Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

04/05/2022 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 188 CRIM PROCEDURE; CHANGE OF NAME TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
*+ SB 221 CHANGING RPL PROCESS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
*+ SB 194 ALLOW ELECTRONIC DRIVERS' LICENSES AND ID TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 5, 2022                                                                                          
                           3:40 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mike Shower, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Roger Holland                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 188                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  criminal law and  procedure; relating  to a                                                               
petition for  a change of  name for certain persons;  relating to                                                               
procedures  for  bail;  relating to  consecutive  sentencing  for                                                               
violation  of  condition of  release;  relating  to the  duty  to                                                               
register as  a sex offender;  amending Rules 6(r) and  47, Alaska                                                               
Rules   of  Criminal   Procedure;   amending   Rule  12,   Alaska                                                               
Delinquency  Rules;  amending  Rule  84, Alaska  Rules  of  Civil                                                               
Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 221                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating to  appropriations  of  federal receipts;  and                                                               
relating to an  increase of an appropriation  based on additional                                                               
federal receipts."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 194                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to electronic  identification cards; relating to                                                               
electronic  drivers'  licenses  and permits;  relating  to  motor                                                               
vehicle  liability  insurance;  and providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 188                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CRIM PROCEDURE; CHANGE OF NAME                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/15/22       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/15/22       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/31/22       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/31/22       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/31/22       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/05/22       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 221                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CHANGING RPL PROCESS                                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
02/22/22       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/22       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/05/22       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOHN SKIDMORE, Deputy Attorney General                                                                                          
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided supporting testimony on SB 188 on                                                                
behalf of the administration.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel                                                                                                    
Office of the Administrative Director                                                                                           
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Articulated concerns the Court System has                                                                 
with SB 188.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE HUTCHINSON, representing self                                                                                         
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to SB 188.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
QUEEN A. PARKER, representing self                                                                                              
Sterling, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Recounted the duties of the grand jury                                                                    
during the hearing on SB 188.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL GARVEY, Advocacy Director                                                                                               
American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Voiced serious  concerns about SB 188 eroding                                                             
the due process rights of  criminal defendants and others who are                                                               
erroneously convicted of crimes.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JOAN CORR, representing self                                                                                                    
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to SB 188.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS, representing self                                                                                                   
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Raised concerns about SB 188.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES MCKEE, representing self                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified off topic  during the hearing on SB
188.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BILL WIELECHOWSKI, Alaska State Legislature                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 221.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SONJA KAWASAKI, Staff                                                                                                           
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SB 221, version  I, and presented                                                             
the sectional analysis on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:40:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MIKE  SHOWER  called the  Senate  State  Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:40  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were  Senators  Holland,  Reinbold,  Costello,  and  Chair                                                               
Shower.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
              SB 188-CRIM PROCEDURE; CHANGE OF NAME                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:40:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER announced  the consideration of SENATE  BILL NO. 188                                                               
"An Act  relating to  criminal law and  procedure; relating  to a                                                               
petition for  a change of  name for certain persons;  relating to                                                               
procedures  for  bail;  relating to  consecutive  sentencing  for                                                               
violation  of  condition of  release;  relating  to the  duty  to                                                               
register as  a sex offender;  amending Rules 6(r) and  47, Alaska                                                               
Rules   of  Criminal   Procedure;   amending   Rule  12,   Alaska                                                               
Delinquency  Rules;  amending  Rule  84, Alaska  Rules  of  Civil                                                               
Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:41:10 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  SKIDMORE,  Deputy   Attorney  General,  Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department of  Law, Anchorage,  Alaska, stated  that SB  188 does                                                               
four primary  things to  protect victims.  He described  three of                                                               
the four points.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
   1)  Name Changes People under the control of the Department of                                                           
      Corrections  (DOC) or that must register as  a sex offender                                                               
      are  required  to  notify  DOC,  the Department  of  Public                                                               
      Safety  (DPS), and  the victims of  any name  changes. This                                                               
      addresses  the complaints  victims  have had  that changing                                                               
      one's  name can  manipulate the system  to hide on  the sex                                                               
      offender  registry  or  when their  status  changed in  the                                                               
      Department   of  Corrections.   The  court  also   has  new                                                               
      standards  to evaluate  whether or not  the name  change is                                                               
      appropriate.                                                                                                              
   2)  Bail Provisions in the bill about bail seek to address the                                                           
      significant  number of defendants who are released pretrial                                                               
      with  little or not bail. The problem is that a significant                                                               
      number   of  defendants  who  are  released  on  their  own                                                               
      recognizance   (OR),  violate  the  terms   of  their  bail                                                               
      repeatedly  and  the  courts  have  not  adjusted  bail  to                                                               
      reflect  the  additional  violations.  SB 188  proposes  to                                                               
      expand  the existing presumption that the defendant poses a                                                               
      danger  to  the  community if  they  violate conditions  of                                                               
      bail.  This  should suggest  to  the court  that it  adjust                                                               
     subsequent bail to reflect the additional violations.                                                                      
   3)  Grand Jury Mr. Skidmore described the court rule changes                                                             
      as  the most  important part  of  the bill.  First, hearsay                                                               
      would  be allowed at grand  jury. This stems  from the 2019                                                               
      case,  State v. Powell,  in which the court  indicated that                                                               
      presenting  a recorded video statement of a victim of child                                                               
      sexual   abuse  to   police  and   investigators   was  not                                                               
      admissible  at grand jury  without the child  testifying at                                                               
      grand   jury  as  well.  The  Department  of  Law  and  the                                                               
      administration's  position on this issue is that the ruling                                                               
      in  Powell  was  fundamentally contrary  to  the bill  that                                                               
      passed  in 2005  that allowed  hearsay  to be  presented in                                                               
      those   circumstances.  In   the  Powell  case   the  court                                                               
      indicated  that  it  thought  the  rule change  applied  to                                                               
      trials  and not grand jury because  one of the requirements                                                               
      it  found was  that the  victim would  be subject  to cross                                                               
      examination  and the court  found that the victim  is never                                                               
      subject  to  cross examination  at grand  jury because  the                                                               
      defendant's  counsel is  never present  at grand  jury. The                                                               
      court  further stated that if the  legislature had intended                                                               
      to  allow hearsay at grand jury, it should have amended the                                                               
      court  rules to  allow such information  at grand  jury. SB
      188  amends the court rules to allow hearsay at grand jury.                                                               
      This  protects  victims  in any  criminal  case from  being                                                               
      retraumatized.   Additionally,   this   change  will   help                                                               
      alleviate  the significant  backlog of cases  that resulted                                                               
      when  grand jury and  trial proceedings were shut  down due                                                               
      to  the global health pandemic. Research indicates that the                                                               
      federal  government and  32 states  allow hearsay  at grand                                                               
      jury.  He highlighted that when the Alaska Constitution was                                                               
      enacted,  hearsay  was  allowed at  grand  jury,  so it  is                                                               
      constitutional.  In 1973 the Alaska Supreme Court adopted a                                                               
      rule  to  prohibit  certain types  of  hearsay  and SB  188                                                               
      changes that rule.                                                                                                        
   4)  Plain-Error Rule [Mr. Skidmore did not discuss the Plain-                                                            
      Error Rule.]                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER listed the individuals  who were available to answer                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:49:08 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE,  General  Counsel,  Office  of  the  Administrative                                                               
Director,  Alaska Court  System, Anchorage,  Alaska, stated  that                                                               
while SB  188 is problematic in  a number areas, she  would focus                                                               
on just  two. First, the Court  System believes it would  be very                                                               
problematic to  implement Section 6.  The court does  not believe                                                               
it would be more efficient to  require the court to issue written                                                               
findings.  She referenced  a document  in the  bill packets  that                                                               
shows that  about 20,000  bail orders are  issued each  year, and                                                               
each of those would need to  have written reasons for each of the                                                               
findings. The number of bail  hearings has also been about 20,000                                                               
per  year. She  directed attention  to the  blank four-page  bail                                                               
order  in the  packets to  demonstrate that  there are  dozens of                                                               
things the court can order by checking different boxes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE   explained  that  when   somebody  is   arrested  and                                                               
arraigned, the  prosecutor typically seeks to  have a substantial                                                               
number of conditions imposed if  the defendant is to be released.                                                               
The  defense  attorney or  public  defender  will typically  want                                                               
fewer  restrictions  on the  defendant.  She  said she  finds  it                                                               
ironic that  SB 188  would require  the court  to make  a written                                                               
finding for everything that is  ordered when it is the prosecutor                                                               
that is  asking for most  of the conditions. She  maintained that                                                               
the reason is  generally very obvious when a box  is checked. For                                                               
example, if there is a  domestic violence condition that says the                                                               
defendant shall  not return to  a specific residence,  the reason                                                               
is clear. The  defendant presents a danger to the  person at that                                                               
residence.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE   stated  that  the   requirement  in  Section   6  is                                                               
unnecessary  and   it  would  cripple   the  Court   System.  She                                                               
highlighted  that she  had yet  to submit  a fiscal  note but  it                                                               
would be shocking, because new  judges and clerks would be needed                                                               
to handle the added work.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:53:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE said  the Court System's second concern  relates to the                                                               
criminal  court rule  changes  in the  bill.  She explained  that                                                               
there  are rules  of procedure  that let  the attorneys  or self-                                                               
represented persons  know how to  get the substantive  rights the                                                               
legislature gives  them. The  13-member Criminal  Rules Committee                                                               
meets four or five times a  year and they are experts in criminal                                                               
procedure  and are  well-qualified to  talk through  any proposed                                                               
rule changes, such as whether  the hearsay rule should be changed                                                               
as proposed  in the bill. She  said the technical changes  to the                                                               
rules proposed  in Sections 15  and 16 that redefine  plain error                                                               
are difficult to understand and  it seems that the Criminal Rules                                                               
Committee  is a  more appropriate  forum to  handle the  proposed                                                               
rule changes  than the legislature. She  said she did not  have a                                                               
view about  whether the  court rule  changes were  a good  or bad                                                               
idea or whether they were  constitutional, but she would say that                                                               
it deserves a lot of attention.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  noted that she  also included two Supreme  Court cases                                                               
in the  packets that speak to  the substance of the  hearsay rule                                                               
and  whether it  should be  allowed at  grand jury.  Although Mr.                                                               
Skidmore said  it was  not a constitutional  issue, she  said the                                                               
Wassillie   v.   State   case  has   pages   that   analyze   the                                                               
Constitutional Convention minutes and why  the grand jury rule is                                                               
important. It is considered a  protection to keep innocent people                                                               
from  being  brought   to  trial.  She  included   the  cases  to                                                               
illustrate the  complexity of the issue  and that it needs  to be                                                               
explored  in detail,  preferably by  people who  work with  court                                                               
rules daily.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  suggested that the  question about court  rule changes                                                               
could be resolved  in another way. She pointed out  that the rule                                                               
changes  proposed  in  the  bill  were  never  submitted  to  the                                                               
Criminal Rules Committee. Furthermore,  there is a fulltime court                                                               
rules attorney  whose job it is  to work with the  Criminal Rules                                                               
Committee  to put  things in  the appropriate  format and  once a                                                               
month present  to the Supreme Court  recommendations and thoughts                                                               
about rule  changes. That  did not happen  with the  rule changes                                                               
presented in the bill, but it could, she said.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:58:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHOWER asked  for an  explanation of  the process  for the                                                               
administration  to  work with  the  Criminal  Rules Committee  on                                                               
these matters.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE replied  it can  be  very simple  because anybody  can                                                               
contact the  court rules  attorney to suggest  or discuss  a rule                                                               
change.  Also, the  Department  of  Law has  two  members on  the                                                               
Criminal Rules Committee who can suggest  a rule change at any of                                                               
the meetings  and the court rules  attorney will open a  file and                                                               
it will be discuss at subsequent meetings.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER  asked  if  rule changes  can  happen  outside  the                                                               
legislative process.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  answered yes. The  Rules of Court are  procedural, not                                                               
substantive,   so  the   Supreme   Court   adopts  them   without                                                               
legislative action.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:00:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HOLLAND noted  that he  sees Wassillie  v. State  in the                                                               
documents but not the other Supreme Court case.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE said State v. Gieffels  is the 1976 case that speaks to                                                               
the protections  the grand  jury provides  and adopts  the Alaska                                                               
Bar  Association  (ABA)  standards for  how  prosecutors  present                                                               
cases to grand juries, which is basically the court rule.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER advised  that the cases were available  on BASIS but                                                               
were not printed for the bill packets.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD stated  that she always favors  efforts to speed                                                               
up the  prosecution of sexual  assault cases so  perpetrators are                                                               
put behind bars more quickly. However,  she had never seen a bill                                                               
with  so many  proposed court  rule  changes and  she would  like                                                               
further  explanation  of the  Criminal  Rules  Committee and  its                                                               
processes.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:02:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE stated that the  constitution gives the legislature the                                                               
right  to change  court rules  with a  two-thirds majority  vote.                                                               
That   typically  happens   when   the   legislature  changes   a                                                               
substantive   law  that   incidentally  changes   a  court   rule                                                               
correlated  to that  substantive law.  That is  what needs  to be                                                               
passed by a  two-thirds majority vote, and in  typically is. What                                                               
is unusual is  to have a bill such as  this that directly changes                                                               
court rules, although it is permitted by the constitution.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE explained  that the Criminal Rules Committee  is one of                                                               
nine  rule committees  that discuss  procedural rule  changes and                                                               
make  recommendations to  the Supreme  Court.  The Supreme  Court                                                               
appoints  the  members of  these  committees  according to  their                                                               
expertise.  The committees  tend to  be a  well-rounded group  of                                                               
people who discuss whether proposals  for a rule change should be                                                               
recommended to  the Supreme Court  to ultimately be adopted  as a                                                               
procedural rule.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
She noted that a prosecutor is  among the members of the Criminal                                                               
Rules Committee  and that attorney  might propose this  change to                                                               
the hearsay  rule and the committee  would talk it over  and come                                                               
up with  a recommendation.  The court  rules attorney  then takes                                                               
that  recommendation, as  well as  any  recommendations from  the                                                               
other eight  rules committees  to the  next monthly  meeting with                                                               
the  Supreme Court.  The attorney  briefs the  court on  what the                                                               
different  rules committees  discussed  and whether  or not  they                                                               
decided  to  put  forward  a recommendation  or  just  wanted  to                                                               
highlight a minority view. The  Supreme Court then has the chance                                                               
to adopt any rule changes after it goes through this process.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   REINBOLD   asked  if   there   were   members  of   the                                                               
administration that could already do  this. She also asked if the                                                               
Criminal Rules Committee  process was similar to  the process the                                                               
legislature  follows  based  on  Mason's  Manual  of  Legislative                                                               
Procedure.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  replied the rules  committees sit around  a conference                                                               
table and  discuss things in  a less formal,  more conversational                                                               
way than the legislature does.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD restated her question.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:06:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE  said two Department  of Law attorneys and  an advocate                                                               
from the Office of Victims'  Rights are members of the committee.                                                               
She said  she wasn't clear  what Senator Reinbold meant  when she                                                               
asked if the administration could do this.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD indicated her question was answered.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER  offered  his perspective  that  the  question  was                                                               
whether  those members  had the  ability to  suggest the  changes                                                               
proposed in the bill and his understanding is that they do.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE said that's correct.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD said  the second point was to  compare the court                                                               
rules  to  the  procedures  the   legislature  follows  based  on                                                               
Mason's.  It  was  an  effort  to draw  a  parallel  between  two                                                               
different branches of government.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER asked  Ms. Meade  if she  would provide  the fiscal                                                               
note because it will factor into the bill's progression.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:07:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MEADE said  she  estimated  that the  court  would need  new                                                               
judges in  each of the  10 major courts  and each judge  with law                                                               
clerks and staff costs about  $700,000 per year. There would also                                                               
be capital expense because there  aren't any courtrooms available                                                               
for  additional judges.  The  cost  would be  in  the  $7 to  $10                                                               
million range.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  summarized that the estimated  recurring cost would                                                               
be in the $7 to $10 million range  and then there would be a one-                                                               
time capital cost for facilities.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE agreed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  said he would  talk to the  members to ask  if they                                                               
wanted anything more formal at this point than the estimate.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He asked Lisa Purinton if she had any comments on the bill.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:09:15 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA  PURINTON,   Chief,  Criminal  Records   and  Identification                                                               
Bureau,  Division of  Statewide  Services,  Department of  Public                                                               
Safety, Anchorage, Alaska, said she had nothing to add.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  asked Renee  McFarland if she  had any  comments on                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
RENEE  MCFARLAND,  Deputy  Public Defender,  Appellate  Division,                                                               
Public  Defender   Agency,  Anchorage,   Alaska,  said   she  was                                                               
available to answer questions but had no comments at this time.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:10:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER opened public testimony on SB 188.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:10:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE   HUTCHINSON,  representing   self,  Kenai   Peninsula,                                                               
Alaska,  stated that  she  felt  compelled to  point  out that  a                                                               
primary function  of a grand jury  is to protect the  people from                                                               
corrupt elected and appointed officials.  She said [Mr. Skidmore]                                                               
is  familiar  with the  efforts  to  prevent  a grand  jury  from                                                               
hearing  things  it  needs  to   hear  to  help  citizens  defend                                                               
themselves from  bureaucracy. She maintained that  making hearsay                                                               
part  of  the testimony  and  increasing  efficiencies by  saving                                                               
money and time does nothing to  restore the pain and suffering of                                                               
the people when they have no recourse.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUTCHINSON  agreed with Ms.  Meade that the  proposed changes                                                               
should have  gone to the  Criminal Rules Committee so  they could                                                               
be  discussed by  the people  who deal  with criminal  rules. She                                                               
stated opposition to  SB 188 and suggested  scrapping hearsay and                                                               
creating a grand  jury that does what it  was originally intended                                                               
to do, which is to protect the people.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:13:46 PM                                                                                                                    
QUEEN A.  PARKER, representing self, Sterling,  Alaska, recounted                                                               
the duties  of the grand jury  during the hearing on  SB 188. She                                                               
stated that  the law  must apply  equally to  all people  and the                                                               
evidence of  crime and corruption  must be seen  and investigated                                                               
by an independent  Alaskan grand jury so that  those in authority                                                               
will be held accountable. She cited  the right of all Alaskans to                                                               
report crime  to the grand jury  and the right of  the grand jury                                                               
to investigate  those crimes as guaranteed  by art. I, sec.  8 of                                                               
the  state constitution;  the  duty of  inquiry  into crimes  and                                                               
general powers under  AS 12.40.030; the obligation of  a juror to                                                               
disclose knowledge  of crime under  AS 12.40.040;  jury tampering                                                               
under   AS   11.56.590;   the    transcript   from   the   Alaska                                                               
Constitutional  Convention that  talks about  the power  of grand                                                               
juries  to   inquire  into  the  willful   misconduct  of  public                                                               
officers; and the Alaska grand  jury handbook that clarifies that                                                               
the  statute  authorizes  a  juror  to  ask  the  grand  jury  to                                                               
investigate a crime that the  district attorney has not presented                                                               
to them.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER  concluded, "We want  justice and  I hope to  God that                                                               
our representatives  that are in  authority will represent  us in                                                               
these situations."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:16:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  GARVEY,  Advocacy  Director,  American  Civil  Liberties                                                               
Union  of  Alaska,  Anchorage, Alaska,  voiced  serious  concerns                                                               
about  SB  188  eroding  the   due  process  rights  of  criminal                                                               
defendants and  others who are  erroneously convicted  of crimes.                                                               
In particular, Sections 15 and  16 would impede correcting errors                                                               
made during the trial process.  He maintained that those sections                                                               
would change the  criminal appeals system by  valuing finality of                                                               
conviction over the fairness of those convictions.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. GARVEY emphasized that fairness  at trial is a cornerstone of                                                               
due process,  particularly for  individuals who  do not  have the                                                               
resources to  fight unjust convictions. He  said reversing errors                                                               
made during  trial is already difficult  and SB 188 will  make it                                                               
more so. He  pointed out that Section 14  would markedly increase                                                               
the  amount  of  hearsay  allowed  at  grand  jury,  which  would                                                               
undercut a grand  jury's ability to ask questions  and assess the                                                               
truthfulness of the testimony.  Defendants already cannot present                                                               
evidence at grand  jury, and this change would  further stack the                                                               
deck  and   allow  cases   to  advance   when  the   evidence  is                                                               
questionable. He  stated that these  provisions and  the language                                                               
that would have reduced the  number of unconvicted people who are                                                               
released on bail before trial, would erode due process rights.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. GARVEY stated  that supporting victims does not  have to come                                                               
at the  expense of  due process  rights. Giving  prosecutors more                                                               
tools to put  people in prison unjustly  and undercut defendants'                                                               
ability  to  maintain their  innocence  does  not represent  this                                                               
value. For these reasons ACLU Alaska opposes SB 188.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:18:22 PM                                                                                                                    
JOAN CORR,  representing self, Soldotna,  Alaska, stated  that it                                                               
is  a  travesty  to  think  that  hearsay  could  be  allowed  as                                                               
evidence. She maintained  that there are likely  many examples of                                                               
this  being  used against  innocent  people.  She agreed  with  a                                                               
previous  caller  who  suggested   the  committee  eliminate  all                                                               
reference  to the  grand jury  from the  bill. She  concluded, "I                                                               
want the  rights of  the grand jury  restored instead  being told                                                               
what they can and cannot do."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:19:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE COONS,  representing self,  Palmer, Alaska,  thanked Senator                                                               
Reinbold for her  last questions and suggested  that the problems                                                               
with the justice system stem from  the fact that "we have a bunch                                                               
of lawyers  that can change  rules when  it's supposed to  be the                                                               
legislature  that  changes  the   rule  through  legislation  and                                                               
bills."  He  insinuated that  the  Criminal  Rules Committee  was                                                               
nothing  more  than  an extension  of  Legislative  Council  that                                                               
"doesn't give a  hoot and a holler about what  We the People say;                                                               
it's only  what the lawyers  say." As much  as he does  not agree                                                               
with the ACLU  on most matters, he was leaning  towards a "No" on                                                               
SB  188. He  described  SB 188  as a  convoluted  mess, which  he                                                               
always opposes.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:21:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES MCKEE, representing self,  Anchorage, Alaska, stated that                                                               
he faxed  an application  for the  permanent fund  [dividend]. It                                                               
had a notary witness and his  signature on the bottom to indicate                                                               
who he is and his lack  of confidence in the legislative body and                                                               
the  voting  aspect  of  the Bar  Association.  He  continued  to                                                               
testify off  topic including that  there was no citation  for the                                                               
reason that he was arrested and booked in the Palmer jail.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:26:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER closed public testimony on SB 188.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He asked Mr. Skidmore to provide closing comments.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:26:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE  stated that the  Gieffels and Wassillie  cases that                                                               
Ms. Meade cited are illustrative  of why these court rules should                                                               
change. The  Gieffels case was  handed down in 1976,  three years                                                               
after the  Supreme Court  changed the rules  to say  that hearsay                                                               
wouldn't be admissible. In that  case the defense argued that the                                                               
indictment should  be dismissed  because the state  had presented                                                               
hearsay from doctors who were  not available to appear in person.                                                               
Subsequent  to  that  case,  the  rules  were  changed  to  allow                                                               
telephonic testimony. He restated  that Gieffels illustrates that                                                               
when the courts hand down  certain rulings, it is appropriate for                                                               
the legislature to step in and fix policy issues.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE  agreed with  Ms.  Meade  that the  Criminal  Rules                                                               
Committee can meet  to look at rules. However,  he suggested that                                                               
it  was  out of  the  ordinary  for  the  committee to  meet  and                                                               
overrule something  that the  courts had  already handed  down as                                                               
case law. Furthermore, he said  the committee meets just three or                                                               
four times a year  and takes a very long time  to review and talk                                                               
about  rules.  He  said  the  legislature  is  a  more  efficient                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE advised that a  bill that originally allowed hearsay                                                               
at grand  jury began in  the legislature. That was  challenged in                                                               
State v.  Powell and an express  statement in that case  was that                                                               
if  the legislature  wants  to allow  hearsay,  it should  change                                                               
other court rules.  That is what SB 188 proposes  to do, he said,                                                               
and Ms. Meade indicated it was appropriate.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  said the administration  agrees with the  aspect of                                                               
the Wassillie case that talks  about the important role the grand                                                               
jury plays  in the protection of  constitutional rights. However,                                                               
the  administration  wants  it  to  be  in  a  more  logical  and                                                               
commonsense manner that  is consistent with what  32 other states                                                               
and the federal government do  by allowing hearsay at grand jury.                                                               
Alaska  grand juries  already consider  a  significant number  of                                                               
types of hearsay,  but it still presents  challenges and problems                                                               
that  could be  easily remedied  by what  this bill  proposes. He                                                               
recounted the particulars of the  case and that the Supreme Court                                                               
said  the  case   needed  to  be  overturned   because  a  report                                                               
introduced at grand  jury violated a court rule  that hearsay was                                                               
not permitted at that stage. It  is that type of inefficiency the                                                               
bill seeks to address.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:31:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SKIDMORE said  he  appreciates  Senator Reinbold's  concerns                                                               
about the number  of pages in the bill that  address court rules,                                                               
but he  wanted to point out  that the result will  be to simplify                                                               
Criminal  Rule  6 that  addresses  grand  jury. The  other  pages                                                               
address  the  Plain-Error Rule.  He  noted  that the  grand  jury                                                               
decision in the Wassillie case  was overturned based on a concept                                                               
in  the Plain-Error  Rule. He  acknowledged that  the Plain-Error                                                               
Rule is a  more complicated rule and he would  understand if this                                                               
committee  was more  comfortable leaving  it to  lawyers to  sort                                                               
out. By contrast, he said grand  jury is not complicated; it is a                                                               
simple, common sense  solution to make things  better for victims                                                               
and to make the system work more efficiently.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE submitted  that SB 188 does not say  that grand jury                                                               
isn't still a protection for  the people. All the protections are                                                               
still present.  SB 188 just  provides a different way  to present                                                               
evidence, which  makes it  easier for  victims and  is consistent                                                               
with what most other states use.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  said he appreciates the  concerns expressed earlier                                                               
from the  Kenai Peninsula. He  emphasized that those  issues must                                                               
and  will be  addressed, but  SB 188  was not  the right  vehicle                                                               
because that's not what the bill is about.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD asked  1) if the grand jury is  there to protect                                                               
the people; and 2) if he could  give a concise update and what is                                                               
happening with the grand jury in Kenai.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE confirmed  that  grand juries  are  to protect  the                                                               
people. However, that  protection is to ensure  that the evidence                                                               
that  is reviewed  warrants  an  indictment so  the  case can  go                                                               
forward  to  trial.  He  said he  couldn't  discuss  the  ongoing                                                               
litigation further  other than  to say  that he  hopes resolution                                                               
will be soon.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:37:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  found no further  questions or comments  and stated                                                               
he would hold SB 188 in committee for future consideration.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                  SB 221-CHANGING RPL PROCESS                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:37:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER announced  the consideration of SENATE  BILL NO. 221                                                               
"An  Act  relating to  appropriations  of  federal receipts;  and                                                               
relating to an  increase of an appropriation  based on additional                                                               
federal receipts."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He  noted  that this  was  the  first  hearing  and there  was  a                                                               
committee  substitute (CS)  for the  committee to  consider after                                                               
the introduction.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:37:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BILL  WIELECHOWSKI,  Alaska State  Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor of SB 221,  stated that this legislation seeks to                                                               
change the  way appropriations are  handled when  the legislature                                                               
is not  in session. Art. IX,  sec. 13 of the  Constitution of the                                                               
State  of  Alaska clearly  states  that  the legislature  is  the                                                               
appropriating  body.  However,  a   statute  called  the  revised                                                               
program legislative  (RPL) delegates  the power  of appropriation                                                               
to the executive  branch when the legislature is  not in session.                                                               
He suggested that this law  is unconstitutional. He reported that                                                               
a lawsuit on this issue last  year went to the superior court but                                                               
the  legislature  reconvened  before  the  court  ruled  on  that                                                               
particular issue.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   questioned  the  wisdom  of   giving  one                                                               
individual  the  sole  authority  to  decide  where  hundreds  of                                                               
millions of  dollars should  go, particularly  with little  to no                                                               
public process or legislative oversight.  SB 221 seeks to restore                                                               
the  legislature's  constitutional  role   in  budgeting  and  to                                                               
streamline  the process  to address  the situation  of unexpected                                                               
revenue.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He  summarized that  SB  221 is  about  protecting the  budgeting                                                               
process, restoring balance between  the legislative and executive                                                               
branches, and  giving the public more  say in how state  money is                                                               
spent.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked the members if they had any questions.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:40:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD stated  appreciation for  the bill  and relayed                                                               
her frustration with the RPL process.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER   solicited  a  motion   to  adopt   the  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for SB 221.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:41:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  moved  to  adopt  CSSB  221,  work  order  32-                                                               
LS1472\I, as the working document.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:41:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  observed that  the CS  probably will  require a                                                               
title  change  because  it  brings up  AS  24.05.100  related  to                                                               
special session. She asked the sponsor to respond.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:42:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  thanked  her  for pointing  that  out  and                                                               
acknowledged that a  title change may be required.  He noted that                                                               
making  the change  in committee  would require  just a  majority                                                               
vote.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO expressed her preference  to ask for a new title                                                               
so it reflects everything in the bill.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked if she wanted to offer the motion.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO replied not now.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:42:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SHOWER  removed   his  objection.   Finding  no   further                                                               
objection, version I was adopted as the working document.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He asked Ms. Kawasaki to introduce the committee substitute.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:43:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SONJA KAWASAKI,  Staff, Senator  Bill Wielechowski,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,  introduced SB  221, version  I, on                                                               
behalf of the  sponsor by paraphrasing the  sponsor statement for                                                               
version I that read as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     SB   221   reforms   the  statutory   revised   program                                                                    
     legislative  (RPL)  process  that  arguably  render  it                                                                    
     unconstitutional.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I believe that the  current RPL law is unconstitutional                                                                    
     both on  its face and  in practice. The  legislature is                                                                    
     the  constitutionally  authorized  appropriating  body;                                                                    
     this  means that,  under the  Alaska Constitution,  the                                                                    
     legislature possesses  both the  power and the  duty of                                                                    
     appropriations.  The  governor   cannot  overstep  this                                                                    
     legislative  authority,  and   the  legislature  cannot                                                                    
     avoid its duty.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Current law unconstitutionally  delegates the power and                                                                    
     the duty  of appropriations  to the governor.  When the                                                                    
     legislature is not meeting  in session, AS 37.07.080(h)                                                                    
     permits  the  governor  to  expend  additional  revenue                                                                    
     received by  the Statewith  the governor  acting as the                                                                    
     appropriating   authority,    setting   state   funding                                                                    
     priorities.  Facially, the  law  expressly assigns  the                                                                    
     governor the ability to  determine spending of "federal                                                                    
     and other  program receipts" when  the funds  were "not                                                                    
     specifically  appropriated  by the  full  legislature."                                                                    
     These  provisions  enable impermissible  actions;  they                                                                    
     appear to allow the governor  to spend not only federal                                                                    
     dollars  but   also,  potentially,  other   funds  like                                                                    
     general  fund   surplus  dollars  that  would   yet  be                                                                    
     available  for appropriation  during  the next  regular                                                                    
     session, while  explicitly acknowledging that  the full                                                                    
     legislature has never appropriated the funds.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Procedurally,  to  the   extent  that  the  Legislative                                                                    
     Budget &  Audit Committee (LB&A) is  given an oversight                                                                    
     role over  the governor's  RPL submissionsthis   too is                                                                    
     an unconstitutional  delegation of authority.  LB&A may                                                                    
     not stand in  place of the full  legislature, but under                                                                    
     current  law,  LB&A can  approve  the  RPL spending  to                                                                    
     occur in less than  45 days after submission. Moreover,                                                                    
     the  law  allows  the  governor   to  spend  the  funds                                                                    
     unilaterally after 45 days,  regardless of whether LB&A                                                                    
     ever takes  up the  matter in committee  or even  if it                                                                    
     actually disapproves  itso  long  as in  the governor's                                                                    
     sole discretion, the  governor "determines to authorize                                                                    
     the expenditure."  I believe this process  violates the                                                                    
     constitution by  its express provisions  as well  as in                                                                    
     separation   of   powers   and  checks   and   balances                                                                    
     principles.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SB 221  rectifies these defects while  still enabling a                                                                    
     mechanism  for   spending  federal  dollars   when  the                                                                    
     legislature  is  not  meeting   in  session.  The  bill                                                                    
     eliminates  the  governor's  ability  to  use  the  RPL                                                                    
     process  for revenue  generated from  sources that  are                                                                    
     not federal.  It provides a  process that  empowers the                                                                    
     legislature  to   appropriate  the  federal   funds  by                                                                    
     establishing   increased   amounts    in   an   enacted                                                                    
     appropriations bill  to be spent  on budget  items when                                                                    
     federal revenue exceeds State  forecasts, but only when                                                                    
     the  legislature  has   specifically  identified  those                                                                    
     items and  set permissible increase limits.  The limits                                                                    
     may be  provided for by percent  increases, which would                                                                    
     allow  the  legislature  to thoughtfully  consider  the                                                                    
     amounts   of  potential   increases  to   budget  items                                                                    
     relative  to  their  base  appropriations  and  to  one                                                                    
     another.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Under SB 221, the governor  may submit RPLs to LB&A for                                                                    
     confirmation  that  spending proposals  are  maintained                                                                    
     within  budget  items  and  limits  restricted  by  the                                                                    
     legislature  in an  enacted  appropriations bill.  LB&A                                                                    
     may also  make other recommendations for  the spending.                                                                    
     Finally, under SB  221, the governor may  not spend the                                                                    
     funds until 45  days have elapsed from the  date of the                                                                    
     LB&A   confirmation,   unless   LB&A   recommends   the                                                                    
     expenditures are made earlier.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Concerns over the constitutionality  of the RPL process                                                                    
     notably  arose in  2020 when  the legislature  recessed                                                                    
     the regular  session due to the  Covid-19 pandemic, and                                                                    
     the State  received large sums of  federal dollars that                                                                    
     could be  spent to address the  public health disaster.                                                                    
     In  particular, the  State was  given $1.25  billion in                                                                    
     Coronavirus Relief  Funds that  could be expended  in a                                                                    
     relatively   discretionary    manner,   on   "necessary                                                                    
     expenditures   incurred  due   to  the   public  health                                                                    
     emergency with respect to  the Coronavirus Disease 2019                                                                    
     (COVID19)."   The  governor purportedly  exercised  his                                                                    
     authority  under  the  current RPL  process,  including                                                                    
     attempting   to  expend:   $569   million  for   direct                                                                    
     municipal relief,  and $290 million for  small business                                                                    
     grants, but  only $10 million  on relief  to individual                                                                    
     Alaskans  to prevent  homelessness.  A Juneau  resident                                                                    
     sued  the State,  arguing the  governor's spending  was                                                                    
     unconstitutional. The lawsuit  prompted the legislature                                                                    
     to  return to  the Capitol  to "ratify"  the governor's                                                                    
     RPL expenditures  before the  final day of  the regular                                                                    
     session.  The superior  court decided  the ratification                                                                    
     remedied  any failure  to  appropriate  the funds.  The                                                                    
     ruling  was   not  appealed,  so  there   is  no  final                                                                    
     precedent on the issue.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     There are only  two types of bills  contemplated by the                                                                    
     Alaska Constitution: (1)  substantive bills, like those                                                                    
     establishing  or  changing  laws,  and  (2)  bills  for                                                                    
     appropriations.  Because  no   appropriation  bill  was                                                                    
     passed addressing the governor's  RPL spending, to this                                                                    
     day I contend that  the governor's unconstitutional act                                                                    
     could not simply be "ratified."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     We  should avoid  a repeat  of what  happened with  RPL                                                                    
     spending  in  2020.  Please  join   me  in  fixing  the                                                                    
     defective  RPL  process  and ensuring  the  legislature                                                                    
     retains    its   control    over   its    discretionary                                                                    
     appropriations  authority  as  mandated by  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Constitution.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER found no questions and asked Ms. Kawasaki to                                                                       
proceed with the sectional analysis.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:47:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KAWASAKI provided the sectional analysis for SB 221, version                                                                
I. It read as follows:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1    Governor May Call Special  Session in Less                                                                  
     than 30 Days                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1  provides an express  exception to  allow the                                                                    
     governor  to call  a special  session in  less than  30                                                                    
     days  to address  appropriations of  additional federal                                                                    
     receipts  in excess  of those  accounted for  under the                                                                    
     amendments of this legislation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2  Amending the RPL Process                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2 amends the  revised program legislative (RPL)                                                                    
     process  to  provide  that, for  the  State  to  expend                                                                    
     additional funds  it receives above  the appropriations                                                                    
     made in  an appropriation bill,  the funds may  only be                                                                    
     federal funds and may only  be spent in accordance with                                                                    
     the following procedure:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     In an  appropriation bill, the legislature  may provide                                                                    
     for an  amount that is  a specific maximum  increase of                                                                    
     an  appropriation   item  above  the   amount  actually                                                                    
     appropriated  by the  appropriation bill;  the specific                                                                    
     maximum increase may be provided  as a percentage of an                                                                    
     appropriation item, and                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     (1)  The governor  may submit  a proposal  for spending                                                                    
     the additional  federal funds  via a  "revised program"                                                                    
     to  the  Legislative  Budget and  Audit  Committee  for                                                                    
     review;                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     (2) The Legislative Budget  and Audit Committee reviews                                                                    
     the  governor's   revised  program  proposal   and  may                                                                    
     recommend alternative funding  amounts or distributions                                                                    
     among  multiple  items,  not  to  exceed  any  specific                                                                    
     maximum   increases    previously   provided    by   an                                                                    
     appropriation bill;                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     (3)  The governor  may submit  a  corrected or  changed                                                                    
     revised program proposal to  the Legislative Budget and                                                                    
     Audit Committee for review;                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     (4) Once  the governor submits a  final revised program                                                                    
     proposal,  the Legislative  Budget and  Audit Committee                                                                    
     confirms  the proposal  does  not  exceed any  specific                                                                    
     maximum   increases    previously   provided    by   an                                                                    
     appropriation bill; and                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     (5)   Revised   program   amounts  confirmed   by   the                                                                    
     Legislative Budget and Audit  Committee may be expended                                                                    
     after  45  days,  unless the  committee  recommends  an                                                                    
     earlier date of the expenditures.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:49:49 PM                                                                                                                    
     Section 3   Calling a  Special Session to Spend Amounts                                                                  
     Above Permissible RPL Subjects                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     To  expend amounts  exceeding  those permissible  under                                                                    
     the  RPL process,  including  applying  funds to  other                                                                    
     items not previously addressed  with a specific maximum                                                                    
     increase in  an appropriation  bill, the  governor must                                                                    
     call a special session.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section  4    Limiting Applicability  of the  Effective                                                                  
     Date of the Bill                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     This  section  establishes  that the  new  RPL  process                                                                    
     would not apply to items  funded under the previous RPL                                                                    
     provisions as they read and  were applicable before the                                                                    
     effective date of the act.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked if she had any comment on the fiscal note.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAWASAKI replied the bill doesn't have a fiscal note.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:50:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD offered  her view of special  sessions in Juneau                                                               
and posed the possibility of an amendment.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked the sponsor if he had any comments.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI replied he had no comment.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:51:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  asked if he  had seen  the governor's bill  SB 241,                                                               
"An  Act  making appropriations  for  the  operating expenses  of                                                               
state   government   and   certain   programs;   making   capital                                                               
appropriations  and   supplemental  appropriations;  capitalizing                                                               
funds; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  said none of the  senators he'd asked had  seen the                                                               
bill and  it's an example of  legislators not having a  chance to                                                               
look at  where the money  goes even  though it's important  to be                                                               
able to offer  that kind of input. The amount  of money is almost                                                               
irrelevant, he  said. It's  the process  that's important  and it                                                               
should  follow  the  constitution. He  expressed  frustration  at                                                               
being cut out of the loop  even inside the legislative branch. He                                                               
continued to comment:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This  is after  the subcommittee  process, by  the way,                                                                    
     it's all closed out and now  here we go and we're going                                                                    
     to hand almost a billion  dollars to the Senate Finance                                                                    
     co-chairs to  come up  with a  plan, and  the governor,                                                                    
     and I'm going 'Where are we in the process?'                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He  expressed appreciation  for SB  221. He  emphasized that  the                                                               
constitution should  be followed,  the statute should  be changed                                                               
so it's  correct, and  every legislator should  have a  chance to                                                               
have input.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:54:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  stated that it  is fundamentally wrong  to hand                                                               
off  the constitutional  power  of the  legislature  to a  single                                                               
committee when the  legislature is not in  session. She expressed                                                               
appreciation for SB 221 and posited  that it will resolve much of                                                               
the conflict with the RPL process.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI commented  that  it is  even more  shocking                                                               
that even the committee that  the legislature defers its power to                                                               
during  the  interim  doesn't  have   the  ability  to  stop  the                                                               
governor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO  said the sponsor  statement does a good  job of                                                               
outlining that point.  The balance of power is  important and the                                                               
current  process undermines  the  power of  the legislature.  She                                                               
said  she  has  no  problem with  the  legislature  returning  to                                                               
address such issues.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  mentioned the possibility  of amending the  bill to                                                               
address  what  he   has  experienced  in  the   RPL  process.  He                                                               
reiterated  that an  important part  of  the process  is to  give                                                               
individual  legislators an  opportunity  to give  input and  talk                                                               
about the  needs in their districts.  It should not fall  to just                                                               
the governor or a handful of legislators.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD  emphasized that  the  current  RPL process  is                                                               
entirely unacceptable.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:57:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said he was  pleased to see so much interest                                                               
in  the  bill   but  suggested  that  while   the  committee  was                                                               
interested in other areas, SB 221  deals solely with RPLs and the                                                               
process. Adding more  may make its progress through  this and the                                                               
other body more difficult.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:58:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER opened  public testimony on SB 221,  finding none he                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER held SB 212 in committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:59:29 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee, he                                                                
adjourned the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee meeting at                                                                
4:59 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 221 Proposed CS – Version I (Work Draft 32-LS1472I).pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 Sponsor Statement - Proposed CS Version I_SSTA 4.5.22.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 Suporting Document - Letter to Governor re CARES Funds Appropriations Authority & Urge Dividend 5.9.20.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 SSTA Hearing Request Memorandum 4.5.22_BW.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 Supporting Document - Example CARES Act Funds RPL_Direct Municipal Relief 5.18.20.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 Supporting Document - Existing RPL Statute AS 37.07.080(h).pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 Supporting Document - KTOO_Juneau Man Sues Over the State’s Plan to Spend $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funds 5.13.20 (1).pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 Supporting Document - KTOO_Juneau Man Sues Over the State’s Plan to Spend $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funds 5.13.20.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 Supporting Document - KTUU_Legislature Set to Reconvene as Lawsuit Challenges $1.5 Billion in Federal 5.14.20.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB 221 Supporting Document - Summary of Ratified CARES Act Funds RPLs 5.18.20.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
SB0221A.PDF SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
Wassillie v. State, 411 P.3d 595 (Alaska 2018).pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 188
CRIMINAL RULES COMMITTEE.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 188
Order and Conditions of Release - blank.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 188
Order and Conditions of Release CY2017 to CY2021.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 188
Petition for Chnage of Name.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 188
State v. Gieffels, 554 P.2d 460 (Alaska 1976).pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 188
SB 221 Sectional Analysis - Proposed CS SSTA 4.5.22.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 221
opposition letter.pdf SSTA 4/5/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 188