Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/14/1994 01:35 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                         March 14, 1994                                        
                           1:35 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                
 Senator Rick Halford, Vice-Chairman                                           
 Senator George Jacko                                                          
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
 Senator Suzanne Little                                                        
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 NONE                                                                          
                                                                               
  OTHERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 24                                            
 Supporting the governor's decision to authorize a suit against the            
 United States government for violating the Alaska Statehood Act.              
                                                                               
 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 28                                            
 Relating to requesting the Governor to direct the Attorney General            
 to undertake all available means to have the partial settlements              
 agreed to by the state in Cleary v. Smith and the court orders                
 issued in that case that impose required conditions of confinement            
 and continued monitoring and oversight of the correctional system             
 by the courts dissolved or modified.                                          
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 220                                                           
 "An Act amending schedule IIA of the schedules of controlled                  
 substances applicable to offenses relating to controlled substances           
 to add the drug methcathinone, commonly identified as `cat.'"                 
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 65                                                             
 "An Act relating to the improvement of state finances through                 
 reduction of operating costs of certain state agencies and                    
 establishment of certain fees; and providing for an effective                 
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 HCR 24 -  NO PREVIOUS ACTION.                                                 
                                                                               
 HCR 28 -  NO PREVIOUS ACTION.                                                 
                                                                               
 SB 220 -  See State Affairs minutes dated 2/9/94.                             
                                                                               
 HB 65 -   NO PREVIOUS ACTION.                                                 
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Mel Krogseng, Staff Assistant                                                 
 Representative Ramona Barnes                                                  
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
   POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HCR 24 & HCR 28.                             
                                                                               
 Cheri Jacobus, Chief                                                          
 Assistant Attorney General                                                    
 Department of Law                                                             
 1031 W. 4th, Ste 200                                                          
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1994                                                  
   POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HCR 24.                                        
                                                                               
 Clarence W. Worth                                                             
 Juneau Police Officer                                                         
 Criminal Division                                                             
 210 Admiral Way                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 220.                                        
                                                                               
 Randy Crawford, State Trooper                                                 
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 111200                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200                                                     
   POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 220.                                        
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 94-16, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR  called the Judiciary Committee meeting to             
 order at 1:35 p.m.                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced HCR 24 (SUPPORT SUIT AGAINST FEDERAL                
 GOVERNMENT) and invited MEL KROGSENG, Staff Assistant to the                  
 sponsor, REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES to review the bill.  SENATOR            
 TAYLOR noted the bill before the committee was CS FOR HOUSE                   
 CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 24(JUD) am.                                         
                                                                               
 MS. KROGSENG explained HCR 24 supports the governor's decision to             
 authorize a suit against the United States government for violating           
 the Alaska Statehood Act and the Alaska Statehood Compact.  She               
 read the Sponsor Statement: "When the Alaska Statehood Act was                
 crafted, Congress guaranteed all attributes of sovereignty that               
 were granted to all other states under the Constitution to Alaska.            
 However, over the past few years, the terms of the Alaska Statehood           
 Act have been violated by the Congress.  These violations include             
 withdrawal from development nearly 80% of federal land from which             
 Alaska was to derive mineral royalties.  Alaska is also the only              
 state not allowed to sell her oil resources abroad.  We are a                 
 sovereign state and we must not let our sovereignty be violated.              
 The Statehood Act was an agreement between Congress and the People            
 of Alaska and it cannot unilaterally be changed.  We must stand up            
 for our rights now and in the future."                                        
                                                                               
 MS. KROGSENG indicated the pamphlet provided by the governor's                
 office entitled DEFENDING ALASKA'S STATEHOOD COMPACT goes into                
 greater detail with some of the violations of the Act.  She                   
 deferred the remainder of the testimony to CHERI JACOBUS, Chief,              
 Attorney General for the Department of Law who is handling the case           
 for the State of Alaska.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 049                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked why PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH did an Executive               
 Order allowing the export of 250 thousand barrels a day of                    
 California crude, but did not do a similar act for the State of               
 Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. JACOBUS thought the only answer could come from PRESIDENT BUSH,           
 but she thought SENATOR DONLEY had hit upon an important factor,              
 that Alaska has been singled out for unique treatment.  She claimed           
 no other state, or court, has had a case such as the oil export               
 ban, where one state has so clearly been discriminated against.               
 She had no knowledge of PRESIDENT BUSH'S reason.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked MS. JACOBUS if she had consulted with MR. JOHN           
 KATZ, Special Counsel for State/Federal Relations, as to the timing           
 of the filing of the lawsuit, in relation to the potential of                 
 PRESIDENT BUSH considering an Executive Order during the period of            
 time before the export act was reauthorized by Congress.                      
                                                                               
 MS. JACOBUS explained the decision to file the lawsuit, and the               
 timing, was actually made by the governor's office in consultation            
 with ATTORNEY GENERAL COLE.  She said it was not filed without the            
 concurrence and the support of the governor's office in discussion            
 with MR. KATZ.                                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked MS. JACOBUS if MR. KATZ had given any                    
 information on PRESIDENT BUSH'S position on potential executive               
 orders during the gap when the export act was in place.                       
                                                                               
 MS. JACOBUS said MR. KATZ had not given her any specific                      
 information as to exactly what he was hearing from PRESIDENT BUSH,            
 bus she indicated discussions with the governor's office as well as           
 ATTORNEY GENERAL COLE.                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked if she had ever inquired of people in the                
 Department of Energy, the Department of Justice, or the BUSH                  
 Whitehouse why they didn't do an executive order such as was done             
 in California for Alaska.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 100                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. JACOBUS explained there had been many conversations with the              
 Department of Energy, and she said the department was currently               
 doing a study on the impact of the oil export ban of areas such as            
 California and Washington State.  She claimed the Department of               
 Energy has long been in support of allowing Alaska to export its              
 oil.                                                                          
                                                                               
 MS. JACOBUS said she has not had conversations with the Department            
 of Justice other than with respect to the case itself, but she                
 assured SENATOR DONLEY everyone was negotiating with the BUSH                 
 Administration, and has continued with the current administration.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY didn't think he had received an answer to his                  
 question, so he reiterated his question as to whether MS. JACOBUS             
 ever asked anyone in the Department of Energy, the Department of              
 Justice, or the BUSH Administration why they did it for California            
 but didn't do it for Alaska.  She said she did not ask.                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY said this was a very important question.  He                   
 explained, while he supports the lawsuit, he didn't support the               
 timing of the lawsuit.  In a dialogue among the committee members             
 and MS. JACOBUS, they discussed statute of limitations as to what             
 kind, the litigation of the statutes, and the relevance of when the           
 statute of limitations were filed.  She concluded by explaining she           
 was not a party to the negotiations between the governor's office             
 and the Congressional Delegation.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 150                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY thought it was a mistake to not have her involved              
 fully with those doing the legal process.  MS. JACOBUS clarified              
 the timing of the lawsuit was arranged by the Congressional                   
 Delegation and MR. KATZ, and she understood the negotiations were             
 ongoing.  SENATOR DONLEY was not satisfied with the reasoning as              
 presented by MS. JACOBUS, and she maintained she did not know why             
 the Bush Administration made their decision when it was made.                 
                                                                               
 MS. JACOBUS said she did not understand the significance of the               
 questions by SENATOR DONLEY on the timing of the lawsuit.  SENATOR            
 DONLEY said there needed to be testimony by MR. KATZ, but MS.                 
 JACOBUS didn't see how this would be related to the support of the            
 two lawsuits.  SENATOR DONLEY said his concern had to do with the             
 timing of the lawsuits, not with the content of the lawsuits.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY said he would appreciate the opportunity to talk to            
 MR. KATZ, because he thought all routes in the discussion led to              
 him.  SENATOR DONLEY indicated he had some serious doubts about the           
 timing of one of the lawsuits, that the State would have gotten an            
 Executive Order out of PRESIDENT BUSH if we hadn't sued him on the            
 subject.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 205                                                                    
                                                                               
 In answer to a question from SENATOR TAYLOR, SENATOR DONLEY                   
 explained there was a recommendation from the Department of Energy            
 to lift the ban, but the Department of Justice said "no," because             
 there was on going litigation.                                                
                                                                               
 MS. JACOBUS objected to this line of judgment and said she did not            
 understand the thrust of his question about whether the lawsuit was           
 brought before the decision had been made by the Whitehouse.  She             
 reviewed her discussion with the governor's office and JOHN KATZ              
 that the decision had already been made to not lift the ban, which            
 was the impetus for the lawsuit.  She continued to confront some of           
 the arguments about the lawsuits with her understanding and                   
 apologized for her misunderstanding of the earlier questions.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY said he still wanted to talk to MR. KATZ about the             
 timing of the lawsuit, and he thought it was an important question            
 to the Judiciary Committee, since questions will be asked.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR was not sure of the extent MR. KATZ would be willing           
 to reply or disclose confidential discussions with his "boss."  He            
 said he would contact MR. KATZ for the information and announced              
 the bill would be held over until next week.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY reiterated his support for the substance of the                
 lawsuits, and he only wanted to know about the timing of the                  
 specific suit.  SENATOR TAYLOR directed his aide to find out when             
 MR. KATZ was available for teleconference.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced HCR 28 (GET CLEARY ORDERS DISSOLVED OR              
 CHANGED) and invited MEL KROGSENG, Staff Assistant to the sponsor,            
 REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES, to review the legislation.                      
                                                                               
 Number 249                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. KROGSENG explained HCR 28 was introduced to relieve some of the           
 burden the Department of Corrections has encountered due to the               
 Cleary Final Settlement Agreement and Order, and she quoted from            
 the Position Paper:  "In the early 1980's, several inmates                    
 incarcerated in Alaska's correctional institutions sued the state             
 alleging that some if not all of the conditions of their                      
 confinement were unconstitutional.                                            
                                                                               
 Although the Superior Court found no conditions of confinement at             
 that time to be unconstitutional, it did find that the conditions             
  might  become unconstitutional at some future unspecified date.              
 Despite the fact that the plaintiffs failed to present any proof of           
 unconstitutional conditions of confinement, the court decided, and            
 in some cases the state agreed, to allow the court to dictate the             
 conditions of confinement either through the settlement agreements            
 of the court's orders and decisions.  This agreement required the             
 department to hire and pay for monitors (at no small cost) to                 
 ensure that the conditions of the agreement were being met.                   
                                                                               
 Since the time the lawsuit was first filed, any potential                     
 unconstitutional conditions have been rectified and continued court           
 intervention is unnecessary.  With the state's declining revenue              
 picture, we can no longer continue to provide more than is                    
 constitutionally required.                                                    
                                                                               
 HCR 28 urges the Governor to direct the Attorney General to take              
 whatever steps are necessary to dissolve or modify the Cleary               
 partial settlement agreements, court orders, and decisions in this            
 case."                                                                        
                                                                               
 MS. KROGSENG presented a list of 12 simple items that are required            
 by Cleary to do, that are not constitutionally mandated.  She               
 explained the Department of Corrections thinks some of the items              
 should be done, but they should not be required by a court order to           
 do them.  She listed some of the items such as: gate money of $150            
 per prisoner, a Mental Health Forensic Unit separate from the state           
 psychiatric hospital, the purchase of eye glasses for prisoners who           
 have been incarcerated 15 days or longer, and she said they were              
 required to provide telephones.                                               
                                                                               
 MS. KROGSENG referred to page 29 of the settlement agreement and              
 directed the committee's attention to #5, "The department may not             
 monitor the telephone call of a pre-trial detainee, ..."  It was              
 pointed out by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in the           
 floor debate monitoring could have prevented the Eagle River mail             
 bombing.  She explained many of the court orders are very costly              
 and some should be modified or eliminated, and she quoted JERRY               
 LUCKHAUPT, attorney for legislative legal counsel, as saying there            
 have been two recent Supreme Court decisions which have allowed               
 modification or dissolution based on declining state revenues.                
                                                                               
 Number 303                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE questioned the lawsuit method to be used to get the            
 conditions in the Cleary Settlement thrown out.                             
                                                                               
 MS. KROGSENG explained it wasn't a lawsuit, it was to ask the                 
 Attorney General to look at what it would take to modify or                   
 dissolve, but until it was decided what would be required, it would           
 be difficult to make a decision to modify or dissolve.                        
                                                                               
 MS. KROGSENG quoted a conversation with an inmate presently on                
 parole, who said corrections was broke, and was impacting Cleary.           
 He said there were few incentives or motivation in the system for             
 inmates to want to become responsible citizens.  He used the lack             
 inmate correctional industries as an example of what could be done            
 to promote a responsible attitude among the inmates.  She reviewed            
 other methods used in the federal prisons, as described by the                
 inmate, to bring about more responsible behavior.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE, in reference to one of the resolves which directs             
 the attorney general to dissolve or modify the partial settlement             
 agreements ..., asked what available means would be under taken.              
                                                                               
 MS. KROGSENG said she had no idea, and she reviewed the lack of               
 participation by the court in the original case.  She thought the             
 legislature agreed to too much that might have been curbed by the             
 court.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 350                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY explained this was a revolving area of the law, and            
 he described some recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions as far as               
 changes to earlier decisions or agreements in this area.  He also             
 explained why he thought the resolution was well drafted.                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY moved to pass HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 28               
 (GET CLEARY ORDERS DISSOLVED OR CHANGED) from committee with                  
 individual recommendations.  Without objections, so ordered.                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SB 220 (ADD "CAT" TO SCHEDULE IIA DRUG              
 LIST) to committee and invited the sponsor, SENATOR JOHNNY ELLIS,             
 to explain his bill.  SENATOR TAYLOR noted the bill before the                
 committee was CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 220(STA).                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS explained the bill proposed to add to the list of               
 controlled subsistence in schedule IIA the substance known as                 
 methcathinone, or "cat."  He also explained it was highly addictive           
 and an easy to manufacture substance.  He was shocked to find cat             
 was not currently an illegal drug in the State of Alaska, and he              
 explained the extreme dangers of the drug.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS claimed there was considerable support in law                   
 enforcement around the state as well as the anti-drug community.              
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR noted that CLARENCE WORTH of the Juneau Police                 
 Department and MARGOT KNUTH from the Criminal Section of the                  
 Department of Law present and in support of the legislation.                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR invited MR. WORTH to testify.                                  
                                                                               
 MR. WORTH explained he has been a police officer for eight years,             
 and for three years working exclusively with drug cases here in the           
 Juneau area.  He described being horrified at the realities of drug           
 abuse and addiction, and as a result, he has dedicated his career             
 to trying to educate kids about drugs.                                        
                                                                               
 MR. WORTH said methcathinone is fairly recent in Juneau, and he has           
 sent for additional information from the Alaska State Trooper                 
 Intelligence Unit in Anchorage.  He also received information from            
 the Western States Information Network, which is an information               
 dissemination network working with police departments in the                  
 Western United States.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. WORTH explained cat is easier to manufacture than an other of             
 the controlled substances, can be made over night, can be made with           
 very few laboratory supplies such as glass jars, rubber tubes, and            
 a source of heat.  He further explained it can be made from                   
 chemicals that are readily available including things such as                 
 draino, battery acid, epsom salts, and various paint solvents.  He            
 believes it is more addictive than cocaine and people can become              
 hooked the second time they try it, which ranks it with crack                 
 cocaine with the power of addiction.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. WORTH described cat as changing the personality of the user,              
 being used for binging, and selling for about $100 per gram.  For             
 a $500 investment in supplies, the return could be $20 thousand,              
 and he described the potential for being very damaging to our                 
 society.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 415                                                                    
                                                                               
 Next to testify was RANDY CRAWFORD, a First Sergeant with the                 
 Troopers, permanently assigned to the director's office.  He has a            
 continuous work history in Alaska, and he said the bill was                   
 supported by the Alaska State Troopers.  He reiterated the ease of            
 manufacture and the terrible consequences, but he explained Alaska            
 typically falls a couple of years behind in some of the designer              
 drugs.  He explained it was prohibited Outside in most states and             
 he predicted the committee members would not want to see it in                
 Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. CRAWFORD explained the user groups Outside are college age                
 students, but it has begun to permeate industries where there is a            
 high degree of physical effort involved, such as the previous use             
 of amphetamines by people who stay up for a great length of time.             
 He said there were these kinds of markets in Alaska, and he offered           
 to answer questions.                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR indicated MS. KNUTH had signed in and advised the              
 Criminal Division of the Department of Law supports the bill.                 
 SENATOR HALFORD and SENATOR DONLEY suggested moving CS FOR SENATE             
 BILL NO. 220(STA) with a unanimous DO PASS.  Without objections, so           
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced HB 65 (FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION OF STATE            
 GOVERNMENT), the old fee's bill of last year BY REQUEST OF THE                
 GOVERNOR.                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE asked how it came to be referred to the Judiciary              
 Committee, and SENATOR HALFORD suggested sending the bill from                
 committee without comment.  SENATOR TAYLOR answered questions by              
 SENATOR LITTLE and his reasons for agreeing to hear the bill.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR called for a vote on SENATOR HALFORD'S move to pass            
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 65(FIN) (FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION OF STATE              
 GOVERNMENT).  SENATORS TAYLOR, JACKO, and HALFORD voted to send the           
 bill on to the next committee of referral, and SENATORS LITTLE and            
 DONLEY voted to keep it in committee.  SENATOR TAYLOR stated the              
 bill would be sent to the next committee.                                     
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the committee, the             
 meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m. by SENATOR TAYLOR.                         
                                                                               

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