Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/02/2018 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:33:09 PM Start
01:35:34 PM SJR14
02:06:59 PM Confirmation Hearing(s): Select Committee on Legislative Ethics
02:11:36 PM HB312
02:43:28 PM SB148
02:45:04 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Appointee: TELECONFERENCED
Dennis "Skip" Cook, Select Committee on
Legislative Ethics
*+ SJR 14 CONST. AM: PARENTAL CONSENT TO ABORTION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 312 CRIMES AGAINST MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 148 BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR POLICE & TRAINING TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 148 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 2, 2018                                                                                          
                           1:33 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                        
Dennis E. "Skip" Cook                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14                                                                                                  
Proposing  an  amendment to  the  Constitution  of the  State  of                                                               
Alaska relating  to notice  and consent  before termination  of a                                                               
minor's pregnancy.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 312                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to arrest without a warrant for  assault in the                                                               
fourth  degree at  a health  care  facility; and  relating to  an                                                               
aggravating factor at  sentencing for a felony  offense against a                                                               
medical professional at a health care facility."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 148                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating  to  powers of  the  Alaska  Police  Standards                                                               
Council;  and  relating to  background  checks  for admission  to                                                               
police training programs and certification as a police officer."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 148 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SJR 14                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONST. AM: PARENTAL CONSENT TO ABORTION                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) OLSON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/19/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/18       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/02/18       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 312                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CRIMES AGAINST MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CLAMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/26/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/26/18       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/05/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/05/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/05/18       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/07/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/07/18       (H)       Moved HB 312 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/07/18       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/09/18       (H)       JUD RPT 4DP 3AM                                                                                        
02/09/18       (H)       DP:   KOPP,    KREISS-TOMKINS,   STUTES,                                                               
                         CLAMAN                                                                                                 
02/09/18       (H)       AM: EASTMAN, LEDOUX, REINBOLD                                                                          
02/16/18       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/16/18       (H)       VERSION: HB 312                                                                                        
02/19/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/18       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/02/18       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 148                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR POLICE & TRAINING                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/18/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/18       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/08/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/08/18       (S)       Moved SB 148 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/08/18       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/09/18       (S)       STA RPT  3DP 2NR                                                                                       
02/09/18       (S)       DP: MEYER, GIESSEL, EGAN                                                                               
02/09/18       (S)       NR: WILSON, COGHILL                                                                                    
02/26/18       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/26/18       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/26/18       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/26/18       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/02/18       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONNY OLSON                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SJR 14.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JIM PUCKETT, Staff                                                                                                              
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided details related to SJR 14 on behalf                                                              
of the sponsor.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS E. "Skip" Cook, Appointee                                                                                                
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Select                                                                      
Committee on Legislative Ethics.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK KOPP                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 312.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MATT CLAMAN                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 312.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LIZZY KUBITZ, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided a sectional analysis for HB 312.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BECKY HULTBERG, President/CEO                                                                                                   
Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in strong support of HB 312.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:33:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  JOHN   COGHILL  called   the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:33  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Costello,  Wielechowski,  Kelly, and  Chair                                                               
Coghill.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
         SJR 14-CONST. AM: PARENTAL CONSENT TO ABORTION                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration of SJR 14.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:36:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DONNY  OLSON, Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
sponsor  of  SJR  14,  provided  a  summary  of  the  legislation                                                               
speaking to the following sponsor statement:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Parents alone have the sole  duty and responsibility of                                                                    
     raising their children,  providing for their education,                                                                    
     sustenance,   and   spiritual  wellbeing.   Any   legal                                                                    
     provision, guideline, statute,  or ordinance infringing                                                                    
     upon that  fundamental principle  and right  of parents                                                                    
     should be changed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Senate  Joint Resolution  14 proposes  an amendment  to                                                                    
     the   Alaska  Constitution   creating  a   new  section                                                                    
     allowing  the legislature  OR  the  people through  the                                                                    
     initiative  process  to  have  the  option  to  require                                                                    
     notice to  and the consent  of the parent or  the legal                                                                    
     guardian  of a  minor before  the minor's  pregnancy is                                                                    
     terminated.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     It   is  a   well-established  principle   that  before                                                                    
     treating  a patient,  a physician  or other  healthcare                                                                    
     provider must obtain the consent  of that patient. This                                                                    
     proposition  becomes less  clear  when treating  minors                                                                    
     and  physicians are  often faced  with the  question of                                                                    
     just  who  may  consent  to treatment  and  under  what                                                                    
     circumstances?  This  resolution  is a  first  step  to                                                                    
     clarify this vital issue.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON advised  that  the resolution  is  the first  step                                                               
toward putting  the question of amending  the Alaska Constitution                                                               
for this specific purpose before  the voters. He cited Article I,                                                               
Section  2  as  the  authorizing authority.  He  noted  that  the                                                               
resolution   is  a   response  to   the  2010   [Alaska  Parental                                                               
Notification  Initiative] that  the Alaska  Supreme Court  struck                                                               
down.  He emphasized  that  political power  is  inherent in  the                                                               
people,  not  the five  judges  that  everyone  looks up  to  and                                                               
greatly respects.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:43:37 PM                                                                                                                    
JIM   PUCKETT,  Staff,   Senator   Donny   Olson,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,  stated that  SJR 14  provides that                                                               
Article I, Constitution of the  State of Alaska, would be amended                                                               
by  adding a  new Section  26 titled  "Notice and  Consent before                                                               
Termination  of   Minor's  Pregnancy.   This  section   could  be                                                               
implemented by  the legislature or  by initiative.  The amendment                                                               
proposed by the  resolution would be placed before  the voters at                                                               
the next general election.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:44:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked what happens  in the circumstance of a                                                               
child who is a ward of the state.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT  replied it could  be handled  the same way  that the                                                               
state  currently  handles  the  situation of  a  pregnant  foster                                                               
child, although he did not know what that was.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL pointed  out that the resolution  provides that the                                                               
section would be implemented by law.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked how the resolution defines a minor.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT said the state defines a  minor as a person age 18 or                                                               
younger.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if a  married 17-year-old  would need                                                               
parental consent to obtain an abortion.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT replied  that will be addressed  should the amendment                                                               
be put in place.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON offered  his  understanding that  a  minor who  is                                                               
married would be emancipated.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL added that a 16-year-old can be emancipated.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said he was  trying to frame the extent that                                                               
a parent has rights over their  minor child's body. He asked if a                                                               
parent could force their 15-year-old child to have an abortion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT  replied, "We're  dealing with  the consent,  not the                                                               
parents forcing them to do something."  He added that in school a                                                               
parent must  consent to  their child seeing  the school  nurse or                                                               
going on a field trip.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO  recalled a  proposition that  said a  child who                                                               
was  pregnant and  could not  go  to their  parents could  appear                                                               
before a judge.  She asked if the legislature would  need to work                                                               
out the details, should this pass.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:49:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PUCKETT  said Ballot  Measure 2  allowed the  minor to  go to                                                               
court  to authorize  an  abortion without  giving  notice to  the                                                               
parent or  guardian. It  also made  it a felony  for a  doctor to                                                               
notify the parents of the minor's intent to have an abortion.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL added  that  the issue  of  judicial bypass  could                                                               
again be up for debate should  this question get to the people of                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO  asked  if the  legislature  would  handle  the                                                               
regulatory details if the constitution is changed.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  replied that  is his  understanding, but  he would                                                               
prefer to  delay any  discussion of the  details until  after the                                                               
people have spoken about what they want in the constitution.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked the  intent  regarding  the type  of                                                               
notice and  consent. Is the notice  verbal or written and  is the                                                               
consent from the parent to the child and the doctor?                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT said those details would  be worked out later, but it                                                               
seems reasonable that the consent would be written.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  a  doctor  would be  subject  to                                                               
criminal  penalties  if  he/she  performed  an  abortion  without                                                               
parental consent.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUCKETT replied  that  detail  would be  worked  out in  the                                                               
future.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:52:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KELLY   pointed  out  that   the  resolution   says  the                                                               
legislature  shall  implement the  section  by  law in  a  manner                                                               
consistent with  the requirements  of the U.S.  Constitution. The                                                               
details are left to the legislature to work out.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT  agreed and read  the legislative oath of  office. He                                                               
said legislators  will take care of  the details that arise  as a                                                               
result in the change to the constitution.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY it's also important  for the legislature to realize                                                               
that  the constitutional  amendment regarding  privacy also  says                                                               
that the  legislature shall  implement this by  law and  that has                                                               
mostly been ignored by the courts.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT said  the sponsor's intent is for the  people to have                                                               
an opportunity to make their will very clear.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:54:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI disagreed  that  all the  details would  be                                                               
decided by the  legislature in the future. He  said he interprets                                                               
the entire  first sentence as  a fundamental change in  the state                                                               
constitution. Thus,  the legislative  history on what  is notice,                                                               
what is consent, who is a legal  guardian, and what is a minor is                                                               
very  relevant and  will override  the second  sentence. He  said                                                               
things that  are defined in  this room are critical  because that                                                               
legislative history will inform the  court when these issues come                                                               
up in court cases, which they undoubtedly will.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He asked if a minor has  constitutional rights to decide when and                                                               
if they want to start a family.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT replied, "I believe, in  Alaska there is an age where                                                               
they can legally go get married on their own."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if a  15-year-old has parenting rights                                                               
over her child  or if that minor's parents  have parenting rights                                                               
over their grandchild.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL suggested the sponsor respond.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:57:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON said he didn't have  answers to all the details. He                                                               
wants the  people of  Alaska to  decide if  they want  parents to                                                               
consent to this surgical procedure.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said  he wanted the sponsor to hear  the first line                                                               
of questions  so he could begin  to think about the  language and                                                               
how  it  might  be  challenged.  The  questions  are  appropriate                                                               
because  the  definitions are  something  that  will need  to  be                                                               
fleshed out. He  said he generally agrees that  the people should                                                               
reinforce what the legislature is trying to define.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He asked  Senator Wielechowski  if he had  anything more  for the                                                               
committee and sponsor to consider.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:59:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  questioned  whether this  should  just  be                                                               
limited  to the  termination of  pregnancy. If  not, he  asked if                                                               
Section I should  say that notice and consent  is required before                                                               
any medical procedure is done.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT replied, "It's already  a reality that just about any                                                               
other type of medical procedure that  needs to be done on a minor                                                               
needs consent from a parent."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   replied  that   is  false   and  directed                                                               
attention to AS 25.20.025.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUCKETT named  abortion, treatment  of sexually  transmitted                                                               
disease and noted there is a third item.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI read  paragraph (1)  and part  of paragraph                                                               
(2) of Sec.  25.20.025(a). He questioned saying a  minor must get                                                               
consent  to terminate  a pregnancy,  but not  for anything  else,                                                               
including major surgery.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUCKETT said  he stands corrected; he didn't  think about the                                                               
exceptions  in  current law.  He  asked  Senator Wielechowski  to                                                               
restate the original question.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked the  reasoning for singling  out this                                                               
one medical situation.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:01:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY  said the  answer is that  the courts  have singled                                                               
out abortion as  having special rights to the  point that parents                                                               
do not  have rights.  In other situations,  the courts  have been                                                               
fairly reasonable about requiring the  consent of the parent. The                                                               
resolution  seeks to  put  abortion on  that  reasonable list  of                                                               
things to which parents should give consent.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked the sponsor to  do a little research  on the                                                               
areas where  there is an  exception to the parental  consent rule                                                               
and the  litigation that  followed Roe  v. Wade.  The idea  is to                                                               
understand  the  line  of thinking  that  makes  this  resolution                                                               
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said he understands that  Roe v. Wade is the law of                                                               
the land  and SJR 14  is not an attack  on that. He  continued to                                                               
say:                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     This is  the idea that I  as a parent who  has children                                                                    
     that are  younger girls    but more importantly  that I                                                                    
     as an  Alaskan, whether I'm  in the legislature  or not                                                                    
     in the legislature,  have got the ability  to make sure                                                                    
     that  if a  majority of  us have  an idea  and we  want                                                                    
     something   done,  that   there  is   a  constitutional                                                                    
     protection that if we vote  a certain way, we want this                                                                    
     done this  way that the  courts don't have  the ability                                                                    
     to overturn it.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     We've got  a five-judge panel  out there, many  of whom                                                                    
     aren't  even   from  the  state  of   Alaska  that  are                                                                    
     overturning what people from  the state of Alaska voted                                                                    
     on.  And  that's what  I'm  trying  to do.  That's  the                                                                    
     bottom line of  what I want to say. Is  if we've got an                                                                    
     initiative that passes, I want  that listened to and if                                                                    
     that's   being   overturned   then   a   constitutional                                                                    
     amendment  needs to  be drawn  up and  that's why  I've                                                                    
     drawn it.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY  said most  of the  things like  what is  a parent,                                                               
what is  a minor, and  what are  the circumstances under  which a                                                               
parent has  control are  defined in statute  and work  quite well                                                               
until it comes to abortion. The courts treat that differently.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said he asked  the sponsor for the  information so                                                               
there would be a good  record. Because "termination of pregnancy"                                                               
has  been highly  litigated through  the years,  it is  important                                                               
that each  word and the  intent is  clear going forward.  He said                                                               
that's  what Senator  Wielechowski is  getting to  and he  agrees                                                               
with that point.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  thanked the sponsor  and held SJR 14  in committee                                                               
for future consideration.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearing(s): Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                 
             Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
2:06:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  announced the confirmation  hearing for  Skip Cook                                                               
for reappointment to the Select  Committee on Legislative Ethics.                                                               
He asked  Mr. Cook to  tell the  committee about his  interest in                                                               
being reappointed to the ethics committee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:07:47 PM                                                                                                                    
DENNIS   E.  "SKIP"   COOK,   Appointee,   Select  Committee   on                                                               
Legislative Ethics,  Fairbanks, Alaska, advised that  he's served                                                               
on the ethics  committee since 1997 and has  found this important                                                               
work to be both challenging  and interesting. He opined that it's                                                               
helpful to  have some continuity.  If confirmed he would  like to                                                               
serve another term and provide that experience.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL said  he's enjoyed  working with  Mr. Cook  on the                                                               
ethics committee. He brings a  solid and reasonable voice as well                                                               
as an historical perspective. He found no questions or comments.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:10:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  stated that the  Judiciary Committee  reviewed the                                                               
following and recommends  the following name be  forwarded to the                                                               
Senate floor  for ratification:  Select Committee  on Legislative                                                               
Ethics  - Dennis  E. "Skip"  Cook. He  reminded members  that for                                                               
this committee the vote is on the individual.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          HB 312-CRIMES AGAINST MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:11:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration of HB 312.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:12:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CHUCK  KOPP,  Alaska State  Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor of  HB 312, explained that  he and Representative                                                               
Claman were each contacted by  the Alaska Nurses Association, the                                                               
Alaska   Hospital   Nurses   Association,  and   emergency   room                                                               
physicians  with  requests  for  help with  the  rising  tide  of                                                               
violence in health care facilities.  He and Representative Claman                                                               
each  had legislation  drafted and  subsequently decided  to work                                                               
together.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:13:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MATT CLAMAN,  Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor of  HB 312, said he was in  the Anchorage LIO and                                                               
would let Representative Kopp take the lead introducing HB 312.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP said  things  have  changed dramatically  in                                                               
emergency rooms  and health care  facilities generally  since the                                                               
opioid crisis hit. They have  become trauma zones for staff. It's                                                               
not just from people presenting  for treatment, but also visitors                                                               
and  family accompanying  them. Some  of the  violence is  opioid                                                               
driven and  some is behavioral  health issues. Regardless  of the                                                               
reason,  health  care staff  are  not  combat medics  trained  to                                                               
survive  in  high-threat  environments.   They  are  health  care                                                               
professionals  who traditionally  treat people  in very  safe and                                                               
secure environments. It's  come to the point where  the law needs                                                               
to address the situation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
House  Bill 312  addresses the  issue by  allowing a  warrantless                                                               
arrest for a  fourth-degree misdemeanor assault in  a health care                                                               
facility. The  perpetrator can  be removed  from the  facility if                                                               
they are stable  for discharge. If probable  cause is established                                                               
after interviewing  witnesses, the responding officer  can make a                                                               
misdemeanor  arrest. The  bill  also adds  an  aggravator to  the                                                               
felony assault statute when the  assault is knowingly perpetrated                                                               
against a medical professional who  is working. He noted that the                                                               
packets  contain   letters  of  endorsement  from   nearly  every                                                               
hospital in the state.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:21:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  asked for confirmation  that a health  care worker                                                               
who witnesses an  assault could be a party to  a lawsuit that may                                                               
arise.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  said  that's correct;  the  probable  cause                                                               
would be  based on  their witness  statement so  they would  be a                                                               
party to any civil or criminal action.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said he brought  it up because the  assault occurs                                                               
within a health care facility and that becomes an issue.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP   said  the  health  care   facility  is  an                                                               
important issue  because it  is a sacred  space for  every worker                                                               
and patient.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:23:33 PM                                                                                                                    
LIZZY  KUBITZ, Staff,  Representative Matt  Claman, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature Juneau,  Alaska, paraphrased the  following sectional                                                               
analysis for HB 312:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1                                                                                                              
        [Amends] AS 12.25.030(b) - Grounds for arrest by                                                                        
     private person or peace officer without a warrant.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Establishes that  a peace officer  may arrest  a person                                                                    
     without a  warrant when the peace  officer has probable                                                                    
     cause for  believing that the  person has  committed an                                                                    
     assault in the fourth degree  at a health care facility                                                                    
     and  the person  was not  seeking medical  treatment at                                                                    
     the facility or was stable for discharge.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The term "stable for discharge"  comes from the federal                                                                    
     Emergency Medical  Treatment and Labor Act,  also known                                                                    
     as  EMTALA.   EMTALA  requires  anyone  coming   to  an                                                                    
     emergency   department  be   stabilized  and   treated,                                                                    
     regardless  of their  insurance  status  or ability  to                                                                    
     pay.  The federal  government has  published guidelines                                                                    
     that  describes the  responsibilities  of hospitals  in                                                                    
     emergency cases.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The  guidelines  provide:   "a  patient  is  considered                                                                    
     stable for  discharge?when, within  reasonable clinical                                                                    
     confidence,  it  is  determined that  the  patient  has                                                                    
     reached  the   point  where  his/her   continued  care,                                                                    
     including  diagnostic work-up  and/or treatment,  could                                                                    
     be reasonably  performed as an  outpatient or  later as                                                                    
     an inpatient, provided the patient  is given a plan for                                                                    
     appropriate   follow-up   care   with   the   discharge                                                                    
     instructions." In  addition, "? 'Stable  for discharge'                                                                    
     does not require the final  resolution of the emergency                                                                    
     medical condition."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2                                                                                                              
     [Amends] AS  12.25.030 - Grounds for  arrest by private                                                                    
     person or peace officer without a warrant.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Establishes  that  the   definition  for  "health  care                                                                    
     facility" has the meaning given in AS 18.07.111.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3                                                                                                              
     [Amends] AS  12.55.155(c) - Factors in  aggravation and                                                                    
     mitigation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Adds an  aggravator to Alaska's felony  assault statute                                                                    
     when  a defendant  committed the  offense  at a  health                                                                    
     care  facility  and   knowingly  directed  the  conduct                                                                    
     constituting  the  offense  at a  medical  professional                                                                    
     during  or   because  of  the   medical  professional's                                                                    
     exercise of professional duties.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4                                                                                                              
     Uncodified law                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     This section contains applicability provisions.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked for the definition of health care facility.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP read  the definition  in AS  18.07.111(8)(A)                                                               
and (B).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said  he wanted that exact  definition brought into                                                               
the open.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   COSTELLO    asked   if   a   warrantless    arrest   is                                                               
constitutional.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP said  the legislature  has the  authority to                                                               
place exceptions  in the law.  The arrest warrant  requirement in                                                               
the Fourth Amendment  is the law of the land  but the courts have                                                               
given state  legislatures the  authority to  implement that  in a                                                               
reasonable manner. The current exceptions  are crimes relating to                                                               
domestic violence.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  advised  that  Title  47  holds  are  allowed  in                                                               
circumstances of life and safety.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  added that  both the Alaska  Supreme Court                                                               
and  the  U.S.   Supreme  Court  have  addressed   the  topic  of                                                               
exceptions  to   the  warrant  requirement  in   the  context  of                                                               
misdemeanors.   The  courts   have  typically   found  that   the                                                               
legislature  has the  authority to  craft narrow  exceptions when                                                               
there  are good  legislative findings.  HB 312  was crafted  with                                                               
that case law in mind; the exception is narrow.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:31:34 PM                                                                                                                    
BECKY HULTBERG, President/CEO, Alaska  State Hospital and Nursing                                                               
Home Association,  Anchorage, Alaska, said she  was testifying on                                                               
behalf of  Alaska's hospitals and  skilled nursing  facilities to                                                               
express  strong support  for  HB  312. It  gives  police and  the                                                               
judicial  system new  tools to  address violence  in health  care                                                               
facilities. She said hospitals are  sacred places and they should                                                               
also be safe places. Unfortunately,  as violence has increased in                                                               
some  communities, it  has spilled  over into  hospitals. In  the                                                               
last  year  hospitals  have reported  an  increase  in  workplace                                                               
violence  and  staff  report feeling  unsafe  in  the  workplace.                                                               
Violence should  not be  an acceptable  workplace hazard  but for                                                               
many health  care workers  it has become  normal. There  are many                                                               
contributing factors  to the increase in  violence, including the                                                               
opioid crisis  and a shortage  of psychiatric and detox  beds. As                                                               
employers,  hospitals have  an  obligation  to address  workplace                                                               
violence and they  are working to ensure that plans  are in place                                                               
to prevent, identify, and de-escalate  violence before the police                                                               
need  to be  involved. Because  workplace violence  is a  complex                                                               
problem with many  causes, it will require  multiple solutions to                                                               
address. HB 312 is one of those tools.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HULTBERG  said  hospitals clearly  understand  the  need  to                                                               
differentiate between  an intentional and  unintentional assault.                                                               
Reporting an assault by a  patient is not something caregivers do                                                               
lightly. But  hospitals do report  that when health  care workers                                                               
call the police to report  an assault, the police sometimes leave                                                               
the individual  at the  hospital rather  than arresting  them. HB                                                               
312 gives  police new tools  to arrest for fourth  degree assault                                                               
without  a   warrant.  Hospitals   address  violence   daily  and                                                               
understand the needs of vulnerable  populations. The intent of HB                                                               
312  is not  to  penalize  those who  need  behavioral health  or                                                               
substance abuse treatment. In fact,  it is carefully designed not                                                               
to  do that.  It  is intended  to give  police  and the  judicial                                                               
system  additional   tools  in  dealing  with   serious  physical                                                               
violence  when   it  is  creating   an  unsafe   environment  for                                                               
caregivers  and  patients. The  legislation  is  also clear  that                                                               
patients  that need  medical treatment  belong  in the  hospital.                                                               
Hospitals understand that obligation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HULTBERG  stressed that hospitals  cannot bear the  burden of                                                               
community violence much longer.  Caregivers need help and passing                                                               
HB 312 tells everyone that  violence in health care facilities is                                                               
not acceptable. She encouraged the  committee to act favorably on                                                               
the legislation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  which  hospital  departments are  primarily                                                               
affected by workplace violence.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HULTBERG said  a significant  amount of  the violence  takes                                                               
place  in the  emergency room,  but  labor and  delivery and  the                                                               
general medical floors can also be very volatile.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:38:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL  found  no  questions. He  asked  if  Pioneer  and                                                               
Veteran Homes have been part of the discussion.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP said  those are  primarily residential,  not                                                               
health care  facilities. They weren't intentionally  excluded but                                                               
staff haven't  reported problems in those  facilities. Similarly,                                                               
private physician offices  didn't seem to have the  same level of                                                               
problem as  in hospitals,  but there wasn't  an overt  attempt to                                                               
exclude them.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  directed attention  to the new  language on                                                               
page 2, lines  16-17, regarding violating AS  11.41.230. He asked                                                               
if  this  includes  the  sidewalk and  parking  lot  outside  the                                                               
facility.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  said he would  defer to the  definition, but                                                               
his guess  is it  may apply  to the campus,  not just  within any                                                               
four walls on the campus.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN   said    he   agrees   with   everything                                                               
Representative Kopp said.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI stated that he  would interpret this to mean                                                               
within the four walls the  health care facility plus the sidewalk                                                               
and  the  parking   lot.  "That's  my  intent   in  passing  this                                                               
legislation."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  said he didn't  know that anyone on  the committee                                                               
would disagree.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP thanked the committee for hearing the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:43:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL held HB 312 in committee for future consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
         SB 148-BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR POLICE & TRAINING                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:43:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL   announced  the  consideration  of   SB  148.  He                                                               
summarized the  intent of the  bill for Senator  Wielechowski and                                                               
asked if he had any questions.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  said  he  didn't have  any  questions  and                                                               
wouldn't object to moving the bill.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:44:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  moved  to  report  SB  148,  version  A,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:44:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  that without  objection,  SB 148  moved                                                               
from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:45:04 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Coghill adjourned the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                 
meeting at 2:45 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 312 - Sectional Summary (ver. O).pdf SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 312
HB 312 - Letters of Support #1.pdf SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 312
HB 312 - Letters of Support #2.pdf SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 312
HB 312 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 312
HB 312 - Supporting Document - Stable for Discharge Definition.pdf SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 312
HB 312 - Letter of Opposition.pdf SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 312
SJR 14 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
SJR 14
SJR 14 - Version A.PDF SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
SJR 14
Skip Cook Resume.pdf SJUD 3/2/2018 1:30:00 PM