Legislature(2019 - 2020)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/10/2019 01:30 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:37:49 PM Start
01:38:42 PM HB49
02:54:55 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       May 10, 2019                                                                                             
                         1:37 p.m.                                                                                              
1:37:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Senator Bishop  called the Senate Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:37 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Mike Shower                                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Natasha von Imhof, Co-Chair                                                                                             
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Kelly  Howell, Department  of Public  Safety, In  Room; John                                                                    
Skidmore,  Director, Criminal  Division, Department  of Law,                                                                    
In  Room;  Sylvan  Robb, Administrative  Services  Director,                                                                    
Department of Corrections, Office  of Management and Budget,                                                                    
In Room; Senator Jesse Kiehl; Senator Cathy Giessel.                                                                            
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Kathryn  Monfreda, Department  of Public  Safety, Anchorage;                                                                    
Beth  Goldstein, Public  Defender  Agency, Anchorage;  James                                                                    
Stinson, Office of Public Advocacy, Anchorage.                                                                                  
HB 49     CRIMES; SENTENCING;MENT. ILLNESS;EVIDENCE                                                                             
          CSHB 49(FIN) am was HEARD and HELD in committee                                                                       
          for further consideration.                                                                                            
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 49(FIN) am                                                                                              
     "An  Act  relating  to   criminal  law  and  procedure;                                                                    
     relating to  pretrial services; establishing  the crime                                                                    
     of possession  of motor  vehicle theft  tools; relating                                                                    
     to  electronic   monitoring;  relating   to  controlled                                                                    
     substances; relating to  probation and parole; relating                                                                    
     to  sentencing;  amending   the  definitions  of  'most                                                                    
     serious  felony,' 'sex  offense,'  and 'sex  offender';                                                                    
     relating to registration of  sex offenders; relating to                                                                    
     operating under  the influence; relating to  refusal to                                                                    
     submit to  a chemical test;  relating to the  duties of                                                                    
     the  commissioner of  corrections; relating  to testing                                                                    
     of  sexual   assault  examination  kits;   relating  to                                                                    
     reports  of  involuntary   commitment;  amending  Rules                                                                    
     6(r)(6) and  38.2, Alaska Rules of  Criminal Procedure;                                                                    
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
1:38:42 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY  HOWELL,   DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC  SAFETY,   IN  ROOM,                                                                    
responded  to  questions  regarding Section  102,  page  69,                                                                    
which  would  require  the  Court   System  (COURT)  to  the                                                                    
Department  of Public  Safety (DPS)  records of  involuntary                                                                    
commitment  going  back  to  1981.  She  recalled  that  the                                                                    
question was  about the purpose  of the Section.  She stated                                                                    
that  it was  necessary  to "prevent  another Virginia  Tech                                                                    
shooting from occurring in Alaska."                                                                                             
Senator Micciche  asked about episodes  in the past  and the                                                                    
relevance to today.                                                                                                             
Ms. Howell  stated that  the law  was federal  and currently                                                                    
the AK court system does  transmit records from October 2014                                                                    
forward. She responded that  when voluntary committed, there                                                                    
was  a  process  in  law  for  relief  from  disability  and                                                                    
information was removed from the federal system.                                                                                
Senator Micciche asked about  choosing a different timeline,                                                                    
and decided to nullify the difference.                                                                                          
Ms. Howell  replied that  the database was  only as  good as                                                                    
the  records it  contained.  The  goal was  to  get as  many                                                                    
records as possible into the system.                                                                                            
Senator Micciche  proposed an example  related to  a veteran                                                                    
with  PTSD  and  an  involuntary  commitment;  and  wondered                                                                    
whether that person would be in the system.                                                                                     
Ms. Howell answered in the affirmative.                                                                                         
1:45:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wilson  surmised that  it  would  only qualify  for                                                                    
certain dealers, but  there was an easy loophole  and go buy                                                                    
a firearm that did not require the information.                                                                                 
Ms. Howell responded  that the bill was one  effort that the                                                                    
state could do to minimize future problems.                                                                                     
Senator  Olson  noted  inhibitions or  guidelines  available                                                                    
that might include older data.                                                                                                  
Ms.  Howell  replied  that stringent  confidentiality  rules                                                                    
could only be used for a specific purpose.                                                                                      
Senator Shower asked how many  people the bill would affect.                                                                    
He  noted  that  there  was   a  concern  about  possibly  a                                                                    
grandfather who may  have had an issue far in  the past, and                                                                    
then suddenly get pulled over  and charged with a felony. He                                                                    
stressed that  there were  many concerns  that were  not yet                                                                    
Ms.  Howell wondered  whether he  was talking  about someone                                                                    
who may  not know that  they were federally  prohibited from                                                                    
possessing a firearm.                                                                                                           
Senator  Shower  wondered  further   what  would  happen  if                                                                    
someone were pulled over with  a bad taillight, and suddenly                                                                    
have something on  their record. He also wanted  to know the                                                                    
number of people that would be effected.                                                                                        
Ms.  Howell  responded  that  Ms.  Meade  had  answered  the                                                                    
initial  questions related  to  the number  of records.  She                                                                    
stated  that  a form  was  filled  out  upon purchase  of  a                                                                    
firearm, and there were specific  questions with the federal                                                                    
prohibitors. She stated that one  of the questions was about                                                                    
whether that  person had been involuntarily  committed to an                                                                    
institution for  more than  30 days.  She stated  that there                                                                    
was  a hope  that the  individual  would fill  out the  form                                                                    
Senator Shower remarked that an  individual could have a gun                                                                    
without  filling out  that paperwork,  who could  get pulled                                                                    
over. He stressed  that he wanted to know  what would happen                                                                    
to the people that had never gone through the process.                                                                          
1:52:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Howell  replied that the systems  checked during contact                                                                    
with the individual. She stated  that she could provide more                                                                    
information after  talking to law enforcement.  She deferred                                                                    
to Ms. Monfreda.                                                                                                                
Senator Shower  clarified his story.  He stressed  that this                                                                    
particular question had been addressed,  and there was still                                                                    
no sufficient answer.                                                                                                           
Senator Bishop asked for Ms. Monfreda.                                                                                          
1:54:10 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHRYN  MONFREDA, DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC SAFETY,  ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference),  responded to the question.  She noted                                                                    
that the database was not  accessible by law enforcement, so                                                                    
they would not know that the person was in the system.                                                                          
Senator  Shower gets  a ticket  would they  be charged  with                                                                    
criminal possession of a firearm.                                                                                               
Ms. Howell responded that law  enforcement would not use the                                                                    
database. The database was for federal firearms licensees.                                                                      
1:56:47 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  SKIDMORE, DIRECTOR,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
LAW,  IN  ROOM, referred  to  statute.  He stated  that  the                                                                    
person   had  not   committed  a   felony  with   a  driving                                                                    
1:57:46 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
1:59:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bishop handed the gavel to Co-Chair Stedman.                                                                            
Senator Bishop wondered whether  the database was controlled                                                                    
by the FBI.                                                                                                                     
Ms. Howell replied in the affirmative.                                                                                          
Mr. Skidmore  replied that he  found no subsection  in state                                                                    
statute that  would make it  a crime  to carry a  firearm in                                                                    
the proposed scenario.                                                                                                          
Senator Bishop noted no rub with state statute.                                                                                 
Mr.  Skidmore replied  that the  federal law  stated that  a                                                                    
person committed  under these situations should  not carry a                                                                    
firearm. He was unsure about other state's laws.                                                                                
2:02:04 PM                                                                                                                    
BETH  GOLDSTEIN,  PUBLIC  DEFENDER  AGENCY,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), reviewed  the fiscal note of  $1.3 million.                                                                    
She  stated that  the increase  in felony  drug cases  would                                                                    
occur because of  the legislation. She pointed  out that she                                                                    
looked  to the  American Bar  Association guidelines,  which                                                                    
give 150 cases per year per attorney.                                                                                           
Co-Chair  Stedman asked  about  the addition  of the  capped                                                                    
Ms. Goldstein replied that capped  positions were vacant for                                                                    
budget reasons.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Stedman talked about the heavy fiscal notes.                                                                           
2:05:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski asked  about  potential concerns  with                                                                    
the bill.                                                                                                                       
Ms. Goldstein  replied that  she did  not have  any concerns                                                                    
with the current bill.                                                                                                          
Senator Wielechowski wonder about the topics removed.                                                                           
Ms.  Goldstein  replied  that  that  the  department  had  a                                                                    
problem  with the  marriage defense  issue. She  stated that                                                                    
there were many situations where  the spouse of someone with                                                                    
dementia  may be  their guardian.  She stated  that dementia                                                                    
was not a  static disease. She understood that  there was an                                                                    
assertion  that  LAW  would  make  determinations  based  on                                                                    
situations.  She stressed  that  spouses  with dementia  may                                                                    
have clarity,  and they may  attempt to gain back  what they                                                                    
have  lost. She  stressed  that there  was  a concern  about                                                                    
family dynamics,  because there was a  concern about whether                                                                    
the person with dementia could be receive properly care.                                                                        
2:08:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski  asked for a recommendation  to protect                                                                    
those victimized.                                                                                                               
Ms.  Goldstein replied  that the  legislature was  trying to                                                                    
accomplish protection  for spouses  who are  victimized when                                                                    
alcohol  is  involved.  She  mentioned  the  possibility  of                                                                    
specific language, without casting such a wide net.                                                                             
Senator  Wielechowski  wondered  about  technical  caps  and                                                                    
discretionary parole.                                                                                                           
Ms.  Goldstein replied  that  the  tactical violations.  She                                                                    
discussed parole hearings and  the impact on the defendant's                                                                    
considerations related to parole.                                                                                               
2:11:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski noted  that  the technical  violations                                                                    
could  result in  reasonable  punishment,  so an  individual                                                                    
could keep their employment.                                                                                                    
Ms.  Goldstein  replied  that  a  person  could  serve  days                                                                    
without. She noted  that probation included a  great deal of                                                                    
2:12:42 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  STINSON, OFFICE  OF PUBLIC  ADVOCACY, ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  noted the  fiscal note  and the  positions                                                                    
proposed  for  funding. The  changes  to  parole would  also                                                                    
increase the workload.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Stedman  mentioned  $694 thousand  in  the  fiscal                                                                    
note. He wondered about a decrease related to SB 91.                                                                            
Mr. Stinson  replied that caseloads have  steadily increased                                                                    
since 2012. He stated that the workload has increased.                                                                          
2:16:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Stinson discussed  the mental  health registry  and its                                                                    
effect on Alaska. He noted the federal law that references.                                                                     
Senator  Shower asked  a question  related to  Mr. Stinson's                                                                    
Mr. Stinson replied that was he was a special assistant.                                                                        
Mr. Stinson continued that a  person not yet in the registry                                                                    
might have  purchased a firearm.  He stated that  the person                                                                    
might get flagged  for an investigation, and  there would be                                                                    
a  determination how  to proceed.  He noted  the attempt  to                                                                    
confiscate  firearms in  their  possession.  He discussed  a                                                                    
situation  where  someone  would be  federally  barred  from                                                                    
having the firearms.  A distinction in the  law. The federal                                                                    
position related to firearms should be taken broadly.                                                                           
2:20:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SYLVAN  ROBB, ADMINISTRATIVE  SERVICES DIRECTOR,  DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF CORRECTIONS,  OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT  AND BUDGET,  IN ROOM,                                                                    
noted the  various impact to  the department.  She continued                                                                    
discussing the fiscal note. She  stated that the institution                                                                    
office and the cost of $4.6 million.                                                                                            
2:24:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stedman reviewed the /.                                                                                                
Ms.  Robb replied  that the  fiscal note  included the  full                                                                    
cost of care.                                                                                                                   
Ms.  Robb  moved  to  fiscal   note  for  the  appropriation                                                                    
management 712 component #.                                                                                                     
Senator  Wilson asked  about the  previous  fiscal note  and                                                                    
healthcare costs.                                                                                                               
Ms. Robb responded  that the difference from  the costs from                                                                    
the first  year to the  second year  //. The portion  of the                                                                    
cost  of  healthcare was  calculated  and  reflected in  the                                                                    
increased inmates.                                                                                                              
2:28:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wilson  wondered  if  the  costs  were  overlapping                                                                    
between notes.                                                                                                                  
Ms.  Robb clarified  that the  cost of  the new  inmates was                                                                    
$10.6  million. The  portion  that  included healthcare  was                                                                    
reflected on  the healthcare note. She  mentioned the Palmer                                                                    
Ms.  Robb  talked  further  about  the  Palmer  Correctional                                                                    
Center  note, OMB  number 712.  She stated  that the  center                                                                    
required  time and  money for  startup costs.  She mentioned                                                                    
the  commodities  cost,  equipment  must  be  replaced.  She                                                                    
pointed out  the cost to  run Palmer  that was last  open in                                                                    
2015.  She  stated  that  the   numbers  were  adjusted  for                                                                    
inflation.   She   noted   the   additional   services   and                                                                    
commodities costs.                                                                                                              
Ms. Robb continued  that the full center  cost was reflected                                                                    
in the fiscal note adjusted for inflation.                                                                                      
Senator Bishop  asked about the  2020 cost, and  whether the                                                                    
cost was for prisoners.                                                                                                         
Ms.  Robb  replied  that  there would  be  78  inmates  over                                                                    
capacity  in that  first year.  She noted  that there  was a                                                                    
smaller building  that could be used  for those individuals.                                                                    
She stressed  that the money would  be used for the  ramp up                                                                    
period she stated that those  in the department at estimated                                                                    
that it would take between six  to nine months to set up the                                                                    
Senator Bishop  discussed fiscal assets  including transport                                                                    
vans and he wondered if any assets could return to Palmer.                                                                      
Ms. Robb  replied that many  of the assets have  been reused                                                                    
in other facilities.                                                                                                            
2:34:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wilson wondered  if all  prisons included  a dental                                                                    
Ms.  Robb  responded  that each  institution  had  different                                                                    
Senator Wilson wondered if  all additional medical equipment                                                                    
should be included.                                                                                                             
Ms.  Robb  replied  that  the risk  to  public  safety  when                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski noted  additional  positions in  2022,                                                                    
yet the costs  remain the same year to year.  He was curious                                                                    
about inflation and costs.                                                                                                      
Ms. Robb  replied that the fiscal  note instructions request                                                                    
that inflation not be accounted  in the out years. She noted                                                                    
the increase  between FY 21  from 73  positions to FY  22 at                                                                    
104 positions, with an increase  in cost of approximately $4                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski  wondered when the  Palmer Correctional                                                                    
Facility  would  be  full, and  therefore  requiring  a  new                                                                    
correctional center.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Stedman stressed  that  the issue  of where  those                                                                    
people would  go would be  debated at the time.  He stressed                                                                    
that he did not want the public to misunderstand.                                                                               
Ms. Robb  responded that the  department did  not anticipate                                                                    
project  an exceeded  capacity within  the fiscal  note. She                                                                    
stated that  there was a  projection that the bill  would be                                                                    
approximately 781 additional inmates by FY 25.                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Stedman stressed  that the  future would  show the                                                                    
capacity issues.                                                                                                                
2:39:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski noted  that Section  46 increased  the                                                                    
amount of time that a person  who was arrested could be kept                                                                    
in prison  from 24 to 48  hours. He wondered where  that was                                                                    
reflected in the fiscal notes.                                                                                                  
Ms.  Robb  replied  that  the issue  was  addressed  in  the                                                                    
Institution Director's Office note, OMB 1381.                                                                                   
Senator Wielechowski wondered whether there was an amount.                                                                      
Ms.  Robb responded  that  the department  was  not able  to                                                                    
project an amount related to the change.                                                                                        
Senator Wielechowski  asked about section 50  page. He noted                                                                    
the requirement  for a breathalyzer test  before release. He                                                                    
wondered where that cost was reflected in the fiscal notes.                                                                     
Ms. Robb stated that it did  not have a fiscal impact on the                                                                    
department, because it was the current policy.                                                                                  
Senator  Wielechowski wondered  whether  a breathalyzer  was                                                                    
administered on everyone before releasing the individual.                                                                       
Ms. Robb replied that she was  not the best person to answer                                                                    
that question.                                                                                                                  
Ms. Robb  moved on to the  next fiscal note 2952.  She noted                                                                    
costs  in  the  personal  services line  that  detailed  the                                                                    
staff. She stated that the amount needed for the                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  asked about  accounting for  capital costs                                                                    
to get facility up and running.                                                                                                 
Ms. Robb replied yes.                                                                                                           
Senator Shower asked about the hepatitis testing.                                                                               
Mr. Robb replied there would be no change.                                                                                      
Senator Shower noted increase by $10 million for testing.                                                                       
2:44:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche clarified  that  the  legislature did  not                                                                    
support  of  transporting  inmates  outside  in  the  budget                                                                    
document. He  stressed that needing  Palmer was  not related                                                                    
to the need for other facilities.                                                                                               
Ms.  Robb  replied  that with  the  increased  inmates,  the                                                                    
fiscal notes  reflected the department's intention  to house                                                                    
those inmates at Palmer Correctional Center.                                                                                    
Senator Micciche  assumed that  the intent  on the  bill was                                                                    
based  on  all the  other  facilities  remaining open,  with                                                                    
additional needed capacity.                                                                                                     
Ms. Robb answered in the affirmative.                                                                                           
Senator Bishop stated  that there was space for  350 beds in                                                                    
the current system.                                                                                                             
Ms. Robb replied in the affirmative.                                                                                            
2:45:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Robb discussed  the next  note 2976  that reflects  the                                                                    
utilities for the Palmer  Correctional Center. The utilities                                                                    
cost for the various years were discussed.                                                                                      
Ms.  Robb  moved to  695,  a  zero  fiscal note  related  to                                                                    
Ms. Robb continued  with 2826, another zero  fiscal note. No                                                                    
changes made to parole.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair Stedman  asked for a total  request from Department                                                                    
of Corrections.                                                                                                                 
Ms. Robb reviewed 698, and the 100k fiscal note.                                                                                
Ms.  Robb replied  cost for  first year  $10.7 million,  $24                                                                    
million second year, $32 million the third year.                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  surmised that there was  an expectation of                                                                    
$30 million in three years.                                                                                                     
Ms. Robb replied in the affirmative.                                                                                            
Senator  Bishop asked  about the  packages reflected  in the                                                                    
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
Ms. Robb offered to provide further information.                                                                                
2:49:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wilson  asked about  geriatric release.  He wondered                                                                    
how the change made in SB 91 affected the issue.                                                                                
Mr.  Skidmore replied  to the  question regarding  geriatric                                                                    
parole.  He  stated that  he  was  not  the best  person  to                                                                    
respond to the frequency of the use of geriatric parole.                                                                        
Co-Chair Stedman  stated that a department  would respond to                                                                    
the committee.                                                                                                                  
Senator Shower  asked if one  path was better  than another.                                                                    
He asked if enough tools were available.                                                                                        
Mr. Skidmore replied  that HB 49 as it existed  in the prior                                                                    
finance  committee  would  effectively  replace  SB  91.  He                                                                    
described the difference that the  number of tools were more                                                                    
helpful than HB 49.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair Stedman stated that the CS would be available                                                                          
tomorrow morning. He hoped to conclude the                                                                                      
CSHB 49(FIN) am was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
2:54:55 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 2:54 p.m.                                                                                          

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