Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

04/13/2021 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 5 SEXUAL ASSAULT; DEF. OF "CONSENT" TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= HB 55 PEACE OFFICER/FIREFIGHTER RETIRE BENEFITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 13, 2021                                                                                         
                           3:06 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Matt Claman, Vice Chair                                                                                          
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative James Kaufman                                                                                                    
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 5                                                                                         
"An Act relating  to sexual abuse of a minor;  relating to sexual                                                               
assault; relating  to the code  of military justice;  relating to                                                               
consent; relating  to the testing  of sexual  assault examination                                                               
kits; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 55                                                                                                               
"An Act relating  to participation of certain  peace officers and                                                               
firefighters  in the  defined  benefit  and defined  contribution                                                               
plans  of  the Public  Employees'  Retirement  System of  Alaska;                                                               
relating to  eligibility of peace  officers and  firefighters for                                                               
medical, disability,  and death  benefits; relating  to liability                                                               
of  the  Public  Employees'  Retirement  System  of  Alaska;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB   5                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL ASSAULT; DEF. OF "CONSENT"                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TARR                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/26/21       (H)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                          
03/26/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/26/21       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/27/21       (H)       STA AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/27/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/27/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/13/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  55                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PEACE OFFICER/FIREFIGHTER RETIRE BENEFITS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOSEPHSON                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/15/21                                                                               
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/13/21       (H)       STA AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/13/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/13/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/27/21       (H)       STA AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/27/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/27/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/13/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOHN SKIDMORE, Deputy Attorney General                                                                                          
Office of the Attorney General                                                                                                  
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing on HB 5, answered                                                                     
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
RENEE MCFARLAND, Deputy Public Defender                                                                                         
Public Defender Agency                                                                                                          
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing on HB 5, answered                                                                     
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE SHORT, Executive Director                                                                                                 
The Consent Awareness Network                                                                                                   
New York City, New York                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 5.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JULIE SMYTH                                                                                                                     
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JESSICA CLER, Alaska State Director                                                                                             
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TARALE SPIKE                                                                                                                    
Consent Awareness Network                                                                                                       
New York City, New York                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 5.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
LISA ELLANNA                                                                                                                    
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CARMEN LOWRY, Executive Director                                                                                                
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LOUIS IMBRIANI                                                                                                                  
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SARAH BRYAN                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ROSE HART                                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CYNTHIA GACHUPIN                                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL PATTERSON                                                                                                               
Party for Socialism and Liberation Anchorage                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN HOSKEN                                                                                                                    
Alaska School Activities Association                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SHANNON DAVENPORT                                                                                                               
Alaska Nurses Association                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LAURA RUBELI                                                                                                                    
Joyful Heart Foundation                                                                                                         
New York City, New York                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BRENNAN HA                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLY WALLER                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SHASA APPLEGATE                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KATIE BOTZ                                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ANGELINA FRAIZE, Communications Officer                                                                                         
Anchorage Police Department Employees Association                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 55.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DOUG SCHRAGE                                                                                                                    
University Fire Department                                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 55.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JACOB WILSON, Business Agent                                                                                                    
Alaska Correctional Officers Association                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 55.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COREY LUCK, Firefighter/EMT                                                                                                     
Capital City Fire/Rescue                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 55.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
GERARD ASSELIN, Deputy Chief of Operations                                                                                      
Anchorage Police Department                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 55.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JUSTIN MACK                                                                                                                     
Alaska Professional Fire Fighters Association                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 55.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIZ JONES                                                                                                                       
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 55.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ELISE SORUM-BIRK, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  on HB  55,  answered                                                             
questions on behalf of Representative Josephson, prime sponsor.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:06:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS  called  the  House State  Affairs                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:06   p.m.                                                               
Representatives Tarr, Story, Claman,  Vance, Kaufman, and Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins  were  present at  the  call  to order.    Representative                                                               
Eastman arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
            HB  5-SEXUAL ASSAULT; DEF. OF "CONSENT"                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:09:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would  be  SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  FOR  HOUSE  BILL  NO. 5,  "An  Act                                                               
relating to sexual abuse of  a minor; relating to sexual assault;                                                               
relating to  the code of  military justice; relating  to consent;                                                               
relating to the  testing of sexual assault  examination kits; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS invited questions from the committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:10:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  sought  to  clarify  the  definition  of                                                               
"another  person," which  was  utilized  throughout the  proposed                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR, prime sponsor of  HB 5, stated that the term                                                               
was  consistent  with  statutory language  pertaining  to  crimes                                                               
against another  person.  She added  that she had not  been asked                                                               
to define "another person" in statute.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  referred the  question to  the Department                                                               
of Law (DOL).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:12:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN SKIDMORE,  Deputy Attorney General,  Office of  the Attorney                                                               
General,  Department  of  Law  (DOL),  stated  that  "person"  is                                                               
defined in  AS 11.81.900(b)(47)  as "a  natural person  and, when                                                               
appropriate,   an  organization,   government,  or   governmental                                                               
instrumentality."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN repeated  his question,  inquiring as  to                                                               
the meaning of "another person" with emphasis on "another."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE explained that "another  person" referred to someone                                                               
other  than the  defendant.   He  added that  in  this case,  the                                                               
defendant would have [sexually assaulted] "some other person."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN considered a  scenario in which two people                                                               
met  online and  described [themselves]  in ways  that were  less                                                               
than truthful.  He remarked:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Then, after  the fact,  the facts  come out,  does that                                                                    
     qualify as another  person?  'I thought I  was going to                                                                    
     be,  you  know,  having   this  relationship  with  one                                                                    
     person, I  found out  that it  was totally  a different                                                                    
     kind  of person  than I  thought they  were.'   Is that                                                                    
     what we mean by another person?                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  explained that when  considering these  crimes, the                                                               
law  didn't  care  about  the  contact  online  and  how  someone                                                               
represented themselves.   He said  the point of interest  is that                                                               
there were two individuals, one  person who had engaged in sexual                                                               
conduct  with another  person who  had not  consented.   He added                                                               
that  any  previous  representation   about  who  they  were  was                                                               
irrelevant for  the purposes of determining  whether this statute                                                               
was violated.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:14:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN asked:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     So, if I  say I'm a person that doesn't  exist and then                                                                    
     engage in  this conduct,  and the  other person  that I                                                                    
     say I am  - James Doolittle - doesn't exist,  is that a                                                                    
     situation  now   where  we're   in  the   other  person                                                                    
     category?   Or  does it  need to  be another  physical,                                                                    
     living, breathing person?                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  replied that "[another]  person" simply  meant that                                                               
the defendant engaged  in sexual conduct with  another person; it                                                               
did not  specify who  that person  had to  be, because  [the law]                                                               
didn't care about who that  person was, what representations they                                                               
made, or  whether it was  the defendant  or the victim  that made                                                               
misrepresentations about  who they were.   He said that  could go                                                               
to  the identity  of who  the  person was;  however, with  sexual                                                               
assault, all that  mattered was that there  were two individuals,                                                               
one of whom was not consenting.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:15:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  said he  would  allow  one more  follow-up                                                               
question.   He noted that he  was not quite tracking  the line of                                                               
questions posed by Representative Eastman.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN referred  to  Section  2, paragraph  (5),                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     (5)  the  offender engages  in  sexual  contact with  a                                                                
     person  who   is  induced   to  believe   by  artifice,                                                                
     pretense, or  concealment that the offender  is another                                                                
     person.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN said he was  not understanding the answers                                                               
to his  question.  He  asked what  about that other  person would                                                               
have had to be concealed to "trigger" this crime.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  sought   to  confirm  that  Representative                                                               
Eastman had  asked if this language  were to pass, how  would DOL                                                               
interpret it or apply it to cases.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  clarified that  he was wondering  how the                                                               
courts  would interpret  "another person,"  as the  term was  not                                                               
defined under  statute.  He added  that he was still  "very hazy"                                                               
over what exactly made this a crime.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS directed the question to Mr. Skidmore.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE  pointed out  that  "another  person" was  utilized                                                               
throughout  the statutes  in multiple  sections.   He  apologized                                                               
[for the  confusion] and said  he had now a  better understanding                                                               
of what  Representative Eastman  was asking.   He  explained that                                                               
when [Section 2, paragraph (5)]  referred to "another person," it                                                               
was referring  to instances in  which there were  two individuals                                                               
who had engaged  in sexual conduct and one of  them believed that                                                               
the person with whom they were  engaging in that conduct with was                                                               
someone  other than  who  it  actually was.    He  referred to  a                                                               
hypothetical pair  of twins and  offered the example of  one twin                                                               
engaging in  sexual conduct with the  spouse/significant other of                                                               
the other  twin; however,  the spouse/significant  other believed                                                               
that they were  [having sex] with the twin they  were actually in                                                               
a  relationship  with.    Another example  would  be  two  people                                                               
wearing the  same outfit at  a costume  party, one of  which [the                                                               
victim]  arrived  with;  subsequently, the  victim  consented  to                                                               
engage in sexual  conduct with the identical  costume wearer (not                                                               
the person he/she  arrived with) in a case  of mistaken identity.                                                               
He provided a third example of  a case that occurred in Alaska in                                                               
which  a homeless  person entered  a home  and engaged  in sexual                                                               
conduct with a woman lying  in bed; however, the woman mistakenly                                                               
believed her  spouse was  climbing back into  bed, which  was why                                                               
she  consented.   Upon realizing  it was  a homeless  person, she                                                               
jumped up and was  very upset.  He noted the  state was unable to                                                               
prosecute  because under  current Alaska  law, "without  consent"                                                               
required force and  in that scenario, there was no  force, just a                                                               
mistaken identity.   He conveyed that [Section  2, paragraph (5)]                                                               
was referring to situations like the aforementioned examples.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:19:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   asked  whether   there  was   any  public                                                               
reporting or  documentation of the  case that occurred  in Alaska                                                               
that was not prosecuted [the third example by Mr. Skidmore].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE said  he  was  unsure whether  there  was a  public                                                               
report.   He shared his  understanding that some  advocacy groups                                                               
lobbying  on behalf  of the  proposed legislation  had referenced                                                               
the  case.   He added  that  the scenario  was one  that DOL  was                                                               
familiar with and had seen in the past.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:20:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RENEE MCFARLAND, Deputy Public  Defender, Public Defender Agency,                                                               
Department of  Administration (DOA), in response  to the question                                                               
from Representative Eastman regarding  "another person," said Mr.                                                               
Skidmore's  explanation corresponded  with  her understanding  of                                                               
the sponsor's intent.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR shared  another  scenario  that occurred  in                                                               
Alaska, in  which a  woman mistakenly  engaged in  sexual conduct                                                               
with  her  boyfriend's  brother  who was  pretending  to  be  her                                                               
boyfriend.  She  noted that the provision  was generally referred                                                               
to as "rape by fraud."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:22:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN asked  whether it  would be  considered a                                                               
crime if someone gave a false  name and number when meeting a new                                                               
person.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  shared  his understanding  that  a  sexual                                                               
encounter must occur [for it to be considered a crime].                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KAUFMAN  said,   "that's  what   I'm  suggesting                                                               
happens."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR    KREISS-TOMKINS   rephrased    Representative   Kaufman's                                                               
question, asking  whether it would  fall under the scope  of this                                                               
language if someone met someone and  gave a false name, and there                                                               
proceeded to be a consensual sexual encounter between them.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  answered no.   He conveyed  that this  language was                                                               
referring to  a circumstance in  which an individual  was engaged                                                               
in sexual  conduct with someone  other than whom he/she  saw that                                                               
it  was.   He  stated that  the  mistaken belief  that  it was  a                                                               
different person was the significant  point.  He clarified that a                                                               
"different  person"  did  not  mean   someone's  name,  it  meant                                                               
different characteristics.  He remarked:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     And that's not  based on 'I've just lied  about what my                                                                    
     name is,' that's  actually based on, 'I  wanted to have                                                                    
     sex with  person A, and  it turns out that  it's person                                                                    
     B, unbeknownst to me.'                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN  asked whether Mr. Skidmore  was confident                                                               
that someone  couldn't seek a  prosecution based on  the previous                                                               
scenario he [Representative Kaufman] had suggested.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE  answered  no,  that  was not  the  intent  of  the                                                               
sponsor.  He added  that if this bill were to  pass, that was not                                                               
the type of case that DOL would file charges on.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:24:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN provided the following hypothetical:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     A  woman who  loves to  watch  football ...  goes to  a                                                                    
     party and  meets a man  who says, 'I play  football for                                                                    
     the Seattle  Seahawks,' and the woman  thinks 'I always                                                                    
     wanted to  have an intimate relationship  with somebody                                                                    
     that  plays football  for  the  Seattle Seahawks,'  and                                                                    
     they have a  really good time and ...  engage in sexual                                                                    
     relations  and  ... she  then  goes  and looks  at  the                                                                    
     roster  of  the Seattle  Seahawks  in  the morning  and                                                                    
     finds that  the picture  of the  person [who]  has that                                                                    
     name isn't  this person that  she just spent  the night                                                                    
     with.  Can that person now be prosecuted for rape?                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE answered  no, DOL  would not  file charges  on that                                                               
case.  He provided the following explanation:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     If ... I meet Sam at  the bar and Sam's the person that                                                                    
     I'm  then going  to  engage in  those sexual  relations                                                                    
     with,  if  I have  the  false  belief  that Sam  has  a                                                                    
     particular profession,  [then] no,  ... that's  not the                                                                    
     type of fraud that's contemplated.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  continued to explain  that [rape by fraud]  was for                                                               
situations  where  an  individual  literally  thought  they  were                                                               
having  sex with  "Sam"  and it  turned out  to  be someone  else                                                               
because, for example, "Sam" was wearing a costume or had a twin.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  said it sounded like  a discretionary call                                                               
on DOL's  part.  He  shared his understanding that  pretending to                                                               
be a  football player  for the Seattle  Seahawks was  artifice or                                                               
pretense.   He asked  why the statutory  language [in  Section 2,                                                               
paragraph (5)]  wouldn't cover the hypothetical  situation he had                                                               
suggested.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE conveyed  that based on the  legislative intent that                                                               
had been communicated thus far,  that was not DOL's understanding                                                               
of  the purpose  [of  that language].   He  explained  that if  a                                                               
prosecutor filed that charge, the  defense would say, "that's not                                                               
what this law  was intended to do, here's  the legislative intent                                                               
that supports  it."  He  suggested that people would  then listen                                                               
to these hearings and the debate that occurred here.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:29:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCFARLAND,  in response  to Representative  Claman's question                                                               
regarding the  hypothetical scenario,  agreed with  Mr. Skidmore;                                                               
however,  she said  she recognized  the risk  that the  statutory                                                               
language presented.   She recalled that the  Alaska Supreme Court                                                               
had  communicated that  legislative history  was more  convincing                                                               
with  clearer  statutory  language.    She  suggested  clarifying                                                               
through  this language  that the  legislature did  not intend  to                                                               
permit  prosecutions   in  which  an   individual  misrepresented                                                               
his/her attributes  in order  to engage  in sexual  conduct while                                                               
not attempting to be an actual different person.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:30:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN opined  that the  statutory language  [in                                                               
Section  2, paragraph  (5)] seemed  "unusual"  because it  didn't                                                               
specify  that the  artifice, pretense,  or concealment  must come                                                               
from the offender.  He considered the following scenario:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     A  fraternity  ...  is communicating  one  thing  to  a                                                                    
     victim,  the victim  believes  something, the  offender                                                                    
     may or  may not have  any knowledge of what's  going on                                                                    
     there.  Yes,  you have the victim [who]  was induced to                                                                    
     believe this is another person.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN believed  that  the  construction of  the                                                               
statute  was strange  because "we're  separating ...  the offense                                                               
from who's doing  the deceiving or concealing."  He  asked why it                                                               
was written that way.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  defined two criminal  law concepts: "mens  rea" was                                                               
the offender's mental  element and "actus reus" was  the act that                                                               
they  engaged in.   He  explained  that the  victim's actions  or                                                               
perceptions were never discussed because  the focus was always on                                                               
the  defendant.   He  clarified  that  the defendant  engaged  in                                                               
sexual  contact with  a  person  who was  induced  to believe  by                                                               
artifice, pretense, or concealment  that the offender was another                                                               
person.  He elaborated:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  offender would  need to  be knowingly  engaging in                                                                    
     the conduct  and would  have to be  reckless as  to the                                                                    
     fact  that  the victim  thinks  that  they are  someone                                                                    
     other than who they actually are.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE added  the state  would be  required to  prove [the                                                               
mens rea] of the offender, not the victim.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:33:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  said he understood [the  meaning of] mens                                                               
rea.  He  opined that the language in question  could be executed                                                               
by someone  other than  the offender.   He wondered  whether that                                                               
was an oversight or an intentional decision by the drafters.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS, to clarify the question, remarked:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     If ... Sam  is going on a blind date  with Jack and the                                                                    
     person who set  it up ... communicates to  Sam that the                                                                    
     real Jack  is actually  Joe who ...  has such  and such                                                                    
     artificial  identity,  as  set  up by  the  blind  date                                                                    
     mediator.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR    KREISS-TOMKINS    asked   whether    that    exemplified                                                               
Representative Eastman's question.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN answered in the affirmative.  He remarked                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The other person has been  induced to believe that this                                                                    
     is  another person;  the offender  is going  along with                                                                    
     it, even  though it  wasn't necessarily  [his/her] idea                                                                    
     ...  but   then,  the  date  ends,   there's  a  sexual                                                                    
     encounter, and  now ... it looks  to me like we  have a                                                                    
     situation of rape.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  explained that the  trouble with  that hypothetical                                                               
was that it  reverted to the scenario of "thinking  that this was                                                               
someone different than who you thought  you were going to meet up                                                               
with."  He  believed that this statute would  not criminalize the                                                               
conduct in that scenario.   He provided an alternative example to                                                               
better illustrate Representative Eastman's point:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     You go  to the costume  party, and you have  two people                                                                    
     dressed  as, say,  spiderman, and  the offender  didn't                                                                    
     dress up  as spiderman with  the intent or  the thought                                                                    
     that,  'Hey, there's  [going to]  be another  spiderman                                                                    
     there, and  I'm going  to be able  to engage  in sexual                                                                    
     relations with that  spiderman's significant other they                                                                    
     brough to  the party.'   But what ends up  happening is                                                                    
     there's an  opportunity, the  offender is  now engaging                                                                    
     in ... sexual relations ... with the victim.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  explained that the  offender's mental state  at the                                                               
time of the  offense would have had to be  reckless as to whether                                                               
the victim thought they were someone else.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:37:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  directed attention to Section  3, paragraph                                                               
(4), and opined  that it did not make sense  mathematically.  She                                                               
asked  whether the  phrase "and  at least  10 years  younger" was                                                               
necessary and why it was written that way.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE said the section  in question mirrored language that                                                               
was  currently  used  in  the  sexual  abuse  of  a  minor  (SAM)                                                               
statutes.  The  concept revolved around an offender  of a certain                                                               
age and a  victim, aged 13, 14,  or 15.  He  explained that there                                                               
could never be,  for example, a 17-year-old  offender engaging in                                                               
conduct with an  individual who was 15 because that  would not be                                                               
a  10-year  age gap.    Alternatively,  this particular  language                                                               
would apply if  the offender was at  least 25.  He  noted that in                                                               
current  statutes the  age  gap was  four  years; therefore,  the                                                               
proposed   legislation  would   add   a  larger   age  gap   that                                                               
criminalized at a higher level.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:40:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked   whether  a  [sexual]  relationship                                                               
between  a 17-year-old  and a  27-year-old would  be criminalized                                                               
and constitute sexual abuse of a minor.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE replied in the affirmative.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS inquired  about the  sentencing ranges  for                                                               
sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  stated that sexual  abuse of  a minor in  the first                                                               
degree was  an unclassified  sex offense;  the first  offense was                                                               
20-30 [years]; the second offense  was 30-40; and a third offense                                                               
was 40-60.  He  noted that there was a maximum  of 99 [years] and                                                               
other factors that played into it.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:41:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE inquired about the prosecution of a 17-                                                                    
year-old  and a  27-year-old under  current law.   She  asked how                                                               
that would be classified.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS understood  that under  current law  it was                                                               
not a crime.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  what the  crime would  be [if  a 17-                                                               
year-old and  27-year-old] engaged in a  sexual relationship that                                                               
was not consensual.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  said it would be  sexual assault.  He  relayed that                                                               
the age  range dealt with  "statutory rape," also referred  to as                                                               
sexual abuse of a minor.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:44:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR   in   response    to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative Vance  regarding the processing of  sexual assault                                                               
examination  kits, said  the six-month  requirement would  not be                                                               
effective until  July 1,  2023, per the  crime lab's  request for                                                               
more  time  to  hire  and  train  enough  staff.    Further,  she                                                               
clarified that the  rape by fraud provision was  not intended for                                                               
misrepresentations that occur in online dating.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS [opened public testimony.]                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:46:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE SHORT,  Executive Director, The Consent  Awareness Network,                                                               
and  author  of  "Your  Consent: The  Key  to  Conquering  Sexual                                                               
Assault," spoke from the following prepared remarks:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     While I'd  like nothing better  than to embrace  a bill                                                                    
     to prevent  sexual assault,  I cannot  support HB  5 in                                                                    
     its   present   form   and   the   reason   is   simply                                                                    
     contradiction.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     HB 5  correctly states that  consent is a  freely given                                                                    
     agreement;   therefore,  by   its  very   nature,  such                                                                    
     agreement cannot  be achieved  through malice,  such as                                                                    
     force, fear, or  fraud.  I like to call  them the three                                                                    
     F  words,  which  should never  take  place  in  sexual                                                                    
     conduct.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The conduct  of the  accused in securing  the agreement                                                                    
     is  what  matters  when establishing  if  consent  took                                                                    
     place.   Did they  employ a  malicious means  to secure                                                                    
     their  victim's agreement?  If  so,  regardless of  the                                                                    
     words  and actions  of their  victim, their  victim did                                                                    
     not consent.   But HB 5  uses the words and  actions of                                                                    
     the victim  as the  criteria to determine  whether they                                                                    
     consented.  HB  5 clearly states the  freedom to choose                                                                    
     - free of undue influence  - and the disregard for this                                                                    
     freedom  is  also  stated  freely   in  the  very  same                                                                    
     provision.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The  words  and  actions   of  the  accused  determines                                                                    
     whether  they  committed murder,  larceny,  kidnapping,                                                                    
     theft, and  a host  of other crimes  and the  words and                                                                    
     actions of  the accused  determine whether or  not they                                                                    
     committed  a  sexual assault.    HB  5 contradicts  the                                                                    
     premise that consent must be  freely given and instead,                                                                    
     blames the  victim for their  own rape  and defilement.                                                                    
     Agreement from  a person who  was scared  into agreeing                                                                    
     is acquiesce;  agreement by a person  who was defrauded                                                                    
     into  agreement  is ascent.    Missouri's  rape in  the                                                                    
     second-degree  statute states  "ascent  is not  consent                                                                    
     when induced by force, duress, or deception.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     I urge legislators to adopt  the definition for consent                                                                    
     proposed in Assembly Bill A6540  in New York.  It makes                                                                    
     clear that malicious influence and  sexual contact is a                                                                    
     crime.   The identical bill  is also awaiting  an index                                                                    
     number in  new Jersey and  has been drafted  and awaits                                                                    
     introduction   in  Pennsylvania.      I  further   urge                                                                    
     legislators to  strike the  rape mentality  that blames                                                                    
     victims,  not the  offender, whose  premeditated malice                                                                    
     restricted  their   victim  of  their   self-worth  and                                                                    
     shattered  their trust.   A  person's body  is not  the                                                                    
     offender's  entitlement, it's  where  they  live.   And                                                                    
     Alaska's  laws should  protect the  bodily autonomy  of                                                                    
     every resident or visitor to your great state.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:49:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR informed committee  members that she tried to                                                               
work with Ms. Short for  months; however, Ms. Short's suggestions                                                               
were not  feasible.   She said in  working with  Alaska statutes,                                                               
she  had  reviewed  the  options and  created  a  definition  [of                                                               
consent] that  works for Alaska.   She  added that she  had asked                                                               
Ms. Short  "not to confuse the  matter, but she chose  to call in                                                               
today."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asserted  that  when  public testimony  was                                                               
held, members of  the public could testify without  fear of being                                                               
rebutted.   He  indicated that  the  public could  say what  they                                                               
wanted;  committee members  would  consider the  merits of  their                                                               
comments; and [concerns] would be "hashed out" as a committee.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:50:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  Ms. Short  to repeat  the New  York                                                               
citation and  asked whether  it was  a bill  number or  a statute                                                               
number.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHORT clarified that the bill number was A6540.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  asked  what   year  the  New  York  State                                                               
Legislature passed the bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHORT  explained that  the bill had  just been  introduced in                                                               
the legislature [in 2021].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:51:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIE  SMYTH   stated  her  support   for  HB  5;   however,  she                                                               
recommended widening  the definition  of "fraud" to  include more                                                               
victims in  Alaska.  As  a client  of the Interior  Alaska Center                                                               
for Nonviolent  Living, she recalled  hearing stories  from other                                                               
women who  had to  file [sexual assault]  charges.   Further, she                                                               
pointed  out that  it  was  up to  law  enforcement to  determine                                                               
whether  consent  was  given.    She  opined  that  the  proposed                                                               
legislation would  help Alaskan communities.   She encouraged the                                                               
men who  had asked questions  about how the bill  would implicate                                                               
offenders to  consider times  when the women  in their  lives may                                                               
have talked about their boundaries  being crossed.  She said this                                                               
issue was  a major  one and asked  for [the  legislature's] help.                                                               
She urged committee  members to worry more about  the victims, as                                                               
99 percent of them never got to see their cases in court.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS questioned  whether there  was an  expanded                                                               
definition [of fraud]  that would help encompass  cases that were                                                               
unable to be prosecutable.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SMYTH offered to email her response to the committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:54:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSICA CLER, Alaska State  Director, Planned Parenthood Alliance                                                               
Advocates,  expressed  her  support  for   HB  5  and  urged  the                                                               
committee  to  move  the  legislation  forward.    As  a  trusted                                                               
provider for sexual assault survivors,  she reported that Planned                                                               
Parenthood  was  deeply  committed   to  advancing  policies  and                                                               
programs that  worked to reduce sexual  assault; provided support                                                               
for sexual assault survivors; and  helped survivors seek justice.                                                               
She  believed that  by  updating the  definition  of consent  and                                                               
addressing the backlog of sexual  assault exam kits, the proposed                                                               
legislation  would have  a direct  positive  impact on  survivors                                                               
across  the state.   She  reported that  Alaska's sexual  assault                                                               
rates  were unacceptably  high;  further, the  rates were  likely                                                               
underestimated  because  sexual   assault  was  often  tragically                                                               
underreported.    She stated  that  survivors  of sexual  assault                                                               
feared  coming forward,  in part,  because  Alaska statutes  were                                                               
insufficient to  adequately prosecute  attackers.   She continued                                                               
to explain  that when survivors  reported an assault,  they often                                                               
faced doubt  and judgement  and had to  navigate a  legal process                                                               
that  was   often  humiliating.    She   conveyed  that  Alaska's                                                               
definition  of  consent placed  an  unreasonably  high burden  of                                                               
proof on  both survivors  and the prosecution  to prove  that the                                                               
assault  occurred.   Further,  the statute  required  the use  of                                                               
force, threat,  or deception and  that the offender  was mentally                                                               
aware that  he/she did not have  consent.  In reality,  she said,                                                               
the psychological  and physiological responses to  sexual assault                                                               
often  led  survivors  to  freeze,  which  effectually  makes  it                                                               
impossible for  them to  fight back.   She said  Alaska's current                                                               
definition of consent  not only failed to  accurately capture the                                                               
realities  of sexual  assault, but  it  also placed  a burden  on                                                               
survivors that  is so high,  it prevented the state  from holding                                                               
perpetrators accountable.   She believed that  the new definition                                                               
in HB 5 would allow courts  to consider a variety of factors when                                                               
determining whether consent was  present.  Additionally, the bill                                                               
would  require  labs  to  test sexual  assault  kits  within  six                                                               
months.  She  urged the committee to move this  critical piece of                                                               
legislation forward.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:57:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TARALE  SPIKE,  Consent  Awareness  Network,  informed  committee                                                               
members that she  testified against Harvey Weinstein  in his 2020                                                               
federal trial.  She stated that  she respectfully opposed HB 5 in                                                               
its  current form  because  she believed  it  would perpetuate  a                                                               
victim-blaming mentality.   She explained  that it was  the words                                                               
and actions  of the offender that  influenced the decision-making                                                               
process  of the  victim, which  constituted a  crime.   She urged                                                               
Alaskans to read  the language in the New York  state bill A6540.                                                               
She  opined  that implementing  a  common  definition of  consent                                                               
would  make  prosecuting  such  cases  equal  across  the  board.                                                               
Further,  she relayed  that A6540  clearly stated  that the  same                                                               
consent  that  protected  a  person's  property,  also  protected                                                               
his/her body.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:59:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA ELLANNA expressed her appreciation  for the bill sponsor and                                                               
stated her  support for the bill.   She opined that  the proposed                                                               
legislation  would satisfy  the need  for stronger  prosecutorial                                                               
tools  to  hold  offenders  accountable given  the  outdated  and                                                               
inadequate  language in  Alaska's  current  sexual assault  laws.                                                               
She pointed out that [in Alaska],  victims of rape could run into                                                               
their perpetrators  many of  whom were living  their lives  as if                                                               
they did nothing wrong.   Further, she reported that many victims                                                               
experienced rape-related  PTSD [post-traumatic  stress disorder],                                                               
which kept  them from working or  caused them to lose  their jobs                                                               
or  homes -  some  even took  their  own lives.    She urged  the                                                               
committee to  move the  proposed legislation  forward, as  it was                                                               
long  overdue.   She  said moving  HB 5  out  of committee  would                                                               
communicate its importance to women in this state.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:02:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARMEN  LOWRY, Executive  Director,  Alaska  Network on  Domestic                                                               
Violence  and  Sexual  Assault,  offered  her  "enthusiastic  and                                                               
unqualified" support  for HB  5. She  believed that  the proposed                                                               
legislation  would be  a  vehicle for  offering  more justice  to                                                               
sexual assault victims  of all ages.  She cited  a 2019 report on                                                               
felony sex offenses, relaying that  the rate of sexual assault in                                                               
Alaska was  four times the  national average.   Additionally, the                                                               
report  indicated  that Alaska  Native  females  had the  highest                                                               
victimization rate  of any aggregate,  accounting for  50 percent                                                               
of all victims.   Nearly 52 percent of all  reported victims were                                                               
children under  the age of  18; the most  common age of  a female                                                               
victim was 15;  the average age [of all victims]  was 18; and the                                                               
most common age of a male victim  was 5.  She said these were the                                                               
victims that deserved  justice.  She urged the  committee to move                                                               
the proposed legislation forward.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:04:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LOUIS IMBRIANI  stated his support for  HB 5.  He  emphasized the                                                               
need to  change the statutory  language pertaining to ages.   Age                                                               
difference, he said,  was an important factor  when prosecuting a                                                               
sexual  crime, as  it  showed the  predation  or manipulation  of                                                               
younger  victims.   He opined  that changing  the language  would                                                               
provide the  prosecutors with better  tools to ensure  that those                                                               
who perpetrated against younger people were brought to justice.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:05:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH BRYAN explained  that she grew up in a  state that lacked a                                                               
robust  definition of  consent.   She  said in  order to  receive                                                               
medical treatment or legal remedies,  survivors had to prove that                                                               
their experiences fell within a  narrow definition.  She recalled                                                               
that she  had already internalized  that message by the  time she                                                               
was raped  at age 18.   She said she  did not report  the assault                                                               
out  of  fear.   Further,  she  stated that  she  had  no way  to                                                               
distinguish  what   had  happened   to  her  from   a  consensual                                                               
encounter.    She conveyed  that  the  language in  the  proposed                                                               
legislation  addressed  this  paradigm  failure  by  writing  the                                                               
absence of  consent into Alaska's  definition of  sexual assault.                                                               
She  reported that  the  bill  sponsor had  worked  for years  to                                                               
tailor   the  bill   language  around   the  needs   of  Alaska's                                                               
communities.  She opined that  without addressing consent and its                                                               
absence, statutes  misapprehended sexual  assault.   She believed                                                               
that  HB  5 would  rectify  the  currently flawed  definition  of                                                               
sexual assault in Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:07:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR thanked Ms.  Bryan for testifying and sharing                                                               
such a personal disclosure.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:08:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROSE HART expressed  her support for HB 5 and  urged its passage.                                                               
Growing up  as a daughter of  a Los Angeles, California  cop, she                                                               
recalled having an  acute understanding that, at  some point, she                                                               
would be  assaulted and that little  could be done to  prevent it                                                               
and even less  to deliver any form of justice.   She reflected on                                                               
her  college campus  job where  she learned  about consent.   She                                                               
said  she  felt empowered  knowing  that  consent was  definable,                                                               
retractable, and could only be given  by a competent person.  She                                                               
believed that  the proposed definition  of consent in HB  5 would                                                               
also  empower  and  better protect  survivors  of  inner-personal                                                               
dating  violence and  hold  perpetrators  accountable across  the                                                               
state.   She urged the legislature  to help make Alaska  safe for                                                               
women and survivors by passing this legislation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:10:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CYNTHIA GACHUPIN  stated her support  for HB 5  as a woman  and a                                                               
mother of  a teenage  daughter.   She said  she was  surprised to                                                               
learn  about   Alaska's  lacking   sexual  assault   laws,  which                                                               
suggested that  her daughter would  be safer in California.   She                                                               
expressed her hope that the  legislature would take the chance to                                                               
update the outdated laws [by passing the proposed legislation].                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:12:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL PATTERSON, Party for  Socialism and Liberation Anchorage,                                                               
expressed his support for HB 5.   He reported that Alaska had one                                                               
of the highest rates of sexual  violence in the country.  He said                                                               
Alaska's  consent law  was outdated  and inadequate.   He  opined                                                               
that   the  Thirty-Second   Alaska  State   Legislature  had   an                                                               
obligation to right this wrong.   He understood that the proposed                                                               
legislation  would   modernize  the  consent  statute   and  give                                                               
parent's additional tools to keep  their children safe.  Further,                                                               
the  bill would  require  that sexual  assault  kits were  tested                                                               
within a reasonable time.  He  believed it was shameful that many                                                               
survivors of  sexual assault were  denied justice  because Alaska                                                               
lacked the resources  to test the kits.  He  continued by sharing                                                               
his belief  that sexual assault  law in  its current form  was an                                                               
"act  of state  violence,"  as  survivors had  to  heal from  the                                                               
personal trauma  of being  assaulted and "pay  for the  fact that                                                               
Alaska doesn't  have their  back."   As an  Iraq war  veteran, he                                                               
shared  a  personal  anecdote  about   an  acquaintance  who  was                                                               
assaulted  and received  no help  form the  army.   He urged  the                                                               
committee to  move this legislation  forward as  expeditiously as                                                               
possible.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:14:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN HOSKEN,  Alaska School  Activities Association,  stated his                                                               
support  for HB  5 and  its refined  definition of  consent.   He                                                               
informed  the  committee that  his  primary  role at  the  Alaska                                                               
School  Activities  Association  (ASAA)  was  to  facilitate  the                                                               
Coaching Boys  into Men  (CBIM) program,  which was  an evidence-                                                               
based  comprehensive  violence  prevention  program  designed  to                                                               
inspire  coaches  to  teach  their  athletes  the  importance  of                                                               
respect  for   themselves,  others,  and  women.     The  program                                                               
incorporated strategies, scenarios, and  resources needed to talk                                                               
with   boys    specifically   about   healthy    and   respectful                                                               
relationships, dating  violence, sexual assault,  and harassment.                                                               
Additionally, CBIM  recognized how influential sports  was on the                                                               
culture and  lives of  young people and  was designed  to utilize                                                               
and  leverage the  social capital  held by  athletes.   He opined                                                               
that the principles of teamwork  and fair play made athletics the                                                               
ideal  platform to  teach  healthy relationship  skills  on.   He                                                               
continued  to  explain  that  he   trained  coaches  to  teach  a                                                               
curriculum designed for  a 12-week sports season  in which weekly                                                               
training lessons  are presented from  the coach to  the athletes.                                                               
He   noted   that   week  six   of   the   curriculum   presented                                                               
"understanding  consent,"   later  asserting  that   the  current                                                               
definition  was  inadequate.   He  offered  his belief  that  the                                                               
proposed legislation would further  define and help this teaching                                                               
component and  that many of  the topics incorporated by  CBIM and                                                               
HB 5 mutually  validated the need for  a preventative educational                                                               
component and  accountability for  perpetrators.  He  opined that                                                               
the clarification  and affirmative definition of  consent in this                                                               
legislation  would strengthen  the scholastic  elements of  CBIM.                                                               
To conclude,  he said  he looked forward  for the  opportunity to                                                               
employ HB  5 in coordination  with a statewide  implementation of                                                               
CBIM to  further education Alaska's  youth with the  objective of                                                               
eradicating violence towards women.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:17:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHANNON DAVENPORT, Alaska Nurses  Association, shared her support                                                               
for HB 5.  She reflected on  her work in pediatrics over the last                                                               
decade,  during  which  time  she cared  for  victims  of  sexual                                                               
assault.   She said a majority  of those victims were  ages 13-17                                                               
whose perpetrators tended to be  family members.  She stated that                                                               
her support for the proposed legislation  gave them a voice.  She                                                               
opined  that the  proposed legislation  would impact  how victims                                                               
were  cared for  and change  the perception  of them.   She  said                                                               
Alaska needed to become a  community of understanding and support                                                               
rather than a  society that blamed and shamed  victims for coming                                                               
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:19:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURA RUBELI, Joyful Heart Foundation,  stated her support for HB
5  as it  would  ensure the  swift  testing of  rape  kits.   She                                                               
informed committee that members  that the Joyful Heart Foundation                                                               
was founded  by actress and  advocate, Mariska Hargitay,  to help                                                               
survivors heal.  Since 2010,  the foundation made eliminating the                                                               
untested rape kit  backlogs its top priority.   She reported that                                                               
among  the 19  states  with codified  lab  testing timelines  for                                                               
sexual assault kits, Alaska's testing  mandate was the longest at                                                               
one year.   She noted  that average testing turnaround  times was                                                               
about  100 days  and  conveyed that  a  shorter testing  timeline                                                               
would  potentially prevent  more crime,  including serial  rapes.                                                               
In  addition   to  creating  safer  communities,   swift  testing                                                               
timelines would send  a message to survivors that  they and their                                                               
cases mattered,  and that justice  and healing was a  priority in                                                               
Alaska.  She urged legislators to "vote yes" on HB 5.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:21:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENNAN HA expressed his support for HB  5.  He said he found the                                                               
state's  issue  with  sexual  assault  to  be  one  of  the  most                                                               
unattractive factors  about living  in Alaska.   He  reflected on                                                               
the  "horrific"  incidents  he   witnessed  working  as  a  first                                                               
responder.  He  opined that if the statistics  were lower, Alaska                                                               
would be a better  place to live.  He urged  the enactment of the                                                               
proposed legislation  to help protect  his loved ones  and fellow                                                               
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:23:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLY WALLER,  said it  was shameful that  so little  had been                                                               
done to protect the women  of this state, especially since Alaska                                                               
wore the "sad crown" of  highest rate of rape, domestic violence,                                                               
and  domestic homicide.   She  believed much  of the  problem was                                                               
associated  with the  lack of  education.   She asserted  that if                                                               
Alaska's   leaders  wanted   women  and   families  to   continue                                                               
populating  the state  and greatly  contributing to  its economy,                                                               
the lack of action and protection  for the most vulnerable had to                                                               
be atoned for.   She offered her  belief that HB 5 was  a step in                                                               
the right direction.  Further,  she touched on her own experience                                                               
with sexual assault  and the Fairbanks police  that "botched" the                                                               
evidence,  she  said.   She  indicated  that women  were  closely                                                               
watching  the   progress  of  the  proposed   legislation,  later                                                               
maintaining that  no community  could flourish  if women  did not                                                               
because  they were  the backbone.   She  strongly encouraged  the                                                               
enactment of this legislation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:26:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  thanked Ms. Waller for  sharing her personal                                                               
disclosure.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:26:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHASA APPLEGATE, spoke from the following prepared remarks:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Dear committee members, my name  is Shasa Applegate and                                                                    
     I'm from Anchorage, Alaska, and  I'm a senior currently                                                                    
     attending  Service  Highschool.    Not  only  am  I  in                                                                    
     Support of HB 5, but  I've gotten nearly 700 signatures                                                                    
     from  other Alaskan  residents who  are  in support  of                                                                    
     this bill as well, most of whom are in my age group.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     As a survivor of sexual  assault and speaking on behalf                                                                    
     of a friend  who has experienced it  firsthand as well,                                                                    
     the  definition  of  consent  is  extremely  important.                                                                    
     Many  teenagers  are  not aware  that  consent  can  be                                                                    
     revoked  and making  that clear  by  passing this  bill                                                                    
     will make  a life changing  difference for me  and many                                                                    
     others.  I  did not report my sexual  assault because I                                                                    
     didn't feel  like I had  a voice but passing  this bill                                                                    
     would give people that voice.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Time and  time again, election after  election, we hear                                                                    
     candidates  from this  very body,  state that  they are                                                                    
     interested  in  protecting  public health,  ending  the                                                                    
     cycles   of  sexual   violence   in  our   communities,                                                                    
     increasing   public   safety,    and   supporting   law                                                                    
     enforcement.   Now is  the time to  make good  on those                                                                    
     promises  by  putting pen  to  paper  and passing  this                                                                    
     bill.  You have the power to protect us, so use it.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:28:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR  thanked   Sasha   for   her  courage   and                                                               
congratulated her for gathering 700 signatures.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:29:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATIE  BOTZ  expressed her  wholehearted  support  for HB  5  and                                                               
thanked the bill  sponsor for continuing to  address sexual abuse                                                               
in  Alaska.    She  asked [legislators]  to  be  victim  oriented                                                               
instead  of  politically  oriented.   She  asserted  that  sexual                                                               
assault should  be Alaska's top  priority, as well  as redefining                                                               
consent.  She  reflected on her own experience  with sexual abuse                                                               
and urged the enactment of the proposed legislation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:33:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR thanked  Ms. Botz  for sharing  her personal                                                               
story.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:33:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  closed public testimony and  announced that                                                               
HB 5 was held over.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        HB  55-PEACE OFFICER/FIREFIGHTER RETIRE BENEFITS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:33:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 55,  "An Act relating to participation of                                                               
certain peace  officers and firefighters  in the  defined benefit                                                               
and  defined   contribution  plans   of  the   Public  Employees'                                                               
Retirement  System of  Alaska; relating  to eligibility  of peace                                                               
officers  and firefighters  for  medical,  disability, and  death                                                               
benefits;  relating   to  liability  of  the   Public  Employees'                                                               
Retirement  System  of Alaska;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:34:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony on HB 55.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:34:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANGELINA   FRAIZE,  Communications   Officer,  Anchorage   Police                                                               
Department  Employees Association,  informed  the committee  that                                                               
this was  her twentieth year  working in Alaska  law enforcement.                                                               
She noted  that she was  grandfathered into PERS Tier  III, which                                                               
provided  a twenty-year  pension.   She  reported  that her  2017                                                               
Anchorage Police  Department academy started with  21 officers of                                                               
which  only two  were still  with the  department in  2021.   She                                                               
recounted  her experience  training  officers  and watching  them                                                               
leave after five years to work  in other states.  She said Alaska                                                               
had  many  great  selling  points  but lacked  a  pension.    She                                                               
expressed  concern  for  the  future   of  the  Anchorage  Police                                                               
Department,   as  officers   were   being   recruited  by   other                                                               
departments  after receiving  expensive training  in Alaska.   In                                                               
conclusion,  she opined  that  money was  being  wasted to  train                                                               
individuals who ended up leaving.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:38:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG SCHRAGE, University Fire Department,  spoke in support of HB
55.     He  informed   committee  members   that  as   a  39-year                                                               
practitioner  in  Alaska  fire   departments,  the  goal  of  his                                                               
testimony was  to share his  observations on the  outmigration of                                                               
Alaska's  firefighters.     He  indicated  that   municipal  fire                                                               
departments in Alaska had become  revolving doors and essentially                                                               
training  grounds  for fire  departments  in  other states.    He                                                               
explained  that firefighters  in Alaska  were receiving  training                                                               
and serving  out their  probationary periods;  subsequently, some                                                               
were being  recruited by fire  departments in Washington  and the                                                               
Pacific  Northwest.    Those recruitments  were  through  lateral                                                               
hires, indicating  that those out-of-state departments  saved the                                                               
cost  of  recruiting  and training.    Meanwhile,  Alaska's  fire                                                               
departments    were   recruiting,    training,   and    equipping                                                               
firefighters at  significant expense  on a  perpetual basis.   He                                                               
suggested  that   the  outmigration  "blossomed"   following  the                                                               
implementation  of Tier  IV.   He  recalled that  prior to  2008,                                                               
firefighters  leaving for  other  states  was "virtually  unheard                                                               
of."  Furthermore,  he noticed that fewer  Alaskans were applying                                                               
for firefighting  jobs in Alaska,  which he assumed was  also due                                                               
to Tier IV.  He urged  committee members to recommend a "do pass"                                                               
for the proposed legislation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:40:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACOB  WILSON,  Business   Agent,  Alaska  Correctional  Officers                                                               
Association (ACOA),  expressed his support  for HB 55.   He noted                                                               
that during the 10 years  he represented correctional officers in                                                               
Alaska he had  spoken with hundreds if not  thousands of officers                                                               
concerning their retirement, as well  as their reasons for coming                                                               
to/leaving  the Department  of Corrections  (DOC).   He indicated                                                               
that Alaska  was facing a  significant recruitment  and retention                                                               
crisis.  One of the root causes  of this crisis, he said, was the                                                               
defined  contribution  retirement  system and  its  inability  to                                                               
compete  with  the  benefits offered  by  other  law  enforcement                                                               
agencies around  the country.   He reported that  between January                                                               
2015 and January 2021, 652  correctional officers had left ACOA's                                                               
bargaining unit,  which was  just under 70  percent of  the total                                                               
workforce.  He explained that  every time DOC lost an experienced                                                               
officer,  the department  was forced  to  backfill that  position                                                               
with  an inexperienced  recruit,  which costed  the state  money.                                                               
Further,  when the  department was  forced to  hire over  100 new                                                               
recruits  per  year,  it systematically  compromised  safety  and                                                               
security  in the  state.   In  summary, he  asserted that  Alaska                                                               
needed to  address its  recruitment and  retention problems.   He                                                               
concluded  that  HB  55  would  be  a  huge  step  in  the  right                                                               
direction.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:43:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COREY  LUCK, Firefighter/EMT,  Capital City  Fire/Rescue ("CCFR")                                                               
stated his  support for HB  55.  He  reported that 25  percent of                                                               
CCFR's staff was  hired prior to 2006; 50  percent were currently                                                               
eligible  for retirement  and  40 percent  would  be eligible  to                                                               
retire within  the next two  years.  Additionally, 50  percent of                                                               
CCFR's staff had  less than five years on the  job and 30 percent                                                               
of CCFR's Tier  IV employees planned on leaving in  the next five                                                               
years.  He included himself  in the latter group, explaining that                                                               
he had  been recently offered  a position with a  fire department                                                               
in  Washington with  a defined  benefit plan.   He  said, "to  be                                                               
quite  honest, it  would  be hard  to turn  that  [down] at  this                                                               
point."    He  encouraged  the committee  to  move  the  proposed                                                               
legislation forward,  later adding his belief  that public safety                                                               
in Alaska depended on it.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:45:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GERARD  ASSELIN, Deputy  Chief  of  Operations, Anchorage  Police                                                               
Department, stated  his support  for HB 55  and provided  a brief                                                               
description of his  work experience within APD.   He relayed that                                                               
demands on the  policing profession had increased,  which made it                                                               
harder to recruit and caused  officers to reevaluate their desire                                                               
to  stay.   He recounted  that police  officers had  been leaving                                                               
every month for departments across  the nation and emphasized the                                                               
loss of  productivity that occurred,  as well as the  decrease in                                                               
proficiency that came  with lack of experience.   Further, patrol                                                               
sergeants   reported  that   in  addition   to  recruitment   and                                                               
retention, the  biggest problem was  the age of officers,  as the                                                               
workforce was  skewing younger.   He indicated that  the proposed                                                               
legislation  presented   an  opportunity  to  put   Alaska  in  a                                                               
competitive   posture  to   maintain  the   best  public   safety                                                               
professionals.   He urged the  committee to support the  bill and                                                               
thanked them for their efforts on this issue.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:49:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUSTIN  MACK,  Alaska   Professional  Fire  Fighters  Association                                                               
(APFFA), indicated  that there was  widespread support for  HB 55                                                               
within APFFA.   He  explained that since  2006 when  Alaska began                                                               
placing all  new state and  municipal employees into  the defined                                                               
contribution  system known  as Tier  IV,  Alaska had  experienced                                                               
many unintended  consequences.  He said  the clearest consequence                                                               
was  the competitive  disadvantage  in  recruiting and  retaining                                                               
public safety employees.  He  stated that there was a significant                                                               
cost to  doing nothing and  reported that too many  public safety                                                               
employees had  cited "lack of  retirement" as the  primary reason                                                               
for leaving the  state.  Further, departments  across Alaska were                                                               
hiring and training officers that  had no long-term plans to stay                                                               
in the  state.  Alaska was  becoming a training ground,  he said.                                                               
He explained  that recruitment and retention  dollars were having                                                               
to be reinvested several times  over, which was wreaking havoc on                                                               
public safety  budgets.   Not only  was it  financially impacting                                                               
municipalities and  the state  but a  widening gap  in experience                                                               
was being  noticed as  well, as the  most talented  public safety                                                               
workers were leaving.   He reiterated APFFA's  strong support for                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:52:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIZ JONES, read the following prepared remarks on behalf of her                                                                 
husband, Jeffrey Jones:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     I am  a fire  medic and have  been with  the department                                                                    
     since July of 2007 making it  14 years in a few months.                                                                    
     A  return  to  a  DB   plan  can  help  the  state  and                                                                    
     municipalities  mitigate  the   costs  associated  with                                                                    
     training  and  turnover   (indisc.)  with  existing  DB                                                                    
     plans.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In  my time  with the  department, I  received multiple                                                                    
     certifications.   I am a Fire  Officer III, Firefighter                                                                    
     II, Paramedic  - I  also have  my associates  degree in                                                                    
     paramedicine - Fire Instructor  II, CPR and multi-level                                                                    
     EMT instructor, and am the  only child passenger safety                                                                    
     technician  in Ketchikan.   This  was all  accomplished                                                                    
     with a cost  to the city.  I'm not  saying that I'm not                                                                    
     irreplaceable, but  I can tell  you, it will be  a very                                                                    
     long time and  a lot of money before  someone earns all                                                                    
     the certifications that I have.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     My  family is  actively searching  for a  new place  to                                                                    
     call home to a state that  has a DB program.  My family                                                                    
     has roots here  in Alaska and I don't  want to relocate                                                                    
     them,  but it  is well  known  that if  a fire  fighter                                                                    
     works after 55 it puts them  at a greater risk of dying                                                                    
     due to  line of  duty deaths, including  heart attacks.                                                                    
     I would  like to be  able to hold my  grandchildren and                                                                    
     to enjoy my retirement.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     I started when  I was 28 and will  not realistically be                                                                    
     able to  retire at an  age that affords me  the ability                                                                    
     to do so.   At 58 I  will have 30 years in  my DC plan;                                                                    
     still, not  enough to  retire.  Can  you imagine  a 58-                                                                    
     year-old carrying  someone down a flight  of stairs and                                                                    
     out of  a fire? Not  saying that  it cannot be  done or                                                                    
     won't be attempted, but it  puts me, the public, and my                                                                    
     coworkers at a higher risk.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The  relatively  small  increase  in the  cost  of  the                                                                    
     proposed  DB  program  is money  well  spent  when  you                                                                    
     consider the value of  retaining employees throughout a                                                                    
     career  as  opposed  to training  new  people  and  not                                                                    
     having benefits in  place to keep them.   This cycle is                                                                    
     already  happening, resulting  in the  export of  home-                                                                    
     grown  talent   to  states  with  better   options  for                                                                    
     retirees.   I encourage  you to pass  HB 55.  Thank you                                                                    
     for your time and consideration for this bill.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:55:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  closed  public  testimony  on  HB  55  and                                                               
invited questions from committee members.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  said, "don't  give up on  us yet,"  to those                                                               
who were considering leaving the state.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN   asked  when  Tier  I   obligations  and                                                               
liabilities would be paid without  the bill compared to when they                                                               
would  be  paid  if  HB  55  were  to  pass.    Additionally,  he                                                               
questioned whether  documents had been provided  to the committee                                                               
that addressed that timeline.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:57:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELISE  SORUM-BIRK, Staff,  Representative Andy  Josephson, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  on behalf of Representative  Josephson, prime                                                               
sponsor, directed  Representative Eastman to an  actuarial report                                                               
[included in  the committee packet],  which was conducted  by the                                                               
state's actuary, [Buck  Global, LLC].  She  deferred the question                                                               
to Mr.  Puckett, Division of Retirement  and Benefits, Department                                                               
of Administration (DOA).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:57:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 55 was held over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:58:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS provided  closing remarks  on reviewed  the                                                               
upcoming schedule.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  apologized  for  her  earlier  interjection                                                               
[during public  testimony on HB 5].   She said she  had failed at                                                               
what she  was attempting  to accomplish, which  was to  let folks                                                               
know that she had tried to consider some of the suggestions                                                                     
[from Ms. Short].  She added that it was not her intention for                                                                  
it have come across as a rebuttal.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:00:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 5:00                                                                  
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 5 Letters of Support (All) 4.09.2021.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 5
HB 55 Additional Emails of Support 4.7.21.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
HB 55 Additional Emails of Support 4.12.21.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
HB 55 Additional Info - DPS R&R study.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
HB 55 Additional Info - FY21 Cost of a New Trooper.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
HB 55 Additional Info - Training Cost per APFO 3.30.21.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
HB 55 Letter of Support - Munoz 4.12.21.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
HB 55 Letter of Support - Schrage 2.24.21.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
HB 55 Letter of Support - Stoddard 3.31.21.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
HB 55 Response to Committee Questions - Miranda 4.1.21.pdf HSTA 4/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55