Legislature(2013 - 2014)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/17/2014 09:00 AM FINANCE

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09:04:53 AM Start
09:06:31 AM Confirmation: Department of Revenue, Commissioner Angela Rodell
09:53:46 AM SB161
09:55:53 AM SB135
10:01:00 AM SB108
10:50:57 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing TELECONFERENCED
Department of Revenue: Commissioner Angela Rodell
Scheduled But Not Heard
Heard & Held
Moved CSSB 161(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 135 Out of Committee
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 17, 2014                                                                                            
                         9:04 a.m.                                                                                              
9:04:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Meyer  called the Senate Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 9:04 a.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Anna Fairclough, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Angela Rodell, Commissioner,  Department of Revenue; Senator                                                                    
Fred  Dyson; Chuck  Kopp, Staff,  Senator Fred  Dyson; Nancy                                                                    
Meade,   General  Counsel,   Alaska  Court   System;  Carmen                                                                    
Gutierrez, Self, Juneau.                                                                                                        
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Dr.  Norman  Means,  Self, Anchorage;  James  Mooney,  Self,                                                                    
Anchorage;  James Noble,  Self, Prudhoe  Bay; Donna  Klecka,                                                                    
Self, Eagle River.                                                                                                              
CONFIRMATION:  Department  of Revenue,  Commissioner  Angela                                                                    
SB 80     OUT-OF-STATE PHYSICIAN LICENSE                                                                                        
          SB 80 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                    
SB 108    LIMIT PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS                                                                               
          SB 108 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
SB 135    EXTEND ALASKA HEALTH CARE COMMISSION                                                                                  
          SB 135 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation and with a previously                                                                            
          published zero fiscal note: FN1 (DHS).                                                                                
SB 161    AUTOPSIES AND DEATH CERTIFICATES                                                                                      
          CSSB 161(FIN)  was REPORTED out of  committee with                                                                    
          a  "do pass"  recommendation and  with a  new zero                                                                    
          fiscal  note from  the  Department  of Health  and                                                                    
          Social Services.                                                                                                      
9:06:31 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Meyer  related   that  typically  in  confirmation                                                                    
hearings,  the  committee  allowed   the  designee  time  to                                                                    
explain why they  wanted the job and why they  were the best                                                                    
9:06:58 AM                                                                                                                    
^CONFIRMATION:  DEPARTMENT OF  REVENUE, COMMISSIONER  ANGELA                                                                  
ANGELA  RODELL, COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  REVENUE, spoke                                                                    
about  her background  and  related that  a  love of  public                                                                    
service  had led  her to  get  a double  major in  political                                                                    
science  and economics.  She  discussed  her background  and                                                                    
work history.  [The information can  be found in  her resume                                                                    
which was  in members' packets  (copy on file).]  She shared                                                                    
that  she   then  received  a  Master's   Degree  in  Public                                                                    
Administration  with  an  emphasis in  public  finance.  She                                                                    
related that through her work  in financing housing, she had                                                                    
visited  Alaska  and met  with  the  Alaska Housing  Finance                                                                    
Corporation (AHFC); the  trip had made a  real impression on                                                                    
her at  the time.  She related  that when  she had  met with                                                                    
AHFC in  December of  1996, Alaska was  in a  very different                                                                    
place; however,  it was  also in a  very similar  place. She                                                                    
shared that  many of issues  that were being  discussed this                                                                    
year were also under discussion  20 years prior. She related                                                                    
that 20 years ago, a  natural gas pipeline, the depletion of                                                                    
the Constitutional  Budget Reserve Fund, and  the decline or                                                                    
elimination of the Prudhoe curve were all being discussed.                                                                      
Commissioner Rodell  continued to address the  committee and                                                                    
felt that she had gained  a unique perspective over the last                                                                    
15  years as  she had  been advising  clients in  Alaska and                                                                    
around the United States. She  asserted that Alaska was in a                                                                    
great position  and had hard  decisions to make;  she wanted                                                                    
to be  part of that  decision making process and  taking the                                                                    
state forward.  She offered that  Alaska had  always managed                                                                    
its resources  well and  made the  hard decisions  when they                                                                    
arose. She thought that Alaska  saved money when appropriate                                                                    
and had likewise  invested money in the state  when that was                                                                    
appropriate.  She  opined  that  the  State  of  Alaska  had                                                                    
honored its contract  obligations and had taken  care of its                                                                    
people.  She   added  that  Alaska   currently  had   a  lot                                                                    
possibilities and  that it  was a very  exciting time  to be                                                                    
here;  additionally,  she  was  excited  to  work  with  the                                                                    
current administration.  She related  that although  she had                                                                    
officially   come  to   Alaska   in  2011   as  the   Deputy                                                                    
Commissioner of Treasury for the  Department of Revenue, she                                                                    
felt as  though she  had been  participating in  the state's                                                                    
finances  for almost  20 years;  she wanted  to continue  in                                                                    
that roll.                                                                                                                      
9:11:20 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer  noted that Commissioner  Rodell's background                                                                    
was very impressive.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair Meyer inquired  what Commissioner Rodell's forecast                                                                    
was  for  improving revenue  for  the  state and  referenced                                                                    
concerns regarding  the oil production  forecasts continuing                                                                    
to  go down,  despite passing  the  oil tax  bill the  prior                                                                    
session.  It was  his  impression  that Commissioner  Rodell                                                                    
tended to  be conservative  with the  forecasts and  that if                                                                    
they exceeded the  prediction that would be  great; he hoped                                                                    
that  production  forecast  would  at  least  be  above  the                                                                    
conservative number.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair Meyer requested an  explanation of how Commissioner                                                                    
Rodell  made the  production forecast,  as well  as how  she                                                                    
viewed future revenue for the  State of Alaska. Commissioner                                                                    
Rodell   responded  that   from  her   standpoint,  it   was                                                                    
imperative  that  DOR  was conservative  on  the  production                                                                    
forecasts, given  that it  was used for  all of  the state's                                                                    
spending decisions.  She stated that she  would rather error                                                                    
on the  side of  showing revenues  lower than  forecasted so                                                                    
that there were  potential surpluses at the end  of the year                                                                    
rather than  significantly large deficits.  She acknowledged                                                                    
that it was  important to give the  legislature comfort with                                                                    
the methodology that was used in the forecasts.                                                                                 
Commissioner  Rodell  shared  that  she  did  have  concerns                                                                    
regarding  Alaska's growing  dependence on  the oil  and gas                                                                    
production tax as opposed to  other taxes or revenue sources                                                                    
available within  the state. She  thought that 20  years ago                                                                    
Alaska  was maybe  70 percent  reliant  on the  oil and  gas                                                                    
production tax, but  that now Alaska was  90 percent reliant                                                                    
on  that  as  a   revenue  source;  meanwhile,  the  federal                                                                    
government was also cutting back  on its spending in Alaska.                                                                    
She wondered how the state was  going to pick up the federal                                                                    
portion of  the revenue sharing.  She opined that  the state                                                                    
would have to continue to  look for diversity in its revenue                                                                    
base  and  look  at  investment  earnings  as  a  source  of                                                                    
revenue. She  thought that the  state needed to  continue to                                                                    
look at  ways to  encourage business development  within the                                                                    
9:14:12 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer offered that it  was a little risky having 90                                                                    
percent of your revenue coming  from one source. He inquired                                                                    
how  Commissioner  Rodell  saw  the makeup  of  the  state's                                                                    
revenue stream  in 20 years  and hoped that the  state would                                                                    
have income  from gas by  then. Commissioner  Rodell replied                                                                    
that gas  was important component  of what DOR saw  20 years                                                                    
in  the future;  however, this  was still  a huge  influence                                                                    
from  the  energy sector  overall.  She  hoped to  see  more                                                                    
revenue  coming  from  business  sectors  within  the  state                                                                    
outside  of  the  energy sector  such  as  fisheries,  other                                                                    
resource development, and mineral taxes.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Meyer thought that  financially speaking, the state                                                                    
was  in a  good  position  and inquired  if  Alaska had  the                                                                    
highest  credit  rating   that  was  possible.  Commissioner                                                                    
Rodell replied in the affirmative.                                                                                              
Co-Chair  Meyer inquired  what  changes Commissioner  Rodell                                                                    
anticipated or  desired to  make within  DOR in  the future.                                                                    
Commissioner Rodell  replied that DOR  was in a  really good                                                                    
position currently and that she  felt good about many of the                                                                    
things that it  was taking on; DOR was  continuing to review                                                                    
its regulations and was attempting  to find an easier way to                                                                    
comply  with  statute  through regulations  and  encouraging                                                                    
certain business activity  through those regulation changes.                                                                    
She reported that DOR was doing  to a lot of work to develop                                                                    
its databases  to provide good  information on both  the use                                                                    
of tax  credits along  with where  tax revenues  were coming                                                                    
from.  She  reported  that  DOR  was  trying  to  find  cost                                                                    
efficiencies where it could but  thought that the department                                                                    
was doing a  much better job of serving the  public; DOR was                                                                    
becoming  a more  customer-service  friendly department  and                                                                    
she wanted to  continue that effort. She  wanted to continue                                                                    
to foster  working across divisions  to address many  of the                                                                    
concerns regarding  confidentiality in order to  provide the                                                                    
public with information about what  the department was doing                                                                    
and how it was conducting the state's business.                                                                                 
9:17:27 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Hoffman relayed  that  the Permanent  Fund was  $50                                                                    
billion. He  inquired how Commissioner  Rodell saw  the fund                                                                    
today,  as  well as  how  she  envisioned  its role  in  the                                                                    
future. He thought that the  Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve                                                                    
account had about $5 billion  and additionally inquired what                                                                    
role Commissioner Rodell  saw it playing in  the near future                                                                    
for the  State of  Alaska. Commissioner Rodell  replied that                                                                    
the Permanent  Fund was  a tremendous  asset to  Alaska, not                                                                    
only in  the financial  support it offered  to the  state in                                                                    
terms  of comfort  and security,  but  also in  the form  of                                                                    
yearly assistance  to the state's economy.  She thought that                                                                    
the state  needed to recognize  what an asset  the Permanent                                                                    
Fund could  be to  economic development. She  clarified that                                                                    
she  did  not  necessarily  mean  investing  Permanent  Fund                                                                    
dollars into the state or  its projects, but recognizing the                                                                    
jobs that the  fund was creating in and of  itself by hiring                                                                    
external managers,  accountants, and  bankers to  the extent                                                                    
that the  DOR could  encourage some  of that  development to                                                                    
come to  the state.  She related  that recognizing  that the                                                                    
$50  billion Permanent  Fund and  its investment  strategies                                                                    
can  do  certain things  that  it  would  not have  had  the                                                                    
capability to do 10 years prior.                                                                                                
Commissioner  Rodell addressed  the second  part of  Senator                                                                    
Hoffman's  question and  related  that  the state's  various                                                                    
reserve accounts were partially  responsible for the state's                                                                    
tremendous credit  rating. She  thought that  Permanent Fund                                                                    
Earnings  Reserve  would  be important  as  the  state  when                                                                    
forward with  the budgets,  especially if  it Constitutional                                                                    
Budget  Reserve  continued to  be  used  as forecasted.  She                                                                    
found  it   interesting  that   Alaska  always   had  always                                                                    
management to  turn reserves  around either  through cutting                                                                    
expenses  or  additional  revenue.   She  thought  that  the                                                                    
Permanent  Fund Earnings  Reserve was  more of  a source  of                                                                    
support  and  credit for  Alaska  rather  than a  source  of                                                                    
9:20:52 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bishop  inquired what the largest  financial package                                                                    
in dollar amounts that Commissioner  Rodell had put together                                                                    
in her 7 years with First Southwest in New York City.                                                                           
Commissioner  Rodell responded  that it  was an  interesting                                                                    
question  because  there  was a  difference  between  dollar                                                                    
volume and  complexity. She  offered that  some of  the most                                                                    
complex transactions  that she had  worked on had  been some                                                                    
of  the smallest  dollar sized  transactions; they  had been                                                                    
complex because of the number  of parties, moving parts, and                                                                    
agreements  associated  with  them. She  opined  that  real-                                                                    
estate  transactions  in  particular tended  to  be  complex                                                                    
because of  all the associated legal  agreements attached to                                                                    
them. She thought that the  largest volume sized transaction                                                                    
that she had worked on was $11 billion.                                                                                         
Senator Bishop noted that he  had been before a confirmation                                                                    
hearing as  a commissioner  designee and his  questions were                                                                    
not  "gotchya" questions;  they  were intended  to make  him                                                                    
feel better about the future.                                                                                                   
Senator  Bishop inquired  if Commissioner  Rodell felt  that                                                                    
she had the wherewithal to see  the state through the AK LNG                                                                    
project. Commissioner Rodell replied  in the affirmative and                                                                    
added  that she  was very  excited about  the prospect.  She                                                                    
thought that  the AK LNG  project would  be one of  the most                                                                    
interesting times and transactions  that Alaskans would work                                                                    
9:23:17 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Olson  appreciated  that  Commissioner  Rodell  was                                                                    
"taking the bull by the horns"  and noted that the state was                                                                    
going through some difficult times  regarding its future. He                                                                    
pointed out that the commissioner  of DOR was handling a lot                                                                    
of  money and  recalled a  prior issue  where the  state had                                                                    
lost a lot of money because of investment mistakes.                                                                             
Senator Olson  queried what Commissioners  Rodell's thoughts                                                                    
were regarding having the Permanent  Fund being managed in a                                                                    
more financially  metropolitan centers  such as New  York or                                                                    
San  Francisco  instead  of in  state.  Commissioner  Rodell                                                                    
replied that with technology and  information sharing at its                                                                    
current state, there was no  need to manage the fund outside                                                                    
of the state. She added that  it would not be necessary. She                                                                    
stated  that  between  the state  office  building  and  the                                                                    
Goldbelt building, the state was  managing over $100 billion                                                                    
and offered  that she  had seen nothing  in her  career that                                                                    
would indicate  that it  needed to  be managed  anywhere but                                                                    
Alaska. She added  that it might be helpful for  DOR to have                                                                    
offices in anchorage.                                                                                                           
Senator Olson  related that recently,  the Senators  had met                                                                    
to look  over some  of the budget  forecasts related  to the                                                                    
unfunded liability.  He reiterated that the  commissioner of                                                                    
DOR was  dealing with  a lot  of money,  but that  the state                                                                    
also  had  a fair  amount  of  liability in  the  retirement                                                                    
system; he inquired how Commissioner  Rodell saw this aspect                                                                    
playing  out  in  the  long  run.  He  referenced  long-term                                                                    
forecasts  and  inquired  what Commissioner  Rodell's  views                                                                    
were  regarding  the  unfunded  liability,  particularly  in                                                                    
light of all  the aging retirees. He further  queried if the                                                                    
state could  survive the issue with  the unfunded liability.                                                                    
Commissioner  Rodell responded  that she  thought the  state                                                                    
could  survive  something  like  this and  that  it  was  an                                                                    
important  piece of  the governor's  proposal of  putting $3                                                                    
billion into the PERS and  TRS Trust Fund. She reported that                                                                    
the state  was moving  some money out  of reserves  into the                                                                    
PERS and  TRS and that it  would allow Alaska to  offset the                                                                    
liability to a  much more manageable level in  order to take                                                                    
on additional debt in the  future. She was concerned that if                                                                    
the  money was  not  transferred, the  liability would  just                                                                    
continue to grow. She thought  that if Alaska wanted to move                                                                    
the pension liability to a more  pay as you go structure, it                                                                    
would have to convert the  asset allocation in PERS and TRS,                                                                    
which was  currently targeted at  8 percent, to a  much more                                                                    
conservative asset  allocation that  earned a lower  rate so                                                                    
that the principle  could be preserved to  pay out benefits.                                                                    
She thought  that contract obligation would  be essential in                                                                    
moving the gasline forwards and  that the state needed to be                                                                    
able to  demonstrate that it  honored it debts  and contract                                                                    
obligations;  people   would  be   entering  more   than  50                                                                    
contracts with the state in a partnership in the gasline.                                                                       
9:28:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Rodell  continued  to  address  Senator  Olson                                                                    
question and related  that the state needed to  show that it                                                                    
took care of its liabilities.                                                                                                   
Senator  Olson discussed  a  recent 5  percent  drop in  oil                                                                    
production  in  one  month  and that  there  was  a  concern                                                                    
regarding  the  reserve  accounts  being  exhausted  in  the                                                                    
future. He  offered that bonding  would be the only  way the                                                                    
state could  continue on with  essential services; he  saw a                                                                    
bleak  financial future  for the  state. He  opined that  as                                                                    
conservative  as  Commissioner  Rodell   was,  some  of  the                                                                    
revenue forecasts  were fairly  optimistic. He  inquired how                                                                    
the  state would  keep  itself out  of trouble  in  7 or  10                                                                    
years.  Commissioner Rodell  responded  that it  would be  a                                                                    
challenge to  manage the state's  spending into  the future.                                                                    
She related that  she was optimistic about  the forecast and                                                                    
saw a lot  of untapped potential in areas  of exploration or                                                                    
in  heavy and  shale oil.  She  thought that  the state  had                                                                    
opportunities in  the future to increase  revenue. She spoke                                                                    
of  the need  to create  a  stable tax  environment for  any                                                                    
business  to  plan  and   operate  through.  She  understood                                                                    
Senator Olson's comment about a  bleak financial future, but                                                                    
she  approached   it  from  the  standpoint   of  tremendous                                                                    
Senator Olson  pointed out that the  following questions had                                                                    
been provided by a constituent  and inquired if Commissioner                                                                    
Rodell  had  ever  been  employed   by  the  oil  companies.                                                                    
Commissioner Rodell responded in the negative.                                                                                  
Senator Olson  queried if Commissioner Rodell  had a pension                                                                    
from  an oil  company.  Commissioner Rodell  replied in  the                                                                    
Senator Olson inquired if Commissioner  Rodell owned any oil                                                                    
company stock.  Commissioner Rodell  responded that  she did                                                                    
not own stock directly.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair Meyer mused that that  all Alaskans owned oil stock                                                                    
through the Permanent Fund.                                                                                                     
9:31:23 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly inquired what  Commissioner Rodell thought of                                                                    
the future  of interest  rates and the  economic environment                                                                    
of America in  general over the next  10 years. Commissioner                                                                    
Rodell thought that it felt  like Americans had been waiting                                                                    
for the  interest rate to  go up,  but that the  yield curve                                                                    
continued  to steepen;  people  expected  that the  interest                                                                    
rates would be  higher in 10 years. She  noted that interest                                                                    
rates  were  staying extremely  low  in  the near-term.  She                                                                    
recalled that  the state had  sold a one-year note  for $170                                                                    
million and  that the interest  rate on  that was 1/10  of 1                                                                    
percent; that was great for  barrowers, but was terrible for                                                                    
investors. She noted  that Alaska was investing  in the same                                                                    
market and was not really getting any investment income.                                                                        
Co-Chair  Kelly  queried  why  investors  even  bothered  to                                                                    
continue  to   invest  with  such   a  low   interest  rate.                                                                    
Commissioner   Rodell  replied   that  DOR   had  had   that                                                                    
discussion  internally and  wondered if  it would  be better                                                                    
holding  dollar bills  rather than  losing purchasing  power                                                                    
through  some  of  the  investments.  She  stated  that  the                                                                    
interest  rate  was the  area  where  the state  was  really                                                                    
getting  punished.  She  related  that  the  state  had  $20                                                                    
billion in reserves,  but that it knew  that future revenues                                                                    
might  not be  sufficient to  operate the  state; therefore,                                                                    
Alaska was  heavily reliant on maintaining  the principal in                                                                    
those  reserves   so  that  the  money   was  available  for                                                                    
essential  core  services.  She  concluded  that  short-term                                                                    
investments were not making a lot of money currently.                                                                           
Co-Chair  Kelly   observed  that   he  enjoyed   talking  to                                                                    
economists  that  could  explain  their  thinking  and  that                                                                    
Commissioner Rodell  was able to  do that. He  inquired what                                                                    
mechanisms  would fall  in  place and  how  it would  affect                                                                    
Alaska if  the Chinese  economy tanked.  Commissioner Rodell                                                                    
replied that if the  Chinese economy tanked, the expectation                                                                    
was that the demand for  oil worldwide would drop; therefore                                                                    
prices overall  would fall.  There was  a school  of thought                                                                    
that Oil  Producing and Exporting  Countries (OPEC)  and the                                                                    
Middle East  had a certain floor  that they did not  want to                                                                    
go  below and  would do  things and  ratchet back  supply in                                                                    
order to  prop up oil  prices. She offered that  there would                                                                    
be  continued volatility  and other  things that  caused oil                                                                    
prices to spike. She thought  that China had a big influence                                                                    
and would continue to, but  that there were other offsetting                                                                    
influences in the near term.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly inquired  if the state invested  much in gold                                                                    
and  wondered if  it should.  Commissioner Rodell  responded                                                                    
that she would have to go  back and look to see specifically                                                                    
where   the  state   had  gold.   She  stated   that  Alaska                                                                    
periodically  looked  at  the direct  buying  of  gold,  but                                                                    
thought that most  of the investments in gold  were found in                                                                    
the  permanent  funds  rather  than  the  state  funds.  She                                                                    
concluded that she would have to return with an answer.                                                                         
Co-Chair Kelly  noted that a  lot of economies  had invested                                                                    
in gold  and thought  that Alaska  was one  of the  few that                                                                    
could play  in that  market. He  didn't know  that it  was a                                                                    
good  idea, but  was  curious.  Commissioner Rodell  related                                                                    
that  DOR  did  look  for  investments  that  were  counter-                                                                    
cyclical in  order offset potential  losses and that  it did                                                                    
look  for  opportunities  to  invest  in  other  markets  or                                                                    
commodities in order to minimize the volatility.                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough requested  the commissioner to discuss                                                                    
her management  style and  how she  worked with  others. She                                                                    
noted that  government typically was operated  in silos, but                                                                    
that mega projects required  collaboration. She inquired how                                                                    
Commissioner  Rodell  would  relate  peer  to  peer  at  the                                                                    
commissioner level and how she  would work with her own team                                                                    
to  encourage  them  to  perform  their  best.  Commissioner                                                                    
Rodell replied that she would  describe her management style                                                                    
as  open, transparent,  and team  oriented. She  shared that                                                                    
she did not  have a hierarchal style that was  top down, but                                                                    
was more about looking across  DOR and assessing where there                                                                    
was real talent for specific  projects.  She related that in                                                                    
the case  of moving  the gasline  forward, she  thought that                                                                    
people  from  the  Treasury   Division  would  be  important                                                                    
because of  their perspective as  an investors.  She thought                                                                    
that  it  would  also  be  important to  bring  in  the  Tax                                                                    
Division   so   that   the  state   could   understand   the                                                                    
implications  from that  standpoint. She  added that  having                                                                    
all  of  that  under  the department  would  be  helpful  in                                                                    
evaluating the terms of contracts going forward.                                                                                
Commissioner   Rodell   continued  to   address   Vice-Chair                                                                    
Fairclough's  questions   and  related  that  it   was  also                                                                    
important that  she worked in the  same collaborative manner                                                                    
with the  other commissioners  and expounded that  she could                                                                    
see  a role  in the  gasline for  almost every  commissioner                                                                    
that she worked  with; the Department of  Public Safety, the                                                                    
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities,  the                                                                    
Department   of  Labor   and   Workforce  Development,   the                                                                    
Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic Development,                                                                    
the  Department  of  Labor and  Workforce  Development,  the                                                                    
Department  of  Natural  Resources, and  the  Department  of                                                                    
Administration would  all have  to be involved.  She offered                                                                    
that her  experience with cabinet so  far was that it  was a                                                                    
very collegial  group that reached out  routinely to discuss                                                                    
various issues.                                                                                                                 
Vice-Chair Fairclough  shared a "glowing" report  from a DOR                                                                    
employee. The  employee had indicated  that DOR had  an open                                                                    
door  policy  and that  they  could  come into  Commissioner                                                                    
Rodell's office and offer  suggestions or supply information                                                                    
that might be useful.                                                                                                           
Vice-Chair  Fairclough noted  that  Commissioner Rodell  had                                                                    
briefly discussed  how the unfunded pension  liability could                                                                    
affect the  state's credit rating; she  inquired if anything                                                                    
else  could  jeapardize  the   state's  top  credit  rating.                                                                    
Commissioner Rodell responded that  it was important to note                                                                    
that  the rating  analysts  were more  focused  on the  near                                                                    
term, even though  the rating might be on a  long-term 20 or                                                                    
30 year piece of debt;  however, they were really focused on                                                                    
the actions being  taken now and over the next  5 years. She                                                                    
reported that  rating analysts would  look at how  the state                                                                    
continued to meet its near-term  obligations and what Alaska                                                                    
was doing  to take care of  the state. She thought  that the                                                                    
important  take away  was  that  Alaska did  a  good job  of                                                                    
taking care of  people first in thin times  and had invested                                                                    
when it  was easier  to do a  capital budget.  She expounded                                                                    
that Alaska had a record of  doing what it said it was going                                                                    
to do  as opposed to  running gimmicks that she  could point                                                                    
to  in the  Lower-48; she  believed that  it was  a cultural                                                                    
thing in Alaska  that she did not see in  other parts of the                                                                    
9:42:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Fairclough inquired  how the  market would  view                                                                    
"kicking  a  can down  the  road"  and wondered  how  simply                                                                    
making  the prescribed  payments under  the current  funding                                                                    
mechanism would  be viewed. She  thought that the  state was                                                                    
required to contribute $600 million  and wondered what would                                                                    
happen if  the market looked at  a 5-year plan and  saw that                                                                    
the   payment  was   escalated   to  over   a  $1   billion.                                                                    
Commissioner  Rodell   responded  Alaska   had  historically                                                                    
funded its ark and that as  a long as the Alaska kept making                                                                    
the annual payment, it would  be acceptable. Credit would be                                                                    
given for  continuing to make  the annual  payment; however,                                                                    
the question was what would happen  if the payment got to be                                                                    
a greater percentage  of the operating budget  and the state                                                                    
zeroed  or backed  away  from it.  She  related that  rating                                                                    
analysts  were  concerned about  the  size  of the  unfunded                                                                    
liability, but that  making a payment versus  not making one                                                                    
was of greater concern.                                                                                                         
Vice-Chair Fairclough inquired  if Commissioner Rodell could                                                                    
discuss ethics and  how it applied to her  position, as well                                                                    
as how  she held  to that standard  so that  the legislature                                                                    
would  have  confidence  in the  information  that  she  was                                                                    
providing. Commissioner Rodell responded  that you could not                                                                    
do  her  job without  public  trust  and  the trust  of  the                                                                    
legislature.  She stated  that  if there  was anything  that                                                                    
might give a constituent pause  that she might not be acting                                                                    
in  the best  interest  of the  state,  such as  contracting                                                                    
through  with  various  vendors,  she would  take  steps  to                                                                    
remove herself, so that there  was no appearance of conflict                                                                    
and  that  those procurements  were  kept  above board.  She                                                                    
shared that the test for her  was if it would raise flags or                                                                    
give her  a bad feeling  if she  was on the  outside looking                                                                    
in; if it did, it was  important to take steps to avoid even                                                                    
the appearance of a conflict.                                                                                                   
9:46:52 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly inquired what would  happen if the state paid                                                                    
off  the unfunded  liability completely  with a  $12 billion                                                                    
payment and there  was a crash in the stock  market the next                                                                    
day.   He  inquired   what  would   happen  to   the  money.                                                                    
Commissioner Rodell replied that  there would be significant                                                                    
losses and the  creation of a new  liability. Co-Chair Kelly                                                                    
noted that in that case, there  would be a new liability and                                                                    
the  money  would be  lost.  He  wanted  DOR  to look  at  a                                                                    
strategy of the  value of concrete and  steel versus dollars                                                                    
in  bank accounts.  He was  not a  proponent of  willy-nilly                                                                    
spending  with  capital money  in  districts  to get  people                                                                    
reelected; however, the state  had some huge projects coming                                                                    
up  and it  needed to  look  after the  next generation.  He                                                                    
hoped that DOR would not  be so conservative and balance the                                                                    
needs  of the  next  generation. He  was  unsure what  would                                                                    
happen  to many  rural areas  of  the state  if the  state's                                                                    
reserves  became  depleted  because it  overreacted  to  the                                                                    
unfunded  liability  and at  the  same  time, it  failed  to                                                                    
provide  energy infrastructure.  He noted  that it  would be                                                                    
people in  the cold and  not simply theoretical  graphs that                                                                    
were being discussed. He did  not think that this discussion                                                                    
took place  often enough  regarding the  unfunded liability.                                                                    
He offered that a piece  of steel and concrete that produced                                                                    
gas that could  be sold or a pipeline that  could be laid to                                                                    
mines  would  produce  for  the   state  regardless  of  the                                                                    
interest rates  and other market  factors. He  asserted that                                                                    
as  the  Commissioner  of the  Department  of  Revenue,  Ms.                                                                    
Rodell's job had to go beyond the graphs.                                                                                       
Co-Chair Kelly  MOVED to ADVANCE  the name of  Angela Rodell                                                                    
for  the appointment  of Commissioner  of the  Department of                                                                    
Revenue. The name  will be forwarded to  the full membership                                                                    
of the legislature in joint  session for consideration and a                                                                    
final vote. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                        
The name  of Angela Rodell  was ADVANED for  the appointment                                                                    
of Commissioner of  the Department of Revenue.  The name was                                                                    
forwarded  to  the full  membership  of  the legislature  in                                                                    
joint session for consideration and a final vote.                                                                               
Co-Chair Meyer read from Uniform Rule 46:                                                                                       
     Signing  the reports  regarding appointments  to boards                                                                    
     and commissions in no  way reflects individual member's                                                                    
     approval  or disapproval  of  the  appointees and  that                                                                    
     that  nominations were  merely  forwarded  to the  full                                                                    
     legislature for confirmation or rejection.                                                                                 
9:51:57 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:53:20 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 161                                                                                                           
     "An Act relating to duties and procedures of the state                                                                     
     medical examiner and the Department of Health and                                                                          
     Social Services; and relating to death certificates."                                                                      
9:53:46 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer  noted that  SB 161 had  a companion  bill in                                                                    
the house.                                                                                                                      
Senator Olson noted that during  the last hearing on SB 161,                                                                    
there had been a question on  one of the fiscal notes, which                                                                    
had been  a zero  note. He  confirmed that  the note  was in                                                                    
fact a zero note.                                                                                                               
Co-Chair  Kelly  MOVED  to  REPORT   CSSB  161(FIN)  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CSSB  161(FIN) was  REPORTED  out of  committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation  and with a  new zero fiscal  note from                                                                    
the Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Fairclough requested a brief AT EASE.                                                                                
9:55:35 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:55:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 135                                                                                                           
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Alaska                                                                       
     Health Care Commission; and providing for an effective                                                                     
9:55:53 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer  noted that  the only  prior concern  was the                                                                    
bill's cost.  The committee  had been  unable to  reduce the                                                                    
cost  of the  legisaltion,  but had  added  a 3-year  sunset                                                                    
Senator Olson  related that  the Alaska  Health Commissioner                                                                    
was originally put  in place by Governor Palin  and had been                                                                    
into statute. The commission had  been looking at healthcare                                                                    
issues, particularly with  costs in the state  of Alaska. He                                                                    
asserted  that  Kris  Kurtis,  who   was  the  auditor,  had                                                                    
indicated that  the Alaska Healthcare Commission  was indeed                                                                    
serving  the   public's  interest,   which  was   why  there                                                                    
recommendation to go to a 3-year sunset.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Meyer recalled  that his  concern  was that  there                                                                    
were  two staff  people dedicated  to board  with a  cost of                                                                    
$500,000; however, a  lot of it was  federal matching money,                                                                    
which made it difficult to reduce the bill's cost.                                                                              
Co-Chair Kelly MOVED to REPORT  SB 135 out of committee with                                                                    
individual  recommendations  and   the  accompanying  fiscal                                                                    
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
SB  135 was  REPORTED  out  of committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation and  with a previously published  zero fiscal                                                                    
note: FN1 (DHS).                                                                                                                
9:58:03 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
10:00:39 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATE BILL NO. 108                                                                                                           
     "An Act relating to the confidentiality of certain                                                                         
     records of criminal cases; and providing for an                                                                            
     effective date."                                                                                                           
10:01:00 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRED  DYSON, SPONSOR, addressed the  legislation. He                                                                    
believed many  members had  handled Second  Amendment issues                                                                    
well and that  First Amendment issues would  be addressed on                                                                    
a  more frequent  basis. The  bill pertained  to the  Fourth                                                                    
Amendment's right  to privacy. His  concern had come  out of                                                                    
the  task force  currently  working on  barriers to  reentry                                                                    
from  the criminal  justice system.  He  discussed that  the                                                                    
State of Alaska  had a public website  called CourtView that                                                                    
listed criminal  records. He stated that  unfortunately, the                                                                    
website  also   carried  arrest  records.  The   bill  would                                                                    
strengthen  the privacy  and  liberty  interests of  persons                                                                    
when  charges  were  dismissed   or  acquitted  by  removing                                                                    
records  from  CourtView  after 120  days.  The  information                                                                    
would  remain   available  to  police,  the   Department  of                                                                    
Corrections, judges,  and prosecutors.  He stated  that many                                                                    
employers,  landlords,   and  other  frequently   looked  at                                                                    
CourtView  to determine  whether a  person had  a record;  a                                                                    
person's  name  on the  website  hindered  that person  from                                                                    
competing  for jobs  and other.  He  referred to  a case  in                                                                    
Anchorage from the  prior year as an example  of an innocent                                                                    
person with their name posted  on CourtView. He relayed that                                                                    
the record on CourtView was indefinite.                                                                                         
10:04:25 AM                                                                                                                   
CHUCK KOPP,  STAFF, SENATOR FRED DYSON,  stated that section                                                                    
1  of the  bill  addressed the  practicality  of going  back                                                                    
without incurring a large fiscal  note. The sponsor's office                                                                    
had   developed   the   legislative   intent   language   in                                                                    
conjunction  with  the Alaska  Court  System  that aimed  to                                                                    
address  people  who  were currently  struggling  under  the                                                                    
weight of an acquitted or  dismissed charge on CourtView. He                                                                    
read from the sectional analysis (copy on file):                                                                                
     Section 1                                                                                                                  
     Provides  legislative intent  directing  the Court,  to                                                                    
     the  extent  practicable,   to  treat  as  confidential                                                                    
     records  of  criminal  cases  disposed  of  before  the                                                                    
     effective date of the Act  by acquittal of all charges,                                                                    
     dismissal of all charges, or  acquittal of some charges                                                                    
     and dismissal of remaining charges,  to the same extent                                                                    
     that records are held confidential  by this bill, under                                                                    
     AS 22.35.030.                                                                                                              
     Section 2                                                                                                                  
     Amends AS 22.35 by adding  a new section, AS 22.35.030.                                                                    
     Records   concerning   criminal  cases   resulting   in                                                                    
     acquittal or dismissal confidential.                                                                                       
     This  section  establishes that  a  court  record of  a                                                                    
     criminal case is confidential if  120 days have elapsed                                                                    
     from the  date of  acquittal or  dismissal and  (1) the                                                                    
     person was acquitted of all  charges filed in the case;                                                                    
     (2) all charges against  the person have been dismissed                                                                    
     by  the prosecuting  authority; or  (3) the  person was                                                                    
     acquitted of some  of the charges in the  case, and the                                                                    
     remaining charges were dismissed.                                                                                          
     Provide  exceptions  for  access  to  information  made                                                                    
     confidential  for  state agency  employees  responsible                                                                    
     for health,  safety, welfare, or placement  of a child,                                                                    
     a person  with a  physical or  intellectual disability,                                                                    
     or  a  person with  a  mental  illness; employees  that                                                                    
     protect other  vulnerable citizens, and  state criminal                                                                    
     justice  information network  users. The  Department of                                                                    
     Health and Social Services will adopt regulations to                                                                       
     administer these exceptions.                                                                                               
     Section 3                                                                                                                  
     Establishes the Applicability of the Act to criminal                                                                       
     charges concluded on or after the effective date of                                                                        
     the Act by dismissal or by acquittal of the defendant.                                                                     
     Section 4                                                                                                                  
     Establishes the effective date of the Act as October                                                                       
     1, 2014.                                                                                                                   
Mr. Kopp  elaborated that  that the  original bill  had read                                                                    
that  a   court  record   of  a   criminal  case   would  be                                                                    
confidential  if  90  days  had elapsed  from  the  date  of                                                                    
acquittal or  dismissal; the provision  had been  updated in                                                                    
Section 2 to  120 days per a request from  the Department of                                                                    
Law due to a 120 evidentiary rule.                                                                                              
10:08:52 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Kopp directed  committee attention  to the  zero fiscal                                                                    
notes from the Department  of Administration, which included                                                                    
the  Office of  Public  Advocacy and  the Public  Defender's                                                                    
Office, and one  from the Department of Law.  He stated that                                                                    
the courts could  address the process by  which records were                                                                    
held  confidential under  court  rule. He  noted that  there                                                                    
were  letters of  support in  member  files as  well as  one                                                                    
letter of opposition from the Office of Victim's Rights.                                                                        
NANCY   MEADE,  GENERAL   COUNSEL,   ALASKA  COURT   SYSTEM,                                                                    
testified that the Alaska Court  System (ACS) was neutral on                                                                    
the  bill. She  shared that  she  had worked  with the  bill                                                                    
sponsor to ensure that the  legislation could be implemented                                                                    
with  the   least  amount   of  expense   and  technological                                                                    
problems. She  said that ACS could  make cases confidential;                                                                    
this  would be  a unique  category  of cases,  as all  other                                                                    
cases that were  confidential were so from  the beginning of                                                                    
the  case. She  relayed  that when  the  legislature made  a                                                                    
certain case  type confidential the  case was not  posted on                                                                    
Court View or released in hard  copy. The cases were kept in                                                                    
courthouses in a fluorescent envelope  and were viewed by no                                                                    
one, with  the exception  of: the parties  in the  case, the                                                                    
attorneys  in  the case,  court  staff  for case  processing                                                                    
purposes, and the judge. She  explained that the legislation                                                                    
would  make cases  confidential  after  they had  previously                                                                    
been  public. Provided  that every  charge in  the case  was                                                                    
dismissed  or  acquitted  the case  would  be  removed  from                                                                    
CourtView at  no fiscal  impact to the  state. She  spoke to                                                                    
the  retroactivity provision  in the  bill. She  stated that                                                                    
ACS  had  transferred all  of  its  case management  to  the                                                                    
CourtView system  over the past decade  and different courts                                                                    
had different  dates on  which they  were put  on CourtView.                                                                    
She said  that as long  as courts were on  CourtView certain                                                                    
case types could  be removed. She warned  that removing case                                                                    
files prior to the  conversion date could prove logistically                                                                    
problematic. The  retroactivity intent language in  the bill                                                                    
would  alleviate  the  fiscal   and  logistical  problem  of                                                                    
retrieving   cases  from   storage  and   categorizing  them                                                                    
differently. She reiterated that  ACS could implement all of                                                                    
the  changes proposed  in the  legislation without  a fiscal                                                                    
impact  except  for the  exceptions  that  were created  for                                                                    
certain  state  agencies.  She  stated  that  in  order  for                                                                    
certain people in specific state  agencies to gain access to                                                                    
cases that had been removed  from CourtView a special portal                                                                    
would  need to  be created.  The portal  would need  to work                                                                    
with  the  ACS vendor  and  would  have  an initial  fee  of                                                                    
$22,000, a yearly  maintenance fee of $3000,  and a security                                                                    
fee of $500.                                                                                                                    
10:14:20 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  NORMAN  MEANS,  SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  support of SB  108. He relayed a  story concerning                                                                    
is daughter's arrest for driving  under the influence (DUI).                                                                    
He stated  his daughter  was driving  with friends  when the                                                                    
fuel pump  in the vehicle  went out. The vehicle  stalled in                                                                    
the  middle of  the  road and  an  Anchorage police  officer                                                                    
responded. He said that after  the officer pushed the van to                                                                    
the side of the road while  is daughter steered, he issued a                                                                    
traffic stop.  He explained that  his daughter  provided all                                                                    
of  the   required  documents,  which  were   in  order.  He                                                                    
testified  that   the  officer  then  began   demanding  his                                                                    
daughter's  personal  phone  number, which  she  refused  to                                                                    
provide.   He  stated   that  his   daughter  asserted   her                                                                    
constitutional   right  to   remain  silent,   requested  an                                                                    
attorney,  and  refused  to  consent  to  any  searches.  He                                                                    
furthered that  at that point  the officer placed  her under                                                                    
arrest for DUI;  she was transported to  the Anchorage jail.                                                                    
He read from  the arresting officer's report:  "She does not                                                                    
appear  to be  under  the  effects of  any  drugs, legal  or                                                                    
Dr. Means  related that his  daughter passed  a Breathalyzer                                                                    
Test and was released on  her own recognizance; however, the                                                                    
arrest record currently remains  on Court View. He expressed                                                                    
frustration that the vehicle had  been impounded when it was                                                                    
registered under his name, and  not to his daughter. He said                                                                    
that  he had  had no  fewer than  5 separate  departments of                                                                    
municipal government  find fault with  all, or part,  of the                                                                    
arresting  officer's  actions. He  shared  that  he filed  a                                                                    
complaint   with  the   Chief  of   Police,  and   after  an                                                                    
investigation,  Internal  Affairs  responded  in  a  written                                                                    
letter to  him alerting  him that his  complaints concerning                                                                    
the  vehicle impoundment  had been  sustained. He  felt that                                                                    
his   daughter's   experience   was  an   example   of   the                                                                    
difficulties  a  person  faced when  attempting  to  get  an                                                                    
arrest record  sealed based on  the improper actions  of one                                                                    
police officer.                                                                                                                 
Mr.   Means  lamented   that   despite  the   overwhelmingly                                                                    
controvertible evidence  that his daughter had  done nothing                                                                    
wrong the municipal attorney at the time had written that:                                                                      
     While the officer might not have had probable cause to                                                                     
     arrest her for DUI, he had probable cause to arrest                                                                        
     her for some crime.                                                                                                        
Mr.  Means wondered  what  that crime  would  have been.  He                                                                    
opined that  all that  his daughter had  wanted was  to have                                                                    
her  record sealed,  even  offering to  waive  her right  to                                                                    
pursue any  litigation. As  a result  his daughter  had been                                                                    
forced to  file litigation in  an effort to clear  her name.                                                                    
He shared that  his daughter would be  testifying before the                                                                    
legislature at a later date on  SB 180. He remarked that the                                                                    
system  in the  state made  it  impossible to  get a  record                                                                    
expunged or  sealed. He worried  that his  daughter's record                                                                    
could  limit  her  options for  graduate  school  or  future                                                                    
10:21:27 AM                                                                                                                   
JAMES   MOONEY,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  strong support  of SB 108.  He stated  that in                                                                    
2009 he  had been falsely  accused of sexual  assaulting his                                                                    
fiancé.  He said  that  the relationship  had  lasted for  6                                                                    
years,  but  began  to   deteriorate  after  differences  of                                                                    
opinion arose concerning child custody.  He was arrested for                                                                    
sexual  assault,  fought  the   charge  in  court,  and  was                                                                    
acquitted  on  all charges.  His  accuser  and his  daughter                                                                    
moved  out   of  state  several   weeks  after   making  the                                                                    
accusations, as a  result he had not seen his  daughter in 4                                                                    
years. He  believed that  the accusations  were premeditated                                                                    
because his  accuser had knowledge  of the legal  system. He                                                                    
reiterated that  he had  been acquitted  on all  charges. He                                                                    
shared that  he had lost  his job and  had been out  of work                                                                    
for  months  and was  living  off  savings. He  opined  that                                                                    
employment opportunities  were cut short once  employers ran                                                                    
a  background   check.  He  felt   that  he   was  suffering                                                                    
repercussions as  though he had  been convicted and  sent to                                                                    
10:25:40 AM                                                                                                                   
JAMES  NOBLE,   SELF,  PRUDHOE  BAY   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of  SB   108.  He  relayed  a  story                                                                    
concerning   two  charges   filed   against   him  and   the                                                                    
repercussions  he experienced  following a  dismissal ruling                                                                    
from  a   judge  on  both   cases.  He  stated   that  after                                                                    
researching cases similar to his  he had determined that the                                                                    
common  thread was  revengeful  actions  from a  significant                                                                    
other who  was abusing the  court system. He  explained that                                                                    
he had  been in a  romantic relationship from 2003  to 2007.                                                                    
He   said  that   his   partner   terminated  the   romantic                                                                    
relationship in 2006, but  a platonic relationship remained.                                                                    
He  relayed that  he ended  the friendship  when the  person                                                                    
began  dating a  new person.  He stated  that he  received a                                                                    
domestic  violence  protective  order   from  the  court  on                                                                    
September  17, 2007  and hired  an attorney  who represented                                                                    
him throughout  court proceedings. During the  course of the                                                                    
defense  for  the  domestic  violence  order,  the  attorney                                                                    
discovered a stalking  charge, filed by his  ex on September                                                                    
11, 2007  and had been  dismissed by the court  on September                                                                    
12, 2007. He  argued that he had never been  notified of, or                                                                    
given  any  details  concerning,  the  stalking  charge.  He                                                                    
opined that the stalking charge  could be seen on CourtView,                                                                    
regardless of the fact that  the charges had been dismissed.                                                                    
He  said that  he appeared  before the  court on  October 4,                                                                    
2007  to  contest the  domestic  violence  charge which  was                                                                    
dismissed due to insufficient evidence.                                                                                         
10:28:54 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Noble feared  that the  information on  CourtView could                                                                    
hinder  him when  seeking future  employment. He  added that                                                                    
the  social  stigma could  limit  his  ability to  form  new                                                                    
10:31:10 AM                                                                                                                   
DONNA KLECKA, SELF, EAGLE  RIVER (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in favor  of the SB  108. She  testified that she  was self-                                                                    
employed   which  made   word-of-mouth   important  to   her                                                                    
professional  reputation.  She  state   that  she  had  gone                                                                    
through a divorce in 1999. During the proceedings her ex-                                                                       
husband  attempted  to  use  domestic  violence  charges  as                                                                    
leverage for  child custody. She spoke  of another incidence                                                                    
where a  woman, whom she  believed to be  mentally unstable,                                                                    
had made multiple charges against  her of trespassing, theft                                                                    
and stalking. Due to the  charges, she was arrested and held                                                                    
for 24  hours. She  related that  the arresting  officer had                                                                    
lost her  job for  the episode  because she  had not  had an                                                                    
arrest warrant.  She said that  she had  received accusatory                                                                    
notes from  neighbors. She added  that she had  been charged                                                                    
with assault  and battery at  one point as well.  She opined                                                                    
that her children were harassed  at school. She relayed that                                                                    
approximately  a  year  and  a half  ago  she  had  consumed                                                                    
alcohol  and was  pulled over  for speeding  in Seward.  She                                                                    
asserted that the  Alaska State Trooper had  profiled her by                                                                    
pulling up  her record before  pulling her over.  She shared                                                                    
that she  had been nervous  while taking the  field sobriety                                                                    
test, which was  videotaped. She stated that  in the process                                                                    
of her  arrest her arm  was broken  by the police.  She said                                                                    
that  the arresting  officers had  written  in their  report                                                                    
that  she  has not  had  alcohol  on  her breath;  she  also                                                                    
submitted to  a blood  test, which  turned up  negative. She                                                                    
said that  all of  the charges  against her  were dismissed.                                                                    
She  shared  that  during discovery  the  arresting  officer                                                                    
stated that he  had been aggressive with her as  a result of                                                                    
having reviewed her record.                                                                                                     
10:38:55 AM                                                                                                                   
CARMEN GUTIERREZ, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke  in support of SB 108.                                                                    
She read from a prepared document (copy on file):                                                                               
     Thank you for the opportunity  to comment on SB 108. As                                                                    
     a  former  attorney  for  25   years  followed  by  the                                                                    
     privilege of  serving the state as  Deputy Commissioner                                                                    
     for  the Department  of  Corrections,  I have  observed                                                                    
     first-hand the  need for  the criminal  justice reforms                                                                    
     for which  this Committee  has so tirelessly  worked to                                                                    
     advance. I thank this  Committee for its courageousness                                                                    
     in  promoting   needed  revisions  aimed   at  reducing                                                                    
     recidivism.  Every  former  offender  who  is  able  to                                                                    
     successfully return  to his or her  community means one                                                                    
     less  victim,  one  less crime,  and  one  less  costly                                                                    
     I  believe  that  SB  108   is  another  step  in  that                                                                    
     direction.  As it  stands today,  every  person who  is                                                                    
     arrested for a criminal  offense has a permanent public                                                                    
     record  of that  arrest.  In felony  cases, a  detailed                                                                    
     statement  of alleged  factual  detail accompanies  the                                                                    
     fact of arrest and charge.                                                                                                 
     The  name of  the  person arrested  and then  convicted                                                                    
     always  remains available  to  the  public through  the                                                                    
     period  of prosecution  and after  conviction. That  is                                                                    
     What is not  fair and not in keeping  without system of                                                                    
     criminal justice  is that under current  law a person's                                                                    
     name  and  fact  of  charge remains  available  to  the                                                                    
     public even  when the prosecutor dismisses  the charge,                                                                    
     the charge  is dismissed by  the court of after  a jury                                                                    
     acquits the  person. Despite dismissal of  or acquittal                                                                    
     on the charge, the fact  of arrest and the accompanying                                                                    
     documentation  forever  remains  available  for  public                                                                    
     The  reality is  that  when the  fact  of arrest  after                                                                    
     dismissal  continues to  be made  available for  public                                                                    
     inspection  either   by  an  in-person  visit   to  the                                                                    
     courthouse or by review on  CourtView, the arrest often                                                                    
     becomes  synonymous  with  conviction in  the  mind  of                                                                    
     those  doing the  inspecting.  This  greatly impedes  a                                                                    
     person's ability to find  employment, rent an apartment                                                                    
     and to live  a life free of stigmatization  for a crime                                                                    
     for which the person was never convicted.                                                                                  
     Numerous individuals -  both men and women  - in Alaska                                                                    
     are arrested  for the  crime of  Assault in  the Fourth                                                                    
     Degree. A person may be  charges with this offense if a                                                                    
     police  officer concluded  there is  probable cause  to                                                                    
     believe  that  a  person by  "words  or  other  conduct                                                                    
     recklessly places  another person  in fear  of imminent                                                                    
     physical injury."                                                                                                          
     AS 18.65.530 appropriately provides  that in a domestic                                                                    
     relations context, when a person  reports to the police                                                                    
     that  she/he was  placed in  fear of  imminent physical                                                                    
     injury,  the police  must arrest  the alleged  offender                                                                    
     for Domestic Violence Assault  when the officer decides                                                                    
     there is  probable cause to  believe that  assault took                                                                    
     Needless  to   say,  police   officers  taxed   with  a                                                                    
     tremendous amount  of work have to  make snap decisions                                                                    
     when deciding if there is  probable cause to believe an                                                                    
     assault   occurred.  The   soundness   of  the   police                                                                    
     officer's decision  often depends on the  experience of                                                                    
     the  officer  and  the   officer's  perceived  need  to                                                                    
     diffuse a situation.                                                                                                       
     After the person is arrested  and charges, a prosecutor                                                                    
     later has more  time to review the merits  of the case.                                                                    
     In some  cases, upon more  careful review and  with the                                                                    
     benefit of additional  facts, the prosecutor determines                                                                    
     the charge doesn't merit  prosecution and dismisses it.                                                                    
     The   individual   arrested,    however,   is   forever                                                                    
     stigmatized by  his arrest. It  will forever be  a part                                                                    
     of  the  Alaska  Court  System  records  available  for                                                                    
     public inspection.                                                                                                         
     A good number  of cases filed in  Alaska are ultimately                                                                    
     dismissed. For example, in FY13,  the state filed 6,675                                                                    
     felony  cases.  Of  those, the  state  dismissed  1,289                                                                    
     cases.  Of  the  29,562 misdemeanor  cases  filed,  the                                                                    
     state dismissed 9,508.                                                                                                     
     Our  constitutional  right to  due  process  of law  is                                                                    
     intended  to protect  citizens  from  being treated  as                                                                    
     convicted persons without  first being afforded certain                                                                    
     procedural  safeguards. That  is the  way it  should be                                                                    
     and it  is our responsibility  to uphold out  system of                                                                    
     criminal  justice,  the  shining example  and  envy  of                                                                    
     other countries.                                                                                                           
     There are those  who would have you  believe that their                                                                    
     individual   judgment   is   more  knowing   than   the                                                                    
     collective  wisdom of  a jury;  that a  person's record                                                                    
     should forever  be stigmatized by an  arrest and charge                                                                    
     even though  the prosecutor dismissed  the charge  or a                                                                    
     jury of  his peers acquitted  him of the  charge. These                                                                    
     same individuals would have you  believe that an arrest                                                                    
     should  be equated  to conviction  of  a crime.  Alaska                                                                    
     citizens,  judges, prosecutors,  and defense  attorneys                                                                    
     will  always  have  different  opinions  regarding  the                                                                    
     facts of  a case. That  is why our system  requires due                                                                    
     process under the law before  someone is convicted of a                                                                    
     crime  and   shoulders  the  burdens   associated  with                                                                    
     criminal conviction.                                                                                                       
     For these  reasons, the  fact of  an arrest  and charge                                                                    
     without  conviction  should  not  forever  tarnish  the                                                                    
     reputation of  an Alaskan citizen.  SB 108  is intended                                                                    
     to  rectify these  unintended and  harmful consequences                                                                    
     that  in  many  cases  impact  a  person's  ability  to                                                                    
     successfully live and work in our communities.                                                                             
10:45:10 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms. Gutierrez asserted that for  every individual that could                                                                    
come forward to  say that having access to  CourtView made a                                                                    
meaningful difference  in a decision being  made, there were                                                                    
many more  cases of individuals  who have had  their ability                                                                    
to live successfully in their community compromised.                                                                            
Senator Hoffman inquired if Ms.  Gutierrez would support the                                                                    
legislation for  an individual that  had been  acquitted due                                                                    
to a hung jury.                                                                                                                 
Ms. Gutierrez replied that when  an individual was found not                                                                    
guilty  by virtue  of a  hung  jury the  prosecutor had  the                                                                    
ability to evaluate  the evidence in the  and decide whether                                                                    
the case  merited a  new trial. She  understood that  if the                                                                    
prosecutor decided  that the  evidence supported  the charge                                                                    
it was  the prosecutor's burden to  take the case back  to a                                                                    
jury. She  asserted that, in  the spirit of due  process and                                                                    
constitutional  procedure, in  a hung  jury case  the record                                                                    
would be deemed confidential.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Meyer CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                         
10:48:12 AM                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Fairclough queried  whether the opposition letter                                                                    
from  the  Office  of Victim's  Rights  had  been  submitted                                                                    
before or after changes to  the legislation had been made in                                                                    
the Senate Judiciary Committee.                                                                                                 
Mr.  Kopp replied  that the  letter had  arrived before  the                                                                    
bill  was amended  in Senate  Judiciary. He  added that  the                                                                    
sponsor had not received  any additional communications from                                                                    
the Office of Victim's Rights.                                                                                                  
Vice-Chair Fairclough  understood that  an old  court record                                                                    
could  be  damaging  to  people well  after  the  fact.  She                                                                    
expressed  concern as  to how  the legislation  would affect                                                                    
the rights of victims,  specifically for victims of domestic                                                                    
violence and  rape; however,  she recognized  that instances                                                                    
of false accusation did occur.                                                                                                  
SB  108  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
10:50:57 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 10:51 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
1 CSSB 108(JUD) SFC Request for Committee Waiver.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
6 4 Support of SB108 - Carmen Gutierrez.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
6 4 Support of SB108 - James Noble.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
6 4 Support of SB108 - Mary Geddes.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
6 4 Written Testimony SB108 OVR.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
CSSB 108(JUD) Section Analysis.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
CSSB 108(JUD) Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
CSSB 108(JUD) Summary of Changes.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
SB108 Rule 37.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
SB108 Support Letters of SB108.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
SB161CS(FIN)-DHSS-SMEO-03-05-14.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 161
1 2 CS SSSB 80 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 80
1 3 CS for SSSB80 - Section Analysis.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 80
1 4 Support SB80 Teladoc.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 80
1 5 CS SSSB 80(LC) Telemedicine saves dollars and makes sense for Alaskans.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 80
SB108CS(JUD)-DHSS-CSM-03-14-14.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
Commissioner Revenue - Rodell.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
CSSB108(JUD)-ACS-TRC-03-17-14.pdf SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108
SB108 support - Klecka.docx SFIN 3/17/2014 9:00:00 AM
SB 108