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
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                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     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                                                                                                           
                      Confirmation Hearing                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
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