Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/11/2019 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:11:11 PM Start
03:12:42 PM Confirmations(s) Hearing|| Department of Public Safety, Commissioner,
03:59:48 PM HB10
04:27:25 PM HB118
04:51:13 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to 4/12/19 at 9:30 am --
*+ HB 110 VEHICLES/BOATS: TRANSFER ON DEATH TITLE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
+= HB 82 DISCRIMINATION: GENDER ID.;SEXUAL ORIENT. TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
*+ HB 33 SEXUAL ASSAULT; SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
*+ HB 51 PROBATION; PAROLE; SENTENCES; CREDITS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Commissioner Amanda Price, Dept. of Public Safety
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 10 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE POSSESSION; SENTENCE TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 10 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 118 OFFENDER REENTRY PLANNING BY CORRECTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 118(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 11, 2019                                                                                         
                           3:11 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Zack Fields, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Co-Chair                                                                                
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Public Safety, Commissioner                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Amanda Price - Anchorage                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 10                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to misconduct  involving a controlled substance;                                                               
providing  for   substitution  of   judgment;  and   relating  to                                                               
sentencing."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 10 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 118                                                                                                              
"An  Act   relating  to  the   duties  of  the   commissioner  of                                                               
corrections; and relating to planning for prisoner reentry."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 118(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 110                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  the transfer of  a title to  a boat  on the                                                               
death of  the owner;  relating to  the transfer of  a title  to a                                                               
vehicle, including  certain manufactured  homes and  trailers, on                                                               
the  death  of the  owner;  allowing  a  person  to act  for  the                                                               
surviving spouse of a decedent  to enforce liability against real                                                               
property  transferred at  death; and  providing for  an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 82                                                                                                               
"An Act adding  to the powers and duties of  the State Commission                                                               
for Human Rights; and relating  to and prohibiting discrimination                                                               
based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 33                                                                                                               
"An Act relating  to defenses to sexual assault;  and relating to                                                               
registration of sex offenders."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 51                                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to  probation; relating  to a  program allowing                                                               
probationers to  earn credits for  complying with  the conditions                                                               
of  probation;  relating  to   early  termination  of  probation;                                                               
relating to  parole; relating to  a program allowing  parolees to                                                               
earn  credits  for  complying  with  the  conditions  of  parole;                                                               
relating to early termination of  parole; relating to eligibility                                                               
for discretionary  parole; relating  to good time;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 10                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE POSSESSION; SENTENCE                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KOPP                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/19                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/02/19       (H)       STA AT 4:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/02/19       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/09/19       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/09/19       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/11/19       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 118                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OFFENDER REENTRY PLANNING BY CORRECTIONS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) FIELDS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
03/29/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/29/19       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/04/19       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/04/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/04/19       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/09/19       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/09/19       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/11/19       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
EDDIE ATHEY, Fire Chief                                                                                                         
Seward Fire Department                                                                                                          
Seward, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support during the                                                                          
confirmation hearing on Commissioner Price.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JIM WHITAKER                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support during the                                                                          
confirmation hearing on Commissioner Price.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT KENDALL                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition during the                                                                       
confirmation hearing on Commissioner Price.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARCIA DAVIS                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support during the                                                                          
confirmation hearing on Commissioner Price.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK KOPP                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 10, as prime sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KATIE BOTZ                                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 118, Version S.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DON HABEGAR, Community Coordinator                                                                                              
Juneau Reentry Coalition                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 118, Version S.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
KELLY GOODE, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB                                                             
118, Version S.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:11:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JONATHAN  KREISS-TOMKINS called the House  State Affairs                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:11   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  LeDoux, Story,  Wool, Vance,  Shaw, Fields,  and                                                               
Kreiss-Tomkins were present at the call to order.                                                                               
^CONFIRMATIONS(S) HEARING                                                                                                       
^Department of Public Safety, Commissioner,                                                                                     
                     CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                
            Department of Public Safety, Commissioner                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:12:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  announced  that   the  first  order  of                                                               
business would be confirmation hearings.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SHAW  requested   a  personal   presentation  by                                                               
Commissioner  Price  before  the  House  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS   opened   public  testimony   on   the                                                               
confirmation hearing on the commissioner  of Department of Public                                                               
Safety (DPS).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:14:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EDDIE ATHEY,  Fire Chief, Seward Fire  Department, testified that                                                               
he supports the confirmation of Commissioner Price.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked what  Mr. Athey's experience  was with                                                               
Commissioner Price.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. ATHEY  stated that  he met  her at  the [Alaska]  Fire Chiefs                                                               
legislative  summit   and  was   extremely  impressed   with  the                                                               
direction that  she wanted for  DPS.  He  said, "I feel  like ...                                                               
great things can happen under her leadership."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:16:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM WHITAKER,  Fairbanks, Alaska, paraphrased from  his letter of                                                               
support  dated 4/5/19,  included in  the committee  packet, which                                                               
read in part [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I was  with the Governor  Walker when Amanda  Price was                                                                    
     hired  to   develop  and  implement   policy  regarding                                                                    
     domestic  violence and  sexual assault  in Alaska.   As                                                                    
     was evident  then and  now, this issue  is a  blight on                                                                    
     Alaskan  society, and  is of  a magnitude  so as  to be                                                                    
     mind-numbing.   It was  clear from  the beginning  that                                                                    
     Amanda understood  the dynamic  she was tasked  to deal                                                                    
     with;   and   was   willing    to   reckon   with   the                                                                    
     institutional,   societal,   cultural,  and   political                                                                    
     complexities   involved.    During   her   tenure   she                                                                    
     navigated  a pathway  that created  the foundation  for                                                                    
     finally  dealing with  and improving  this unacceptable                                                                    
     circumstance.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     She   worked   closely   with   the   troopers,   local                                                                    
     communities,  and  leaders  at   all  levels  to  build                                                                    
     awareness  and common  purpose.   She was  a solid  and                                                                    
     focused  leader who  garnered respect  and appreciation                                                                    
     from  others.   As  the Governor's  chief  of  staff  I                                                                    
     monitored and worked fairly closely  with Amanda.  As a                                                                    
     result my conclusions were, and  are, that Amanda Price                                                                    
     is  a  person of  high  character,  high intellect,  of                                                                    
     tireless energy  and work ethic, and  sound judgement.                                                                     
     She  is a  strong and  solid  choice to  fill a  public                                                                    
     safety  cabinet level/commissioner  level position.   I                                                                    
     highly recommend her.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:19:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT KENDALL, Anchorage, Alaska, testified  that he was chief of                                                               
staff to  [former] Governor Bill Walker  and Commissioner Price's                                                               
supervisor  prior to  her departure  from her  position with  the                                                               
Walker administration.   He stated that he has  been contacted by                                                               
the press,  legislators, and other individuals  requesting him to                                                               
provide testimony.   He stated  that he has asked  the Department                                                               
of Law (DOL)  whether the Alaska Executive Branch  Ethics Act [AS                                                               
39.52]  or the  Alaska State  Personnel Act  [AS 39.25]  bars him                                                               
from testifying; he  also asked the House  State Affairs Standing                                                               
Committee  to  request Commissioner  Price  to  waive her  rights                                                               
under  the  Alaska  State  Personnel   Act.    He  expressed  his                                                               
understanding that  she would  not waive her  rights but  that he                                                               
should feel  free to testify.   He requested the committee  to go                                                               
into  an executive  session under  Rule 22(b)(2)  of the  Uniform                                                               
Rules,  which  read:    "discussion  of  subjects  that  tend  to                                                               
prejudice the reputation and character of a person;".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:20:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 3:21 p.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:21:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  stated that the committee  declined that                                                               
request.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL  stated that he believes  in the mission of  DPS, has                                                               
worked closely with  the department, and would  never do anything                                                               
to  harm  the  department.     He  expressed  that  although  his                                                               
testimony  is difficult  to  give, he  believes  it is  important                                                               
information  for the  legislature and  the [Governor  Michael J.]                                                               
Dunleavy administration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL  relayed that  DPS commissioner  is an  important and                                                               
powerful  appointment;  lives  hang   in  the  balance;  and  the                                                               
commissioner has access to incredibly  sensitive information.  He                                                               
expressed that  a commissioner  of DPS  must have  three critical                                                               
qualities:   relevant  experience, integrity,  and a  strong work                                                               
ethic.  He  said that in his judgement,  Commissioner Price falls                                                               
short in all three categories.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL  related that when he  became chief of staff,  it was                                                               
brought  to  his  attention  that  Commissioner  Price  had  been                                                               
involved in two  incidences of either plagiarism  or copying work                                                               
of  another and  passing it  off as  her own.   One  incident was                                                               
brought to the  attention of the governor's office by  staff to a                                                               
member  of the  Senate majority;  it  related to  Senate Bill  91                                                               
[passed during  the Twenty-Ninth Alaska State  Legislature, 2015-                                                               
2016, and signed  into law 7/11/16] and  criminal justice reform.                                                               
Another  incident was  discovered internally  and was  related to                                                               
suicide  prevention.   He said  that in  both cases,  he did  not                                                               
experience the  incidents personally,  but they were  conveyed to                                                               
him  secondhand.   He  stated  that  he  was  told that  she  was                                                               
admonished by  her supervisor  at the  time for  these incidents.                                                               
He relayed that it was also conveyed  to him that on at least one                                                               
occasion,  she was  told by  her supervisor  to attend  a certain                                                               
meeting or be in a certain  place, and without approval failed to                                                               
attend.   He  maintained that  for him,  these occurrences  raise                                                               
issues  of integrity.    He said  that upon  his  arrival to  his                                                               
position [as chief of staff]  her chronic absenteeism was brought                                                               
to his  attention; by the account  of most of the  staff, she was                                                               
almost  literally  never  in  the  office;  she  did  not  attend                                                               
meetings for which  she was scheduled; and she was  not where she                                                               
reported herself to be.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL stated that when he  started his position, she was on                                                               
a plan for improvement under which  she was to submit a report of                                                               
her activities  for the  week and  her upcoming  activities every                                                               
Friday  at 4:30.   His  understanding was  that she  almost never                                                               
produced such  a report;  during his time  as her  supervisor, he                                                               
never saw  such a report.   He said that  when he arrived  in his                                                               
position, he  heard these issues,  considered them bad  for staff                                                               
morale, and inexcusable  if true; however, since he  did not know                                                               
Commissioner Price  or most of  the staff, he determined  to give                                                               
her a chance.  He said that he  sent out a directive to all staff                                                               
that  they must  be  physically present  in  their office  during                                                               
regular hours or their calendars  should indicate where they are.                                                               
He said that  on more than one occasion,  when Commissioner Price                                                               
was not  in the  office, he  had staff  check to  see if  she was                                                               
where her calendar indicated or if  she was meeting with whom she                                                               
said she was meeting.  On  several occasions the people with whom                                                               
she was reportedly  meeting said, "We have not seen  her in weeks                                                               
or  months."   He  relayed  that  in  the  three months  that  he                                                               
supervised her,  he saw her  on only  three occasions -  two were                                                               
meetings he had  scheduled with her.  She was  not present at any                                                               
of his  meetings with the  governor.  He  said that based  on her                                                               
chronic absenteeism  and the apparent lack  of truthfulness about                                                               
where  she was,  he decided  to  recommend her  termination.   He                                                               
expressed  his   belief  that  her   experience  in   the  Walker                                                               
administration should  not be counted as  relevant experience for                                                               
the position of  commissioner.  He said that he  does not believe                                                               
her to  have a strong  work ethic,  and her integrity  is suspect                                                               
because of her lack of truthfulness and plagiarism.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  referred to Mr. Whitaker's  testimony giving                                                               
Commissioner Price  a very positive review.   Representative Wool                                                               
mentioned that  he was shocked  at the degree of  absenteeism and                                                               
unaccountability  in  her  whereabouts.   He  asked  whether  Mr.                                                               
Kendall  had  heard  of  these   issues  before  he  started  his                                                               
position.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:28:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KENDALL answered  that  he did  hear  about the  absenteeism                                                               
immediately upon  meeting the governor's  office staff.   He said                                                               
he cannot  speak for  Mr. Whitaker; however,  his [own]  style of                                                               
management  was  much  more  "hands-on."   He  said  that  it  is                                                               
difficult  to  testify negatively  about  someone.   He  offered,                                                               
"It's much easier  for me to say nice things  about someone, than                                                               
to say  hard truths."   He maintained  that it was  important for                                                               
him to  provide the truth  as he knows it  to people who  will be                                                               
voting  for  the  confirmation  of someone  in  such  a  powerful                                                               
position.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL  asked   Mr.   Kendall   to  describe   the                                                               
circumstances  around  Commissioner  Price's departure  from  the                                                               
governor's office.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KENDALL  replied that  he  made  his recommendation  to  the                                                               
governor  [to  terminate  Commissioner Price]  and  the  governor                                                               
agreed with  the recommendation  readily.   Mr. Kendall  met with                                                               
Commissioner Price and  conveyed to her that her  choices were to                                                               
resign or be  terminated.  He said that  she repeatedly attempted                                                               
to get into a substantive discussion  about why she should not be                                                               
terminated;  he  told  her  that  they  should  agree  that  [her                                                               
employment] is not working; he had  already made up his mind.  He                                                               
maintained  that  he did  not  want  to  get into  a  substantive                                                               
conversation with her about the many  issues he had with her work                                                               
and her character issues, because  he thought it would be painful                                                               
for her  to hear,  and the  decision had already  been made.   He                                                               
didn't  feel it  would be  a productive  conversation because  at                                                               
that point he  didn't believe he would be able  to trust anything                                                               
she  had to  say.   He  stated that  it was  a 20-minute  meeting                                                               
during which  he repeatedly presented  her with what  her choices                                                               
were.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  Mr.  Kendall whether  there were  any                                                               
positive results from Commissioner Price's work.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KENDALL  maintained that  the  rape  kit initiative  was  an                                                               
incredibly important  accomplishment.  Upon  Commissioner Price's                                                               
resignation, a  subordinate was elevated to  Commissioner Price's                                                               
position, and the  immediate upgrade in the work  product led him                                                               
to believe that essentially most  of the positive accomplishments                                                               
were probably attributed to this subordinate.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  offered that she feels  conflicted because                                                               
she respects  Mr. Kendall's  opinion as well  as the  opinions of                                                               
Mr. Whitaker and Ms. Davis.  She  asked if Ms. Davis was a deputy                                                               
chief of staff during Mr. Kendall's tenure.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL replied that Ms. Davis  was deputy chief of staff for                                                               
a very brief period after he became chief of staff.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:33:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  how many  absentee  incidences  he                                                               
observed himself,  as opposed to  those brought to  his attention                                                               
by Commissioner  Price's subordinates.   She also asked  how many                                                               
different people offered complaints.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL responded that when he  first started his job, he was                                                               
approached  by  many  staff  -  both  in  superior  and  parallel                                                               
positions  to Commissioner  Price -  about the  absenteeism.   He                                                               
mentioned  that sadly  her absenteeism  was almost  a joke  among                                                               
staff; he  found the tone  of people's comments  incredibly toxic                                                               
to staff morale.   He was unsure of the  validity of the comments                                                               
and  was  determined  to  give  her  a  chance.    He  said  that                                                               
personally he  witnessed the chronic  absenteeism every day.   He                                                               
stated that  he, himself, worked every  day - with no  days off -                                                               
and saw her three times.  Once he  passed her in the hall and the                                                               
other two times  were at scheduled meetings.   He maintained that                                                               
it was  not her  subordinates complaining  that she  wasn't where                                                               
she was supposed to be, but  a staff subordinate to him acting at                                                               
his direction to check on her.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked Mr.  Kendall to be specific regarding                                                               
the allegations of plagiarism.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL  acknowledged that he  did not experience  this issue                                                               
firsthand but  was explained to  him as follows:   Something that                                                               
she had produced  for the legislature and was  distributed to the                                                               
legislature  was  discovered by  a  staff  member to  the  Senate                                                               
majority to  have come from an  internet source.  He  stated that                                                               
the other  matter involved a  suicide prevention  initiative that                                                               
was to be  her "white paper" and was copied  from a document from                                                               
another state.   He said that  in both instances it  was conveyed                                                               
to him that  the work was presented  as her work but  was not her                                                               
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:37:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW stated  that he was formerly  the director of                                                               
the  Alaska  Police  Standards   Council  (APSC),  which  is  the                                                               
regulatory  agency  for  law  enforcement  for  the  state.    As                                                               
director  he  took  disciplinary  action  against  troopers:    a                                                               
trooper was  relieved of his  commission for something  as simple                                                               
as using  the authority  of being  a state trooper  to ask  for a                                                               
discount for a battery at  an automobile parts store; another was                                                               
fired for cheating  on a test for promotion.   He maintained that                                                               
personal integrity  is an essential  characteristic for  a member                                                               
and representative  of law enforcement  - especially  for someone                                                               
holding a position of such  high significant authority.  He asked                                                               
Mr. Kendall if he agrees that  to be the commissioner of DPS, the                                                               
individual  should  be  not  only   above  reproach  but  without                                                               
blemish.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KENDALL  responded that  he  agrees;  he  comes from  a  law                                                               
enforcement  family;  he   was  going  to  be  a   cop  until  he                                                               
misguidedly attended law school.   He said that he couldn't agree                                                               
more that  people in law  enforcement, because of the  power they                                                               
wield and  the trust they  hold, must  be held to  absolutely the                                                               
highest standard.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS referred  to Mr.  Kendall's  testimony that  DPS                                                               
commissioner  is a  very important  position, in  which life  and                                                               
death hang  in the balance.   He asked  Mr. Kendall to  relay the                                                               
tasks of  the DPS  commissioner and explain  why the  position is                                                               
one  of   the  most  powerful   and  important  roles   in  state                                                               
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KENDALL  responded  that he  worked  closely  with  [former]                                                               
Commissioner  [Walt] Monegan  and  the entire  DPS  family.   The                                                               
commissioner  of  DPS  wields significant  power  and  holds  the                                                               
public   trust;   they  have   access   to   Federal  Bureau   of                                                               
Investigations  (FBI)   databases.    The  commissioner   of  DPS                                                               
allocates resources across the state  - one-fifth the size of the                                                               
rest of the  U.S. - and he/she cannot afford  to "play favorites"                                                               
or "be  asleep at  the switch."   He  stated, "It's  an amazingly                                                               
complex  dance  that  they  do,  and they  don't  have  near  the                                                               
resources, in  my opinion, that  they need."  He  emphasized that                                                               
the judgement  of the commissioner  must be laser-focused  on the                                                               
safety of  all Alaskans.  He  stated that if one  plays favorites                                                               
by  moving resources  out of  a region,  doesn't make  a critical                                                               
decision,  or  makes  any decision  based  on  personal  interest                                                               
rather than what  is best for the department  and Alaskans, lives                                                               
hang in the  balance.  The types of  information the commissioner                                                               
has access  to is  immense and  must be used  only for  the right                                                               
reasons.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS referred  to Commissioner  Price's testimony  in                                                               
the  Senate  Finance Committee,  in  which  she stated  that  she                                                               
resigned due  to differences with  the governor over  Senate Bill                                                               
91.  He asked whether that was accurate.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL replied, "That is  100 percent false."  He maintained                                                               
that her position on Senate  Bill 91 was neither discussed during                                                               
his  meeting with  her nor  was it  discussed during  his meeting                                                               
with the  governor.  He  stated that  she did not  participate in                                                               
Senate Bill 91  enough for him to  know her position on  it.  She                                                               
was terminated  solely for the  reasons he  has given; he  has no                                                               
recollection  of any  discussion with  her on  Senate Bill  91 or                                                               
criminal justice policy.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:42:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  referred to  her testimony  that Senate  Bill 91                                                               
was the reason  for her departure and asked  whether he witnessed                                                               
her substantively engaging in that issue at all.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL  answered that  he did not;  his discussion  with her                                                               
was  regarding the  choice  to  resign or  be  terminated due  to                                                               
absenteeism and honesty issues.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS  asked   Mr.   Kendall   whether  he   believes                                                               
Commissioner  Price   is  a   good  fit   for  the   position  of                                                               
commissioner  and if  he  were  a legislator,  would  he vote  to                                                               
confirm her.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENDALL replied, "I absolutely  would not vote to confirm Ms.                                                               
Price."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:43:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARCIA  DAVIS testified  that she  was in  the governor's  office                                                               
from  the  very beginning  of  Commissioner  Price's tenure;  she                                                               
interviewed  Commissioner Price  for  the job  on  behalf of  the                                                               
governor; her impression was that  Commissioner Price was direct,                                                               
forceful,  and non-bureaucratic,  and would  be  an atypical  but                                                               
brilliant  choice for  hire.   Commissioner  Price  was a  policy                                                               
analyst;  Ms. Davis  was her  day-to-day  direct supervisor;  and                                                               
Chief  of Staff  Whitaker  managed any  direct work  Commissioner                                                               
Price had  with the governor.   She  stated that she  managed the                                                               
governor's Anchorage  Office and  interfaced with  the governor's                                                               
Juneau office.   She relayed that she sensed  tension between the                                                               
two offices;  there was  a perception that  the Juneau  staff was                                                               
hard-working and  overtasked, and  those in the  Anchorage office                                                               
were "slackers."  She said that  she worked hard to mitigate that                                                               
issue;  she  had  to  quell  pettiness,  inuendo,  and  character                                                               
assassination.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVIS expressed  her belief  that hiring  Commissioner Price                                                               
was an inspired  choice by the governor:   Commissioner Price was                                                               
a revolutionary; she set about to  "right the world"; she did not                                                               
make many friends  among AST; she worked very  hard to distribute                                                               
the sexual  assault kits and  to push  that effort forward.   Ms.                                                               
Davis maintained  that the sexual  assault kit effort  was driven                                                               
by Commissioner Price - not  by an intermediary or a subordinate.                                                               
Ms. Davis explained that Commissioner Price was on the road                                                                     
and visiting offices; keeping a  calendar on her activities would                                                               
have been  ridiculous; she  did not operate  like a  "good little                                                               
bureaucrat"  who  calendared  a  simple day  of  meetings.    She                                                               
maintained  that Commissioner  Price had  a hectic  schedule, was                                                               
"pulled  in   a  lot  of  directions,"   responded  to  emergency                                                               
situations, answered  the public as the  sexual assault advocate,                                                               
and managed and negotiated sensitive  issues.  Ms. Davis asserted                                                               
that Commissioner Price  secured money for the  state by tracking                                                               
people down; she  harassed and harangued the right  people to get                                                               
the  right results  for  Alaska.   These  things  were  not on  a                                                               
calendar and  the time  it would take  to reconstruct  a calendar                                                               
after the fact was better spent on other things.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS relayed  that she met with Commissioner  Price three to                                                               
four  times per  week; she  received briefings  from Commissioner                                                               
Price that were oral, to  the point, and direct; the commissioner                                                               
always solicited guidance from Ms.  Davis, then acted.  Ms. Davis                                                               
expressed her dismay  at the allegations of  plagiarism; she said                                                               
that  she would  not want  to  pay an  employee to  come up  with                                                               
originally  composed  informational  papers;  taking  information                                                               
from the  internet leads  to position papers  that are  quick and                                                               
accurate; the purpose was to  educate people, not take credit for                                                               
something not hers.   She summarized by saying that  there was no                                                               
chronic  absenteeism  during  the   two  years  she  worked  with                                                               
Commissioner Price;  she was where  she said she would  be; there                                                               
was evidence  the job  was being  performed; and  she knew  of no                                                               
plagiarism.  She emphasized that  if a supervisor had such issues                                                               
with an employee, she would  expect the supervisor to raise those                                                               
issues with  the employee  and deal with  them in  a disciplinary                                                               
manner.  The fact that  no one ever approached Commissioner Price                                                               
about absenteeism or plagiarism is  shocking and indicates to her                                                               
that the  "pettiness machine" in  Juneau resumed after  Ms. Davis                                                               
left.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW asked Ms. Davis  whether she and Mr. Whitaker                                                               
left the Walker  administration about the same  time, and whether                                                               
that was  about the same  time frame  as Mr. Kendall  joining the                                                               
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS responded, yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SHAW  asked   Ms.   Davis  what   qualifications                                                               
Commissioner Price  had to  be a policy  analyst, when  Ms. Davis                                                               
interviewed her for the position.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS answered  that Governor Walker wanted  someone who knew                                                               
the issue from "the ground up" -  who knew the issue on the grass                                                               
roots level.   He  wanted someone who  understood the  issue from                                                               
the victim's point  of view.  Commissioner Price was  able to try                                                               
to fix  the broken systems.   Commissioner Price's qualifications                                                               
included  her  organizational  abilities, her  work  at  Standing                                                               
Together Against Rape (STAR), and her references.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SHAW  asked   Ms.  Davis   whether  during   the                                                               
interview,  she  inquired  as   to  Commissioner  Price's  formal                                                               
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVIS  replied that  she  had  Commissioner Price's  resume;                                                               
Commissioner  Price  did not  hold  a  bachelor's degree  in  law                                                               
enforcement; she was hired due to her work experience.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW asked,  "Did  she have  a bachelor's  degree                                                               
when you interviewed her?"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS replied that it was so long ago, she can't recall.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW asked  whether Ms.  Davis was  aware of  any                                                               
personal financial concerns during the interview.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS said, no.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:54:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  whether the  interview was  the first                                                               
time Ms. Davis had met Commissioner Price.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS  answered, yes, that she  had never met her  before the                                                               
interview.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  about  documents  that  Commissioner                                                               
Price wrote.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS answered that Commissioner  Price did the federal grant                                                               
paperwork.    She wrote  short  briefing  status reports  to  Mr.                                                               
Whitaker and  Ms. Davis.   Most  of her work  did not  consist of                                                               
policy  papers; her  work involved  meeting with  people to  make                                                               
changes in the procedures.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  questioned, "I  thought you  said she  was a                                                               
policy analyst."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS answered that "policy  analyst" was the position title;                                                               
however;  she  was  acting  on the  governor's  priorities  as  a                                                               
"problem fixer" in the sex abuse  area; she was to fix the delays                                                               
[for rape kit processing] and ineffective prosecutions.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  whether  the  Anchorage  office  had                                                               
regular video conference meetings with the Juneau office.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVIS responded,  yes.   They  had a  Tuesday morning  staff                                                               
conference call; everyone  available would call in  and report on                                                               
their activities.   She said  that Commissioner Price  attended -                                                               
telephonically - most of those meetings.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked whether Ms.  Price was aware of several                                                               
meetings that she did not attend.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS replied  that Commissioner Price only  missed a meeting                                                               
when  she was  in  transit or  at  a conference.    At the  staff                                                               
meetings, Commissioner Price would deliver a full verbal report.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW  referred to  Ms. Davis's  previous testimony                                                               
that  Commissioner   Price  had  on  occasion   differences  with                                                               
troopers on administrative or policy  issues.  He asked Ms. Davis                                                               
to  tell the  committee  what she  thinks qualifies  Commissioner                                                               
Price to be the commissioner of DPS.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIS responded  that she believes her  qualifications are as                                                               
follows:  she is familiar  with the organization, has tracked the                                                               
issues, has worked  closely with senior staff, and  has been able                                                               
to  get cooperation  and movement  on pressing  issues.   She had                                                               
challenges on the  rank-and-file level while trying  to track the                                                               
rape  kits in  Bethel;  the kits  were  in a  closet  and not  in                                                               
compliance with the  handling of evidence.  She  had to challenge                                                               
those  situations  and  rectify  them; changing  the  status  quo                                                               
didn't  always make  her popular  with field  personnel; but  she                                                               
never caused the field personnel  to be punished, reprimanded, or                                                               
disciplined.    Ms. Davis  stated that people don't  like change;                                                               
when  you  change  systems, it  makes  people  uncomfortable  and                                                               
tired.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:59:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS, after  ascertaining that  there was  no                                                               
further testimony,  closed public  testimony on  the confirmation                                                               
hearing on the commissioner of DPS.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        HB 10-CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE POSSESSION; SENTENCE                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
3:59:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   announced  that  the  next   order  of                                                               
business  would  be  HOUSE  BILL  NO. 10,  "An  Act  relating  to                                                               
misconduct  involving  a   controlled  substance;  providing  for                                                               
substitution of judgment; and relating to sentencing."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:00:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHUCK  KOPP,  Alaska State  Legislature,  relayed                                                               
that the intent  of HB 10 is to address  a growing opioid crisis;                                                               
the state has struggled with  the enforcement, behavioral health,                                                               
and mental  health aspects of  the issue.   The question  is, How                                                               
does  the state  use its  resources and  the law  to arrive  at a                                                               
better result,  which is to  reduce addiction and  dependency and                                                               
increase public safety.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP cited  the Department  of Health  and Social                                                               
Services  (DHSS)  publication,   [entitled  "2018-2022  Statewide                                                               
Opioid Action Plan," document not provided], which read:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     During 20102017,   with 623 identified  opioid overdose                                                                    
     deaths, the  opioid overdose  death rate  increased 77%                                                                    
     (from  7.7  per 100,000  persons  in  2010 to  13.6  in                                                                    
     2017). Synthetic  opioids, excluding  methadone, caused                                                                    
     37  deaths  37%  of  all 2017  opioid overdose  deaths,                                                                    
     with fentanyl contributing  to 76% (28 of  37) of those                                                                    
     deaths.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  stated that a  few years ago the  law stated                                                               
that possession of  any amount of a Schedule IA  or IIA substance                                                               
- which  includes heroin, cocaine, opioids,  and methamphetamines                                                               
- was a  Class C felony.   From a law enforcement  point of view,                                                               
it  was easy  to  prosecute.   Subsequently,  Alaska  had a  huge                                                               
public  policy  debate  about  whether the  real  problem  -  the                                                               
addiction rate  - was being reduced.   At that time,  the penalty                                                               
for simple  possession was reduced to  misdemeanor; that resulted                                                               
in  people being  charged with  innumerable misdemeanors  with no                                                               
incentive to enter a treatment program.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  referred to  a  document,  included in  the                                                               
committee  packet, entitled  "HB 10  Background Information,"  to                                                               
point out the  schedule of drugs and the penalties.   Schedule IA                                                               
and IIA  drugs are listed  in the document, which  read [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Schedule IA                                                                                                                
     Illegal  because they  have  high  abuse potential  and                                                                    
     severe  safety concerns:  for  example, heroin,  opium,                                                                    
     hydrocodone,  oxycodone, fentanyl,  (pain patch)  - can                                                                    
     be  used   to  treat  severe  pain.   Can  cause  life-                                                                    
     threatening  respiratory distress  when  taken in  high                                                                    
     doses  or when  combined with  other substances.  Also,                                                                    
     has  a high  risk of  dependency. Also,  GHB, date-rape                                                                    
     drugs.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Schedule IIA                                                                                                               
     Hallucinogenic substances and  substances that suppress                                                                    
     or  stimulate the  central nervous  system that  have a                                                                    
     high  potential  for  abuse   and  dependence  and  the                                                                    
     potential  for severe  addiction.  These drugs  include                                                                    
     methamphetamines including meth,  LSD, the barbiturates                                                                    
     and cocaine.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  paraphrased  from  the  sponsor  statement,                                                               
included in the committee packet, which read:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     As  Alaska  looks to  end  the  opioid and  drug  abuse                                                                    
     epidemic, it  needs innovative solutions to  help those                                                                    
     struggling  with   addiction  recover  and   return  to                                                                    
     leading productive lives.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  10 seeks  to be  a piece  of the  puzzle by                                                                    
     creating  an  incentive  for  drug  offenders  to  seek                                                                    
     rehabilitation instead of continued criminal behavior.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  10 first converts the  repeat possession of                                                                    
     IA and  IIA controlled  substances from  misdemeanor to                                                                    
     felony charges.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     A  judge  may  then  propose to  vacate  an  offender's                                                                    
     felony  possession conviction,  resulting instead  in a                                                                    
     misdemeanor charge, upon the  completion of a treatment                                                                    
     program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     This option  for a felony-to-misdemeanor  conversion is                                                                    
     known  as   a  "substitution  of  judgement".   If  the                                                                    
     offender  does not  successfully complete  their court-                                                                    
     approved rehabilitation, their  felony conviction would                                                                    
     stand.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     This  path  for a  substitution  of  judgment does  not                                                                    
     apply  to offenders  charged with  other crimes  at the                                                                    
     time  of their  possession  conviction, including  gun-                                                                    
     related  crimes,  nor  is it  an  option  available  to                                                                    
     offenders more than once.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Those involved in law  enforcement and criminal justice                                                                    
     recognize the  need for offenders who  are consistently                                                                    
     culpable of drug possession to  get treatment for their                                                                    
     underlying addiction.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     However, Alaskans struggling  with addiction often need                                                                    
     a push to enter a  program and turn their lives around.                                                                    
     House  Bill   10  aims   to  provide   an  accountable,                                                                    
     responsible mechanism  to help  treat addiction  in our                                                                    
     state,  and provide  for  increased  public safety  and                                                                    
     productivity.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  added that  all the data  points -  from the                                                               
Alaska  Criminal Justice  Commission (ACJC),  therapeutic courts,                                                               
and  Alaska behavioral  health agencies  -  indicate that  court-                                                               
appointed treatment programs  work.  They have  the highest rates                                                               
of success.   He maintained that HB 10  would encourage offenders                                                               
into  these programs  in lieu  of a  felony conviction.   Once  a                                                               
person  has   a  felony  conviction,   professional  [employment]                                                               
opportunities  become  extremely  limited and  the  offender  and                                                               
his/her  dependents   are  likely   to  rely   public  assistance                                                               
indefinitely.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:07:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  stated that  he has  heard anecdotally  from law                                                               
enforcement that about 90 percent  of crimes - such as burglaries                                                               
- are rooted  in addiction.  He asked whether  that perception is                                                               
consistent with Representative  Kopp's experience and, therefore,                                                               
the  proposed  legislation  could  have  a  positive  impact  for                                                               
reducing property crime in his own community.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  responded that substance abuse  plays a very                                                               
important  role.   He  estimates  that about  70  percent of  all                                                               
crimes  are  tied  directly  to   substance  abuse;  it  directly                                                               
precipitates crime.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  expressed his  belief that  HB 10  would address                                                               
one  of  the  root  causes  of  the  crime  that  is  making  his                                                               
constituents feel unsafe.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  suggested  that deferred  prosecution  is                                                               
different than suspended imposition  of sentence; under suspended                                                               
imposition of sentence  one must answer "yes" to  the question of                                                               
having  been convicted  of a  felony,  but not  under a  deferred                                                               
prosecution.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP agreed.   To be in the program  [under HB 10]                                                               
the  offender  must  have  made   a  plea;  however,  the  felony                                                               
conviction  would   be  held  in  abeyance   until  the  offender                                                               
demonstrated   that  he/she   was  not   willing  to   materially                                                               
participate in his/her own rehabilitation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX commented  that  the proposed  legislation                                                               
would give the offender one more chance to "straighten out."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP agreed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  asked  whether Alaska  has  the  treatment                                                               
programs and the resources to provide the treatment programs.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  replied that  Alaska has  treatment programs                                                               
but could  use more.   The  House just  passed the  mental health                                                               
operating budget [4/11/19],  which includes significant treatment                                                               
resources.    Every year  the  state  has  become more  and  more                                                               
focused on funding treatment  programs, because, ultimately, they                                                               
show  a very  high  rate  of success  in  breaking  the cycle  of                                                               
addiction  and  reducing   incarceration  and  public  assistance                                                               
costs.   Investing  in treatment  in  the front  end saves  money                                                               
later.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked to be provided  with more information                                                               
on  the treatment  programs and  options  within Alaska's  prison                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:11:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL referred  to  the provision  under  HB 10  -                                                               
changing  a  mandatory  felony  to a  misdemeanor  for  a  simple                                                               
possession  - and  suggested that  the impetus  for the  proposed                                                               
legislation is  to avoid  the negative path  that a  felony would                                                               
hold  for the  offender and  to  provide a  disincentive for  the                                                               
offender to  have repeat felony  convictions and continue  to use                                                               
drugs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  answered, yes,  it  can  be viewed  in  the                                                               
positive  in  that  the  offender  is  allowed  misdemeanor  drug                                                               
possession charges  - relapse  is a  part of  recovery -  but not                                                               
indefinitely.   He said that HB  10 would put a  provision in the                                                               
law  for the  court to  order the  offender into  treatment.   He                                                               
offered that  someone with a  third conviction most likely  has a                                                               
drug  problem.    If  the  offender  successfully  completes  the                                                               
program, the  felony conviction  would be  held in  abeyance, and                                                               
the charge  would be entered as  a misdemeanor.  He  reminded the                                                               
committee that a misdemeanor is not inconsequential.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  reiterated  the history  of  Alaska's  drug                                                               
possession laws  and offered  that because  all Class  C felonies                                                               
are not equitable, the legislature  decided to review sentencing.                                                               
He said that HB 10 recognizes  that a felony is a serious charge,                                                               
but one  should earn it  and show that  he/she is not  willing to                                                               
meaningfully participate  in his/her own rehabilitation.   Alaska                                                               
would  be  balancing  the  need  to  help  addicts  recover  with                                                               
accountability.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL expressed that  the drugs are very addictive,                                                               
and  it is  very hard  for  addicts to  quit.   He asked  whether                                                               
someone  with a  second-time possession  conviction, who  opts to                                                               
enter treatment, would be paying for the treatment.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  clarified  that   it  would  be  the  third                                                               
conviction; the offender  would have to be convicted  two or more                                                               
times  before  the  provision  under  HB  10  would  apply.    He                                                               
explained that the proposed  legislation recognizes that relapses                                                               
occur.  He answered that  court-ordered treatment is based on the                                                               
defendant's  ability  to  pay.   Sometimes  the  state  pays  and                                                               
sometimes the defendant pays.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:17:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked how  frequently the courts elect to                                                               
use this  sentencing tool in  other states or  jurisdictions that                                                               
have this provision.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  answered that  he does  not have  that data.                                                               
He stated that  generally either states charge  the drug offenses                                                               
as felonies and  do not have this tool, or  states charge them as                                                               
misdemeanor possession and do not  have this tool.  He maintained                                                               
that the approach under HB 10  is innovative because it holds the                                                               
"hammer" of the  law in abeyance and the focus  on is getting the                                                               
offender into  treatment.  He reiterated  that therapeutic courts                                                               
have remarkably high success rates,  because they have methods of                                                               
keeping close accountability  and contact.  The  felony hammer is                                                               
a valuable tool to incentivize people to enter treatment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS  commented   that   a  state   attorney                                                               
described  for  him  the  therapeutic  court  system;  there  are                                                               
remarkable parallels  between that system and  the proposal under                                                               
HB 10.   The attorney expressed  to Representative Kreiss-Tomkins                                                               
how profoundly  successful the therapeutic  courts have  been for                                                               
people  who are  often very  deeply troubled.   He  expressed his                                                               
enthusiasm for the premise of HB 10.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE expressed  her belief that HB  10 presents a                                                               
needed  and  helpful  tool.    She stated  that  in  Alaska,  the                                                               
availability  of treatment  is a  big challenge;  her concern  is                                                               
that the Alaska  Court System would be creating a  false sense of                                                               
hope  that treatment  options are  available in  all communities,                                                               
because  it is  not.    She offered  that  [Homer]  is trying  to                                                               
implement  a  treatment program,  because  clients  in the  lower                                                               
Kenai  Peninsula must  travel to  Kenai, Anchorage,  or Soldotna,                                                               
which are at  least 70 miles away.  The  clients often don't have                                                               
the money for  a tank of gas, or can't  make the trip, therefore,                                                               
reoffend.    She  has  heard  testimony  that  some  people  will                                                               
reoffend in order to return to jail  and get help.  She asked for                                                               
information  on  the  treatment   available  outside  the  prison                                                               
system.   She expressed the  need for implementing a  phased plan                                                               
for  the  legislature:   coming  up  with  a cost,  building  the                                                               
resources necessary, moving in the  right direction, and starting                                                               
to reduce opioid addiction.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP responded that  the road system communities -                                                               
including Juneau - have resources;  they make up about 70 percent                                                               
of the  population of the state;  therefore, HB 10 would  have an                                                               
immediate  impact  on  the  majority   of  most  of  the  state's                                                               
population.     He  acknowledged  that  in   rural  Alaska,  more                                                               
resources are  needed.  He  asserted that not having  100 percent                                                               
of  the  resources  that  are  needed would  not  keep  him  from                                                               
advancing  the  legislation,  knowing  that it  that  could  make                                                               
improvements  to much  of  Alaska.   He  maintained that  funding                                                               
treatment   programs    is   almost   ten-to-one    better   than                                                               
incarceration  in  cost,  value  served, and  end  results.    He                                                               
offered  that the  Alaska Mental  Health Trust  Authority (AMHTA)                                                               
could  better   respond  to  the  question   of  availability  of                                                               
resources across the  state.  He suggested that  ultimately HB 10                                                               
would save the state money.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:23:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL  related   previous  committee   testimony:                                                               
Department of Corrections (DOC)  tries to return released inmates                                                               
to  their home  communities  to be  near  their support  systems;                                                               
however, many are under  court-mandated treatment programs, which                                                               
require them  to stay  in Anchorage, resulting  at times  in poor                                                               
lifestyle  choices.    He  expressed his  concern  that  lack  of                                                               
treatment  programs  in  rural  Alaska  could  create  this  same                                                               
predicament.     He  said  he  supports   the  encouragement  for                                                               
treatment under  HB 10.  He  asked whether the offender  would be                                                               
charged with  the felony  if he/she  tried to  complete treatment                                                               
but does not.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP answered,  "That is correct, if  they fail to                                                               
comply with the program."   He said that successful completion of                                                               
the  program  means  that  the person  was  responsive  to  every                                                               
correction  from the  court; it  does  not mean  that they  never                                                               
relapsed,  but only  that they  never committed  a new  violation                                                               
that rose  to the level of  reincarceration.  He stated  that the                                                               
intention is  for offenders  to stay  with the  treatment program                                                               
and complete  it; they are the  ones who have a  high probability                                                               
of breaking the  addiction cycle; and the  treatment program does                                                               
it  through intensive  mentorship and  accountability.   He added                                                               
that  the court  has flexibility  on the  treatment schedule  and                                                               
location of treatment.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:26:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS moved  to report  HB  10 out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There  being no  objection, HB  10  was reported  from the  House                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
        HB 118-OFFENDER REENTRY PLANNING BY CORRECTIONS                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
4:27:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  announced  that   the  final  order  of                                                               
business would  be HOUSE BILL  NO. 118,  "An Act relating  to the                                                               
duties  of  the  commissioner  of corrections;  and  relating  to                                                               
planning for prisoner reentry."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[Before the  committee was the  committee substitute (CS)  for HB                                                               
118, Version S, adopted on 4/4/19.]                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:27:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:28 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:30:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  opened  public  testimony  on  HB  118,                                                               
Version S.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:31:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATIE  BOTZ  testified  that  she   is  tired  of  the  criminals                                                               
returning to the communities and  reoffending.  She expressed her                                                               
belief that DOC needs to be tougher on the offenders.  [Due   to                                                                
poor  sound  quality, portions  of  the  audio are  indiscernible                                                               
throughout.]                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:34:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON  HABEGAR, Community  Coordinator,  Juneau Reentry  Coalition,                                                               
stated that the coalition supports  written case management plans                                                               
that begin  in the institution  and follow the offender  into the                                                               
community.  The plans are  excellent roadmaps that help structure                                                               
reentry:  they  get the offender to treatments  that are required                                                               
and needed; they  help find suitable housing  for the individual;                                                               
and they provide excellent collaboration  with DOC, services, and                                                               
the community.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  closed  public  testimony  on  HB  118,                                                               
Version S.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:36:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked whether  the changes under  Version S                                                               
would be achievable for DOC to be able to implement soon.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:36:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELLY  GOODE,  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Corrections,                                                               
answered  that DOC  worked with  the sponsor  to ensure  that the                                                               
changes could  be implemented.   She stated that the  changes are                                                               
achievable;  the  reporting guidelines  under  Version  S can  be                                                               
performed without fiscal impact.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  whether   the  reporting  and  other                                                               
requirements  under  Version  S  constitute a  good  use  of  DOC                                                               
resources.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE stated  that under the original version of  HB 118, the                                                               
reporting   requirements  would   have   been   onerous  to   the                                                               
department; however, Version  S amended them.  She  said that the                                                               
report  will  show  how many  active  offender  management  plans                                                               
(OMPs) are  in the system  at one time,  how many new  OMPs began                                                               
during the year, and how many  OMPs were updated.  She maintained                                                               
that reporting  the number  of plans that  are updated  gives the                                                               
legislature a sense of regular work on the plans.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked whether  every offender  who is  in an                                                               
institution for 90  days participates in a plan; that  is, do 100                                                               
percent  of the  offenders participate  in a  plan, or  are there                                                               
some who opt out or don't need a plan.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  responded that  the plan does  not apply  to everyone;                                                               
only those  ranking medium or high  risk on the Level  of Service                                                               
Inventory (LSI-R);  they are the  ones that DOC knows  need OMPs.                                                               
In  answer to  Representative Wool's  second question,  Ms. Goode                                                               
said that DOC  cannot force anyone to participate in  a plan; DOC                                                               
can encourage, incentivize,  and work with an inmate.   There are                                                               
some  inmates who  are not  interested  in plans;  but an  inmate                                                               
still has  a plan if  the LSI-R  rates the individual  as needing                                                               
one; the  inmate may or  may not work the  plan.  She  added that                                                               
the  report would  only  include those  incarcerated  90 days  or                                                               
longer; the reason is that  giving numbers on short-term inmates,                                                               
who most likely  would not have worked on a  plan, would skew the                                                               
numbers.    This   ensures  plans  are  being   written  for  the                                                               
appropriate  inmates  and  gives  the  legislature  the  data  it                                                               
desires.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:41:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY referred to page  4, lines 14-24, of HB 118,                                                               
Version  S,  and asked  whether  the  data  in the  report  would                                                               
include the  services that the  inmates received  and information                                                               
about which services were most helpful.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE responded that if  they attempted to report on services                                                               
that inmates  with OMPs  received, the  numbers would  be skewed.                                                               
She  gave an  example:   for an  inmate with  a master's  degree,                                                               
there would be no reason for DOC  to work with that inmate on the                                                               
education  component  of an  OMP;  the  report would  count  that                                                               
inmate in  the number that  is not receiving  education services,                                                               
yet, not  be able  to tell  the reason why  DOC is  not providing                                                               
this service.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY said  that  she was  interested in  knowing                                                               
whether the  services called for  in the plans were  received and                                                               
whether the OMPs made a difference.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODE answered  that  all the  services  - substance  abuse,                                                               
mental health  care, education  - are recorded  in the  OMPS, but                                                               
would not be in the report to the legislature under Version S.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:44:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  about  the  99-year threshold  on                                                               
page 3, lines 5-6, of HB 118, Version S.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  explained that the  threshold reflects  the fact                                                               
that some  sentences are very long,  yet the inmate still  may be                                                               
released at  some point;  it makes  sense that  these individuals                                                               
participate in an OMP.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked about  Alaska's available services and                                                               
resources offered.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  responded that DOC  sent him a list  of services                                                               
by institution; they  vary by staff and infrastructure.   He will                                                               
provide her with that list.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  whether  the  reporting  requirement                                                               
under Version S would be indefinite.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  replied that  Version S would  not create  a new                                                               
reporting  requirement;   it  would  be  modifying   an  existing                                                               
reporting  requirement.    He  referred  to  the  report  in  the                                                               
committee  packet, entitled  "Joint Annual  Report on  Recidivism                                                               
Reduction Fiscal  Year 2018," to  point out the  existing report.                                                               
The new report would be linked to the existing report.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  stated  that  she  supports  the  proposed                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS thanked the contributing agencies.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:49:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  moved to report  the CS for HB  118, Version                                                               
31-LS0724\S, Radford,  4/3/19, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection,  CSHB 118(STA)  was reported  from the  House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS spoke about confirmations that have been                                                                
referred to House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:50:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 4:51 p.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:51:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was recessed                                                                 
to a call of the chair.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
[The meeting reconvened April 12, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.]                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB010 ver U 3.11.2019.PDF HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Sectional Analysis ver U.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Sponsor Statement version U 3.11.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Support Letter from APOA 3.11.2019.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Fiscal Note DOA-OPA 3.31.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Fiscal Note DOC-IDO 3.31.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Fiscal Note DOA-PDA 3.31.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Fiscal Note DHSS-PS 3.31.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Fiscal Notes LAW-CRIM 3.31.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Fiscal Note DPS-SDAEU 3.31.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB010 Fiscal Note DOC-PP 3.31.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 10
HB118 ver M 4.1.19.PDF HSTA 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB118 CS ver S 4.3.19.pdf HSTA 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB 118 Sponsor Statement 4.3.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB 118 Sectional ver S 4.3.19.pdf HSTA 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB118 Supporting Document - Alaska Economic Trends June 2017 4.3.19.pdf HSTA 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB118 Supporting Document - Joint DHSS DOC Recidivism Reduction Report January 2019 4.3.19.pdf HSTA 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB118 Fiscal Note DOC-IDO 4.3.19.pdf HSTA 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB 118 Letter of Support - AMHTA 4.4.19.pdf HSTA 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB 118 Presentation 4.4.19.pdf HSTA 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB118 Fiscal Note DOLWD-WS 4.5.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB118 Letter of Support - Partners Reentry Center 4.8.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB 118 Letter of Support - Juneau Reentry Coalition 4.9.18.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 118
HB033 ver M 3.26.19.PDF HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
HB033 ver S 4.11.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
HB033 Explanation of Changes ver M to ver S 4.11.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
HB033 Sectional Analysis ver S 4.11.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
HB033 Fiscal Note DOA-PDA 4.5.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
HB033 Fiscal Note DOA-OPA 4.5.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
HB033 Fiscal Note LAW-CRIM 4.5.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
HB033 Fiscal Note DPS-CJISP 4.5.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
HB033 Sponsor Statement 3.26.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 33
Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Price - Letter of Support, PSEA 4.12.19.pdf HSTA 4/11/2019 3:00:00 PM