Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

03/01/2005 08:30 AM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 87 Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 95(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 1, 2005                                                                                          
                           8:35 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Senator Con Bunde                                                                                                               
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 87                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to motor vehicle safety belt violations."                                                                      
     MOVED SB 87 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                               
SENATE BILL NO. 95                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the collection of, and the use of reasonable                                                                
force to collect, a deoxyribonucleic acid sample from persons                                                                   
convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for certain crimes."                                                                     
     MOVED CSSB 95(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
SENATE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                             
"An Act relating  to the crime of  misrepresenting permanent fund                                                               
dividend eligibility; requiring the  establishment of a permanent                                                               
fund  dividend  fraud investigation  unit  in  the Department  of                                                               
Revenue; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 87                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: SEAT BELT VIOLATION AS PRIMARY OFFENSE                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) BUNDE                                                                                                    
02/02/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/02/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/17/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/17/05       (S)       Moved SB 87 Out of Committee                                                                           
02/17/05       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
02/18/05       (S)       STA RPT 2DP 2NR                                                                                        
02/18/05       (S)       NR: THERRIAULT, HUGGINS                                                                                
02/18/05       (S)       DP: ELTON, WAGONER                                                                                     
03/01/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: SB 95                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: COLLECTION OF DNA/USE OF FORCE                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) BUNDE                                                                                                    
02/07/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/07/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/22/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/22/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/22/05       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
02/24/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/24/05       (S)       Moved SB 95 Out of Committee                                                                           
02/24/05       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
02/28/05       (S)       STA RPT 2DP 2NR                                                                                        
02/28/05       (S)       DP: THERRIAULT, DAVIS                                                                                  
02/28/05       (S)       NR: ELTON, HUGGINS                                                                                     
03/01/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: SB 104                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND FRAUD                                                                                      
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
02/14/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/22/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/22/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/22/05       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
02/24/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/24/05       (S)       Moved CSSB 104(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/24/05       (S)       MINUTE (STA)                                                                                           
02/28/05       (S)       STA RPT CS 4DP SAME TITLE                                                                              
02/28/05       (S)       DP: THERRIAULT, ELTON, HUGGINS, DAVIS                                                                  
03/01/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Senator Con Bunde                                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 87 and SB 95                                                                               
Ms. Lauren Wickersham, staff to Senator Bunde                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 87 and SB 95                                                                             
Lt. Todd Sharp                                                                                                                  
Division of Alaska State Troopers                                                                                               
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
3700 East Tudor Road                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska 99507                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 87                                                                                           
Ms. Joan Dimond                                                                                                                 
City of Anchorage                                                                                                               
Department of Health                                                                                                            
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 87                                                                                           
Ms. Anne Carpeneti                                                                                                              
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 95                                                                                           
Ms. Portia Parker                                                                                                               
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
431 N. Franklin, Suite 400                                                                                                      
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 95                                                                                           
Mr. Tony Newman                                                                                                                 
Division of Juvenile Justice                                                                                                    
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 95                                                                                           
Mr. Michael Macleod-Ball, Executive Director                                                                                    
Alaska Civil Liberties Union                                                                                                    
419 Barrow St.                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, AK 99520                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposes SB 95                                                                                            
Mr. Brian Hove, staff to Senator Seekins                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SB 104                                                                                        
Ms. Sharon Barton, Director                                                                                                     
Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                                                                                
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 104                                                                                          
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  RALPH   SEEKINS  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:35:40 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Hollis French,  Gene Therriault, Gretchen Guess,  Charlie Huggins                                                               
and Chair Ralph Seekins.                                                                                                        
          SB 87-SEAT BELT VIOLATION AS PRIMARY OFFENSE                                                                      
8:35:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  announced SB 87  up for review. He  called Senator                                                               
Con Bunde and Ms. Lauren Wickersham to introduce SB 87.                                                                         
SENATOR CON  BUNDE introduced  SB 87. Over  20 years  ago federal                                                               
law  passed  requiring the  use  of  seatbelts. SB  87  addresses                                                               
enforcement  of  that  law.  Currently  Alaska  has  a  secondary                                                               
seatbelt  law, meaning  one  can  be stopped  for  not wearing  a                                                               
seatbelt only if their passenger is  16 years or younger. One can                                                               
be issued a ticket for not  wearing a seatbelt only if stopped by                                                               
an officer for another offense.                                                                                                 
SB 87 proposes  a seatbelt violation could be  probable cause for                                                               
an  officer to  stop a  vehicle. Research  shows the  majority of                                                               
Alaskans wear  seatbelts. Failure to use  seatbelts cost Alaskans                                                               
thousands  because  insurance   rates  are  negatively  impacted.                                                               
Monetary losses also  impact Medicaid. In states  where a primary                                                               
seatbelt law is  in effect, seatbelt usage has gone  up. Had last                                                               
year's bill  passed it would  have delivered a  positive monetary                                                               
impact and seven people would still be alive.                                                                                   
8:41:57 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. LAUREN WICKERSHAM,  staff to Senator Con  Bunde, referenced a                                                               
survey of  586 people. The  survey indicated most people  favor a                                                               
law requiring seatbelt use.                                                                                                     
8:43:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS commented he spoke  with a national highway traffic                                                               
safety officer and  statistics show that seven  Alaskans would be                                                               
alive  had the  previous bill  passed. Damages,  loss of  income,                                                               
hardships, and  economic and sociological  impact also  should be                                                               
8:46:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE concluded  with reference to a news  article. SB 87                                                               
will  save lives.  Others'  rights stop  when  they impact  other                                                               
people.  87 percent  of  accidents cost  Alaskans  money in  some                                                               
8:50:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. JOAN DIMOND, municipality of  Anchorage, Department of Health                                                               
and Social Services (DHSS), testified SB  87 is a priority of the                                                               
city  of Anchorage.  SB 87  will  save lives  and reduce  medical                                                               
8:52:34 AM                                                                                                                    
LT.  TODD  SHARP,  Alaska  State   Troopers,  offered  to  answer                                                               
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS  asked Lt. Sharp the cause  and effect of                                                               
SB 87.                                                                                                                          
LT. SHARP  said the  data shows  when SB  87 passes,  more people                                                               
will wear seatbelts through education efforts.                                                                                  
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Lt. Sharp  if he anticipated  troopers would                                                               
stop vehicles more frequently.                                                                                                  
LT. SHARP answered no.                                                                                                          
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH  asked Lt. Sharp if a trooper  would make a                                                               
stop if s/he were unsure whether someone was wearing a seatbelt.                                                                
LT.  SHARP answered  that  would  not be  a  probable cause.  The                                                               
trooper has to be certain.                                                                                                      
8:55:05 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GRETCHEN GUESS  made  a  motion to  move  SB  87 out  of                                                               
committee with individual recommendations  and zero fiscal notes.                                                               
There being no objections, it was so ordered.                                                                                   
              SB 95-COLLECTION OF DNA/USE OF FORCE                                                                          
9:00:48 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR CON  BUNDE introduced  SB 95.  Current law  allows people                                                               
who  are incarcerated  to refuse  to  provide a  deoxyribonucleic                                                               
acid (DNA) sample. He offered a committee substitute (CS).                                                                      
MS. LAUREN  WICKERSHAM, staff  to Senator  Bunde, advised  the CS                                                               
was in front of committee members.                                                                                              
SENATOR GENE  THERRIAULT made a motion  to use version \F  as the                                                               
working document. With no opposition, the motion carried.                                                                       
SENATOR BUNDE  referenced Section  2, subsection (p)  and advised                                                               
it  addressed immunity  for a  person using  reasonable force  to                                                               
collect DNA.                                                                                                                    
9:03:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS  asked Senator Bunde  why the language  was changed                                                               
from  reasonable  force  to  "for  actions  arising  out  of  DNA                                                               
SENATOR BUNDE replied it was due  to advice from Dean Guaneli and                                                               
the  Department  Of  Law  (DOL).   He  deferred  Senator  Guess's                                                               
question to the DOL.                                                                                                            
SENATOR GUESS asked  Senator Bunde to expand on  the reference to                                                               
misdemeanors in the fiscal notes.                                                                                               
SENATOR  BUNDE answered  crimes against  a person  can also  fall                                                               
within the misdemeanor statute of assault.                                                                                      
SENATOR THERRIAULT said  the new subsection (p)  does not contain                                                               
the  word reasonable  but it  appears  in subsection  (o) so  the                                                               
verbiage appears more succinct.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  SEEKINS commented  as long  as they  use reasonable  force                                                               
they are indemnified.                                                                                                           
9:06:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE  offered "reasonable force" is  well established in                                                               
the law.                                                                                                                        
MS. ANNE  CARPENETI, criminal division, Department  Of Law (DOL),                                                               
testified  that Section  2  includes  municipal prosecutions  for                                                               
crimes against a  person, and addresses problems  with people who                                                               
refuse to provide  a DNA sample. DNA samples  could solve crimes.                                                               
The procedure  is a  Q-tip swab inside  the mouth,  which doesn't                                                               
take much  force. DOL  experts in  civil liability  suggested the                                                               
language change.  SB 95  addresses people  who have  already been                                                               
9:10:16 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  asked  Ms.  Carpeneti if  the  rewording  in                                                               
Section 2 was merely a structural change.                                                                                       
MS. CARPENETI answered  instead of saying a  person has immunity;                                                               
Section  2 says  a  person cannot  bring a  cause  of action  for                                                               
reasonable actions taken to obtain a DNA sample.                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked how it was different.                                                                                  
MS.  CARPENETI  answered  the  purpose is  to  stop  a  frivolous                                                               
lawsuit  in the  early stages,  but DOL  didn't want  to immunize                                                               
anyone who was using unreasonable force.                                                                                        
9:12:15 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  Ms.  Carpeneti if  she  views the  new                                                               
suggested language as more broad.                                                                                               
MS. CARPENETI answered  yes in the sense of  civil liability. The                                                               
purpose of Section 2 is due to tort liability.                                                                                  
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if the criminal part was separated.                                                                    
MS.  CARPENETI answered  yes.  Section  2 is  less  broad in  the                                                               
criminal sense but more broad in the civil sense.                                                                               
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  commented he  wants  to  understand why  Ms.                                                               
Carpeneti views the language as broader.                                                                                        
MS.  CARPENETI said  that it  attaches at  a different  period of                                                               
litigation. Protection kicks in earlier.                                                                                        
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if that  was the only change, or whether                                                               
Section  2 gives  broader protection  under  civil liability.  He                                                               
commented that it  seems like it is all  attached to "reasonable"                                                               
so the standard is the same.                                                                                                    
MS. CARPENETI answered yes.                                                                                                     
9:14:00 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH said  most people would cooperate  if advised it's                                                               
a class C felony to refuse to give a DNA sample.                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS said the swab would be taken during booking.                                                                      
MS.  CARPENETI  advised   most  DNA  swabs  would   be  taken  at                                                               
conviction, not during booking.                                                                                                 
SENATOR  FRENCH  asked  whether  maximum-security  inmates  often                                                               
refuse to cooperate.                                                                                                            
MS. CARPENETI answered yes.                                                                                                     
SENATOR FRENCH  commented a claim could  be filed in the  case of                                                               
an injury. The judge will have to decide.                                                                                       
MS. CARPENETI replied as currently drafted, yes.                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  clarified  a  claim  wouldn't  be  automatically                                                               
rejected due to  SB 95, but that  a hearing would be  held with a                                                               
motion to dismiss.  Then either a judge or jury  would decide. He                                                               
asked Ms. Carpeneti if that is how she sees the process.                                                                        
MS. CARPENETI agreed.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  FRENCH  commented  that  corrections  officers  work  in                                                               
stressful  situations and  may  not always  get  along well  with                                                               
life-long inmates. A Q-tip swab could be used to hurt someone.                                                                  
9:16:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH  referred  to  subsection  (o)  and  the  use  of                                                               
reasonable  force compared  with non-deadly  force. He  asked Ms.                                                               
Carpeneti to explain the difference between the terms.                                                                          
MS. CARPENETI explained people are  comfortable with the language                                                               
of reasonable  force. The concept  of reasonable force is  in the                                                               
constitution and  throughout Alaska  state law.  Non-deadly force                                                               
has a broad connotation.                                                                                                        
SENATOR FRENCH asked  if non-deadly force allows  more force than                                                               
reasonable force.                                                                                                               
MS. CARPENETI said that is the  way she interprets it. The person                                                               
receiving  the  swab  sets  the parameters.  It  depends  on  the                                                               
circumstances  but the  purpose  is  to use  as  little force  as                                                               
MS.  PORTIA PARKER,  Department of  Corrections (DOC),  explained                                                               
reasonable  force.  Force  elevates  through the  response  of  a                                                               
person. The DOC has to apply  different levels of force every day                                                               
depending  on the  situation.  Officers are  trained  to use  the                                                               
least amount of force possible  to accomplish the lawful end. The                                                               
definition is  ambiguous. It is  the amount of lawful  force that                                                               
is used to reach a lawful  end. The DOC doesn't anticipate having                                                               
to use force to take a DNA sample.                                                                                              
9:21:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  Ms. Parker  how  hard it  is to  get a  DNA                                                               
MS.  PARKER replied  that it  generally takes  a few  officers to                                                               
hold the prisoner and one to take the swab.                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEEKINS  commented  unless  severe  injury  occurred,  the                                                               
person could not bring a nuisance lawsuit.                                                                                      
MS. PARKER agreed.                                                                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT commented reasonable  force is considered on a                                                               
sliding scale.                                                                                                                  
MS. PARKER said the least amount  of force is used but it depends                                                               
on the response of the offender.                                                                                                
9:22:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Ms. Parker whether  the DOC uses force in its                                                               
daily activities.                                                                                                               
MS. PARKER answered yes.                                                                                                        
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked Ms. Parker to describe the swab.                                                                       
MS.  PARKER  replied  the  Department   of  Public  Safety  (DPS)                                                               
provides  DNA kits.  It is  a small  oral swab  rubbed along  the                                                               
cheek. It  then goes into a  special container, which is  sent to                                                               
the crime lab.                                                                                                                  
9:23:48 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   HUGGINS  commented   the  correctional   system  is   a                                                               
controlled  environment. He  recognized  that it  was  part of  a                                                               
normal daily process  for the DOC to maintain  control, which, if                                                               
SB 95 passes, will be another part of the job.                                                                                  
MS.  PARKER agreed.  The DOC  recently  went to  Arizona to  help                                                               
collect 45 DNA samples and experienced no refusals.                                                                             
MICHAEL  MACLEOD,  executive  director,  Alaska  Civil  Liberties                                                               
Union (ACLU)  opposed SB  95. The ACLU  opposes most  all systems                                                               
where the  government is  collecting identifiable  information on                                                               
individual  citizens.  He  is   concerned  with  privacy  rights,                                                               
recognizing  that  offenders  forego  many of  their  rights.  He                                                               
disputed an  earlier reference to fingerprinting  saying that DNA                                                               
collection is  invasive. He questioned  any direct link  with the                                                               
collection  of DNA  to resolving  crimes. He  questioned probable                                                               
cause to  suspect a link to  other crimes. He has  concerns about                                                               
due process and the need to  use an independent decision maker to                                                               
resolve  whether or  not a  DNA sample  should be  taken from  an                                                               
9:28:35 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MACLEOD asked whether  the information could constitutionally                                                               
be  used in  any  future proceedings  if  forcibly taken  without                                                               
probable cause.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked Mr. Macleod whether  that ground wasn't                                                               
already covered  by the use of  fingerprinting for identification                                                               
MR.  MACLEOD agreed  there are  two  identification systems  with                                                               
distinctions between  the methods.  The invasiveness  of swabbing                                                               
is greater than taking fingerprints.                                                                                            
9:30:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Ms. Carpeneti  whether the question  of what                                                               
offenses would apply is already set into law.                                                                                   
MS.  CARPENETI replied  yes. SB  95 refers  only to  those people                                                               
convicted of crimes.                                                                                                            
CHAIR SEEKINS asked  whether SB 95 changes  current law regarding                                                               
who is tasked with taking the DNA sample.                                                                                       
MS.  CARPENETI said  no. The  judge, at  the time  of conviction,                                                               
orders the  person to  give a  DNA sample. It  is not  a decision                                                               
made by a correctional officer, it is pursuant to a court order.                                                                
9:31:37 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked Mr. Macleod  whether he has any court cases                                                               
pending on this issue.                                                                                                          
MR. MACLEOD answered no.                                                                                                        
SENATOR BUNDE  commented the DNA  database has generated  30 hits                                                               
and has aided  in 38 different investigations.  That makes Alaska                                                               
one of the most successful per capita in the nation.                                                                            
MS. CARPENETI commented the connection  to DNA and solving crimes                                                               
is significant.                                                                                                                 
9:33:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  Ms. Carpeneti  whether taking  a swab  from                                                               
someone's mouth is considered to be extremely invasive.                                                                         
MS.  CARPENETI  replied  no.  Blood  draws  are  considered  more                                                               
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  Ms.  Parker whether  the  DOC performs  any                                                               
other normal  procedures that are  considered more  invasive than                                                               
taking a DNA sample.                                                                                                            
MS.  PARKER answered  yes. The  DOC does  not view  taking a  DNA                                                               
sample  to  be  invasive.  The   booking  procedure  and  medical                                                               
examinations  are  more  invasive.  Taking  a  DNA  sample  is  a                                                               
forensic collection of evidence.                                                                                                
9:35:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked which booking procedures are invasive.                                                                      
MS. PARKER replied inmates are  required to submit their clothing                                                               
and  possessions. They  are given  a full  medical and  sometimes                                                               
mental health exam. They are watched very closely initially.                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Ms.  Parker if  she was  aware of  any other                                                               
jurisdictions   that    have   ruled    DNA   sampling    to   be                                                               
MS. PARKER answered no.                                                                                                         
SENATOR HUGGINS commented DNA testing  could be used to accuse or                                                               
to clear  someone of  a crime.  He observed  the accuracy  of DNA                                                               
testing favors the innocent person.                                                                                             
MS. PARKER agreed.                                                                                                              
MS. CARPENETI commented she does not  consider a Q-tip swab to be                                                               
9:37:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS   asked  Ms.   Carpeneti  if   she  knew   of  any                                                               
jurisdiction that  has found DNA  sampling to be in  violation of                                                               
fundamental rights.                                                                                                             
MS. CARPENETTI answered no.                                                                                                     
MR. TONY  NEWMAN, program officer,  Division of  Juvenile Justice                                                               
testified probation  officers have never  had to use  force while                                                               
collecting DNA in the juvenile system.                                                                                          
SENATOR  GUESS asked  Senator Bunde  why SB  95 has  no effective                                                               
9:39:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDE  answered  inmates  generally  serve  a  long-term                                                               
incarceration. He didn't see a need for an immediate law.                                                                       
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  Senator  Bunde  if he  wanted  to  add  an                                                               
amendment for an effective date.                                                                                                
SENATOR  BUNDE said  he was  not sure  it was  necessary, but  he                                                               
recognized it could speed up an investigation.                                                                                  
SENATOR  GUESS  made a  motion  to  amend  SB  95 to  include  an                                                               
immediate  effective  date.  Hearing no  objections,  the  motion                                                               
9:43:01 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  moved  CSSB   95(JUD)  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  accompanying fiscal  notes. With                                                               
no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                               
9:43:25 AM                                                                                                                    
              SB 104-PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND FRAUD                                                                          
9:50:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BRIAN HOVE,  staff to Senator Seekins, introduced  SB 104. SB                                                               
104  establishes a  Permanent Fund  Dividend (PFD)  investigation                                                               
unit.  SB  104   would  make  submission  of   a  fraudulent  PFD                                                               
application a class  C felony. In 2004 the  Department of Revenue                                                               
(DOR) examined over  1,600 fraud tips and audited  over 1,700 PFD                                                               
applications  suspected of  being  fraudulent.  This resulted  in                                                               
$1.4 million  in denied or  assessed dividends. There  were three                                                               
federal indictments  and one conviction for  crimes involving PFD                                                               
The  most common  PFD fraud  offense involves  persons who  forge                                                               
signatures with  the intent to  receive a dividend to  which they                                                               
are not entitled.  SB 104 is not intended to  capture cases where                                                               
spouses  sign  for each  other.  Current  law (AS  11.46.500-510)                                                               
describes  three  separate degrees  of  forgery  - the  two  most                                                               
serious offenses  are punishable as  class B and C  felonies, but                                                               
are  limited  to  cases  involving  various  types  of  financial                                                               
Forgery  in the  third  degree covers  instances  where a  person                                                               
intentionally  makes a  false statement  on a  written instrument                                                               
such as a PFD application. This  offense is punishable as a class                                                               
A misdemeanor.  The DOR's  proposal to elevate  PFD fraud  from a                                                               
misdemeanor to  a Class C  felony is  expected to provide  a more                                                               
effective deterrent  for theft.  SB 104  aids in  identifying and                                                               
curing instances  of PFD  fraud by codifying  in statute  a fraud                                                               
investigation  unit within  the DOR.  This unit  will assist  the                                                               
Department of Law (DOL) in investigating instances of PFD fraud.                                                                
9:53:37 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT  said that Section 1  separates dividend fraud                                                               
out of  the statute. By doing  so it creates too  many categories                                                               
of  fraud.   He  suggested  the  committee   rework  the  overall                                                               
9:55:50 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  asked Senator Therriault  if he was  suggesting a                                                               
list of fraudulent activities and  the punishment that relates to                                                               
SENATOR  THERRIAULT replied  yes.  It  would make  it  more of  a                                                               
standard format.                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS agreed.                                                                                                           
SENATOR   THERRIAULT  added   that  if   one  were   looking  for                                                               
falsification it would be all in one section.                                                                                   
9:57:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS announced that committee  substitute version \Y was                                                               
before the  committee as  the working  document. He  asked Sharon                                                               
Barton to clarify the changes.                                                                                                  
MS.  SHARON BARTON,  director, Permanent  Fund Dividend  Division                                                               
agreed that  Senator Therriault's proposal had  merit. To explain                                                               
the \Y draft, it made the  language simpler. The PFD division was                                                               
looking  at going  after falsification  written  and orally.  The                                                               
drafters trimmed  three sections down  to two and  identified the                                                               
class C felony.                                                                                                                 
9:59:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  suggested SB 104  might have a title  change since                                                               
it would be setting up new section of law.                                                                                      
SENATOR THERRIAULT disagreed saying  it would be putting together                                                               
a framework.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS liked Senator Therriault's suggestion.                                                                            
SENATOR FRENCH did as well.                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEEKINS said  he  would ask  his staff  to  meet with  the                                                               
drafters to accommodate Senator Therriault's suggestion.                                                                        
10:02:11 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT  said page  1, line 14,  which is  the section                                                               
title, would be lost in the new draft.                                                                                          
CHAIR SEEKINS  offered it wouldn't  impact the  functionality. He                                                               
said he  would refer the  issue to the  drafters and hold  SB 104                                                               
over to the next committee meeting.                                                                                             
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Seekins adjourned the meeting at 10:03:37 AM.                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects