Legislature(2019 - 2020)DAVIS 106

03/10/2020 08:00 AM TRIBAL AFFAIRS

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
08:05:49 AM Start
08:06:29 AM HB287
09:14:20 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 287 VILLAGE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER GRANTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 287(TRB) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                          
                         March 10, 2020                                                                                         
                           8:05 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Bryce Edgmon, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative John Lincoln                                                                                                     
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 287                                                                                                              
"An  Act requiring  background investigations  of village  public                                                               
safety  officer applicants  by the  Department of  Public Safety;                                                               
relating  to  the  village public  safety  officer  program;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 287(TRB) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 287                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: VILLAGE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER GRANTS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KOPP                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/24/20       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/24/20       (H)       TRB, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
02/26/20       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/26/20       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
03/03/20       (H)       TRB AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
03/03/20       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/20       (H)       MINUTE(TRB)                                                                                            
03/05/20       (H)       TRB AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
03/05/20       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/05/20       (H)       MINUTE(TRB)                                                                                            
03/10/20       (H)       TRB AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK KOPP                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, introduced changes made                                                                
to HB 287.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KEN TRUITT, Staff                                                                                                               
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced changes made to HB 287 on behalf                                                              
of Representative Chuck Kopp, prime sponsor.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACKIE PATA, Second Vice President                                                                                              
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ALEX CLEGHORN, Legal Director                                                                                                   
Alaska Native Justice Center                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DEAN LOPEZ, VPSO Program Manager                                                                                                
Bristol Bay Native Association                                                                                                  
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE BAHNKE, President/CEO                                                                                                   
Kawerak, Inc.                                                                                                                   
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA KLOSTER, Executive Director                                                                                              
Native Peoples Action                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 287.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MARTHA KASSOCK, Program Administrator                                                                                           
Association of Village Council Presidents                                                                                       
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 287.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
KELSEY WALLACE, Communications Director                                                                                         
Native Peoples Action                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TIFFANY SIMMONS, Division Director                                                                                              
Tribal Development                                                                                                              
Tanana Chiefs Conference                                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS HATCH, VPSO Coordinator                                                                                                   
Copper River Native Association                                                                                                 
Tazlina, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOEL JACKSON                                                                                                                    
Organized Village of Kake                                                                                                       
Kake, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WILL MAYO, Executive Director                                                                                                   
Alaska Tribal Unity                                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 287.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH MEDICINE CROW, President/CEO                                                                                          
First Alaskans Institute                                                                                                        
Kake, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:   Expressed appreciation for  the substantive                                                             
changes proposed under HB 287.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:05:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TIFFANY ZULKOSKY  called  the House  Special Committee  on                                                             
Tribal Affairs  meeting to  order at  8:05 a.m.   Representatives                                                               
Edgmon, Lincoln,  Kopp, Ortiz, Vance,  and Zulkosky  were present                                                               
at the call to order.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          HB 287-VILLAGE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER GRANTS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:06:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be   HOUSE   BILL  NO.   287,   "An   Act  requiring   background                                                               
investigations  of village  public safety  officer applicants  by                                                               
the Department of  Public Safety; relating to  the village public                                                               
safety  officer program;  and providing  for an  effective date."                                                               
[Before the committee,  adopted as a working  document on 3/5/20,                                                               
was the  proposed committee substitute  (CS) for HB  287, Version                                                               
31-LS1486\G, Radford, 3/3/20 ("Version G").]                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:06:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY announced that she would entertain a motion to                                                                   
adopt an amendment by the sponsor of HB 287.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:07:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON moved to adopt Amendment 1 to Version G,                                                                  
which read as follows:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 31:                                                                                                           
          Delete "and"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 1, following "officer":                                                                                       
          Insert "; and                                                                                                         
               (4)  maintain insurance, independently or                                                                        
        with the assistance of the Department of Public                                                                         
         Safety, that includes coverage for premiums as                                                                         
     follows:                                                                                                                   
               (A)  workers' compensation insurance as                                                                          
     required under AS 23.30;                                                                                                   
               (B)       comprehensive   general   liability                                                                    
      insurance, including professional practice insurance                                                                      
     for police with                                                                                                            
               (i)  a limit not less than $1,000,000; and                                                                       
               (ii)  the state, including an officer,                                                                           
         employee, or agent of the state, listed as an                                                                          
     additional named insured"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, following line 26:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new subparagraph to read:                                                                                         
               "(B)  of a sex offense as defined in                                                                             
     AS 12.63.100;"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Reletter the following subparagraphs accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 27, following "(A)":                                                                                          
          Insert "or (B)"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 28, following "conviction":                                                                                   
          Insert  "and  the   Department  of  Public  Safety                                                                    
     grants a  waiver allowing the individual  to access the                                                                    
     criminal justice information system"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 30, following "conviction":                                                                                   
          Insert  "and  the   Department  of  Public  Safety                                                                    
     grants a  waiver allowing the individual  to access the                                                                    
     criminal justice information system"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 8, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "three"                                                                                                        
          Insert "two"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 8, line 13:                                                                                                           
          Delete "use"                                                                                                          
          Insert "possession"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, lines 6 - 7:                                                                                                       
          Delete   "commerce,    community,   and   economic                                                                    
     development"                                                                                                               
          Insert "public safety"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 9:                                                                                                            
          Delete "department"                                                                                                   
          Insert "Department of Public Safety"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, lines 16 - 19:                                                                                                     
          Delete   "the   commissioner  shall   submit   the                                                                    
     fingerprints  and  fees  to the  Department  of  Public                                                                    
     Safety  for a  report of  criminal justice  information                                                                    
     under AS 12.62  and a national criminal  history record                                                                    
     check under AS 12.62.400"                                                                                                  
          Insert  "the  Department  of Public  Safety  shall                                                                    
     conduct  a criminal  justice  information and  national                                                                    
     criminal history record check under AS 12.62"                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, lines 24 - 25:                                                                                                     
          Delete  "Department  of Commerce,  Community,  and                                                                    
     Economic   Development,   the  Department   of   Public                                                                    
     Safety,"                                                                                                                   
          Insert "Department of Public Safety"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, lines 27 - 28:                                                                                                     
          Delete  "Department  of Commerce,  Community,  and                                                                    
     Economic Development,"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, following line 13:                                                                                                
     Insert a new sub-subparagraph to read:                                                                                     
               "(v)  domestic violence and sexual assault                                                                       
     prevention and response procedures; and"                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, lines 14 - 16:                                                                                                    
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
               "(B)  176 hours of instruction in                                                                                
               (i)  emergency trauma technician training;                                                                       
               (ii)  search and rescue training;                                                                                
               (iii)  rural fire protection specialist                                                                          
     training."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
      Page 13, line 15, following the first occurrence of                                                                       
     "officer":                                                                                                                 
          Insert "who is certified under AS 18.65.684"                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 13, line 20:                                                                                                          
          Delete "management"                                                                                                   
          Insert "coordination"                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 13, lines 28 - 29:                                                                                                    
          Delete "state, a municipality, or a village"                                                                          
          Insert "state or municipality"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 13, line 29, following "violation":                                                                                   
          Insert "if the certified village public safety                                                                        
        officer has completed training in that field of                                                                         
     violation enforcement"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 14, line 10:                                                                                                          
          Delete "2,000"                                                                                                        
          Insert "2,500"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:07:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY objected, for the purpose of discussion.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:07:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK KOPP,  Legislator, Alaska State Legislature,                                                               
as  prime sponsor  of  HB 287,  offered that  Amendment  1 was  a                                                               
response  to  written  comments from  the  Department  of  Public                                                               
Safety (DPS) regarding  an earlier version of HB 287,  as well as                                                               
a result of speaking with  grantees of the current Village Public                                                               
Safety Officer (VPSO) program.    He stated that the first change                                                               
made was  to put back into  HB 287 the requirement  to maintain a                                                               
liability   insurance  policy.     He   explained,  "It   is  the                                                               
requirement of  the state to  provide public safety, but  we were                                                               
requiring the grantees to fund  the liability policy, and that is                                                               
an unfunded  mandate; we  want to recognize  that as  an unfunded                                                               
mandate."    He  said  the grantees  expressed  that  "the  price                                                               
structure that  they're getting is  a good bargain,"  which makes                                                               
it easier  for them to manage  the program and partner  with DPS.                                                               
Further  the grantees  expressed they  felt that  DPS had  worked                                                               
hard to make the policy  affordable.  With grantee consensus, the                                                               
requirement would, under Amendment 1, be put back in HB 287.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:10:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP moved  on to  the part  of Amendment  1 that                                                               
would make  changes to page  7, line 27, of  Version G.   He said                                                               
this  would  clarify  that  all  sex  offense  convictions  would                                                               
disqualify someone to  serve as a VPSO.  Some  other felonies, he                                                               
related, were  no longer felonies  in current statute,  as crimes                                                               
such as  possession have been  changed to  misdemeanor possession                                                               
if  the offense  had been  the perpetrator's  first, 10  years or                                                               
more had passed, and DPS had granted a waiver.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:12:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEN  TRUITT,  Staff,  Representative  Chuck  Kopp,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, on  behalf of Representative Kopp,  prime sponsor of                                                               
HB 287, told  the committee the section on  qualifications was to                                                               
create more  flexibility for the  grantee organizations,  most of                                                               
which  were federally  recognized tribes  already compacted  with                                                               
the   federal  government   and   which,  through   sophisticated                                                               
programs, brought in  and managed a great deal  of federal money.                                                               
For  most of  the grantee  organizations, Mr.  Truitt added,  the                                                               
VPSO  program was  the smallest  grant program  they ran  and yet                                                               
also one  of the most difficult  to manage due to  impediments in                                                               
regulation.   Mr. Truitt reiterated  that hiring someone  "with a                                                               
background"  was not  a  mandate; it  would,  however, make  more                                                               
candidates available for consideration.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:13:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP reminded the  committee that the VPSO program                                                               
served   the  "toughest"   communities   in   Alaska,  and   that                                                               
recruitment and retention  were a problem.  He  said that control                                                               
needed to  be provided  during the hiring  process, and  the VPSO                                                               
work group  had to  ensure statute did  not contain  any elements                                                               
that  made it  even  tougher for  VPSOs  to do  their  jobs.   He                                                               
related  another  change  under  Amendment 1  mirrored  DPS  VPSO                                                               
regulation in that  a misdemeanor crime of  domestic violence may                                                               
be waived after 10 years.   Representative Kopp addressed another                                                               
change that  would be made under  Amendment 1:  The  total number                                                               
of DUI offenses a VPSO would be allowed would be two, not three.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:16:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TRUITT  informed  the  committee   that  DPS  requested  the                                                               
colloquialism  "use" be  changed regarding  controlled substances                                                               
to instead use  "the statutory term of  the possession statutes".                                                               
The next  three changes dealt  with the  background investigation                                                               
statutes.    Combining  DPS  and   the  Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community  &  Economic  Development (DCCED)  meant  that  several                                                               
lingering references to  the latter needed to be  removed from HB
287 for  the purpose  of concision.   On page 9,  line 9,  it was                                                               
able to  be seen from the  context that the function  therein was                                                               
one of DPS, and therefore references to DCCED were removed.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP reiterated that DPS  was the lead agency with                                                               
background  associations and  DCCED  was  associated with  grants                                                               
management.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:19:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TRUITT  informed the committee of  a change that was  made to                                                               
HB 287  regarding the  addition of  domestic violence  and sexual                                                               
assault  prevention   response  procedures  into   VPSO  training                                                               
requirements.    In  addition, since  the  training  hours  could                                                               
change over time, the specific  training hours were removed so as                                                               
not to bind DPS or DCCED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  explained  that   the  40-hour  blocks  for                                                               
emergency trauma  technician (ETT), search and  rescue, and rural                                                               
fire  protection training  could vary  in hours,  so rather  than                                                               
work with a total number of  120, since the number might actually                                                               
be closer to  176, the latter number had been  decided by grantee                                                               
consensus.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TRUITT  informed the  committee  that  according to  current                                                               
regulation,  a VPSO  may be  hired before  the officer  completes                                                               
his/her  law  enforcement training,  and  since  there were  many                                                               
additional functions  aside from law enforcement,  it is possible                                                               
for  a VPSO  to  indeed  be working  before  having received  law                                                               
enforcement training.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:22:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP added that the  time between date of hire and                                                               
the  time one  became  a  VPSO, the  regulatory  framework of  24                                                               
months, would stay the same.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TRUITT informed the committee  that the next change pertained                                                               
to management of  search and rescue operations  being primarily a                                                               
state function, not  a local, municipal, or  village function, so                                                               
the  language was  changed to  "coordination" to  more accurately                                                               
reflect the  role performed in  search and rescue missions.   Mr.                                                               
Truitt  also  let  the  committee  know  that  another  "village"                                                               
reference had been taken out.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:26:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP   clarified  that  VPSOs  may   enforce  the                                                               
criminal laws of the state  or municipality, they may enforce the                                                               
statutes or  ordinances of the  state or  municipality punishable                                                               
as a violation.  He stressed  that the above could be enforced if                                                               
the  certified VPSO  had completed  training.   Regarding traffic                                                               
enforcement, where  there were a  lot of miles  between villages,                                                               
VPSOs who had gone through  training would be eligible to enforce                                                               
traffic laws.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:27:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TRUITT informed the committee  that the last change addressed                                                               
population shifts  that might occur,  and therefore  not limiting                                                               
grantees to only 2,000.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:28:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  asked Representative Kopp to  summarize the                                                               
overall intent of the changes and from where they originated.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:28:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  replied  that  the overall  intent  was  to                                                               
clearly define  the duties of  VPSOs, the sponsors, and  the work                                                               
group,  as well  as to  clarify the  operations of  the grantees,                                                               
since they were the ones who  orchestrated the VPSO program.  The                                                               
work  group had  taken into  consideration suggestions  from DPS,                                                               
making  it  clear  that  no  one  with  any  felony  sex  offense                                                               
conviction could be employed as a  VPSO, and had ensured that the                                                               
definitions were such that they  provided for the best balance of                                                               
flexibility.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:30:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ confirmed that  DPS still oversaw VPSOs, and                                                               
that DCCED ran the money.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:31:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  who made  the final  hiring decision                                                               
and how that process worked.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:31:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP replied  that the final hiring  process was a                                                               
collaborative  one in  response  to VPSO  solicitation.   If  the                                                               
grantee organization, the final  hiring authority, agreed to hire                                                               
a person,  then he/she would begin  the background investigation,                                                               
which involved  DPS.  If  there were a disqualifying  offense for                                                               
something  that happened  to  be a  misdemeanor  today, a  waiver                                                               
would  be  sought.    The   final  hire  was  still  the  grantee                                                               
organization, he added, but DPS must agree.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:33:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE asked  whether there were a  "glide path" to                                                               
go  from  VPSO to  trooper,  because  she  surmised it  would  be                                                               
advantageous to have troopers in  rural areas since they had more                                                               
training.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:34:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP replied that VPSOs  could move on to becoming                                                               
troopers.  He said he knew some  personally who have done so.  He                                                               
pointed out VPSOs do have as  much training as troopers; they are                                                               
employed  through grantee  organizations instead  of through  the                                                               
state.  He imparted that  VPSOs are underpaid and underrecognized                                                               
for the work that they do,  which circles back to the recruitment                                                               
and retention  issue.  More  flexibility in funding for  VPSOs is                                                               
the  main thrust  behind  HB  287, he  reiterated.   Raising  the                                                               
status  of a  VPSO would  also be  helpful so  that young  people                                                               
would  aspire  to  become  one.   Finally,  he  added  that  some                                                               
communities do not  want a trooper to come in  but instead rather                                                               
would have their local VPSOs supported.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:38:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY removed  her  objection to  the  motion to  adopt                                                               
Amendment 1.   There being no further objection,  Amendment 1 was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:38:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:38 a.m. to 8:39 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:39:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY opened public testimony on HB 287.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:39:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACKIE  PATA, Second  Vice President,  Central Council  Tlingit &                                                               
Haida Indian  Tribes of  Alaska, imparted  to the  committee that                                                               
flexibility to reprogram funding  was especially helpful to "boat                                                               
and plane"  communities.  She  added that localization  of public                                                               
safety services  was a  favorable aspect  of HB  287.   She added                                                               
that  the proposed  legislation would  provide opportunities  for                                                               
communities to  become more engaged  in the  consultation process                                                               
and participate in the government-to-government relationship.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:42:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALEX  CLEGHORN, Legal  Director,  Alaska  Native Justice  Center,                                                               
said  that  the Alaska  Native  Justice  Center (ANJC)  was  very                                                               
supportive  of  tribes  building  their  own  infrastructure  for                                                               
public safety.   He informed the committee that  the VPSO program                                                               
was designed to  provide public safety in rural  Alaska and that,                                                               
in preparation  for his testimony,  he learned that  rural Alaska                                                               
had the worst record for public  safety anywhere in Alaska.   Mr.                                                               
Cleghorn  said  the  program was  expected  to  deliver  services                                                               
outside the existing statutes, and  administering the program has                                                               
been a  challenge because the statutes  have not been clear.   He                                                               
also  informed  the committee  that  VPSO  involvement in  sexual                                                               
assault cases increased the likelihood for prosecution.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:44:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEAN   LOPEZ,   VPSO   Program  Manager,   Bristol   Bay   Native                                                               
Association,  testified  in  support  of  HB  287  and  told  the                                                               
committee  that Bristol  Bay Native  Association appreciated  the                                                               
work that had been done.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:45:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE BAHNKE,  President/CEO, Kawerak, said  that HB 287  was a                                                               
prime  example  of  what  regional  equity  in  budgeting  meant.                                                               
Alaska  residents  are equal,  Ms.  Bahnke  continued, and  state                                                               
services  should be  available  to Alaskans  regardless of  where                                                               
they  reside.   "Hands have  been  tied" due  to restrictions  in                                                               
statute,  she stated,  and the  ability to  direct resources  has                                                               
also been  hindered.  As  some grantees are  currently prohibited                                                               
from  expending  resources, even  on  housing  or holding  cells,                                                               
there would be a lot of gratitude for a new direction, she said.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:48:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA  KLOSTER,  Executive   Director,  Native  Peoples  Action,                                                               
testified  during the  hearing  on  HB 287  as  a  mother of  two                                                               
showing support  for more  public safety  for future  citizens in                                                               
their homes  and communities, both  urban and rural.   She stated                                                               
that Alaska was failing with only  one in three villages having a                                                               
VPSO, and she  said she was looking forward  to improvement under                                                               
HB 287.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:50:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARTHA  KASSOCK, Program  Administrator,  Association of  Village                                                               
Council  Presidents,  said  there  is  a  well-documented  public                                                               
safety  crisis  in rural  Alaska,  and  the  VPSO program  is  an                                                               
important component  that must  be supported.   She  related that                                                               
tribes feel it is very effective to have VPSOs in the community.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:53:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELSEY WALLACE,  Communications Director, Native  Peoples Action,                                                               
commended the VPSO group as  a mother, as communities deserved to                                                               
have  someone  to   turn  to  when  something   happened  in  the                                                               
community.   Ms.  Wallace related  a story  of her  friend's home                                                               
that  was broken  into  while her  friend was  home  alone.   The                                                               
perpetrator had been very persistent,  and Ms. Wallace had called                                                               
911, at which time  she was told there was no  one available.  By                                                               
the time  the on-call  trooper had been  able to  come, neighbors                                                               
had come  to Ms. Wallace's  friend's aid, even helping  her board                                                               
up her  broken window and letting  her stay at their  house.  The                                                               
main  question was  what  would have  happened  if the  neighbors                                                               
hadn't been there.   Ms. Wallace urged passage of  HB 287 for the                                                               
purpose of safer communities.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:57:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIFFANY  SIMMONS, Division  Director, Tribal  Development, Tanana                                                               
Chiefs  Conference, testified  in  support  of HB  287.   As  Ms.                                                               
Simmons related, due  to restrictions placed on  them, VPSOs have                                                               
felt  demoralized, and  HB  287  would be  a  step  in the  right                                                               
direction in terms of reversing that.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:59:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS HATCH,  VPSO Coordinator, Copper River  Native Association,                                                               
testified  in support  of  HB 287,  especially  the aspect  which                                                               
would allow for more flexibility,  which he said would strengthen                                                               
the Copper River Native Association immeasurably.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:59:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOEL JACKSON, Organized Village of  Kake, testified in support of                                                               
HB 287.   He  said he  believed more  work needed  to be  done to                                                               
recruit  VPSOs.   He added  that  police protection  needs to  be                                                               
present in all areas.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:02:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILL  MAYO, Executive  Director,  Alaska Tribal  Unity, told  the                                                               
committee Alaska  Tribal Unity has  appreciated the  VPSO program                                                               
over the  years, and  HB 287  gave Alaska Tribal  Unity a  lot of                                                               
hope.   Mr. Mayo echoed  others in  his voicing of  concerns with                                                               
recruitment  and  retention due  to  restrictions  with the  law.                                                               
Some  changes had  been made  to  try to  meet the  needs of  the                                                               
villages, he  said, but still there  were just four VPSOs  for 37                                                               
recognized tribes.   He said flexibility in  budgeting would help                                                               
address both the  real need on the ground and  the structuring of                                                               
the program.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:06:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH   MEDICINE   CROW,    President/CEO,   First   Alaskans                                                               
Institute,  said she  wished to  recognize all  young people  who                                                               
would be  served by  a "cleaner  way" for  public safety  and law                                                               
enforcement to operate.   Ms. Medicine Crow admitted  it had been                                                               
difficult  for the  VPSO program  to work  against insurmountable                                                               
odds, with almost no funding.   She stated that equity was needed                                                               
in  public   safety  and  expressed  her   appreciation  for  the                                                               
substantive changes in  HB 287.  Ms. Medicine  Crow said outcomes                                                               
in public safety would be better with HB 287.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:12:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY closed public testimony on HB 287.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:13:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LINCOLN moved  to  report CSHB  287, Version  31-                                                               
LS1486\G,  Radford, 3/3/20,  as  amended, out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no  objection, CSHB 287(TRB) was reported  out of the                                                               
House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:14:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Tribal Affairs meeting was adjourned at                                                                    
9:14 a.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 287 Supporting Material ATU Resolution 2019-06 2.28.2020.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
ATU HB287 Support letter.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
ATU Resolution 2019-06.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
ADOPTED VPSO Working Group Report Recommendations & Findings.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
CSHB287 VPSO Fiscal Note.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
CSHB287.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
DPS Considerations for HB 287.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
HB287 Training Academy Fiscal Note.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
CSHB287 CRA Fiscal Note.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
HB287 CJIS Fiscal Note.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
Public testimony received by 3.9.2020.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287 amendment G.1.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
HB 287 Rep Kopp memo to HTRB on DPS 3-4-2020 letter 3.10.2020.pdf HTRB 3/10/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 287