Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/17/2005 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
Moved CSHB 108(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 19(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 61(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
HOUSE BILL NO. 88                                                                                                             
     An  Act relating  to certain  weapons offenses  involving                                                                  
     minors;   to  aggravating   factors  in  sentencing   for                                                                  
     certain  offenses committed  against  a school  employee;                                                                  
     and providing for an effective date.                                                                                       
Representative   Foster  MOVED  to   ADOPT  work  draft   #24-                                                                  
GH1096\Y,  Luckhaupt,  3/17/05,  as the  version  of the  bill                                                                  
before  the  Committee.   There  being  NO OBJECTION,  it  was                                                                  
3:19:49 PM                                                                                                                    
RANDY   RUARO,   ASSISTANT   ATTORNEY   GENERAL,   LEGISLATION                                                                  
REGULATION,  DEPARTMENT   OF  LAW,  explained   the  committee                                                                  
   ·    It provides for an aggravator in Section 3 in cases                                                                     
        where assaults have occurred on school grounds,                                                                         
        school buses or school sponsored events.                                                                                
   ·    Section 4, a new section, closes a loophole in                                                                          
        response to a judicial opinion that found that a                                                                        
        defendant could claim credit on repeated sentencing.                                                                    
   ·    Section 5 provides for an automatic waiver for 16 &                                                                     
        17 year-olds who  are charged or convicted  in certain                                                                  
        Class  A &  B  felonies  misconduct  weapon  offenses.                                                                  
        The  House  Judiciary  Committee   did  much  work  on                                                                  
        Sections 3 & 5, and made those changes.                                                                                 
Representative  Croft  asked  about  Section  5.    Mr.  Ruaro                                                                  
thought  that  Representative  Croft  was  referring  back  to                                                                  
Section 1 of the  original bill, which does not  relate to the                                                                  
mitigating section.                                                                                                             
Representative  Croft noted the categories that  automatically                                                                  
waive juveniles  back to adult  court.  He wondered  the types                                                                  
of weapon  infractions that would  automatically be  waived to                                                                  
adult  court.    Mr.  Ruaro  explained   the  weapon  offenses                                                                  
automatically waived  would be listed under AS  11.61.190.  He                                                                  
noted the  change made by the  House Judiciary Committee,  the                                                                  
risk  of  physical  injury  to  a person.    The  other  class                                                                  
indicates  if a gun  is possessed  during a  drug deal  and/or                                                                  
possessing a  gun on school grounds  or near a day  care after                                                                  
being  convicted   of   a  felony  or   being  adjudicated   a                                                                  
delinquent minor.                                                                                                               
3:25:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Croft  noted concern  about  constituents  who                                                                  
"carry"  weapons  for  defensive  purposes  and then  pick  up                                                                  
their children from schools.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Meyer asked  if all  fiscal  notes were  zero.   Mr.                                                                  
Ruaro replied they were.                                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  referred  to  Section  2  and  asked  how                                                                  
important the survey  is to the Department of  Health & Social                                                                  
Services  to  the  bill.    Mr.  Ruaro  responded  it  is  not                                                                  
critical.   The  Senate  Judiciary  Committee  did amend  that                                                                  
portion out of the bill.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair Meyer  asked if the same bill had been  introduced on                                                                  
the Senate side.   Mr. Ruaro replied that it had.   Vice Chair                                                                  
Stoltze  noted  that at  the  time amendments  are  taken,  he                                                                  
would propose one to delete Section 2.                                                                                          
3:27:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Croft  asked  about Section  5,  minors  being                                                                  
waived to  adult court.  He  asked if delinquency  rules would                                                                  
ANTHONY  NEWMAN,   PROGRAM  OFFICER,   DIVISION  OF   JUVENILE                                                                  
JUSTICE,  DEPARTMENT OF  HEALTH AND  SOCIAL SERVICES,  replied                                                                  
that they  would apply.   Representative  Croft continued  his                                                                  
line of  questioning regarding  misconduct  of weapons  in the                                                                  
second degree,  indicating  that it is  problematic.   He gave                                                                  
an example  of a child tried as  an adult.  He asked  about AS                                                                  
11.61.195, the lower degree of weapon defense.                                                                                  
Mr.  Ruaro  explained   that  Section  195  offenses   involve                                                                  
possessing a gun  during a drug offense.  He stated  that is a                                                                  
serious enough  crime to  be subject  to an automatic  waiver.                                                                  
When possessing  a weapon near  a school or daycare,  everyone                                                                  
knows that guns  and schools do not mix well.   The 3  example                                                                  
mainly addresses  the drive-by  shooting offenses.   The judge                                                                  
would again have the discretion.                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  MOVED  to adopt  Amendment  #1,  deleting                                                                  
Section 2.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                           
Representative  Weyhrauch asked about the fiscal  note and the                                                                  
additional  work required  for  the Public  Defenders  office.                                                                  
Mr.  Ruaro anticipated  a low  number  of cases.   Mr.  Newman                                                                  
related  that  in the  past  two  years,  there have  been  16                                                                  
youths that would  have fallen under the auto-waiver  statute.                                                                  
Representative  Weyhrauch  asked about  the  costs of  housing                                                                  
juveniles  without  including  a  fiscal  note.    Mr.  Newman                                                                  
explained that  of the 16 youths, 10 had been  adjudicated and                                                                  
5 were given institutional  orders.  Representative  Weyhrauch                                                                  
reiterated his concern with the zero note.                                                                                      
3:34:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Weyhrauch  addressed the  schoolyard  bullying                                                                  
issue.    Mr.  Ruaro  opined  that  HB  88  would  not  be  an                                                                  
appropriate  vehicle to address  bullying, recommending  other                                                                  
Representative  Croft MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment #2,  deleting                                                                  
Line 30, Page 3, second degree weapon defenses.                                                                                 
Co-Chair    Meyer   OBJECTED    for    discussion    purposes.                                                                  
Representative   Croft  explained   that  those  are   serious                                                                  
offenses in  which youth are  automatically waived out  of the                                                                  
juvenile court.  He voiced his concerns.                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Stoltze provided a  personal experience at  a high                                                                  
school  and  asked  if  the  situation  would  be  treated  as                                                                  
possession.    Representative  Croft  read  from  statute  and                                                                  
noted that it would be treated as possession.                                                                                   
3:40:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Holm shared  a personal  experience and  asked                                                                  
if a  hunting situation  could be waived  to an adult  status.                                                                  
Mr.  Ruaro  asked  if  Representative   Holm  was  referencing                                                                  
Subsection 3.   Mr. Newman said  that the bill addresses  when                                                                  
firearms discharge  under circumstances involving  substantial                                                                  
risk   and   are  discharged   from   a   propelled   vehicle.                                                                  
Representative  Croft  clarified   that  a  propelled  vehicle                                                                  
could  be anything  moving such  as a  car, boat,  snowmobile,                                                                  
etc.   He asked  if the  behaviors should  be indicated  under                                                                  
the automatic waivers section.                                                                                                  
Representative  Holm talked about grouse hunting  and shooting                                                                  
from vehicles  and such  a person being  remanded to  an adult                                                                  
status.    He   agreed  with  Representative   Croft  that  is                                                                  
important  to be careful,  and  that minors  often do not  use                                                                  
good judgment.   Mr. Ruaro agreed  that it is important  to be                                                                  
careful, however, prosecutors must use discretion.                                                                              
3:44:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer suggested that more time be given to develop                                                                     
a new committee substitute for HB 88.                                                                                           
Representative Croft WITHDREW Amendment #2.                                                                                     
HB 88 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                          

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