Legislature(2015 - 2016)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/01/2016 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:35:00 PM Start
01:37:27 PM Partners for Progress Reentry Center Overview: No-cost and Cost-bending Ways to Improve Community Reentry and Reduce Recidivism
02:21:57 PM SB157
03:03:18 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Progress Reentry Center
Overview: No-Cost and Cost-Bending Ways to
Improve Community Reentry and Reduce Recidivism
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invited & Public> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        February 1, 2016                                                                                        
                           1:35 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PARTNERS FOR PROGRESS REENTRY CENTER OVERVIEW:                                                                                  
No-Cost and Cost-Bending Ways to Improve Community Reentry and                                                                  
Reduce Recidivism.                                                                                                              
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 157                                                                                                             
"An Act defining arcade-style amusement devices."                                                                               
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 41                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to criminal history record checks for                                                                          
psychologists and psychological associates; and providing for an                                                                
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 157                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AMUSEMENT DEVICES & GAMBLING DEFINITION                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MCGUIRE                                                                                                  
01/25/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/25/16       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/01/16       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
CATHLEEN MCLAUGHLIN, Director                                                                                                   
Partners for Progress Reentry Center (PRC)                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Delivered  an overview  of the  No-Cost and                                                             
Cost-Bending  Ways  to  Improve   Community  Reentry  and  Reduce                                                               
FORREST WOLFE, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SB 157 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                              
HUGH ASHLOCK, owner                                                                                                             
Dimond Center Mall (DCM)                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 157.                                                                          
HOWARD TRICKEY, Attorney                                                                                                        
Dave and Buster's                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided supporting testimony on SB 157.                                                                 
JAY TOBIN, General Counsel                                                                                                      
Dave and Buster                                                                                                                 
Dallas, Texas                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided supporting testimony on SB 157.                                                                 
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:35:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LESIL   MCGUIRE  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:35  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Costello,  Wielechowski, Coghill,  and Chair                                                               
McGuire. She reviewed  the agenda including that SB  41 would not                                                               
be heard.                                                                                                                       
^Partners  for  Progress  Reentry Center  Overview:  No-Cost  and                                                               
Cost-Bending  Ways  to  Improve   Community  Reentry  and  Reduce                                                               
PARTNERS FOR PROGRESS REENTRY CENTER OVERVIEW: NO-COST AND COST-                                                            
BENDING WAYS TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY REENTRY AND REDUCE RECIDIVISM                                                             
1:37:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE  announced the first  order of business would  be a                                                               
presentation  from  Cathleen  McLaughlin from  the  Partners  for                                                               
Progress Reentry  Center about how  to reduce costs and  help the                                                               
state address  recidivism. She recognized  the presence  of Janet                                                               
McCabe and thanked her for her visionary work in this area.                                                                     
1:38:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CATHLEEN  MCLAUGHLIN,  Director,  Partners for  Progress  Reentry                                                               
Center  (PRC), Anchorage,  Alaska, said  she's delighted  to come                                                               
before the committee and excited  that recidivism and reentry has                                                               
become such  a large  talking point. She  said she  would discuss                                                               
the program briefly and then talk  about the reasons for the nine                                                               
cost-bending or  cost reduction ideas.  Describing herself  as an                                                               
optimist,  she  opined  that  some  of  the  points  need  little                                                               
planning, just a lot of doing.                                                                                                  
She reported that PRC has served  2,741 people since it opened in                                                               
August 2013.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE  clarified that  the Partners  Reentry Center  is a                                                               
specialized  extension   of  Partners   for  Progress   that  was                                                               
established in 2000 or 2001.                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  described PRC  as a  walk-in and  referral center                                                               
that  serves people  coming straight  out of  incarceration on  a                                                               
felony  or  misdemeanants with  an  ASAP  (Alcohol Safety  Action                                                               
Program).  The  reentrant receives  housing  the  day of  release                                                               
under the condition  that they will work with the  center to find                                                               
employment within  30 days  if they  are mentally  and physically                                                               
able. Their housing will then be  extended for another 30 days on                                                               
a  part-pay  basis  in  1  of the  13  housing  sites  throughout                                                               
Anchorage. She emphasized  that this is a  voluntary program that                                                               
is  based on  dignity and  respect. During  this time  the center                                                               
tries to  find ways to  use the  risk needs assessments  from the                                                               
Department  of Corrections  (DOC)  to determine  how  to use  the                                                               
funds appropriated by the legislature.                                                                                          
On average, PRC  serves 63-91 people each day, and  has about 376                                                               
people in  the program  at any given  time. Moneyed  services are                                                               
available to those  people who want to move forward.  "Our key is                                                               
it  has to  be a  partnership." She  said that  finding out  what                                                               
works  has been  a grassroots  effort and  Janet McCabe  has been                                                               
instrumental in fostering the ability  to come up with new ideas.                                                               
She added, "Based on the State's  budget right now, I think a lot                                                               
of new ideas are necessary."                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said the people  that have a purpose (whether it's                                                               
a job  or reuniting with family)  are more likely to  succeed and                                                               
not recidivate. She  described the help the center  provides as a                                                               
three-legged stool that is housing,  employment, and figuring out                                                               
why people are in the position they're in.                                                                                      
She said  she is  very proud  of these  key outcomes  for program                                                               
participants - all  of whom have criminal  records: 62 reentrants                                                               
were hired  in January,  over 629 employers  are willing  to hire                                                               
program participants and  116 landlords that are  willing to rent                                                               
to  program participants.  For people  who continue  to cooperate                                                               
and  visit  the center,  PRC  will  pay  the first  month's  rent                                                               
provided the person pays the deposit.                                                                                           
1:44:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN shared  a story about a  24-year-old heroin addict                                                               
who got a job his second week  of working with PRC. That night he                                                               
celebrated with  heroin and  died. In  response to  that tragedy,                                                               
PRC  started  a pilot  program  in  partnership with  her  health                                                               
clinic  and   Alkermes,  the   manufacturer  of   Vivitrol.  This                                                               
voluntary program  began in  September and  is offered  to people                                                               
who come  out of prison  with opiate, heroin, or  chronic alcohol                                                               
issues. This  option has been  offered to  32 people and  19 have                                                               
accepted.  They  received  an   injection  of  Vivitrol  that  is                                                               
effective for  28 days.  Thirteen declined the  option and  11 of                                                               
those people  are reincarcerated. "They were  reincarcerated less                                                               
than 30 days from the time that  they released." One of the 19 in                                                               
the  program refused  the second  Vivitrol injection  "because he                                                               
wanted   to  have   beer  at   the   Super  Bowl."   He  is   now                                                               
She said  the Vivitrol Pilot  Program is  one of the  nine points                                                               
and she  brought it up  as an example of  a simple way  to figure                                                               
out  whether medically  assisted  treatment is  a possibility  in                                                               
reentry. The results thus far are hopeful.                                                                                      
1:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE  said it has  been a  slow process, but  the data                                                               
shows this is a humane way  for an addict to readjust their life.                                                               
She expressed hope that the program could be expanded.                                                                          
SENATOR COGHILL asked the cost of the pilot program.                                                                            
MS. MCLAUGHLIN replied it costs  PRC nothing because Alkermes has                                                               
agreed  to provide  an unlimited  supply of  Vivitrol during  the                                                               
pilot program.  She explained that  when someone says, on  a pre-                                                               
release basis,  that they want  to participate in the  pilot, PRC                                                               
takes them to the health clinic  for an injection of Vivitrol the                                                               
day they're  released and helps  them apply for  Medicaid. Timing                                                               
is critical  because the  longer a  person is  out of  prison the                                                               
less likely they are to want to stay clean.                                                                                     
1:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN reviewed the nine points  that PRC came up with to                                                               
eliminate the costs  associated with reentry. These  were sent to                                                               
the governor, the legislature, and  the Department of Corrections                                                               
(DOC).  She said  the goal  is to  improve reentry  and community                                                               
reentry is  happening. "We see  1,000 releases a  month statewide                                                               
and we have between 100 and 110  come in to apply for services at                                                               
Partners Reentry Center every single month."                                                                                    
1. Allow  applications for  Medicaid, Social  Security, Americans                                                               
   with Disabilities Act (ADA), State ID, etc. to be completed                                                                  
   and submitted prior to release.                                                                                              
    With few exceptions, a person is not able to apply for Social                                                               
    Security while they're incarcerated. PRC houses reentrants in                                                               
    anticipation  of  their  getting  Social  Security,  but  the                                                               
    process may take from 45 days to six months. PRC doesn't have                                                               
    the funding or the housing capacity for  that and has to send                                                               
    people to the Brother Francis mission. The simple solution is                                                               
    to allow PRC to do Medicaid  and Social Security applications                                                               
    when they go  to the prisons  to do prerelease. She  said PRC                                                               
    has been working  with DOC on  this, because it would  save a                                                               
    tremendous amount of money.                                                                                                 
CHAIR MCGUIRE asked  what kind of policy changes  would be needed                                                               
to make this happen.                                                                                                            
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN said  she's spoken  with Senator  Coghill's staff                                                               
and  believes  this could  be  managed  through DOC  regulations.                                                               
However,  legislative  involvement in  assisting  DOC  to find  a                                                               
justification for doing this would be helpful.                                                                                  
SENATOR  COGHILL said  there are  a  couple of  wrinkles. One  is                                                               
regulation and the  others are qualifications and how  to wrap up                                                               
the  layered  approach  to Medicaid.  "Medicaid  in  the  statute                                                               
doesn't always  match Medicaid  whether it's  Denali Kid  Care or                                                               
the  expansion population."  Also, someone  who was  convicted of                                                               
killing  someone  can  qualify   for  food  stamps,  but  someone                                                               
convicted of a dope crime can't qualify.                                                                                        
MS. MCLAUGHLIN continued the presentation to discuss point 2.                                                                   
2. Make DOC accountable for safe-keeping of the valuable                                                                        
    documents that some individuals have when they enter prison.                                                                
    Do not discard them. Return them to reentrants upon release.                                                                
    About  70 percent of program applicants do  not have IDs when                                                               
    they  leave incarceration, even  though they went in  with an                                                               
    ID  and   Social  Security  card.  A  person  can  receive  a                                                               
    temporary ID on  day one of release and the permanent ID will                                                               
    come  in 10-12  days. The  problem is  the person  cannot get                                                               
    into  the Social  Security office  with a  temporary  ID. PRC                                                               
    mandates  people to get  a job within  30 days and  more than                                                               
    half  of that is spent waiting for the  permanent ID in order                                                               
    to  fill  out the  I-9 employment  eligibility form.  Federal                                                               
    reentrants  don't  have this  problem because  their IDs  are                                                               
    saved  and returned  on release or  arrangements are  made to                                                               
    order an ID  if the prisoner didn't enter with any. It's even                                                               
    more  difficult if a  nonresident is incarcerated  in Alaska.                                                               
    "We  had  somebody from  Georgia who  had never  been in  the                                                               
    system.  [He] had to get a birth  certificate from Georgia in                                                               
    order to  get an ID in Alaska." She emphasized the importance                                                               
    of  pre-release  planning and  noted that  several years  ago                                                               
    there  was  a way  for  people  to get  their  IDs and  start                                                               
    signing  up   for  Social  Security  prior  to  release.  She                                                               
    suggested reviving that process.                                                                                            
3. Reinstitute sex offender treatment within correctional                                                                       
    She  said the challenge  is that  40 percent of  the releases                                                               
    from  Goose   Creek  that  enter  the  PRC  program  are  sex                                                               
    offenders  who had no sex offender treatment  while they were                                                               
    incarcerated.  This is a  particular problem for  people that                                                               
    don't  live  in  Anchorage, but  must  stick  around for  sex                                                               
    offender  treatment. The wait can be 6-9  months to start and                                                               
    2-3  years to complete. She noted that there  used to be some                                                               
    sex  offender treatment programs  within the walls  that were                                                               
    discontinued, perhaps due to cost or effectiveness or both.                                                                 
2:01:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE expressed interest in spending more time                                                                          
discussing what works for sex offender treatment.                                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL commented that most prisoners aren't getting                                                                    
treatment, and while one might question the value of the                                                                        
program, it provides some accountability.                                                                                       
CHAIR MCGUIRE disagreed that any program is better than none.                                                                   
2:04:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said  she doesn't know of one sex  offender in the                                                               
PRC  program who  has violated  because of  a sex  offense. "They                                                               
have violated  because of the  use of alcohol, not  reporting, or                                                               
not  moving  forward  in their  treatment."  The  Native  Reentry                                                               
Program for sex  offenders is addressing the latter  and it shows                                                               
a lot of  promise. She discussed sex offender  treatment that may                                                               
not be  culturally relevant and  shared an example of  a 70-year-                                                               
old offender who  is deaf and has early-onset  dementia. He's not                                                               
going to  pass sex offend  treatment and he's stuck  in Anchorage                                                               
trying to  pass in order  to go home.  "The challenge is  that we                                                               
need to  honestly look  at what the  sex offender  treatments are                                                               
intended  to do."  Half  of the  950 Alaska  Natives  in the  PRC                                                               
program are sex  offenders. They are not urban  skilled and would                                                               
like  to go  home. This  is what  the Native  Reentry Program  is                                                               
trying to address and to teach us what we're missing, she said.                                                                 
She said  there absolutely has  to be a public  safety component,                                                               
but the term  sex offender is broad. The number  of sex offenders                                                               
that are dangerous and need containment is comparatively small.                                                                 
SENATOR MCGUIRE said this is  a good conversation for another day                                                               
but it's  important because the  legislature spends so  much time                                                               
on  this issue.  She  requested advice  on  what other  treatment                                                               
options are available.                                                                                                          
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN said  the  two  things PRC  has  suggested is  to                                                               
develop a  process for doing  distance treatment and  putting sex                                                               
offender  treatment   back  in   institutions  with   a  tele-med                                                               
component. She moved on to point 4.                                                                                             
4. Allow  rural Alaskans  to  return to  their  home or  regional                                                               
   communities. Let Alaska Natives go home if they are invited                                                                  
   back to their villages.                                                                                                      
   In  the  Native Reentry  Program  there is  a  lot talk  about                                                               
   public safety  and restorative justice. Part of  that model is                                                               
   that individuals  ask their villages for  permission to return                                                               
   home,  which  can  help a  community  heal.  "To give  them  a                                                               
   purpose  and a place  in the  reentry and  restorative justice                                                               
   model is something that deserves a lot of attention."                                                                        
2:11:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN read the Native Reentry mission statement.                                                                       
     We  meet to  preserve  our culture  and traditions,  to                                                                    
     strengthen our  people's spirit. We succeed  by helping                                                                    
     one another, advocating for  each other and maintaining                                                                    
     positivity  and respect.  Together we  are finding  our                                                                    
     way home.                                                                                                                  
5. Reduce re-incarceration by approving behavioral contracts in                                                                 
   lieu of returning to incarceration.                                                                                          
    In  lieu  of   returning  people  to  prison   for  technical                                                               
    violations, place them on a behavioral contract. She provided                                                               
    an example. A man  in the program had five  violations of his                                                               
    probation and parole for drinking. His probation officer said                                                               
    he had  to  return to  prison  to serve  the remaining  three                                                               
    years. With permission from the probation officer, PRC made a                                                               
    deal with the  man to enter  into a behavioral  contract with                                                               
    Partners Reentry Center. Under an individual  plan, he had to                                                               
    attend  peer-to-peer once  a  week,  attend moral  reconation                                                               
    therapy, get on Vivitrol, and stay employed. He's been on the                                                               
    program  for  six   months  and  his  probation   officer  is                                                               
    supportive. That behavioral contract cost  nothing as opposed                                                               
    $59,000 per year for  a bed. A lot of  probation officers are                                                               
    willing to do this  and Partners is proud to be  part of this                                                               
    and make people accountable.                                                                                                
6. Develop requirements for probation and parole that are                                                                       
    coordinated and reasonable.                                                                                                 
    People are intentionally  violating their terms  of probation                                                               
    because   they   can't  meet   the   probation   and   parole                                                               
    requirements. She provided an example of a 25-year-old Alaska                                                               
    Native  who   intentionally  returned   to  Goose   Creek  to                                                               
    illustrate  the  negative  effects  of   over  programing  in                                                               
    probation and parole.                                                                                                       
MS. MCLAUGHLIN briefly reviewed the challenges and proposed                                                                     
solutions for the final three points.                                                                                           
7. Transportation from institutions to housing.                                                                                 
   Challenge - PRC  coordinates with Hiland Mountain Correctional                                                               
   Center probation officers  to arrange transitional housing for                                                               
   women who  would otherwise be homeless  upon release. However,                                                               
   about half of these reentrants  do not make it to their "first                                                               
   night out" transitional housing.  PRC goes into Hiland twice a                                                               
   month, and has  asked women why this is  such a challenge. The                                                               
   answer   has  been,  in   part,  because   of  transportation.                                                               
   Currently,  women  release  into  the Hiland  parking  lot  to                                                               
   individuals  they knew prior  to incarceration. In  some cases                                                               
   this triggers  an immediate relapse.  The other option  is for                                                               
   women to take a taxi  to the Anchorage Jail parking lot and be                                                               
   dropped off there, regardless of time of release.                                                                            
   Solution  - Change DOC  policy to allow  the taxis  to deliver                                                               
   reentrants  from Hiland Mountain  directly to  the PRC,  or to                                                               
   the pre-approved  housing sites arranged by  PRC and probation                                                               
   officers. PRC is only eight  blocks from the Anchorage Jail so                                                               
   this  solution has  a limited  cost  to DOC.  PRC can  provide                                                               
   transportation  from the  PRC  to transitional  housing is  an                                                               
8. Medically Assisted Treatment with Vivitrol should begin prior                                                                
   to release.                                                                                                                  
   Challenge  -  People  releasing   from  prison  are  often  so                                                               
   seriously addicted  to heroin, opioid pills  and alcohol, that                                                               
   they have  little chance of escaping  their addiction. Serious                                                               
   addicts  who   release  without  effective  treatment   and  a                                                               
   commitment  to  sobriety  can  be expected  to  relapse.  Most                                                               
   recidivism occurs within the  first two weeks of release. This                                                               
   pattern  has a  high cost  to the  public in  terms of  public                                                               
   safety as well as money.                                                                                                     
   Recently, Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) incorporating                                                                   
   Vivitrol  is offering hope  as a way  of combating  the heroin                                                               
   epidemic that  is sweeping the nation and  the state. Vivitrol                                                               
   is  a  non-addictive   injectable  medicine  that  blocks  the                                                               
   effects  of opioids  and cuts  cravings for  alcohol. To  test                                                               
   this program,  PRC partnered with a local  clinic in September                                                               
   to  start  a  pilot  program offering  Vivitrol  to  seriously                                                               
   addicted  reentrants  at no  cost  to  the  state. Of  the  30                                                               
   individuals  offered  Vivitrol  since  the beginning  of  this                                                               
   program,  the   18  who  have  voluntarily   participated  and                                                               
   received the  injection are employed, housed  and successfully                                                               
   moving forward. Of the  12 who declined Vivitrol upon release,                                                               
   11 have relapsed and  have returned to incarceration. The U.S.                                                               
   District  Court and  the Alaska  Therapeutic Courts  have also                                                               
   seen big improvements among addicts treated with Vivitrol.                                                                   
   Solution -  With DOC's approval,  this pilot program  could be                                                               
   offered to people with a  record of serious addiction up to 30                                                               
   days  prior to release  from incarceration. PRC's  partner, My                                                               
   Health Clinic, could  administer Vivitrol shots pre-release to                                                               
   ensure  that individuals  have  a good  likelihood of  staying                                                               
   sober after reentry. MAT could  be continued at PRC at no cost                                                               
   to the  State of Alaska.  PRC's program combines  the clinical                                                               
   administration    of   Vivitrol    with   cognitive-behavioral                                                               
   treatment groups at PRC.                                                                                                     
9. Halfway house limitations.                                                                                                   
   Challenge  - Operated under  contract with DOC,  halfway house                                                               
   rules  and  regulations  unnecessarily  limit the  ability  of                                                               
   reentrants  to  gain   employment  and  reintegrate  into  the                                                               
   community. As  one example, medications and  medical treatment                                                               
   are  not  allowed  while  in  a halfway  house.  The  list  of                                                               
   outdated rules, regulations and  policies are too extensive to                                                               
   list  here, but  should be  the  subject of  a separate,  more                                                               
   detailed discussion.                                                                                                         
   Solution  - There are  multiple, identifiable ways  to improve                                                               
   DOC/halfway house  policies. PRC has been working  with one of                                                               
   Anchorage  halfway houses  quite  successfully to  incorporate                                                               
   reentrant-focused   solutions   in   their   DOC   rules   and                                                               
   regulations. Reviewing  and updating policies in  this area is                                                               
   a  no cost  event and  will  lead to  more successful  reentry                                                               
   services for halfway house residents.                                                                                        
CHAIR MCGUIRE thanked  Ms. McLaughlin and relayed  that she would                                                               
like  her to  come back  before the  committee in  a conversation                                                               
model with the new commissioner  of the Department of Corrections                                                               
(DOC), Dean  Williams. "I'd love to  hear him on the  record sort                                                               
of dialog  with you  in front  of us about  what he's  willing to                                                               
take   on  through   regulation."  That   leaves  less   for  the                                                               
legislature to do in the omnibus smart justice package.                                                                         
She   introduced  her   committee   aide,   Dianne  Blumer,   and                                                               
complimented  her  on her  work  as  the former  commissioner  of                                                               
2:19:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  thanked  Ms.   McLaughlin  for  her  work  and                                                               
commented  that she  found it  particularly  interesting to  hear                                                               
about  the  flexibility  a  parole  officer  has.  She  expressed                                                               
support  for the  state  helping to  facilitate  a common  sense,                                                               
intuitive approach as  opposed to making it harder  for people to                                                               
reenter  the  community  successfully.   She  agreed  with  Chair                                                               
McGuire  that it  would be  valuable to  continue the  dialog and                                                               
have the conversation with the commissioner.                                                                                    
2:20:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL thanked Ms. McLaughlin for her work and                                                                         
expressed support for Partners for Progress.                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN invited the members to drop by the Center.                                                                       
CHAIR MCGUIRE said she would set up a time for the judiciary                                                                    
committees from both bodies to visit the Center.                                                                                
         SB 157-AMUSEMENT DEVICES & GAMBLING DEFINITION                                                                     
2:21:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of SB 157.                                                                          
FORREST WOLFE, Staff, Senator Lesil McGuire, sponsor of SB 157,                                                                 
introduced the legislation on behalf of the sponsor speaking to                                                                 
the following sponsor statement:                                                                                                
     SB 157 is  a housekeeping measure that  aims to clarify                                                                    
     that   restaurants  featuring   arcade-style  amusement                                                                    
     games may lawfully operate in  Alaska. Elsewhere in the                                                                    
     United  States, popular  restaurant businesses  feature                                                                    
     arcade areas where  patrons play games of  skill to win                                                                    
     tickets which can  then be redeemed for  toys and other                                                                    
     novelties.  Unfortunately, Alaska's  outdated laws  are                                                                    
     so vague that  the legality of these  operations is far                                                                    
     from  clear. SB  157 would  clarify that  playing these                                                                    
     arcade-style amusement games  of skill, winning tickets                                                                    
     and redeeming them for small,  non-cash prizes does not                                                                    
     constitute  gambling under  Alaska  law. By  clarifying                                                                    
     this  issue,  the  risk for  companies  seeking  to  do                                                                    
     business in Alaska will be eliminated.                                                                                     
     These  family-friendly  businesses can  be  significant                                                                    
     additions  to Alaska's  economy.  For  example, Dave  &                                                                    
     Busters is  seeking to  open a  location at  the Dimond                                                                    
     Center mall  in Anchorage. It is  anticipated that Dave                                                                    
     &  Buster's will  spend  approximately  $10 million  to                                                                    
     build said  location, and once operational  will employ                                                                    
     approximately 140-160 workers.  Moreover, this addition                                                                    
     to the Dimond  Center is the keystone to  a much larger                                                                    
     renovation project for the mall  that is anticipated to                                                                    
     employ approximately 200  construction workers. In this                                                                    
     time of economic uncertainty, this  is an effective way                                                                    
     to add  well-paying jobs  to Alaska's  economy. Passage                                                                    
     of this bill will give  businesses like Dave & Buster's                                                                    
     the sure-footed  legal ground to move  ahead with their                                                                    
     Finally, it  should be made absolutely  clear that this                                                                    
     narrow bill  does not in  any way  legalize traditional                                                                    
     gambling,  nor  does  it  legalize  casino-style  video                                                                    
     gambling such as video poker,  slots, or roulette. Once                                                                    
     again,  this  bill  only  clarifies  that  arcade-style                                                                    
     operations that  award tickets to be  redeemed for toys                                                                    
     and other novelties are lawful.                                                                                            
2:24:42 PM                                                                                                                    
HUGH  ASHLOCK,  owner,  Dimond   Center  Mall  (DCM),  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, said this is an  Alaskan and family-owned shopping center                                                               
that receives over 12 million  visits annually. He explained that                                                               
DCM is  in the middle of  a $50 million expansion  and renovation                                                               
project. He reviewed the progress  thus far and relayed that Dave                                                               
and Buster's  would be a  44,000 square  foot addition on  top of                                                               
the shopping center.  "Dave and Buster's will  spend $10 million,                                                               
we  would  spend  an  additional $13  million."  Aside  from  the                                                               
estimated 200 construction jobs, there  will be about 100 offsite                                                               
ancillary construction jobs. He described  Dave and Buster's as a                                                               
serious anchor for the Dimond Center Mall.                                                                                      
CHAIR  MCGUIRE expressed  support for  the project,  a preference                                                               
for using  both a  union and  non-union workforce,  and providing                                                               
renewable or sustainable energy systems to the degree possible.                                                                 
MR. ASHLOCK  said this will  be a  highly skilled project  and to                                                               
get that level of talent in  Alaska a union shop is necessary. He                                                               
reported that the project will  use the newest energy saving HVAC                                                               
systems and  the parking lot  has already been converted  to high                                                               
density, high lumen and lighting.                                                                                               
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  enthused about  new  building  projects that  add                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL  commented that the  investment is great  and the                                                               
bill clarifies the issue of gaming.                                                                                             
2:30:04 PM                                                                                                                    
HOWARD  TRICKEY,   representing  Dave  and   Busters,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, said he  would provide background and  context to explain                                                               
the Dave and  Buster's business model, and the  reason the change                                                               
in law is needed.                                                                                                               
He explained  that Dave and  Buster's was  formed in 1982  and is                                                               
not a franchise. It is currently  in 80 locations in more than 30                                                               
states and employs [12,000] nationally.  The business model is to                                                               
provide  family fun  and  the establishments  are  for playing  a                                                               
variety of  amusement games. The  company has  well-developed and                                                               
effective  policies prohibiting  guests  under age  18 without  a                                                               
parent or guardian. The employees  are trained using a nationally                                                               
recognized program  that is known  as "Certified to  Serve Safe."                                                               
This is a family-friendly environment  designed to have fun while                                                               
patrons watch sports games, play games, or enjoy fine dining.                                                                   
Dave and  Buster's offers two types  of games in the  arcade. One                                                               
is skill-based where  strategy, timing, and dexterity  is used to                                                               
determine the outcome of the game.  About 65 percent of the games                                                               
are  this  type. The  second  type  are simulation  games.  These                                                               
include  simulations of  flying  an aircraft  or  driving in  the                                                               
Indianapolis  500.  The  criteria  for selecting  games  for  the                                                               
arcade  is  those that  assess  and  evaluate a  player's  skill.                                                               
Players earn tickets that can  be redeemed onsite where there are                                                               
a variety of prizes that range  in value. Tickets can be redeemed                                                               
immediately or the  customer can save tickets and  redeem them in                                                               
the future.                                                                                                                     
MR. TRICKEY  stated that this  amendment was requested  to define                                                               
amusement devices  whose outcome  is determined  predominantly by                                                               
the skill  and ability of the  player. He said the  definition is                                                               
needed because of an outdated  2001 attorney general opinion that                                                               
concluded that  a video golf  game that was programed  to include                                                               
significant  elements of  chance did  constitute gambling.  Under                                                               
that opinion,  Dave and Buster's  would face some  uncertainty if                                                               
they went forward  with the proposed investment  at Dimond Center                                                               
He explained  that the  bill adds  a new  Section 3  that defined                                                               
amusement  devices in  both a  positive and  negative sense.  The                                                               
bill positively  defines what constitutes "amusement  device" and                                                               
then describes  the games that  are excluded. The  excluded types                                                               
of  games  are video  forms  of  casino  style games  that  would                                                               
constitute a gambling activity.                                                                                                 
The  bill adds  a new  paragraph to  define amusement  device. It                                                               
clarifies that  playing an amusement  device is not  gambling and                                                               
earning tickets that can be redeemed  for a prize is not gambling                                                               
either. In  no other way does  the bill change the  definition of                                                               
what is a game of chance and what constitutes value.                                                                            
2:39:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked,  "As  I'm reading  this,  Chuck  E.                                                               
Cheese is illegal?"                                                                                                             
MR.  TRICKEY   replied  the  franchisee  is   probably  taking  a                                                               
calculated  business  risk based  on  the  2001 attorney  general                                                               
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI referenced  page 2, line 6, and  asked if he                                                               
had a definition for "electronic novelty."                                                                                      
MR. TRICKEY replied  the term isn't defined but  the intention is                                                               
to  allow  electronic  prizes  that  customers  can  redeem  with                                                               
tickets. He noted that one of the prizes is an IPad.                                                                            
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI wondered whether there  should be a limit on                                                               
the  toy,   candy,  or  electronic   novelty  or  the   value  of                                                               
merchandise in a claw machine or similar device.                                                                                
MR. TRICKEY  offered his  belief that  it should  be a  matter of                                                               
personal family  choice for the  Dave and Buster's  customers. "I                                                               
don't see why  the legislature would want to place  a value on it                                                               
in  a way  that would  make it  more difficult  for the  business                                                               
model to be successful."                                                                                                        
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI referenced page 2,  line 27, and asked if he                                                               
had  a definition  for "casino  games."  He said  he's trying  to                                                               
build a  record in the event  that someone wants to  come in with                                                               
other types of games.                                                                                                           
MR.  TRICKEY  explained that,  "By  listing  what's excluded,  we                                                               
developed  a   clear  category  of   games  that  would   not  be                                                               
permitted," he said.                                                                                                            
2:44:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI noted  that  one of  the  documents in  the                                                               
packet  discusses site  criteria, one  of which  is 500,000  to 1                                                               
million  residences  within  10  miles.  He  asked  if  Dave  and                                                               
Buster's is making an exception  for that, because Anchorage does                                                               
not meet that criterion.                                                                                                        
MR. TRICKEY suggested the question  may be better for Mr. Ashlock                                                               
or Mr.  Tobin, but  his understanding is  that the  Dimond Center                                                               
Mall was selected because it is a statewide center.                                                                             
CHAIR MCGUIRE related that when  she first enquired about getting                                                               
a Dave and  Buster's in Anchorage she was told  the threshold was                                                               
1  million. She  offered her  belief that  Dave and  Buster's has                                                               
found that  Alaska is  a good  opportunity, despite  the original                                                               
entry requirements.  "As a broader economic  development point of                                                               
view  for us  here in  the legislature,  I think  this is  a good                                                               
She asked Mr. Ashlock to address the question.                                                                                  
2:47:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ASHLOCK reported that Anchorage is  number 2 in eating out in                                                               
the U.S.  at $6,900 per  capita. New York  is number 1  at $7,100                                                               
per capita  and San Francisco is  number 3 at $6,100  per capita.                                                               
Much like  Honolulu, Anchorage  serves as  a regional  magnet and                                                               
hub  for  medicine,  entertainment, shopping,  and  international                                                               
travelers. It's a perfect model for Dave and Buster's to select.                                                                
2:49:18 PM                                                                                                                    
JAY  TOBIN,  General Counsel,  Dave  and  Buster, Dallas,  Texas,                                                               
clarified that Dave  and Buster's has more  than 12,000 employees                                                               
nationally. It has  been a publicly traded  company since October                                                               
2014 and  the stock is  listed on  the NASDAQ. He  explained that                                                               
Dave  and Buster's  tagline  is the  opportunity  to eat,  drink,                                                               
play, and  watch. As mentioned previously,  this development will                                                               
be  over  40,000  square  feet  and  will  have  a  full  service                                                               
restaurant with a  full service bar. In addition there  will be a                                                               
full service  sports bar,  an area  dedicated to  private events,                                                               
and a midway center for playing a variety of games.                                                                             
He clarified  that these games  are not allowed to  dispense cash                                                               
or cash  equivalents. Addressing  the site criteria  question, he                                                               
related  that  over  time  Dave   and  Buster's  has  learned  to                                                               
experiment,  opening  stores   in  locations  that  traditionally                                                               
wouldn't  fit  the  population   requirement.  He  described  the                                                               
different reasons for openings in  Panama City, Florida, Orlando,                                                               
Florida and Virginia  Beach, Virginia. The reasons  for opening a                                                               
location in Anchorage  are multifold but primarily  it's that the                                                               
market  is  unique.  Anchorage has  a  fulltime  population,  the                                                               
municipality  and  Dimond  Center  are a  significant  draw  from                                                               
throughout the  state, and national and  international tourism is                                                               
pulled in.  Furthermore, the attention to  detail and significant                                                               
quality offered by  Mr. Ashlock was very important  in making the                                                               
2:56:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE  commented that this  bodes well for the  future of                                                               
Anchorage. She  mentioned the amazing military  population in the                                                               
state and asked  him to relay a request to  consider both college                                                               
and military discounts, charitable  giving, and partnerships with                                                               
rural communities to enhance opportunities.                                                                                     
SENATOR COGHILL  observed that  the definitions  that are  in the                                                               
negative may be problematic.                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  summarized that this legislation  clarifies and                                                               
rectifies a situation for a  specific business. She cautioned the                                                               
committee to  think about this  broadly statewide to  ensure that                                                               
there  are  no  unintended   consequences.  She  questioned,  for                                                               
example, how pull tabs might be affected.                                                                                       
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said her staff  has worked diligently to  be clear                                                               
that this  is not  about legalizing  gambling. She  committed her                                                               
staff and  the drafter to  work with  the members to  ensure that                                                               
any  concerns are  addressed. She  said she  likes the  notion of                                                               
limiting  the   value  of  the   prizes  to   protect  vulnerable                                                               
CHAIR MCGUIRE  announced she would  hold SB 157 in  committee for                                                               
further consideration.                                                                                                          
3:03:18 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair McGuire  adjourned the Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 3:03 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Partners for Progress- No Cost Improvements.pdf SJUD 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
Partners for Progress Presentation.pdf SJUD 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
Partners For Progress Statistics.pdf SJUD 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
Partners Reentry Center Statistics
SB 157 Dave Buster's Renderings.pdf SJUD 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 157
SB 157 Dimond Mall Floor Plans.pdf SJUD 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 157
SB 157 Dimond Mall Renderings.pdf SJUD 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 157
SB 157 Sponsor Statement (002).pdf SJUD 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 157