not affect his sentence, but it would be a rehabilitative step towards future offenders? MS. BARENZ stated that many offenders were released after 10 to 15 days. They were able to pretend all the way through the rehab program and were able to convince their families to take them back. "If they had to stay in jail it would have made a difference because for one thing they would have felt more punished and a lot of these women would have had a better chance to get out of the situation to get enough counselling to be able to go on with their lives." The offender would be out of their lives for enough time for them to take these further steps. Number 2142 CARLA TIMPONE, Lobbyist, Alaska Women's Lobby; and, Co-Chair, AWARE Shelter, was the next person to testify in Juneau. Both the Alaska Women's Lobby and AWARE supported the bill. She had over 20 years experience with domestic violence. It was a crime of a different stripe than most other types of crimes because of the nature of its intimacy. However, it should not be individualized too much because men who batter only batter. "They don't get into bar fights by enlarge. They don't assault their co-workers. They don't assault their superiors. They are generally upstanding and otherwise law abiding members of the community. And the only people they harm are their families." In her experience both professionally and personally, by the time an offender came to the attention of the criminal justice system, he had been a repeat offender. By the time she got enough courage to have her husband arrested, within 20 minutes he was out of jail and climbing up the fire escape. It was a very scary situation to be in. MS. TIMPONE further stated it was important not to confuse aggravating factors with causal factors. In her experience, when a batterer was treated for a substance abuse, you then had a sober batterer, if the underlying issues of why this person batterers were not dealt with. In addition, it was crucial for rehabilitation that a batterer took responsibility for his or her actions which included time in jail as well as rehabilitation programs. Number 2268 CHAIR JAMES stated it was interesting that we always included men as the batterer which was the case - generally. She knew of cases, however, where it was the woman who was the batterer. MS. TIMPONE explained she used the term "man" in the gender neutral tense. The statistics indicated that men were victims of battering less than .2 percent of the time. Number 2293 CHAIR JAMES stated that she always said the same thing for driving while intoxicated (DWI) - by the time someone was picked up for DWI it was not their first offense. It was generally the first time that he or she got caught but not the first offense. In the case of domestic violence, it was also very unusual that the first case reported was the actual first case, or else the victim would not have come to the position to take action. The whole issue of domestic violence was distressing because it was hard to control. "We live in a country where our home is our castle and our privacy should be protected at home." It was very difficult to penetrate that privacy without violating someone's rights. There was no harm in trying, however. Number 2356 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that the increased sentence time in Sec. 3 were small increments. This was just a Band-Aid approach. He explained the philosophy for corrections was rehabilitation at the time the Constitution of the State of Alaska was written. The philosophy now was to protect the public. It was time to come to grips that sexual predators could not be rehabilitated and that the only way to protect society was to remove these individuals. The bill was going in the right direction, but he seriously questioned if there was a benefit to increase a sentence from 20 days to 30 days. Was 10 days going to provide society anything more than 10 days of protection? he asked. Number 2426 CHAIR JAMES replied the testimony indicated that 20 days and 90 days were a big difference in the lives of the victims by helping them feel protected. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY replied the bill did not address 90 days. Number 2431 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated at 20 days there were no residential treatment programs. He agreed that alcohol aggravated the situation. An offender could get "soft bed time" if he went through an in-patient alcohol treatment program. The programs were usually 28 days and 40 days. Hence, the 30 days and 60 days in the bill. TAPE 97-49, SIDE B Number 0001 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ further stated the savings would come from reducing the rate of incidences and removing drugs and alcohol from the equation. Given the budget restraints, it was a very cost effective way of addressing the situation. Number 0023 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated it was tempting to go from 20 days to 200 days. In addition, there were batterer programs in the state such as the anger management program by Patrick Flynn's mother, contrary to what Representative Berkowitz indicated. Number 0051 CHAIR JAMES stated testimony from Ms. Andreen indicated that we were not absolutely sure how well the programs worked. Number 0061 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained that he said there were no residential treatment programs, not batterer programs. Number 0068 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON stated, in response to Representative Vezey's comments, sometimes the most difficult thing we did was take incremental steps rather than fix the whole problem at once. There was the constant tension of whether or not to take the incremental step or a comprehensive approach. He felt frustrated with an incremental step approach but any step in the right direction indicated success. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON further stated that prevention was just as important as dealing with the consequences. "If prevention worked 10 percent of the time then good. If prevention worked 20 percent of the time then even better." It was the same as prevention in health care. "You can take your inoculations and do everything else and that doesn't necessarily guarantee that you're going to live a healthy and long life. But it incrementally adds to the chances that you may." Number 0183 CHAIR JAMES stated the one unintended consequence that she feared from a longer sentence was the influence on the person who made the charge, particularly in cases where the batterer supported the family financially. She wondered if it would deter reporting. She was willing to try and move the bill forward, however. Number 0282 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN announced he supported the bill as written. He had observed the shelter program in the community of Dillingham which was working very well. The bill was an additional tool for the law enforcement community and for the people who assist victims. He had observed in his community a sibling who protected a family member by putting the head of household in jail who was asked to come back by the mother because of her dependence on him for the survival of the family. Number 0346 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained that the mandatory 20 day sentence for the first offense existed only if the offense occurred during the existence of a domestic violence restraining order. There was no mandatory minimum if there was not a restraining order in effect. Number 0374 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON moved that HB 245 move from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). There was no objection, HB 245 was so moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee. HCR 9 - AMEND UN RLS: COMMITTEE ACTION ON BILLS The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Standing Committee was HCR 9, Proposing amendments to the Uniform Rules of the Alaska State Legislature relating to committee meetings; and providing for an effective date. Number 0440 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG, Alaska State Legislature, explained the bill proposed amendments to the Uniform Rules of the Alaska State Legislature that would allow for committees to meet during the interim and to take action. It would also allow for committee members to vote and to make a quorum via the teleconference line. The purpose of the bill was to bring hearings closer to the people of the state of Alaska by enabling business to be conducted during the interim; to increase the efficiency of the Alaska State Legislature; and to possibly shorten the legislative session. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG further explained he had also introduced legislation to shorten the legislative session to 90 days. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG further stated, currently, committees could take action during the interim that amounted to a work session, not substantive action. The bill allowed for substantive committee work and action within the confines of the committee only. The action could not be read across the floor of the House of Representatives. In addition, the resolution called for a zero fiscal note. Some indicated there would be a fiscal impact to the budget but he believed there would be a savings. Nevertheless, the presiding officers had the ability to control the traveling request and budget for every member. Number 0545 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Rokeberg if he would object to amending the resolution to include the language "prior approval of the leadership before scheduling a meeting"? The amendment was a request. Number 0584 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied he did not think he would have a problem with the amendment. He wondered if it would be rude to ask who requested the amendment. CHAIR JAMES replied the Speaker of the House of Representative requested the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated he would be very happy in that case to accept the friendly amendment to the resolution. REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ announced he had several amendments that he would turn into questions. First, he would be concerned if the committee was either the first or last committee of referral. Second, he would be concerned if it was the only committee of referral. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied a bill could not be moved out of a committee. It could only be acted on and transmitted to the clerk. It could not be read across the floor of the House of Representatives. Number 0605 CHAIR JAMES wondered about amending a bill in committee upon returning to session. Number 0614 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied presumably the committee had already moved to pass the bill out. The intention was not to expand the scope of the rule change in order to control the flow of the bill activity. Number 0626 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained he was also concerned about just being able to pass the bill along. CHAIR JAMES replied it could not be passed to the next committee of referral. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated it could not be read across the floor of the House of Representatives because we would not be in session. Number 0649 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated he would also like there to be some kind of notice prior to a meeting such as the 5-day notice. CHAIR JAMES replied the 5-day notice was in the uniform rules. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG wondered if the 5-day rule applied during the interim. He deferred the question to Representative Vezey. Number 0665 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY maintained for years that the legislature had the authority to do this already but passing a law would salve everyone's conscious. It was a good idea and long over due. The internal workings of the legislature were not subject to a court's jurisdiction even if a law was passed. We would have to be in session to take official action - the only constitutional limitation. Number 0711 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained the reason he asked was that Tamara Cook, Director, Legislative Research and Legal Services, suggested the issue be looked at. Number 0719 CHAIR JAMES asked how did we get the uniform rules? Was it passed as a document? REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied the uniform rules had to be adopted by each legislature. Right now we did not have any uniform rules. He deferred the question again to Representative Vezey. Number 0736 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated the Constitution of the State of Alaska provided that the legislature adopt rules. As a matter of course, we had not formally adopted any rules for the Twentieth Alaska State Legislature. It did not mean we were not operating under any rules, however. CHAIR JAMES wondered how it was missed this year. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated there was a resolution but it did not go as far as the former majority leader. CHAIR JAMES asked what the procedure had been in the past for amending the rules? Number 0774 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied it required a resolution before the body to adopt the rules. The controversy was over the adoption of Mason's Manual. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG read Uniform Rule 53 into the record. Number 0806 CHAIR JAMES stated she liked what the resolution called for. She was not convinced, however, if this was the right procedure. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated the House State Affairs Standing Committee was the first committee of referral. The resolution also had two other referrals including the House Rules Standing Committee - the proper forum to address the resolution. He asked the indulgence of the committee to move the resolution out of its way. CHAIR JAMES moved for a conceptual amendment to include leadership approval prior to scheduling a meeting. Number 0869 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected. It was very, very redundant. The presiding officer of the House determined the chair and the House Committee on Committees determined the members. In addition, we had provisions to do exactly what you wanted to do without restating it. Number 0897 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked for a friendly amendment to the conceptual amendment to ensure that the minority was advised as well. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG objected. It was not necessary. The membership of all committees included minority members, therefore, the minority would be informed. CHAIR JAMES called for a roll call vote. Representatives James, Berkowitz and Ivan voted in favor of the motion. Representatives Dyson and Vezey voted against the motion. Representatives Elton and Hodgins were not present to vote. The conceptual amendment passed. Number 0964 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained he would give his amendments and concerns to Representative Rokeberg in hopes that they would be considered and discussed at some time down the line. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated he would be happy to do so. Number 0991 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON moved that HCR 9, as amended, move from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). There was no objection, CSHCR 9(STA) was so moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee. HB 47 - TELEPHONE VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM HB 48 - APPROP: VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Standing Committee was HB 47, "An Act relating to authorizing the Department of Corrections to provide an automated victim notification and prisoner information system." And, HB 48, "An Act making a special appropriation for an automated victim notification system; and providing for an effective date." CHAIR JAMES announced the two bills would be taken up together because they were connected. Number 1042 REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN J. KEMPLEN, Alaska State Legislature, read the following sponsor statement into the record: "Each day, over 600 concerned Alaskans call our state institutions seeking information on inmates. Alaska's prisons and pre-trial facilities housed 2,990 inmates, 49% of whom are considered violent in November, 1996. Clearly proper and timely notification to victims about the release or escape of their attackers can improve their sense of safety. "A state-of-the-art computer system, called Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) was developed to keep crime victims informed of inmate activity. VINE provides two important services that enhance that vital link of communication between the justice system and the victim. "First: Vine provides automatic notification calls to a crime victim when an inmate's status changes. If an inmate is released, transferred, posts bail or escapes, VINE places an automated telephone call to all registered victims within 10 minutes of the change in the offender's status. VINE continues to call the victim for 24 hours or until successful notification is verified by the victim. "Second: VINE provides critical inmate information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the automated telephone system. VINE allows confidential exchange of information. Victims may access information on a prisoner through the use of personal identification numbers. Victims may easily enter new contact numbers. "Kentucky became the first state to implement VINE statewide in February, 1996. During the first 90 days of operation, over 20,000 phone calls were processed. Over 600 victims were notified through VINE of impending inmate releases. Three month later, over 3,500 successful notification had been made, with an average of 7 new registrations a day. Currently, the VINE Company has contracts with over 150 counties in more than 12 states, including Texas, California, New Jersey, Georgia and Michigan. "The goal of this legislation is to meet the need for timely, efficient and reliable notification to a victim about the offender's status. This legislation provides for the use of innovative technology that will assist corrections staff charged with the responsibility of notifying crime victims who may move. This legislation gives victims control. The timely notification will allow victims to prepare for offenders' release and victims can, in confidence, keep corrections staff informed of their telephone contact numbers." Number 1251 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked Representative Kemplen if the sum of $250,000 was targeted for this year or next year in regards to the budget process? Number 1263 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN replied the amount was not forwarded in the budget process this year. The department had indicated it would need only $150,000 rather than the $250,000 called for in the bill. The department had also determined that it could receive grant money to operate VINE. Several states had installed the system with grant funding from one of several federal sources. Number 1328 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ wondered if the cost would be recouped by people phoning in and through increased efficiency of the prosecutorial agencies and the Department of Corrections. In other words, people would be free to do other jobs rather than victim notification. Number 1360 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN replied, "Correct." Number 1368 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN commented the state had a computer system in place currently. He asked Representative Kemplen if the VINE system would be a separate service provided by a private company? Number 1403 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN replied VINE was a proprietor system. The price tag included a $45,200 one-time cost to interface and implement the system. The installation included 13 institutions, 13 probation parole offices, 15 local jails, and 13 community residential centers in the state. The price tag also included a $3,000 one-time cost for software. CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Kemplen where the rest of the money went? He only accounted for $48,200. REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN replied the price tag also included a $8,000 one-time cost for printing brochures, a $90,000 annual operation and port fee, and a $3,000 annual cost for standby staff, in the event of a failure of the hardware or software. CHAIR JAMES asked, for clarification, if there would be a $93,000 on-going expense every year? REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN replied, "Yes." There was a service charge of $1.50 for victims calling in about the status of their offenders. Experience had shown that there was enough revenue generated from that service to cover the operation cost. Number 1548 CHAIR JAMES commented getting any money from the 1997 or 1998 budget would be remote. However, if there was an opportunity to get any money it would be in 1998. It would be wise to appropriate money from other funding sources - federal or private. It was a threat to appropriate money from the General fund when the goal was to reduce it by $60 million. REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked Chair James, for clarification, if the suggestion was to list federal receipts or other funds rather than the General Fund? CHAIR JAMES replied, "Yes." Thereby authorizing them to look for other funds. If the language "general fund" was left it would not pass. Number 1733 ROBERT COLE, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Corrections, was the first person to testify in Juneau. The Department of Corrections; and, other law enforcement, judicial and prosecutorial agencies were excited about an automatic means of notifying victims. Presently, the system was cumbersome and paper driven. There were a number of federal grants and funding sources for programs like this. He could not guarantee that the money could be accessed, however. The money needed to be applied for and awarded. MR. COLE further said the department received about 600 phone calls a day now. It was possible if a charge was added the number of phone calls would go down. Nevertheless, the flow should be able to help pay for the cost of the system. MR. COLE further said there were design questions that needed to be answered such as how VINE would attach itself to the current system and how it would report the information. MR. COLE stated the department was enthusiastic about the system. If the fiscal note was changed a federal funding source was probably the best one. He did not know if federal sources were available this year, however. Number 1920 CHAIR JAMES wondered if Representative Ivan was concerned that the system would include contract jails around the state. Number 1945 MR. COLE replied the fiscal note included the prisons, probation officers, community residential centers, and contract jails. Number 1975 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Mr. Cole if the release of a prisoner did not occur until the paper work was in place? MR. COLE replied, "Correct." REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Mr. Cole if the most important piece of paper went from the court to the administrator? Number 2021 MR. COLE replied, "Correct." Most systems were designed as a prison information system which assumed little change in a prisoner's status. We were running a system that included jails, pre-trial felony facilities and prisons. Therefore, the status of an inmate changed heavily. There was a flow of paper work that was entered into the system and completed before a prisoner was released. Number 2128 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Mr. Cole if the paper work was initiated by the courts or corrections? MR. COLE replied sentencing and conviction information was initiated by the courts. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Mr. Cole who initiated a release? MR. COLE replied a release was initiated by corrections. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY state, for clarification, it was initiated from corrections to corrections, not from the courts to corrections. MR. COLE stated unless a person went back on an appeal. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY wondered why the information could not be given to a third party that specialized in giving information to the public. MR. COLE replied that was how the VINE system worked. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY replied, yes, but the Department of Corrections was the service agency. He asked Mr. Cole why a contractor could not be used to get the information to the public? Number 2243 MR. COLE replied it could be done that way in theory. It was part of a larger question, however. Public safety around the country was trying to put together a criminal history repository. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he was interested because it was not the mission of the Department of Corrections to generate information to the general public when there were entities in the market that specialized in that type of service. MR. COLE replied it was a complex issue. He would be willing to converse about it further. TAPE 97-50, SIDE A Number 0001 MR. COLE stated that one of the things that the Department of Corrections was good at was incapacitating offenders when in our custody. Therefore, people would not be harming their families when they resided in correctional facilities. CHAIR JAMES replied we wanted to have them incapacitated even stronger. Number 0109 SERGEANT BARRY C. ALLEN, Sitka Police Department, was the first person to testify via teleconference in Sitka. He testified today in support of HB 47 and HB 48. It was a positive step for the rights of victims. The VINE system would allow victims to prepare for their assailants release. This would prove to be beneficial in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault. In addition, VINE would go hand in hand with the domestic violence protection and prevention act of 1996. He encouraged its prompt passage. Number 0212 CHRISTINE McLEOD, Director, Sitkans Against Family Violence, was the next person to testify via teleconference in Sitka. Her testimony today was in support of HB 47 and HB 48. Many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault felt dis-empowered by the criminal justice system. They either felt superfluous or blamed for the crime thereby discouraging reporting and to further traumatize victims. The VINE system was one means of giving victims control over the process. In 1994 the legislature showed support for victims by amending the constitution to include a victims' rights amendment. The VINE system would strengthen the state's compliance to the amendment. The VINE system would also help to ensure the safety of women and children. Number 0342 LAURENTIA CHAMBLEE was the next person to testify via teleconference in Homer. Her testimony today was in support of HB 47 and HB 48. "Victims of domestic violence live in fear when they're with the perpetrator and even after when the perpetrator has been incarcerated." The perpetrator often made threats of harm if the victim should call the police when they were together and there were often threats of death. The VINE system would help alleviate the fear of the victim. It also said to the victim that the system understood her worries and concerns. It was important to pass the bill this year; it understated the rights of the victims to live a life with liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a goal. Number 0461 JANICE LIENHART, Executive Director, VICTIMS for Justice, was the next person to testify via teleconference in Anchorage. Her testimony today was in support of HB 47 and HB 48. She often received calls from victims after a change in status of the perpetrator. It was devastating because the victims often found out after the fact. They often tried to call and get information but to no avail. If the data could be kept accurate it would be a powerful tool to keep everybody updated. Number 0535 ETHEL L. BARENZ was the next person to testify in Juneau. She was from Eagle River and the winner of the "send somebody to Juneau" contest. She had lived through every one of the statements made this morning. She had been stalked, threatened, assaulted, and her parents and children had been assaulted. Her assailant attacked her parent's tenant which was how she found out he was out of jail. She did not have any warning and no chance to get her family to safety. Her elderly parents had been threatened. The VINE program would help her allow for the safety of her children and parents. The program would not only help her get her life back but others as well. She thanked the representatives for signing on as co- sponsors; it touched her heart. Number 0656 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Ms. Barenz to share with the committee members what she had done to protect herself. Number 0664 MS. BARENZ replied she had to carry a handgun when she was not with others. She had to stay public, keep another adult with her, inform the schools that her children attend, contact the state troopers and the city policy frequently, and attend court on a regular basis to find out the conditions of his release. Her assailant continued to get angry at her for attending the court hearings because he felt she was provoking him. It was terrifying to face the man but if she tried to call the court she would always get the same responses: His file is with the judge; The judge is not available; or We're not sure where his file is right now. She could not get the information that she needed without waiting a few weeks to be notified. An automated system would allow for her to be notified quicker and allow her to call in. She slept with a gun under her bed when she did not know what was happening with her assailant because he had threatened to bring his family out with guns to attack her family. CHAIR JAMES thanked Ms. Barenz for her testimony today and congratulated her on winning the contest. She asked Ms. Barenz how her time in Juneau had been? MS. BARENZ replied wonderful. All of the representatives had been wonderful and receptive to hear her story. Number 0794 SANDY SAMANIEGO, Executive Director, Women In Crisis-Counselling and Assistance, was the next person to testify via teleconference in Fairbanks. She was testifying today in support of HB 47 and HB 48. It was apparent that the legislature recognized the importance and severity of the problem with sexual assault and domestic violence. On-behalf-of the victims of these crimes she thanked the representatives for their support. She did not know how to put a price tag on people's lives, but she did know that Alaskans were killed because of domestic violence and sexual assault every year. Statistics indicated that more than 10 percent of Alaskan women were abused by a partner each year, some requiring medical attention. Victim notification was a critical piece of the state's plan to keep victims of all violent crimes safe. Agencies had not been able to timely notify the victims of the changes placing the lives and well being of the victims in danger. She respectfully asked the committee members to support HB 47 and HB 48. Number 0884 DEB PEXA, Representative, Advocates for Victims of Violence in Valdez, was the next person to testify via teleconference in Valdez. She was testifying today in support of HB 47 and HB 48. This type of information was a matter of life or death for victims of violence. The current system did not guarantee that victims would receive timely and vital information to provide for the safety of their families and themselves. She urged the committee members to support the bills. Number 0929 JOHN RICHARDS was the next person to testify via teleconference in Anchorage. His testimony today was in support of HB 47 and HB 48. We prosecuted 1,500 domestic violence cases every year of which many involved repeat offenders. What we had not been able to do was comply with AS 12.30.027 passes last year, "Release in domestic violence cases." The current state law required the correctional facility to notify the prosecuting authority and for the prosecuting authority to immediately notify the victim of the release and the conditions of the release. Most of these cases occurred between 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., therefore, without an automated victim notification system there was no way to meaningfully comply with the statutory requirement. Domestic violence was about power and control where 75 percent of the victims recant or minimize the offense over time. Common sense indicated that victims were heavily influenced by the defendant through fear and threats. "If you believe this beating was bad wait until I get out, it'll be worse." The characteristic of the perpetrator was to blame the victim for all of his problems including his arrest. The automatic system was cost effective at $2,800 per month. He could not hire somebody to sit and dial the telephone all night long for $2,800 per month. It was essential for a coordinated and effective response to domestic violence. He urged the committee members to seriously pass the bill and to try to find the money for it. Number 1137 RON MOORE, Account Executive, The VINE Company, was the next person to testify off-net in Kentucky. The VINE system was now in over 350 communities in the United States and Canada with 7 statewide programs in place. The VINE company had over 40 patens pending for technology. It was also the only company totally dedicated to victim notification. There were other software companies that offered the service but not exclusively. The VINE program was not about putting in a software program or a computer, for example; it was about a community awareness program. The total community campaign included public service announcements, press conferences, and a 24-hour hot line. In California, the legislature waited as well pending funding for the program during which time a woman was killed due to the uninformed release of her perpetrator. The legislature immediately entered into a contract with company as a result. "Please don't wait." he declared. The VINE program usually could be funded through the inmate phone system itself. Number 1290 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Moore what the charges were based on? Number 1308 MR. MOORE replied the charges were based on inmate population and the population of the community. Number 1332 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Moore what was the fee that would be paid regularly for the service? MR. MOORE replied there was a monthly charge that covered the on- going cost of the program - public service announcements and handouts for example. In addition, every 10 minutes the call center in Kentucky would call the Alaska system for changes. CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Moore what was the monthly charge? MR. MOORE replied he did not have the exact figure before him. It was about $90,000 per annum. Number 1396 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Moore how often was the monthly charge reviewed to see if it was too much or too little? MR. MOORE replied it was based on the length of the contract; it would not change during the length of it. Number 1421 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Moore what was the company's profit-ratio? MR. MOORE replied the start-up cost for Alaska was about $45,000 - a break-even number based on the expenses of flying to Alaska to develop the interface, accommodations, software, and scripts. The profit would come from the monthly fee. Number 1464 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Moore if Alaska would benefit from the concept of economies of scale because the company was nationwide? MR. MOORE replied, "Exactly." Everybody in the country used the same call center whether there were 20,000 inmates or 20 inmates. Any time there were software or technology improvements, for example, everybody shared. There would not be an increase in the rates because of the improvements. CHAIR JAMES announced the bills would be held over until Saturday, April 26, 1997. ADJOURNMENT Number 1485 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting at 10:08 a.m.