Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519
03/17/2005 01:30 PM House FINANCE
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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 adopted. 3:19:49 PM RANDY RUARO, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, LEGISLATION REGULATION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, explained the committee substitute. · 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 apply. 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 rd 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 options. 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.