Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/01/2000 01:44 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
              SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                    March 1, 2000                                                                                               
                      1:44 p.m.                                                                                                 
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                                                                  
Senator Rick Halford, Vice-Chairman                                                                                             
Senator Dave Donley                                                                                                             
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
Senator John Torgerson                                                                                                          
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 277                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the elimination of the Alaska Administrative                                                                
Journal and the establishment of the Alaska Online Public Notice                                                                
System; amending public notice publication requirements for                                                                     
regulations; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
     -HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                            
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 67(JUD) am                                                                                                
"An Act relating to release of certain persons alleged to have                                                                  
committed certain sexual offenses."                                                                                             
     -HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                            
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                
SB 277 - No previous action.                                                                                                    
HB 67  - No previous action.                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
Mr. Michael Morter                                                                                                              
Aide to Senator Parnell                                                                                                         
State Capitol Building                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:      Introduced SB 277                                                                                      
Mr. John Lindback                                                                                                               
Chief of Staff                                                                                                                  
Office of the Lt. Governor                                                                                                      
State Capitol Building                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:      Testified on SB 277                                                                                    
Ms. Janet Seitz                                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Rokeberg                                                                                                
State Capitol Building                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:      Introduced HB 67                                                                                       
Ms. Pat Fox                                                                                                                     
Address not provided                                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:      Testified on HB 67                                                                                     
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-9, SIDE A                                                                                                               
Number 001                                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR called the Judiciary Committee meeting to                                                                 
order at 1:44 p.m. and brought up SB 277 as the first order of                                                                  
         SB 277-ONLINE SYSTEM REPLACES AK ADMIN JOURNAL                                                                         
MR. MICHAEL MORTER, aide to Senator Parnell, read the following                                                                 
     You have before you today SB 277 which is sponsored by the                                                                 
     Senate Finance Committee at the request of the  lieutenant                                                                 
     governor's office.                                                                                                         
     By way of history, the journal was created in statute in 1983                                                              
     and has served as a compilation of public notices from state                                                               
     agencies.  These notices would include adopted regulations,                                                                
     agency meetings, competitive solicitations and the like.  The                                                              
     Journal is published weekly by the lieutenant governor's                                                                   
     office at a cost of $90.00 per year and is currently sent to                                                               
     9 out-of-state subscribers (down from 125 subscribers in                                                                   
     In June of last year, Governor Knowles initiated                                                                           
     Administrative Order 183 that requires agencies to submit                                                                  
     public notices to a central location on the Internet, the                                                                  
     Online Public Notice System.  Rather than searching for public                                                             
     notices agency by agency, the public now has the ability to go                                                             
     to a specific site online for this information.                                                                            
     This legislation eliminates the requirement that the                                                                       
     lieutenant governor publish the Alaska Administrative Journal                                                              
     and replaces it with the requirement that the lieutenant                                                                   
     governor provide oversight of the Alaska Online Public Notice                                                              
SENATOR HALFORD asked what is left for a written record.                                                                        
MR. MORTER responded it is his understanding the information is                                                                 
archived online and people can download that information from the                                                               
SENATOR HALFORD asked again if there will not be a written                                                                      
MR. JOHN LINDBACK, from the Lieutenant Governor's Office, responded                                                             
by saying the online journal is a compilation of public notices                                                                 
that are published in other places--newspapers or broadcast media.                                                              
The original notice is retained with the originating agency.  The                                                               
online journal, like the Alaska Administrative Journal, will be a                                                               
duplication of notices published elsewhere.                                                                                     
SENATOR HALFORD commented that other than the Internet there is not                                                             
one place a person can get all of the information.  You can go to                                                               
the originating agency for a hard copy and you can go to the                                                                    
lieutenant governor's office to create a hard copy.                                                                             
SENATOR HALFORD asked about notification to the legislative affairs                                                             
agency within the old law--the bill says, "to any state employee                                                                
designated by the lieutenant governor to receive requests."                                                                     
MR. LINDBACK responded it is his understanding that HB 37 will not                                                              
make any changes in the notification process.  Currently,                                                                       
legislative affairs places the Alaska Administrative Journal online                                                             
for the lieutenant governor's office.  It has been done this way                                                                
for a long time and nothing has been done to change this.  There is                                                             
no need for legislative affairs to be responsible for this any                                                                  
MR. LINDBACK noted that in 1983 the legislature adopted the Alaska                                                              
Administrative Journal and because of public demand the Journal was                                                             
eventually published online.  This resulted in a drop in                                                                        
subscriptions for the hard copy, but complaints were received                                                                   
because the online journal was not searchable.  This is why the                                                                 
Online Public Notice System was created--it is just another format                                                              
with a search function.  Because of the statute, there is both a                                                                
published notice and online notice.                                                                                             
SENATOR HALFORD commented the lieutenant governor's office is doing                                                             
what the bill authorizes now, the only effect of this bill is to                                                                
drop the printed version.                                                                                                       
MR. LINDBACK agreed.                                                                                                            
SENATOR HALFORD noted the bill should have a negative fiscal note                                                               
instead of a zero fiscal note.                                                                                                  
MR. LINDBACK said the fiscal note will stay the same because one                                                                
responsibility has been replaced with another.                                                                                  
SENATOR HALFORD asked what the printed service is worth.                                                                        
MR. LINDBACK answered it costs $90.00 a year and there are nine                                                                 
SENATOR HALFORD responded he meant what it is worth in actual state                                                             
MR. LINDBACK answered it is not a question of expenditures but of                                                               
time, and the amount of time is decreasing as the number of                                                                     
subscriptions decrease.                                                                                                         
SENATOR HALFORD asked if it costs the state $5,000, $3,000,                                                                     
$10,000--what does it cost?                                                                                                     
MR. LINDBACK said he does not know the actual cost, he will furnish                                                             
the committee with these figures at a later time.                                                                               
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there will be a diminishment of the number                                                              
of public notices put in the press.                                                                                             
MR. LINDBACK responded no.                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if the nine people still subscribing do not                                                               
have computers.                                                                                                                 
MR. LINDBACK said Allstate and the University of Iowa are two of                                                                
the subscribers and it is clear they have computers.  At this time,                                                             
it is a statutory requirement that the journal be sent to them.                                                                 
SENATOR HALFORD asked where in the bill is the requirement to                                                                   
publish in the newspaper.                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR pointed out that section 4 lists the requirement,                                                               
"published in the newspaper of general circulation or trade or                                                                  
industry publication that the state agency prescribes."                                                                         
MR. LINDBACK said the requirements are sprinkled throughout the                                                                 
SENATOR HALFORD asked for the definition of a "newspaper of general                                                             
MR. LINDBACK said because this bill does not address this, he                                                                   
cannot answer the question.                                                                                                     
SENATOR ELLIS moved SB 277 out of committee with individual                                                                     
SENATOR HALFORD objected because he would like to know the                                                                      
interplay between publishing notices in a newspaper and notices                                                                 
SENATOR ELLIS withdrew his motion so the answer to Senator                                                                      
Halford's questions can be addressed.                                                                                           
Number 919                                                                                                                      
             HB  67-BAIL HEARING FOR SEX OFFENDERS                                                                              
MS. JANET SEITZ, staff of Representative Rokeberg, explained that                                                               
HB 67 adds conditions regarding the release of perpetrators of                                                                  
sexual abuse and sexual assault cases.  HB 67 is similar to current                                                             
law regarding stalking and domestic violence.  This legislation                                                                 
requires a judge to consider the safety of an alleged victim and                                                                
the public.  It also requires that if the accused is on prescribed                                                              
medication they must take that medication.  HB 67 also keeps the                                                                
perpetrator from residing in a place where he will be in contact                                                                
with the alleged victim.  And finally, the bill requires a judge to                                                             
check with the victim or victim's representative to see if they                                                                 
want to testify or make any comments during the hearing.                                                                        
MS. SEITZ said HB 67 results from a case where the daughter of a                                                                
constituent was victimized by a neighbor.  At the arraignment the                                                               
alleged perpetrator changed his plea to no contest and the bail                                                                 
hearing was held within 24 hours.  Because of this, the victim's                                                                
mother was not notified and therefore could not testify, resulting                                                              
in the judge allowing bail on a very loose condition.  The attorney                                                             
general asked for 24 hour supervision of the perpetrator and was                                                                
denied.  The alleged perpetrator's apartment was in the same                                                                    
complex as the mother and child--he was staying with a friend but                                                               
his possessions were in the apartment.  The mother has asked                                                                    
Representative Rokeberg to do something to protect victim's rights.                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if Representative Rokeberg and his staff                                                                  
worked with the Department of Law (DOL) on this bill.                                                                           
MS. SITES responded they worked with Anne Carpeneti, DOL, and Doug                                                              
Wooliver of the Alaska Court System on the language.                                                                            
SENATOR ELLIS commented that on page 2 line 2, the language reads:                                                              
"that the person reside in a place where the person is not likely                                                               
to come into contact with the alleged victim of the offense."  He                                                               
asked if this means a different community or a different apartment                                                              
MS. SITES answered that in the case she sited, the judge set a                                                                  
three mile limit on the perpetrator--so he would not be in the same                                                             
apartment complex.  This was a stipulation for this individual                                                                  
SENATOR ELLIS asked if this is a usual order for this type of case.                                                             
MS. SITES responded she did not know.                                                                                           
SENATOR ELLIS noted that line 4 on page 2 says, "if the person is                                                               
on medication that the person take the medication as prescribed."                                                               
He asked if this is medication prescribed by the doctor and ordered                                                             
by the judge.                                                                                                                   
MS. SITES responded this language is in other laws being used now.                                                              
SENATOR ELLIS asked if this is medication to reduce a persons sex                                                               
MS. SITES responded if that is the type of drug prescribed at the                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked what is the interest of this legislation with                                                               
someone taking their heart medication, is the bill talking about                                                                
the type of medication that effects a persons behavior.                                                                         
MS. SITES answered it could be a range of medications.  This                                                                    
legislation is concerned with someone taking prescribed                                                                         
antidepressants or other types of medication that will help them                                                                
control their behavior.                                                                                                         
Number 1255                                                                                                                     
SENATOR HALFORD said he is concerned for people who come from                                                                   
villages and may have a three mile limitation put on them--not                                                                  
allowing them to go back to their community where they have                                                                     
MS. SITES responded it is not the sponsor's intention to keep                                                                   
people from their support base, but the victim needs protection.                                                                
If the judge decides on a two or three block limit that may be                                                                  
acceptable.  The language of the bill says "may" impose--the three                                                              
mile limit was case specific.                                                                                                   
SENATOR HALFORD wants the record to reflect that if a perpetrator                                                               
is from a small community, that setting a three mile limit should                                                               
only be for the most egregious case of significant danger to the                                                                
victim.  A person should not be restricted from going back to their                                                             
support system.                                                                                                                 
MS. SITES stated this is the intent of Representative Rokeberg,                                                                 
this bill is to make the court consider this.                                                                                   
SENATOR HALFORD stated he does not have a problem with the court                                                                
considering this.  The priority is for protection of the victim,                                                                
but he is concerned for someone who has not been convicted and                                                                  
cannot go back to their home town.                                                                                              
Number 1376                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR commented that HB 37 may be telling people it will                                                              
do more than what it actually does.  A prosecuting attorney only                                                                
has to try calling the victim to notify them of new status, they do                                                             
not actually have to reach the victim to satisfy the requirement of                                                             
this bill.                                                                                                                      
MS. SITES responded that Representative Rokeberg is very concerned                                                              
that the victims be notified.  This bill puts the prosecutor on                                                                 
record, that yes he did try to reach the victim.  The judge will                                                                
also ask the people in the courtroom if the victim or victim's                                                                  
representative want to make a comment regarding the bail hearing.                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR and SENATOR HALFORD commented that a senate bill on                                                             
victims rights has been sitting in the House Finance Committee                                                                  
since last year.                                                                                                                
Number 1628                                                                                                                     
MS. PAT FOX, from Fairbanks, stated she had been raped seven years                                                              
ago.  It happened in a village where there was no law enforcement                                                               
whatsoever.  She had to move into town to get away from the                                                                     
situation.  There were witnesses that testified at the bail hearing                                                             
and were going to testify at the court hearing.                                                                                 
The perpetrator was released on $300.00 bail and went back to the                                                               
village and harassed the witnesses--there was no protection for                                                                 
them.  He came into town a lot, which was against his bail                                                                      
condition of release, and it was not good enough for her to report                                                              
seeing him, someone else had to report seeing him.  He was                                                                      
eventually convicted and has just now been taken into custody.                                                                  
This was a first degree rape, he was allowed out on bail during the                                                             
appeal, and harassed her for seven years.  She was told that while                                                              
he was out on bail, his bail conditions would not be enforced                                                                   
unless someone, other than herself, reported he had broken the law.                                                             
MS. FOX stated the system is bad the way it is set up, and she is                                                               
worried that this bill is too vague--it does not provide anything                                                               
substantial.  Right now, the only protection a rape victim has is                                                               
to hide in a shelter--she could not afford to hide for seven years.                                                             
MS. FOX thinks the State of Alaska does not take sexual assault                                                                 
seriously.  If a perpetrator is allowed out on bail while he is                                                                 
appealing or pending a trail, releasing him to a place where there                                                              
is no protection for the victim or witness should not be allowed.                                                               
MS. FOX stated she was almost relieved when she heard about this                                                                
bill but "there is nothing really solid about it."                                                                              
Number 1800                                                                                                                     
SENATOR HALFORD commented that there should be a prohibition on                                                                 
release after conviction pending appeal for a certain class of                                                                  
crime.  The title of this bill reads, "An Act relating to release                                                               
of certain persons alleged to have committed certain sexual                                                                     
offenses," this deals with the entire process--"if the bill stood                                                               
under the title it would have some teeth."                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR commented that in England and Australia people do                                                               
not get out on appeal after a conviction.  A person serves time                                                                 
during the appeal process and if they win they are then released--                                                              
they get no credit for time served.  There is never a specious                                                                  
appeal except from lifers.                                                                                                      
SENATOR HALFORD stated the language,"before ordering release before                                                             
or after trial, or pending appeal, of a person charged with or                                                                  
convicted of a crime," is different from the language in the title.                                                             
The title is more restrictive than the language in the bill.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR noted that the bill will be held in committee for                                                               
further research and more analysis.                                                                                             
SENATOR HALFORD stated that when dealing with a violent act against                                                             
a person, and there is a potential danger to that person, release                                                               
of a perpetrator should be restricted after the conviction.                                                                     
With no further business to come before the committee, CHAIRMAN                                                                 
TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at 2:20 p.m.                                                                                       

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