Legislature(2007 - 2008)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/26/2007 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 35 EXTEND BOARD OF MIDWIVES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 35 Out of Committee
+ SB 89 ELECTRONIC MONITORING OF GANG PROBATIONER TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 105 REIMBURSEMENT FOR MUNICIPAL DEBT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 105(TRA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                            MINUTES                                                                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                         March 26, 2007                                                                                       
                           9:02 a.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Bert  Stedman  convened the  meeting  at  approximately                                                               
9:02:11 AM.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Also  Attending:  REPRESENTATIVE  SCOTT  KAWASAKI;  SENATOR  BILL                                                             
WIELECHOWSKI;  KAYE  KANNE,  Certified Direct-Entry  Midwife  and                                                               
Executive   Director,  Juneau   Family  Birth   Center;  SHARLEEN                                                               
GRIFFIN,   Director,   Division   of   Administrative   Services,                                                               
Department  of Corrections;  JOHN WEISE,  Staff to  Senator Lyman                                                               
Hoffman                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Attending via Teleconference: From  Offnet Locations: CHUCK COPP,                                                             
Chief of Police, Kenai Police  Department; GARDNER COBB, Captain,                                                               
Anchorage  Police   Department;  CAROL   COMEAU,  Superintendent,                                                               
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 35-EXTEND BOARD OF MIDWIVES                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The Committee heard from the  bill's sponsor and a representative                                                               
of the midwifery profession. The bill reported from Committee.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SB 89-ELECTRONIC MONITORING OF GANG PROBATIONER                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  heard from the  bill's sponsor, the  Department of                                                               
Corrections, the  Anchorage School District,  and representatives                                                               
of the Anchorage and Kenai  Police Departments. The bill was held                                                               
in Committee.                                                                                                                   
SB 105-REIMBURSEMENT FOR MUNICIPAL DEBT                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The  Committee  heard  from  the bill's  sponsor,  and  the  bill                                                               
reported from Committee.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:03:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     HOUSE BILL NO. 35                                                                                                          
     "An Act extending the termination date for the Board of                                                                    
     Certified Direct-Entry Midwives; and providing for an                                                                      
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman reminded Members  that the Senate companion bill                                                               
to this bill,  SB 81-EXTEND BOARD OF MIDWIVES,  had reported from                                                               
Committee on March 13. Absent  any objection to the contrary, the                                                               
intent  is that  this bill  report from  Committee and  "join up"                                                               
with SB 81 in the Senate Rules Committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:03:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT KAWASAKI, the  bill's sponsor, affirmed that                                                               
HB 35  and SB  81 were  companion bills. HB  35 would  extend the                                                               
termination  date   for  the  Board  of   Certified  Direct-Entry                                                               
Midwives eight years, to the year 2015.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  advised  that this  cost-neutral  Board                                                               
addresses issues pertinent to the  current 36 practicing midwifes                                                               
in  the State.  He urged  passage  of the  bill as  the Board  is                                                               
beneficial to  the public and the  profession. Representatives of                                                               
the  midwifery profession  and the  Legislative Budget  and Audit                                                               
Committee  were   available  to   testify  to  the   benefits  of                                                               
continuing the Board.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman informed  the  Committee that  the fiscal  note                                                               
accompanying HB  35 differed from  the one accompanying SB  81 in                                                               
that HB 35's fiscal note  correctly depicted the fiscal impact on                                                               
the FY  2007 (FY 07) budget.  Thus, the intent was  to eventually                                                               
meld the House fiscal note with the Senate version of the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  moved to  report the  bill from  Committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Huggins  objected in  order  to  learn how  to  properly                                                               
pronounce the bill sponsor's name.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki complied.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins removed his objection.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Olson   objected  in   order   to   hear  a   midwifery                                                               
professional's perspective about the Board.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:08:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAYE  KANNE, Certified  Direct-Entry Midwife,  Executive Director                                                               
of  the Juneau  Family Birth  Center, and  representative of  the                                                               
Midwifes Association  of Alaska, informed the  Committee that, in                                                               
addition  to helping  establish the  Board, she  had served  as a                                                               
Board member for eight years.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:08:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  asked the  difference  between  a midwife  and  a                                                               
certified direct-entry midwife.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Kanne divulged  that,  while most  countries  only have  one                                                               
midwife  classification, the  United  States  has two:  certified                                                               
nurse midwifes  and certified direct-entry midwifes  who are also                                                               
referred  to in  some  states as  licensed midwifes.  Originally,                                                               
certified nurse midwifes worked  in hospitals under a physician's                                                               
supervision.  Eventually, the  midwifery profession  was expanded                                                               
as the need "to serve women in their homes" was recognized.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Kanne informed  that the  two midwifery  classifications are                                                               
melding today.  Certified direct-entry midwifes have  become more                                                               
professional  and a  licensure process  has  been established  in                                                               
practically  every  state.  Certified   nurse  midwives  are  now                                                               
working in birth centers as well as managing home births.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Kanne disclosed that  because certified direct-entry midwifes                                                               
were  originally   apart  from  the  medical   profession,  their                                                               
clinical  training   requirements  are  more  extensive   than  a                                                               
certified  nurse midwife  "or even  a  physician". The  midwifery                                                               
licensure requirements  include attending  a specified  number of                                                               
births and apprenticeship programs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson removed his objection.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There  being  no  further  objection, HB  35  was  REPORTED  from                                                               
Committee  with  previous zero  fiscal  note  #1 from  the  House                                                               
Finance Committee  for the Department of  Commerce, Community and                                                               
Economic Development.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman reiterated  that the  intent was  to eventually                                                               
attach HB 35's fiscal note #1 with SB 81.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:10:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 89(JUD)                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to requiring electronic monitoring as a                                                                   
     special condition of probation for offenders whose offense                                                                 
     was related to a criminal street gang."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:11:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BILL WIELECHOWSKI,  the bill's  sponsor, explained  that                                                               
this  legislation  would require  gang  members  on probation  or                                                               
parole  to wear  electronic  monitoring  ankle bracelet  devices.                                                               
Increased  gang activity  in  and around  the  Anchorage area  in                                                               
recent years and  the concern that such activity  would spread to                                                               
other areas of the State were factors in this effort.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  reported that  122 gang related  cases were                                                               
reported in 2006 and 20 have been reported to date in 2007.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski informed  that this  legislation, which  is                                                               
modeled on  the "innovative  approach" San  Bernardino California                                                               
has  taken  to deter  gang  activity,  is  an effort  to  address                                                               
citizens  requests  that  "something  be  done".  Requiring  gang                                                               
members  on   parole  or  probation  to   wear  electronic  ankle                                                               
monitoring devices  has proven  to be  a successful  deterrent in                                                               
San Bernardino.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski   explained  that  the  movements   of  the                                                               
individual wearing the ankle bracelet  would be tracked by global                                                               
positioning system (GPS) technology.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  noted that several monitoring  options were                                                               
available, including  one that could  trigger an alarm  and alert                                                               
the probation  officer if  the parolee  or probationer  entered a                                                               
restricted zone,  such as  a high  school. The  probation officer                                                               
could either contact  the parolee or send police to  the area. He                                                               
stressed  that GPS  monitoring systems  have  been successful  in                                                               
prohibiting  gang  members  on   parole  or  probation  from  re-                                                               
associating with other gang members.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Wielechowski   advised   that  the   Anchorage   Police                                                               
Department,  the  Municipality  of Anchorage  and  the  Anchorage                                                               
School  District considered  this  legislation  a top  priority".                                                               
Letters  of  support  from the  Anchorage  and  Fairbanks  Police                                                               
Departments are  included in Members'  packets [copies  on file].                                                               
"They recognize that  it's better to nip this problem  in the bud                                                               
rather than  see it  spread into outlying  areas." He  thought it                                                               
unlikely that  the gang problems  being experienced today  in the                                                               
State would have been foreseen 20 years ago.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski spoke  to the  bill's indeterminate  fiscal                                                               
note. Two  types of  expenses are  associated with  this program.                                                               
The  first is  the cost  of  the ankle  monitoring device,  which                                                               
ranges from  eight dollars to  $17 per  day. That cost  "would be                                                               
paid by the parolee or probationer.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  identified the second expense  as being the                                                               
cost of monitoring individuals. The  original version of the bill                                                               
called  for "continuous  monitoring". That  effort would  require                                                               
having  a person  monitor paroled  or probationary  gang member's                                                               
movements  24 hours  a day.  One  individual could  realistically                                                               
monitor  15  to 20  individuals.  Either  police or  a  probation                                                               
officer would  respond the moment  an individual traveled  into a                                                               
prohibited zone.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:15:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski  communicated  that  the  Senate  Judiciary                                                               
Committee considered  continuous monitoring to be  too expensive,                                                               
and opted  for computer monitoring  rather than  live monitoring.                                                               
Computer  monitoring  technology has  advanced  to  a level  that                                                               
could easily monitor of up  to 100 individuals. This system would                                                               
send  an   alarm  to  an   authorized  individual  via   a  small                                                               
communications device,  such as a Blackberry,  when someone moved                                                               
into a  restricted area.  That individual  could either  call the                                                               
offending  individual or  send a  probation officer  or a  police                                                               
officer, depending on the severity of the situation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Wielechowski  stated   that  the   Judiciary  Committee                                                               
supported  a  more  passive   monitoring  approach  primarily  to                                                               
contain program costs. The analysis  section of the Department of                                                               
Corrections  indeterminate  fiscal  note #5  depicted  the  costs                                                               
associated with each  of the three monitoring  options. The costs                                                               
ranged from $157,000 to $195,000.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:17:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked whether those were annual costs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski affirmed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson inquired to the  length of time a probationer would                                                               
be required to wear a monitoring device.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  advised that the length  of an individual's                                                               
probation or parole period would be the determining factor.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:17:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson  understood  that,  to date,  the  State  has  not                                                               
experienced  "classic patterns"  of  gang activity  such as  turf                                                               
wars or "the  control of a particular criminal  activity" such as                                                               
drug distribution or prostitution.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson  declared that this  technology could be  useful in                                                               
monitoring individuals  who had  committed other types  of crimes                                                               
such as sexual  assault and domestic violence. To  that point, he                                                               
asked  the reason  that  the scope  of the  bill  was limited  to                                                               
individuals associated with gang activity.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  agreed that the devices  could be effective                                                               
in controlling other  crimes. They have been  successful in other                                                               
places   in  deterring   "sexual   offenders;  particularly   sex                                                               
offenders of  little children". The  devices could  be programmed                                                               
to alert  authorities when the  wearer crossed into a  place such                                                               
as a school zone.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski qualified  that  the bill's  focus on  gang                                                               
related offenders  was strictly  in consideration of  cost. While                                                               
he  would not  object  to  expanding the  scope  of  the bill  to                                                               
include  other criminal  activities, he  cautioned that  doing so                                                               
would significantly increase the fiscal note.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski  suggested   that  monitoring  parolee  and                                                               
probationer   activities  be   considered   a   first  step.   If                                                               
successful, it could be expanded to include other offenses.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:19:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson concluded  from discussions  with law  enforcement                                                               
personnel  that  gang  related  activities  in  Alaska  were  not                                                               
geographically  centered and  is  spreading outside  of the  area                                                               
where the  parolee or probationer  might reside.  Thus, effective                                                               
monitoring activities might be limited.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson  asserted  that  restraining  orders  on  domestic                                                               
violence  (DV) "have  very little  demonstrated effectiveness  on                                                               
keeping  the abusers  from going  where they  shouldn't go".  Law                                                               
enforcement  often responds  after the  "order has  been violated                                                               
and or  the damage  is doneā€¦"  Thus, while  he thought  that this                                                               
legislation would  assist in  curtailing gang  related activities                                                               
in the future,  he thought "it would have marginal  affect on the                                                               
criminal  gang activity  now". The  monitoring  device "could  be                                                               
hugely  helpful, particularly  in  DV cases  and  the other  ones                                                               
where somebody has  been terrorized by sexual assault  and has no                                                               
clear way without  this of knowing where their  perpetrator is in                                                               
relationship to them".                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:21:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  agreed that  this type of  monitoring would                                                               
be effective  in addressing DV cases.  Nonetheless, utilizing the                                                               
device to  address gang related  activities was the  top priority                                                               
of the Anchorage and Fairbanks  Police Departments, the Anchorage                                                               
School Board, and the Municipality  of Anchorage including people                                                               
in his Senate District. He  stressed that monitoring gang related                                                               
parolees  and  probationers  would  be a  "strong  deterrent"  in                                                               
containing gang related activities.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:22:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas  asked whether research has  shown that monitoring                                                               
paroled gang  members is  effective in  reducing the  pressure on                                                               
such an individual to re-associate with a gang.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski communicated  there being "strong indicators                                                               
that when  gang members get  out of  jail, there is  a tremendous                                                               
tremendous peer  pressure" to rejoin the  gang. However, research                                                               
indicates that gang  members seek to avoid having  someone who is                                                               
being monitored around them, as  that person's movements could be                                                               
tracked. This has  assisted the paroled gang member  "to get back                                                               
into society" and distance themselves from a gang.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas  asked whether the  cost of expanding the  bill to                                                               
include the monitoring sex offenders had been investigated.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski replied in the negative.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:23:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHARLEEN GRIFFIN, Director,  Division of Administrative Services,                                                               
Department   of   Corrections,    spoke   to   the   Department's                                                               
indeterminate fiscal note #5. The  costs of three different types                                                               
of monitoring options were depicted  in the fiscal note analysis.                                                               
The experience  of San Bernardino with  the continuous monitoring                                                               
system  or  "active  GPS"  monitoring"  is  one  monitor  per  15                                                               
offenders. The expense associated with  that system is likely the                                                               
reason the  Senate Judiciary  Committee supported  replacing that                                                               
system with another monitoring option.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Griffin explained  that "a Passive GPS  system with intensive                                                               
supervision"  would  allow  a probation  officer  to  monitor  20                                                               
probationers. This  system was not  "real time" though.  It would                                                               
download  a tracking  of the  probationer or  parolee's movements                                                               
every  24 hours.  However,  this system  could  be programmed  to                                                               
alert  the  probation  officer  "in real  time"  if  the  parolee                                                               
entered a restricted zone.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Griffin  stated that  the third  option, Passive  GPS without                                                               
intensive supervision,  would require  one probation  officer per                                                               
40 offenders.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Griffin  stated that  fiscal  note  #5 is  an  indeterminate                                                               
fiscal note because  the type of monitoring  system and therefore                                                               
the number of parolees who would be monitored is unknown.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:25:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Elton asked  whether the  use  of the  devices would  be                                                               
limited due to availability.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Griffin  understood otherwise. The State  could contract with                                                               
a  provider   for  whatever  number   was  required.   She  could                                                               
investigate this further if desired.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton asked  that the issue be further  reviewed. He also                                                               
inquired as to which communities could utilize the devices.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Griffin communicated that  electronic monitoring (EM) devices                                                               
are currently being utilized  in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Ketchikan,                                                               
and Kenai. She would investigate  whether there were areas in the                                                               
State in which EM devices would not work.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton inquired  to the process for  determining who would                                                               
be required to wear the monitoring device.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Griffin  responded that  the  Department  currently used  EM                                                               
devices  "as  a  form  of   incarceration".  The  Department  was                                                               
uncertain  as  to  the  number of  individuals  the  Court  would                                                               
identify for this program.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Elton asked,  for sake  of clarity,  whether the  Alaska                                                               
Court  System or  the Department  of Corrections  would make  the                                                               
determinations.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Griffin  understood   that   the  Court   would  make   the                                                               
determinations.  Further  questions  in  this  regard  should  be                                                               
directed to the Department of Law.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:28:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski informed  the Committee  that, in  order to                                                               
have  an individual  wear the  EM device,  an aggravating  factor                                                               
must be proven  in Court. In other words, it  must be proven that                                                               
the defendant had  been involved in an offense  or benefited from                                                               
the activity of a criminal street gang.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:29:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK COPP, Chief of Police,  Kenai Police Department and Member,                                                               
Anchorage   Violent    Crimes   Task   Force    Law   Enforcement                                                               
Subcommittee,  testified   via  teleconference  from   an  offnet                                                               
location. He noted  that the Anchorage Violent  Crimes Task Force                                                               
was formed  to specifically  address youth  and gang  violence in                                                               
the city.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Chief Copp voiced  his support for the bill. EM  is a proven tool                                                               
in  many   states  in  monitoring  violent   crime  parolees  and                                                               
probationers.  It has  specifically been  beneficial in  allowing                                                               
probation officers  to monitor  the activities of  17 to  22 year                                                               
olds   as  it   has   allowed  officers   to  "provide   positive                                                               
reinforcement when  their behavior  patterns are  in compliance".                                                               
This  age  group  is "amenable  to  positive  reinforcement  when                                                               
behavioral patterns do change".                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Chief Copp  affirmed that  the EM  device is  a deterrent  to re-                                                               
associating with a  gang as gangs do not  welcome being monitored                                                               
and tracked. "It is a good tool".                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Chief Copp informed the Committee  that Kenai law enforcement, in                                                               
partnership  with   the  Department  of  Corrections,   has  been                                                               
operating  a  pilot  monitoring  program  for  approximately  two                                                               
weeks. Up  to 15 individuals  are effectively being  monitored at                                                               
this  time. Good  data  would be  available  in approximately  12                                                               
months. The  program would  be beneficial to  other areas  of the                                                               
State.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:31:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson  asked the type  of individuals being  monitored in                                                               
the Kenai program.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Chief  Copp  reminded  that  the  pilot  program  had  only  been                                                               
operational  for two  weeks. Offenders  being  monitored to  date                                                               
have  committed lower  level violent  crimes such  as assault  or                                                               
crimes determined  by the Court  to be worthy of  monitoring. The                                                               
program, which is undergoing  an approximate two-month evaluation                                                               
period, is  utilizing several types  of technologies.  The system                                                               
is functioning properly  in regards to monitoring  such things as                                                               
offender's locations  and "the ability to  monitor breath samples                                                               
remotely". The program would be  modified to address higher level                                                               
offenders after this initial period.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson  understood therefore that the  Kenai pilot program                                                               
did  not  currently  include gang  related  offenders.  He  asked                                                               
whether  the  higher  level  offenses  being  referred  to  would                                                               
include violent crimes with victims living in the area.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Chief  Copp understood  that  the program  would  be expanded  to                                                               
include  individuals who  had committed  violent  sex crimes  and                                                               
violent  assaults. A  list of  qualifiers has  been developed  by                                                               
adult-probationary officers and the Court.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Chief Copp informed that Kenai, at  the moment, did not have many                                                               
gang  related offenders  in its  prisons.  Kenai law  enforcement                                                               
officials  have  worked  diligently  with  the  Anchorage  Police                                                               
Department to deter gang activity from spreading to the area.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chief Copp reported that Kenai has  taken "a very active role" in                                                               
implementing  this pilot  program.  In addition  to  the goal  of                                                               
having its  own program in  place, the  hope is that  this effort                                                               
would  support  the effort  to  implement  a similar  program  in                                                               
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson  asked whether the  probationers would pay  for the                                                               
program in Kenai.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Chief Copp  was unsure  of the manner  in which  probationers and                                                               
parolees would support the program.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:34:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas  asked  whether  the  Court  or  law  enforcement                                                               
agencies might be liable if,  due to equipment failure or another                                                               
reason, a person being monitored committed a serious crime.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Chief Copp  expressed that "government entities  will always have                                                               
liability"  since the  nature of  their  task is  to provide  for                                                               
public safety. The  technology has worked well in  other parts of                                                               
the  country and  should work  in Alaska.  He did  not anticipate                                                               
liability increasing beyond current experience.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:36:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN GARDNER COBB, Anchorage  Police Department, testified via                                                               
teleconference from  an offnet location  in support of  the bill.                                                               
He suggested  that the  narrow scope of  this bill  would present                                                               
the opportunity  to determine whether  the program would  work in                                                               
Alaska. If successful, the program could be expanded.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Captain Cobb supported  the Active Monitoring method  as it would                                                               
allow law enforcement officers to  catch a parolee or probationer                                                               
in  the act  of violating.  There is  also value  in changing  an                                                               
individual's behavior  and keeping them from  re-associating with                                                               
a gang.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Captain Cobb attested to the  gang problem in Anchorage. There is                                                               
no  "inexpensive  solution  to  mitigating  the  violence  here".                                                               
Because  he is  the coordinator  of the  gang response  effort in                                                               
Anchorage, he is  aware of national efforts in  this regard. "The                                                               
way to get  the violence under control to begin  with is that you                                                               
identify the gang  leaders, the hard core members,  the ones that                                                               
are committing  most of the  violence, and  you put them  in jail                                                               
for a long long time."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Captain  Cobb  also  announced  that  in  order  to  counter  the                                                               
"conveyor belt" that is producing  "these hardened thuds that are                                                               
committing the violent crimes", investments  must be made to help                                                               
families at risk.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:38:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson   concluded  that  the  likely   outcome  of  this                                                               
monitoring effort  would be to  revoke probations rather  than to                                                               
protecting public safety.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Captain  Cobb shared  that the  experience in  Anchorage is  that                                                               
people  out  of jail  on  bail  or  on probation  are  committing                                                               
violent  crimes.  This  program  "would help  mitigate  that"  by                                                               
keeping those  individuals separate  from people and  areas which                                                               
influence that activity.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Dyson  understood   therefore   that  law   enforcement                                                               
officials  would be  able "to  intercede" were  a perpetrator  to                                                               
approach a victim.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Captain Cobb  clarified that the Department  of Corrections would                                                               
conduct  the  monitoring activities.  APD  would  respond if  the                                                               
Department of Corrections required assistance.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:40:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  COMEAU,  Superintendent,  Anchorage  School  District  and                                                               
Member,  Anchorage  Violent  Crimes  Task  Force,  testified  via                                                               
teleconference  from  an  offnet   location  in  support  of  the                                                               
legislation. It  would be both  an intervention and  a preventive                                                               
measure to  having gang activities  on high school  grounds. Many                                                               
gang  "wannabes"  are  in  schools. This  bill  would  assist  in                                                               
deterring  people who  are out  of  high school  from getting  on                                                               
school grounds.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Comeau  advised  that many  school  students  are  currently                                                               
wearing ankle monitoring bracelets for  a variety of reasons. The                                                               
School  District  has  an   excellent  relationship  with  police                                                               
officers who work in the  schools and probation officers. Passage                                                               
of  this legislation  would provide  an  additional tool  through                                                               
which to deter gang related activities.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:42:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Elton asked  whether the  Judiciary Committee  action of                                                               
including "parole" in  the bill would require a  title change. He                                                               
also asked whether that inclusion would affect the fiscal note.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:42:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski clarified that  the subsection pertaining to                                                               
parolees  was added  by the  Senate Judiciary  Committee, at  the                                                               
request of  the Department  of Law.  The expense  associated with                                                               
that should  be included in the  fiscal note as it  was developed                                                               
after  that  action occurred.  The  bill  title might  require  a                                                               
change to reflect the addition of the parole subsection.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:43:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Griffin stated that the  Department would continue to support                                                               
an indeterminate fiscal note. The  cost would be dependent on the                                                               
number  of people  being  monitored and  the  type of  monitoring                                                               
methodology.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:43:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman observed  that  the fiscal  note denoted  there                                                               
being 96 offenders on probation  with 36 of those under intensive                                                               
supervision. There were 50 juvenile  probationers with another 23                                                               
pending. He  asked whether the  monitoring system would  focus on                                                               
juveniles or adult probationer/parolees.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski  communicated that  the  goal  would be  to                                                               
monitor  anyone  meeting  the definition.  While  this  could  be                                                               
further addressed by  the Department of Law or  the Department of                                                               
Corrections,  he thought  that the  program would  apply more  to                                                               
adults and juveniles tried and convicted as adults under law.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman asked which of  the three monitoring methods was                                                               
preferred by the Department of Corrections.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:45:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Griffin  stated that the  Department's position  would depend                                                               
on the version  of the bill adopted. The  Department would likely                                                               
support the  "passive GPS with intensive  supervision" monitoring                                                               
system  were the  word  "continuous" not  included  in the  final                                                               
version of the bill. The  "active GPS with intensive supervision"                                                               
monitoring system would be supported otherwise.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman ordered  the bill HELD in  Committee for further                                                               
discussion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:46:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 105(TRA)                                                                                            
     "An  Act  extending,  for  purposes of  a  program  of  debt                                                               
     reimbursement  to municipalities,  the  date  by which  debt                                                               
     must be incurred for a  small boat harbor; and providing for                                                               
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  communicated that the  intent would be  to move                                                               
this  bill  from  Committee  today   unless  new  information  or                                                               
unanticipated circumstances were presented.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman,  the bill's sponsor,  deferred to  staffer John                                                               
Weise to present the bill.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOHN WEISE, Staff  to Co-Chair Hoffman, stated that  this bill is                                                               
a continuum  to HB 528,  which was  passed by the  Legislature in                                                               
2002.  Due   to  a   number  of   delays,  including   a  lengthy                                                               
environmental  impact statement  (EIS)  process,  the small  boat                                                               
harbor project  in the  City of Unalaska  which was  specified in                                                               
that bill could not be completed by the 2007 deadline.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Weise  displayed a  schematic  [copy  not provided]  of  the                                                               
overall  project and  communicated  that the  outer harbor  work,                                                               
which is a federal project, must  be completed before the City of                                                               
Unalaska  could conduct  the inner  harbor work  addressed in  HB                                                               
528.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Weise  advised that  the  funding  mechanism for  the  outer                                                               
harbor  work that  would be  conducted  by the  federal Corps  of                                                               
Engineers had  changed, and the  work could not begin  until full                                                               
federal funding  was allocated. This  funding was  anticipated to                                                               
be included in the FFY  2008 appropriation bill with construction                                                               
to begin in 2009.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Weise stated that the total  cost of the inner harbor project                                                               
work  that  would  be  conducted  by  the  City  of  Unalaska  is                                                               
estimated to  be approximately $12 million  dollars. Five million                                                               
dollars of that was reimbursable by the State.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:50:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In  response  to a  question  from  Co-Chair Stedman,  Mr.  Weise                                                               
stated that language  in the title of the original  version of SB                                                               
105  mirrored that  of HB  528. The  intent of  this bill  was to                                                               
extend  the   2007  deadline  for  debt   incurred  for  projects                                                               
specified  in HB  528 to  2012.  The Unalaska  small boat  harbor                                                               
project is  the only project included  in that bill that  has not                                                               
incurred debt.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Weise  specified that since the  title of the bill  could not                                                               
specifically denote the Unalaska small  boat harbor in its title,                                                               
the  goal  of the  committee  substitute  adopted by  the  Senate                                                               
Transportation Committee was to "make  it as tight as possible so                                                               
that  the funding  would only  get directed  toward a  small boat                                                               
harbor, and, in this case, Unalaska's".                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins  concluded therefore,  that even  though multiple                                                               
harbors were  identified in HB  528, funding would be  limited to                                                               
the Unalaska small harbor project.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Weise expressed  that  the other  harbors  would be  covered                                                               
since they are  still in the bill. The distinction  is that, with                                                               
the exception  of Unalaska,  debt for  the other  harbor projects                                                               
has been incurred.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  specified that  this bill  would not  incur any                                                               
fiscal  impact to  the  State,  as the  fiscal  impacts had  been                                                               
addressed in HB  528. This bill would simply  extend the timeline                                                               
of that legislation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Weise  noted that  a representative of  the City  of Unalaska                                                               
was available to answer questions.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:53:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Dyson   spoke   in   support  of   the   bill.   "Dutch                                                               
Harbor/Unalaska  is the  largest fishing  port" in  North America                                                               
and  perhaps the  world, in  terms of  "fish poundage  or value".                                                               
Fishing  in that  area is  dangerous  and it  is imperative  that                                                               
boats  have access  to safe  harbors.  The Dutch  Harbor/Unalaska                                                               
area is  the largest fishing  industry location in the  State and                                                               
is a significant supporter of the industry.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  moved to  report the  bill from  Committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There  being  no  objection,  CSSB  105(TRA)  was  REPORTED  from                                                               
Committee with  two previous  zero fiscal  notes: fiscal  note #1                                                               
from Department  of Commerce, Community and  Economic Development                                                               
and  fiscal note  #2 from  the Department  of Transportation  and                                                               
Public Facilities.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 9:55:05 AM / 9:55:02 AM                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Bert Stedman adjourned the meeting at 9:55:10 AM.                                                                    

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