Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/10/2017 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 77 2017 REVISOR'S BILL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 104 REPEAL COLLECTION OF CIVIL LITIG. INFO TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 54 CRIME AND SENTENCING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 54(JUD) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 10, 2017                                                                                         
                           1:34 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 54                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating   to  crime  and  criminal   law;  relating  to                                                              
violation of  condition of release;  relating to  sex trafficking;                                                              
relating  to sentencing;  relating to probation;  relating  to the                                                              
pretrial services program; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED  CSSB 54(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 77 AM                                                                                                            
"An Act  making corrective  amendments to  the Alaska  Statutes as                                                              
recommended  by the  revisor  of statutes;  and  providing for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                              
"An   Act  relating   to   collecting  information   about   civil                                                              
litigation  by   the  Alaska  Judicial  Council;   repealing  Rule                                                              
41(a)(3), Alaska  Rules of Civil  Procedure, and Rules  511(c) and                                                              
(e), Alaska  Rules of  Appellate Procedure;  and providing  for an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  54                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CRIME AND SENTENCING                                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COGHILL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/10/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/10/17       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/17/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/17/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/17/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/24/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/24/17       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/01/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/01/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/03/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/03/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/06/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/06/17       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/08/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/08/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/08/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/10/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  77                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: 2017 REVISOR'S BILL                                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/25/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/25/17       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/06/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/06/17       (H)       Moved  HB 77 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/06/17       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/08/17       (H)       JUD RPT 5DP 2NR                                                                                        
02/08/17       (H)       DP:   KOPP,    KREISS-TOMKINS,   FANSLER,                                                              
                         LEDOUX, CLAMAN                                                                                         
02/08/17       (H)       NR: EASTMAN, REINBOLD                                                                                  
02/15/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/15/17       (H)       VERSION: HB 77 AM                                                                                      
02/17/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/17/17       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/10/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 104                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REPEAL COLLECTION OF CIVIL LITIG. INFO                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/03/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/03/17       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/22/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/22/17       (H)       Moved  HB 104 Out of Committee                                                                         
02/22/17       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/24/17       (H)       JUD RPT 4DP 2NR                                                                                        
02/24/17       (H)       DP:   KOPP,    KREISS-TOMKINS,   FANSLER,                                                              
                         CLAMAN                                                                                                 
02/24/17       (H)       NR: EASTMAN, REINBOLD                                                                                  
02/27/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/27/17       (H)       VERSION: HB 104                                                                                        
03/01/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/01/17       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/10/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JORDAN SHILLING, Staff                                                                                                          
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed the Department of Corrections                                                                    
fiscal note for SB 54.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LISA KIRSCH, Assistant Revisor                                                                                                  
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal Services                                                                                                      
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 77.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LIZZIE KUBITZ, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 104 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SUZANNE DIPIETRO, Executive Director                                                                                            
Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions and offered supporting                                                                 
testimony for HB 104.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:34:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR JOHN COGHILL called the Senate Judiciary Standing                                                                       
Committee meeting to order at 1:34 p.m. Present at the call to                                                                  
order were Senators Costello, Wielechowski, Meyer, and Chair                                                                    
Coghill.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Chair John Coghill responded to Butch Moore's testimony on March                                                                
6, 2017 speaking to the following document:  [Original                                                                          
punctuation provided.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
               th                                                                                                               
     On March 6,   Mr. Butch Moore delivered  false testimony                                                                   
     to the  Senate Judiciary Committee  regarding SB  91 and                                                                   
     criminal law and procedure generally:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     False Claim #1                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     Criminally  Negligent Homicide  offenders can receive  a                                                                 
     Suspended  Imposition  of Sentence  (SIS),  and it  goes                                                                 
     off their criminal record.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     Wrong.    Persons  charged   with  Criminally  Negligent                                                                   
     Homicide  are not  eligible for  a Suspended  Imposition                                                                   
     of Sentence.  And it stays on the criminal record.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     False Claim #2                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     Prior to  SB 91, the sentence  for class B  felonies was                                                                 
     1-3 years.  Now it is 0-2 years.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     Wrong.   Prior to SB  91, class B  felonies that  were a                                                                   
     first felony  conviction were  subject to a  presumptive                                                                   
     range  of 1  to 3 years.   There  is no  minimum in  the                                                                   
     presence  of  a  mitigating   factor,  and  there  is  a                                                                   
     maximum of ten  years in the presence of  an aggravating                                                                   
     factor.   If  there  are  prior felonies,  the  sentence                                                                   
     goes higher.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     False Claim #3                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     SB 91  allowed Esteban  Santiago to  murder five  people                                                                 
     in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
     Mr.  Moore said Santiago  was charged  with multiple  C-                                                                 
     felonies in January 2016.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     Wrong.  He was charged with A-misdemeanors.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Mr.  Moore  said  that  the  Municipality  of  Anchorage                                                                 
     entered  into a  Deferred Sentencing  Agreement  because                                                                 
     "SB 91 was coming".                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     The  Municipality   of  Anchorage  prosecutor's   office                                                                   
     called  those claims  false,  and that  the decision  to                                                                   
     enter into  a Deferred Sentencing Agreement  had nothing                                                                   
     to do with SB 91, which was not law at the time.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Additionally,  if an  individual successfully  completes                                                                   
     the  requirements of  a Deferred  Sentencing  Agreement,                                                                   
     prosecution   generally   dismisses   the  case.      In                                                                   
     Santiago's  case, he violated  his conditions,  which is                                                                   
     why the  charges were not  dismissed, and it  remains an                                                                   
     open case.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Mr. Moore  said that,  because of SB  91, "they  let him                                                                 
     go" after violating the conditions of release.                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
     That is  not true.  SB 91  was not law at the  time, and                                                                   
     Santiago  was charged  with Violation  of Conditions  of                                                                   
     Release  (punishable by up  to 180  days, per MOA  code)                                                                   
     following  a  compliance  check  by an  APD  officer  in                                                                   
     February.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Mr.  Moore  said  that, because  of  SB  91,  subsequent                                                                 
     contacts  with law enforcement  did  not lead to  arrest                                                                 
     or incarceration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     Santiago  had  several  contacts  with  law  enforcement                                                                   
     following   SB   91's   passage.    According   to   the                                                                   
     Municipality  of  Anchorage,  law  enforcement  officers                                                                   
     chose to  not arrest Santiago  and the municipality  did                                                                   
     not  bring charges,  both  of which  had  nothing to  do                                                                   
     with  SB  91.     The  decision  to  arrest  and  charge                                                                   
     offenders is  based on facts  of the investigation,  not                                                                   
     newly-enacted legislation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Mr.  Moore  asserts  that  there is  no  jail  time  for                                                                 
     "violating a restraining order".                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     That  is false.   The  crime of  Violating a  Protective                                                                   
     Order is an A misdemeanor.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "While  there may  be some  perceived  value in  blaming                                                                   
     the  2016 Fort  Lauderdale  airport shooting  on SB  91,                                                                   
     the facts do not support that claim."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL emphasized that testimony does matter and it's                                                                    
important to get it right. He will try to correct the record                                                                    
when  people  make claims  in  their  testimony that  is  patently                                                              
untrue.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                  SB  54-CRIME AND SENTENCING                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:35:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced  the consideration of SB 54  and asked Mr.                                                              
Shilling to  review the  fiscal note.  He stated displeasure  that                                                              
it  took so  long in  coming and  that there  is no  one from  the                                                              
department  available to speak  to it.  His understanding  is that                                                              
there is  tension among the departments,  and that this  is a very                                                              
conservative  fiscal note. He  stated his  intention to  bring the                                                              
matter  up in  the  next  committee of  referral,  so  it will  be                                                              
scrutinized.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:40:35 PM                                                                                                                    
JORDAN  SHILLING,  Staff,  Senator   John  Coghill,  Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature, reviewed  the Department  of Corrections  fiscal note                                                              
for  SB 54.  He  reported  that  the requested  appropriation  for                                                              
FY2018  and beyond  is $4.33  million. Based  on assumptions  that                                                              
were  used  last  year  for Senate  Bill  91,  the  department  is                                                              
projecting  an increase  to  the inmate  population  of about  286                                                              
inmates per  day, based  on a  daily marginal  rate of  $41.49 per                                                              
inmate.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:42:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY joined the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER said  he would  have  anticipated an  indeterminate                                                              
fiscal note because  the projected cost ranges from  zero to $4.33                                                              
million.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL explained  that  the  range is  based  on the  bill                                                              
providing  zero  to  2-year  terms   of  incarceration  for  three                                                              
different felony and misdemeanor charges.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER expressed  frustration that  the department  wasn't                                                              
available to provide  an explanation. He added that  if the fiscal                                                              
note were  indeterminate, that  would indicate  the cost  could be                                                              
somewhere  between zero and  $4.33 million.  As currently  written                                                              
the upper limit stands out.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said  he shares the frustration but  he doesn't want                                                              
to hold the bill any longer.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER  recapped the  chair's  statement  to rely  on  the                                                              
Finance Committee to scrutinize the numbers.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said that's  correct and he  intends to  pass along                                                              
the concerns expressed in this committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He asked Mr. Shilling to continue.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:46:21 PM                                                                                                                  
MR. SHILLING  detailed the  anticipated FY2018  fiscal impacts  by                                                            
individual policy.  He said the  class C felony policy  provides a                                                              
presumptive  range of active  incarceration of  zero to  one year.                                                              
The fiscal note  projects an increase to the  inmate population of                                                              
about  196 persons  per day  at  a cost  of up  to $2.96  million,                                                              
based on the daily marginal rate per person of $41.49.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL clarified  that the  marginal rate  is the  cost of                                                              
incarceration minus the facility charges.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHILLING  advised  that  the  policy  for  mandatory  minimum                                                              
probation term  lengths for  felony sex  offenders is  expected to                                                              
result in an  increase of 24,837 probation supervision  days. This                                                              
would increase  the daily average  probationer by 68,  which would                                                              
require  additional  resources.  He highlighted  that  the  fiscal                                                              
note does  not provide for  any additional full-time  employees to                                                              
accommodate  the increase  in  probation and  caseloads  resulting                                                              
from this policy.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The policy  whereby a second conviction  of a class  A misdemeanor                                                              
would result  in a  sentence of  zero to 60  days is projected  to                                                              
increase the inmate  population by about 73 persons  per day. This                                                              
could increase  the cost by  up to $1.1  million based on  a daily                                                              
marginal rate of $41.49.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The policy  regarding violation  of conditions  of release  allows                                                              
for a  sentence of  not more than  five days.  It is projected  to                                                              
increase  institutional  expenditures from  zero  (no persons)  to                                                              
$136,294 (nine persons)  annually, based on a  daily marginal rate                                                              
of $41.49.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The  policy  regarding theft  in  the  fourth degree  and  similar                                                              
offenses  provides  a  sentence   of  up  to  10  days  of  active                                                              
imprisonment for  a third and subsequent  offense, and up  to five                                                              
days of active  imprisonment for a second conviction.  This change                                                              
would  impact  the  inmate  population   reductions  predicted  in                                                              
passing Senate  Bill 91 and  it anticipates increasing  the inmate                                                              
population  by about eight  persons per  day. This could  increase                                                              
the  institutional  expenditures   by  zero  (no  persons)  up  to                                                              
$121,150  (eight  persons) annually,  based  on a  daily  marginal                                                              
rate of $41.49.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The  narrative  next  addresses  the five-year  lookback  for  the                                                              
purpose  of counting  prior convictions  for  class A  misdemeanor                                                              
aggravators.  It says  the department  is unable  to quantify  the                                                              
impacts of the section.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The narrative  also refers to  two aspects of  SB 54 that  are not                                                              
anticipated  to  cost money.  The  first  is the  sex  trafficking                                                              
provision  that removes  the  loophole and  seeks  to address  the                                                              
original problem  that Senate  Bill 91  attempted to address.  The                                                              
second  is the  provision that  limits  the use  of pretrial  risk                                                              
assessments  for  defendants  who   are  not  detained  in  a  DOC                                                              
facility following arrest.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:50:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  referenced  the  lookback  for  counting  prior                                                              
convictions  on page  3, paragraph  2, and asked  if he  discussed                                                              
the  potential for  the department  to return  with an  additional                                                              
request from the legislature.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHILLING  opined that it  would likely  be a reduction  if the                                                              
department could quantify the impact of the provision.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:51:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL found no further questions and solicited a motion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:52:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  moved to report  the CS for SB  54(JUD), labeled                                                              
30-LS0461\R,  from committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                              
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that without  objection, CSSB  54(JUD) is                                                              
reported from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:52:32 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                   HB  77-2017 REVISOR'S BILL                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:55:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COGHILL  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                              
consideration of HB 77.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:56:26 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA  KIRSCH,   Assistant  Revisor,  Legislative   Legal  Counsel,                                                              
Legislative  Legal Services, Legislative  Affairs Agency,  advised                                                              
that   the  revisor's   bill   is   an  opportunity   to   correct                                                              
deficiencies,   conflicts,   and   obsolete  provisions   in   the                                                              
statutes.  She  described it  as  a  "housekeeping" bill  that  is                                                              
presented  to the  legislature  to review  and  determine that  it                                                              
changes nothing of a substantive nature.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She  explained  that  the  bill has:  six  sections  that  delete,                                                              
repeal, or  update obsolete provisions;  22 sections  that correct                                                              
errors or  oversights; and 32 sections  that improve the  form and                                                              
substance  of  the  law.  There are  also  several  sections  that                                                              
remove the words  "but not limited to." AS 01.10.040(b)  says that                                                              
using  the words  "including" or  "includes" also  means "but  not                                                              
limited  to." It's  a global  provision  in Title  1 that  applies                                                              
throughout  the  Alaska  statutes  unless  stated  otherwise.  She                                                              
asked how the chair would like her to proceed.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:59:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL related  that he reads revisor bills  looking to see                                                              
that  state statutes  match  federal code  updates  and to  ensure                                                              
that   individuals  are   properly  referenced.   He  asked   what                                                              
amendment was passed on House floor.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.   KIRSCH  said   the  floor   amendment  was   to  remove   AS                                                              
47.07.900(14)  from the repealer  Section 60  in version O.  It is                                                              
an orphaned  definition for  the term "nurse  midwife" that  is no                                                              
longer used and was repealed in 2016.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said  he would like to give members  time to look at                                                              
the bill  before getting  any further  committee review.  He asked                                                              
if anything in the bill comes close to a policy call.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH answered  no; her office tries to  avoid policy matters                                                              
within a revisor bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:03:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER asked  if there would  be public  testimony  on the                                                              
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL answered no.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO asked  for an  explanation of  the process  that                                                              
results in a revisor's bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KIRSCH explained  that  the drafting  attorneys  are given  a                                                              
title  or  two  to  review  and report  to  the  revisors  who  do                                                              
research of the  session laws to tease out whether  it is a change                                                              
that  can  be done  in  the  context  of a  revisor's  bill.  That                                                              
information   is  compiled   with   information   that  comes   in                                                              
throughout   the  year   from   other  branches   of   government,                                                              
legislators, the publisher, and practitioners.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:07:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL held HB 77 in committee for further review.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         HB 104-REPEAL COLLECTION OF CIVIL LITIG. INFO                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:08:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration of HB 104.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:08:52 PM                                                                                                                    
LIZZIE  KUBITZ, Staff,  Representative Matt  Claman, Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature,  introduced   HB  104  on  behalf  of   the  sponsor,                                                              
speaking to the following prepared statement:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     House  Bill  104  eliminates   the  automatic  reporting                                                                   
     information  about  civil   case  settlements  currently                                                                   
     required  by law.  The bill  follows the  advice of  the                                                                   
     Alaska  Judicial  Council,  which has  recommended  that                                                                   
     the legislature eliminate this requirement.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     To  give some  historical context:  In 1997,  responding                                                                   
     to public interest   in tort reform and the  work of the                                                                   
     Governor's  Advisory Task  Force on  Civil Justice,  the                                                                   
     legislature  passed tort  reform  legislation. One  part                                                                   
     of  the  legislation  responded   to  the  Task  Force's                                                                   
     recommendation that  the Alaska Judicial  Council report                                                                   
     on closed civil  cases, using data from  forms completed                                                                   
     by  attorneys  and parties  in  the cases.  Since  then,                                                                   
     pursuant   to   statute,  the   Judicial   Council   has                                                                   
     collected data  provided by attorneys and  litigants and                                                                   
     has  produced three  reports. However,  much more  often                                                                   
     than  not,  attorneys  and   litigants  have  failed  to                                                                   
     comply with the reporting requirement.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In its most  recent report from November  2011, included                                                                   
     in  your  bill  packets,  the  Alaska  Judicial  Council                                                                   
     reports that  from January  2001 through December  2010,                                                                   
     88,873 cases  were resolved  in the Alaska Court  system                                                                   
     that   were  subject  to   the  reporting   requirement.                                                                   
     Because  each  case  had  at   least  two  parties,  the                                                                   
     Council should  have received  177,746 or more  reports.                                                                   
     However,  the  Council  only  received  23,257  reports.                                                                   
     This   represents   13   percent    of   the   Council's                                                                   
     conservative  estimate  of  the  number  of  reports  it                                                                   
     should have received.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  low rate  of reporting  is the  reason the  Council                                                                   
     has not  issued a report  since 2011. An analysis  based                                                                   
     on 13  percent of potentially  available data  would not                                                                   
     be  reliable.  Eliminating   the  requirement  has  also                                                                   
     received  support from  attorneys  and civil  litigants,                                                                   
     as the  reporting requirement  is onerous for  those who                                                                   
     follow it and unenforceable for those who don't.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The  Alaska Judicial  Council  lacks  the authority  and                                                                   
     resources to  enforce this outdated requirement  and the                                                                   
     Council renews  its recommendation that  the legislature                                                                   
     eliminate it.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KUBITZ offered  to provide  a sectional  analysis, and  noted                                                              
that  Suzanne  DiPietro  from  The  Alaska  Judicial  Council  was                                                              
available to answer questions.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  for  an explanation  of  "outdated" in  this                                                              
context.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KUBITZ offered  her understanding that the  Judicial Council's                                                              
efforts  to  encourage  reporting achieved  limited  success.  She                                                              
deferred further explanation to Ms. DiPietro.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  Ms. DiPietro  to answer  the first  question                                                              
and whether there is value in maintaining the requirement.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:12:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SUZANNE  DIPIETRO, Executive  Director,  Alaska Judicial  Council,                                                              
Anchorage,  Alaska, opined  that the information  on closed  civil                                                              
cases  is  no  longer  of great  value  to  the  legislature.  The                                                              
purpose  for  collecting   the  information  was   to  inform  the                                                              
legislature  about the  effect of  tort reform  and those  effects                                                              
are  well  established.  The Judicial  Council  does  not  receive                                                              
requests about the  data it collects and its  efforts to encourage                                                              
reporting  initially were  resource intensive  and never  achieved                                                              
anything close to 100 percent.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  voiced support  for the bill.  He asked  Ms. Kubitz                                                              
to go through the sectional analysis.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:15:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KUBITZ provided the following sectional analysis for HB 104:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section  1.  Repeals  Rule  41(a)(3),  Alaska  Rules  of                                                                 
     Civil  Procedure  and  Rules  511 (c)  and  (e),  Alaska                                                                   
     Rules of Appellate Procedure.                                                                                              
     Section   2.   Repeals   AS   09.68.130,   relating   to                                                                 
     collection  of  settlement  information  by  the  Alaska                                                                   
     Judicial Council.                                                                                                          
     Section 3. Provides  that the Act will only  take effect                                                                 
     if sec.  1 of the Act  receives the two-thirds  majority                                                                   
     vote  required  by  the Constitution  of  the  State  of                                                                   
     Alaska for a court rule change.                                                                                            
     Section  4.  Provides  that  the Act  will  take  effect                                                                 
     immediately  if  it  receives  the  two-thirds  majority                                                                   
     vote under sec. 3 of the Act.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. KUBITZ said  copies of the referenced Court  Rules and Statute                                                              
are included in the bill packets.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:16:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER asked why the bill didn't pass in previous years.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  opined that it was  a matter of timing  and perhaps                                                              
personality.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked what will  happen to the reports  that the                                                              
Judicial Council has received.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. DIPIETRO  explained that once  the data is transferred  to the                                                              
database   the  paper   documents   are  disposed   of   correctly                                                              
considering  that  they  are confidential  documents.  Should  the                                                              
bill  pass, any  documents that  have  not been  entered into  the                                                              
database  would  be destroyed.  The  information  already  entered                                                              
will remain in the database.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:18:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL held  HB 104 in committee for  further consideration                                                              
with public testimony open.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:18:40 PM                                                                                                                    
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
Chair Coghill  adjourned the  Senate Judiciary Standing  Committee                                                              
meeting at 2:18 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 77 - Sectional Summary.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 - Backup Document.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 104 - Additional Document - Civil Case Form.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Additional Document - AS 09.68.130.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Additional Document - Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 41 (a)(3).pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Additional Document - Rules of Appellate Procedure 511 (c) and (e).pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Supporting Document - Alaska Civil Case Data 1999-2000.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Supporting Document - Alaska Civil Case Data 2001-2010.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Supporting Document - Letter Kenneth Jacobus.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 104 - Supporting Document - Letter Michael Schneider.pdf SJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104