Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/27/2019 01:30 PM House FINANCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
02:02:30 PM Start
02:04:32 PM HB20
03:55:06 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Scheduled but Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
Public Testimony will begin at 3:30 pm
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Public Testimony will begin at 3:30 pm
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 27, 2019                                                                                            
                         2:02 p.m.                                                                                              
2:02:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Wilson  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 2:02 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Tammie Wilson, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Jennifer Johnston, Vice-Chair                                                                                    
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Kelly Merrick                                                                                                    
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Anthony  Newman,  Program   Officer,  Division  of  Juvenile                                                                    
Justice,  Department of  Health and  Social Services;  Nancy                                                                    
Meade, General  Counsel, Alaska Court System;  Kelly Howell,                                                                    
Director,  Division of  Administrative Services,  Department                                                                    
of  Public  Safety;  Michael Duxbury,  Deputy  Commissioner,                                                                    
Department of  Public Safety; Kelly Goode,  Deputy Director,                                                                    
Department of Corrections; Representative Matt Claman.                                                                          
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Robert Henderson, Assistant  Attorney General, Department of                                                                    
Law;  Jennifer Winkelman,  Director,  Division of  Probation                                                                    
and  Parole, Department  of Corrections;  Mike Coons,  Self,                                                                    
HB 20     SEXUAL ASSAULT EXAMINATION KITS                                                                                       
          HB 20 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
Co-Chair Wilson reviewed the meeting agenda.                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 20                                                                                                             
     "An  Act requiring  law  enforcement  agencies to  send                                                                    
     sexual assault examination kits  for testing within six                                                                    
     months   after  collection;   and   providing  for   an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
2:04:32 PM                                                                                                                    
ANTHONY  NEWMAN,  PROGRAM   OFFICER,  DIVISION  OF  JUVENILE                                                                    
JUSTICE,   DEPARTMENT  OF   HEALTH   AND  SOCIAL   SERVICES,                                                                    
referenced  the adopted  committee  substitute (CS)  version                                                                    
[committee  substitute for  HB  20,  Work Draft  31-LS0253\C                                                                    
(Radford,  4/26/19)  that  was adopted  during  the  earlier                                                                    
10:00 a.m.  4/27/19 meeting] and  explained how  it affected                                                                    
the  division.  He reported  that  on  page 13,  Section  22                                                                    
regarding electronic  monitoring, the  CS changed  the crime                                                                    
of escape in the third degree. He read from the bill:                                                                           
   (3) while under official detention for a misdemeanor,                                                                        
   (A) removes, tampers with, or disables the electronic                                                                        
     monitoring    equipment;   or    (B)   without    prior                                                                    
   authorization, leaves one's residence or other place                                                                         
     designated by the commissioner of corrections or the                                                                       
  commissioner of health and social services for service                                                                        
     by electronic monitoring;                                                                                                  
Mr. Newman  confirmed that the Division  of Juvenile Justice                                                                    
(DJJ)  placed electronic  monitors  on  juveniles and  noted                                                                    
that the division  believed the provision was  a useful tool                                                                    
for  the  small  number  of   youths  placed  on  electronic                                                                    
monitors. He  understood that fewer  than 12  juveniles were                                                                    
placed on the monitors at any given time.                                                                                       
2:05:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Johnston  asked whether a felony  charge remained                                                                    
on  the record  of  a  youth who  was  placed on  electronic                                                                    
monitoring. Mr. Newman responded  that a felony adjudication                                                                    
for   juveniles   remained   on   their   record.   However,                                                                    
confidentiality laws  required that the information  was not                                                                    
shared with others.                                                                                                             
Representative  Carpenter  clarified  that a  juvenile  that                                                                    
tampered with  their electronic monitoring would  be charged                                                                    
with a  felony. Mr. Newman  responded in the  affirmative if                                                                    
the crime of escape in the third degree was a felony.                                                                           
2:07:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Knopp asked whether  a juvenile felony charge                                                                    
would carry over to their adult record.                                                                                         
NANCY   MEADE,  GENERAL   COUNSEL,   ALASKA  COURT   SYSTEM,                                                                    
understood  that  the charge  was  handled  by DJJ  and  the                                                                    
juvenile was adjudicated rather  than convicted of a felony.                                                                    
The felony  adjudication stayed on a  person's record within                                                                    
the  Department  of  Public Safety's  APSIN  (Alaska  Public                                                                    
Safety  Information Network)  system but  was not  published                                                                    
publicly.   She  qualified   that  exceptions   existed  for                                                                    
juveniles waived  into adult court where  felony convictions                                                                    
were a matter of public record.                                                                                                 
Representative Knopp  had concerns with a  felony showing up                                                                    
on  a  juvenile's  records  for  less  serious  crimes  like                                                                    
escape. He was not 100 percent comfortable with that idea.                                                                      
Representative  Merrick  learned  that a  base  station  was                                                                    
required  for an  ankle monitor.  She was  wondering if  the                                                                    
base  station  was interpreted  as  part  of the  monitoring                                                                    
equipment.  She read  the phrase  from  the bill,  "removes,                                                                    
tampers   with,  or   disables  the   electronic  monitoring                                                                    
equipment."  She   wondered  what  happened  if   some  else                                                                    
tampered  with  the  equipment. Ms.  Mead  deferred  to  the                                                                    
Department  of  Corrections  (DOC) for  questions  regarding                                                                    
electronic monitoring  equipment; she was not  familiar with                                                                    
how the devices worked. She  deduced that tampering with any                                                                    
piece  of  the  electronic   monitor  was  included  in  the                                                                    
statute.  Representative Merrick  wanted  to  ensure that  a                                                                    
defendant was  not blamed for tampering  with equipment they                                                                    
did not alter.                                                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Wilson deferred  the question  until knowledgeable                                                                    
testifiers  from  DOC  were available  to  answer  questions                                                                    
regarding electronic monitoring.                                                                                                
2:11:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Josephson liked  the committee substitute for                                                                    
HB  20.  He  cited  the   Class  C  felony  issue  for  drug                                                                    
possession.   He  wondered   who   the   experts  were   for                                                                    
[treatment] programs  or options and their  availability. He                                                                    
expressed interest  in imposing conditions on  the defendant                                                                    
like   inpatient  treatment.   He  wanted   to  provide   an                                                                    
opportunity for  the drug  user to  avoid felony  charges if                                                                    
they carried out the conditions.  He wanted to know what all                                                                    
the available  options were before he  crafted an amendment.                                                                    
Ms. Mead  pointed out that one  of the provisions of  SB 91-                                                                    
Omnibus Crim  Law & Procedure;  Corrections [CHAPTER  36 SLA                                                                    
16  -   07/11/2016]  created  the  very   mechanism  he  was                                                                    
referring to, called the Suspended  Entry of Judgement (SEJ)                                                                    
which was a  tool for suspending a  judgement. The provision                                                                    
was  not being  repealed. She  noted that  it was  different                                                                    
from  a   Suspended  Imposition  of  Judgement   (SIJ).  She                                                                    
explained  that if  the defendant  pleaded guilty,  he could                                                                    
enter  into  a  deal  with  a  prosecutor  for  a  suspended                                                                    
judgement  under  a  probationary term  that  could  include                                                                    
treatment or  other conditions. Once  the defendant  met the                                                                    
required  conditions,  the  case  would  be  dismissed.  She                                                                    
referenced  John  Skidmore's [Director,  Criminal  Division,                                                                    
Department  of  Law]  earlier testimony  that  he  hoped  to                                                                    
employ SEJ  more often for  cases like drug  possession. She                                                                    
suggested  talking  with  someone  from  the  Department  of                                                                    
Health  and  Social Services  (DHSS)  or  the Mental  Health                                                                    
Trust Authority to find out about program availability.                                                                         
Co-Chair  Wilson  was  concerned about  the  court  ordering                                                                    
treatment that did not exist  in certain areas of the state.                                                                    
She wondered if the judges  were provided a list of programs                                                                    
available  and  their locations.  Ms.  Mead  thought it  was                                                                    
generally true  that judges in  Anchorage were aware  of the                                                                    
available programs in Anchorage.  She clarified that a judge                                                                    
did not order treatment to  any specific program in any area                                                                    
of the  state. She indicated  that a discussion  had already                                                                    
occurred  between  the  prosecutor,  the  defense,  and  the                                                                    
defendant  where everyone  agreed to  the course  of action,                                                                    
particularly with  an SEJ or deferred  sentencing. The court                                                                    
could  not   impose  an   impossible  condition   since  the                                                                    
conditions  were  negotiated  in  advance  of  the  hearing.                                                                    
However,  treatment   as  a   condition  of   probation  was                                                                    
different because  the court would  not know where  a person                                                                    
would want to live after they fulfilled their sentence.                                                                         
2:16:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson had a question  regarding the pretrial tool.                                                                    
She asked if  the courts saw validity in  the pretrial tool.                                                                    
Ms.  Mead suggested  that some  judges liked  the tool,  and                                                                    
some did not.  She continued that Judiciary did  not take an                                                                    
official position on the tool and  because it is the law the                                                                    
judge and  attorneys referred to  it. She could  not comment                                                                    
further  on the  use of  the tool.  Co-Chair Wilson  deduced                                                                    
that  if the  pretrial tool  was merely  advisory, it  would                                                                    
mean that  a judge could  use their own discretion  and "not                                                                    
be forced into a decision."  Ms. Mead reminded the committee                                                                    
that SB 54-Crimes; Sentencing;  Probation; Parole [CHAPTER 1                                                                    
4SSLA 17  - 11/26/2017] fixed the  issue regarding mandatory                                                                    
bail statutes  requiring mandatory release dependent  on the                                                                    
tool's  score.   The  law   currently  operated   under  the                                                                    
presumption of release unless  clear and convincing evidence                                                                    
was presented  to demonstrate a  threat to public  safety or                                                                    
failure to  appear. She characterized the  tool currently as                                                                    
essentially advisory  and for serious felonies  or any crime                                                                    
against a  person where  the judge  had no  presumption. The                                                                    
judge would be  able to use the tool in  a strictly advisory                                                                    
capacity  if all  presumption was  eliminated, returning  to                                                                    
how judges functioned prior to SB 91.                                                                                           
2:20:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Johnston asked how  much sentences were increased                                                                    
for drug traffickers versus drug users in the CS.                                                                               
KELLY   HOWELL,   DIRECTOR,   DIVISION   OF   ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES, DEPARTMENT  OF PUBLIC SAFETY, deferred  the answer                                                                    
to  Deputy Commissioner  Duxbury  who prior  to his  current                                                                    
position  was the  department's commander  of the  statewide                                                                    
drug enforcement unit.                                                                                                          
Representative   Josephson   discussed  the   relevance   of                                                                    
provisions regarding  DNA samples  in relation to  rape kits                                                                    
in the  governor's version of  the crime bill. He  hoped the                                                                    
department  would provide  an opinion  about the  provisions                                                                    
having  to  do with  submitting  a  DNA sample.  Ms.  Howell                                                                    
explained  that the  provisions for  qualifying offenses  in                                                                    
the  governor's  crime  bill made  refusal  to  provide  DNA                                                                    
evidence  upon  arrest a  crime.  She  added that  currently                                                                    
refusal  was   legal.  She   indicated  that   DNA  evidence                                                                    
collection related  to the sexual  assault rape  kit testing                                                                    
that  was not  collected via  refusal would  not be  entered                                                                    
into the Combined DNA Index  System (CODIS). She deferred to                                                                    
the crime  lab for answers  regarding when DNA  evidence was                                                                    
entered into CODIS.                                                                                                             
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard had  not properly  digested                                                                    
everything in the new CS.  She wondered where she could find                                                                    
vehicle theft provisions  in the CS. Ms.  Howell deferred to                                                                    
the Department of Law for the answer (DOL).                                                                                     
2:26:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Johnston  was trying to understand  the impact of                                                                    
increasing  the sentencing  for drugs.  She wondered  if the                                                                    
sentences  were  increasing  for drug  dealers  versus  drug                                                                    
users  and  how  that  related  to  the  quantity  of  drugs                                                                    
MICHAEL DUXBURY,  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT  OF PUBLIC                                                                    
SAFETY, offered  that it was  difficult to determine  what a                                                                    
large versus  small quantity of  drugs was. He  relayed that                                                                    
when drugs  were classified as  Schedule 1A or 2A  etc., the                                                                    
potency,   lethality,    and   the   drugs    impacts   were                                                                    
significantly different  even among the various  Schedule 1A                                                                    
drugs.  He exemplified  consulting federal  Drug Enforcement                                                                    
Administration   (DEA)   chemists   to   determine   potency                                                                    
differences between Schedule 1A  drugs. He was informed that                                                                    
an  oxycodone would  be given  a  power of  1, morphine  was                                                                    
given a  power of 10,  heroine was  assigned a power  of 100                                                                    
and fentanyl  was given  a power of  1000. In  addition, car                                                                    
carfentanil  an additive  used in  Heroine or  other opioids                                                                    
would be given the power of  10,000. He stated that a single                                                                    
gram of  heroine equated to  a fourth  of a packet  of sugar                                                                    
and was a typical amount  for daily addicts. Conversely, the                                                                    
amount of  fentanyl that  covered a  date on  a penny  was a                                                                    
lethal  dose.   Therefore,  one   gram  of   fentanyl  could                                                                    
potentially  kill  many  people. He  indicated  that  making                                                                    
small amounts  of drug possession  a felony was  intended to                                                                    
occur  with  SEJ  and  SIJ.  A  one-time  incident  did  not                                                                    
necessarily result  in a large  sentence. He wondered  if he                                                                    
had  answered  the   representative's  question.  Vice-Chair                                                                    
Johnston responded,  "Sort of." She  was trying to  find the                                                                    
fine line of  sentencing that was appropriate  for users and                                                                    
was  uncertain  she supported  the  "jump"  to making  users                                                                    
felons. She wondered how effective  pressuring drug users to                                                                    
"squeal on their dealer" was  and whether the sentences were                                                                    
being  increased for  the user  who dealt  versus the  major                                                                    
dealer, where it  actually might assist in  taking drugs off                                                                    
the  market.  Mr.  Duxbury  responded  that  the  pre-SB  91                                                                    
sentences were  trying to better  address the  major dealer.                                                                    
He addressed  her questioning  of whether  harsher sentences                                                                    
were appropriate for addicts to  induce them to treatment or                                                                    
in  compelling them  to inform  on the  dealer. He  believed                                                                    
that  it was  not beneficial  to "put  addicts in  jail." He                                                                    
related that currently users who  sold very small quantities                                                                    
in  order  to  support  their drug  habit  only  received  a                                                                    
citation.  Therefore,  nothing  currently was  available  to                                                                    
incentivize  accountability  and treatment,  or  cooperation                                                                    
and  assistance in  catching  a  dealer. Traditionally,  law                                                                    
enforcement  was successful  in  catching  the major  dealer                                                                    
through   the   user/small   dealer.  He   emphasized   that                                                                    
previously sentencing  for small  quantities and the  use of                                                                    
SEJ  and SIJ  were  effective tools  to accomplish  catching                                                                    
dealers.  Recently,  many  cases  were handed  over  to  the                                                                    
federal  government for  prosecution  and  the offender  was                                                                    
sent  out of  state to  federal prisons.  He also  mentioned                                                                    
that  not having  tools  to use  for  the user/small  dealer                                                                    
affected the quality of life issues for the public.                                                                             
2:34:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Johnston  was looking  at the  difference between                                                                    
changing the  sentencing between misdemeanors  and felonies.                                                                    
She asked if the deputy  commissioner saw any flexibility in                                                                    
keeping  misdemeanors versus  holding  the  felony over  the                                                                    
user/small  dealer's head.  She  surmised that  SEJ and  SIJ                                                                    
were  more effective  tools  than  increasing sentencing  to                                                                    
felonies.   Mr.  Duxbury   offered  that   he  took   a  law                                                                    
enforcement  perspective  on  the   issues  she  raised.  He                                                                    
deferred to Mr.  Skidmore about the use of  SEJ and deferred                                                                    
judgment tools. He  reminded the committee that  one gram of                                                                    
heroin mixed with  fentanyl could kill 10  people. He wanted                                                                    
to  stop  the  "insidious"  small  time  dealing  where  the                                                                    
lethalness was  worse than ever before.  He acknowledged her                                                                    
point of view  but worried about the  deadly consequences of                                                                    
drug use.                                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Wilson talked about a  constituent who was asked by                                                                    
the  police to  video  tape a  neighboring  home where  drug                                                                    
activities  were  taking  place. She  inquired  whether  the                                                                    
proposed  changes in  the CS  would make  it easier  for the                                                                    
police   to   respond   without  asking   for   neighborhood                                                                    
surveillance.  Mr.  Duxbury  did  not  want  to  reveal  the                                                                    
surveillance tactics  employed by the police.  He reiterated                                                                    
that  the   ability  to  compel  the   person  charged  with                                                                    
possessing  a small  amount of  drugs to  help identify  the                                                                    
dealer might  lead to a search  warrant for a drug  house in                                                                    
the  scenario Rep.  Wilson described.  He  thought that  the                                                                    
bill would help the  police acquire the reasonable suspicion                                                                    
and  probable  cause necessary  for  a  warrant to  enter  a                                                                    
suspected  drug house.  Co-Chair  Wilson  asked whether  the                                                                    
department  was  willing  to take  its  drug  sniffing  dogs                                                                    
through the prison to identify  drugs. Mr. Duxbury indicated                                                                    
that  dog   drug  searches  without  probable   cause  would                                                                    
typically be a violation of  privacy and law enforcement had                                                                    
to act  in accordance with the  state constitution. However,                                                                    
he was working  with DOC to develop more ways  to find drugs                                                                    
in prison  and would  be willing to  use drug  sniffing dogs                                                                    
for that purpose.  Co-Chair Wilson asked if  her rights were                                                                    
violated  if a  drug sniffing  dog was  walking through  the                                                                    
airport. Mr.  Duxbury responded  that the  scenario happened                                                                    
via  a  federal  security  regulation  carried  out  through                                                                    
Homeland Security  that allowed the  Transportation Security                                                                    
Administration (TSA)  to search for dangerous  items such as                                                                    
bombs. He  reiterated that  the state  could not  search for                                                                    
drugs without probable cause.                                                                                                   
2:42:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Josephson  understood the two options  in the                                                                    
proposed Class C felony of  either accepting the sentence or                                                                    
going to treatment. He wanted  to understand how cooperation                                                                    
fit  into  the  options.  Mr.  Duxbury  indicated  that  law                                                                    
enforcement   did  not   make  offers   to  individuals   by                                                                    
themselves; they  worked in  conjunction with  a prosecuting                                                                    
attorney to  discover what conditions would  be important to                                                                    
the  individual. Law  enforcement  approached the  situation                                                                    
with  its regulations  and the  constitution  in mind.  When                                                                    
they find  an individual, who  was willing to  cooperate and                                                                    
share   information  the   process   was   always  done   in                                                                    
consultation with DOL.                                                                                                          
Representative  Carpenter questioned  whether inmates  had a                                                                    
right  to privacy  and if  dog searches  were prohibited  in                                                                    
prison. He  asked for  clarification. Mr.  Duxbury responded                                                                    
that he  was unsure of the  legality of the issue  and would                                                                    
work collaboratively with other  involved agencies. He would                                                                    
seek  legal  guidance from  the  Department  of Law  if  the                                                                    
policy was under consideration.                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Wilson  commented that she  was aware that  DOC had                                                                    
one trained  drug sniffing dog  and was trying to  work with                                                                    
DPS to establish an agreement.                                                                                                  
2:46:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Sullivan-Leonard  asked   whether  the   CS                                                                    
contained harsher sentences for repeat vehicular theft.                                                                         
ROBERT HENDERSON, ASSISTANT  ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
LAW (via  teleconference), explained that vehicle  theft was                                                                    
a Class C  felony offense. He cited page 4,  line 2, Section                                                                    
33 of the CS and noted  that the CS adjusted the presumptive                                                                    
ranges  for Class  B felonies  and  did not  adjust Class  C                                                                    
felony  offences. He  added that  for a  first time  Class C                                                                    
felony vehicle  theft the presumptive  term was zero  to two                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter  wondered   whether  there  was  a                                                                    
presumptive  right   to  privacy  that  would   prevent  law                                                                    
enforcement from using  a drug dog to search  for drugs. Mr.                                                                    
Henderson   replied  that   all  Alaskan   citizens  had   a                                                                    
"heightened"  right to  privacy  that was  greater than  the                                                                    
provisions  in the  US  Constitution.  Prisoners had  lesser                                                                    
rights to privacy and search  dogs were permitted in prison.                                                                    
Representative Carpenter  asked if  the dog could  belong to                                                                    
another  agency like  DPS. Mr.  Henderson  responded in  the                                                                    
2:49:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Merrick asked  whether corrections  officers                                                                    
were subject  to the same  privacy rights as  prisoners. She                                                                    
had heard  that many of the  drugs had been coming  into the                                                                    
prison  through  prison  staff.   Mr.  Henderson  wanted  to                                                                    
further explore the issue. He  reiterated that prisoners had                                                                    
a lesser expectation to privacy  and a correctional facility                                                                    
had  a lower  expectation  as well.  However, a  corrections                                                                    
officer  as an  employee had  an expectation  of privacy  at                                                                    
work.  He  deemed  that  there   would  be  protections  and                                                                    
circumstances that  would protect privacy rights.  He wanted                                                                    
more  time  to  "think  through the  nuanced  legal  issues"                                                                    
before he could advise DOC on the matter.                                                                                       
Co-Chair Wilson  requested follow-up.  She wanted  to ensure                                                                    
privacy  rights but  also  the ability  to  detect drugs  in                                                                    
prison. She  shared that she  had received a letter  from an                                                                    
inmate  that stated  inmates find  it easier  to find  drugs                                                                    
inside the  correctional facility  than on the  outside. She                                                                    
characterized the problem as a "major issue."                                                                                   
2:52:01 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Josephson asked  whether the  reason the  CS                                                                    
for  HB 20  and the  governor's  crime bill  did not  adjust                                                                    
Class  C  felonies  was  the   belief  that  the  issue  was                                                                    
addressed in  SB 54.  Mr. Henderson replied  that SB  54 did                                                                    
change the  presumptive sentencing  for first time  C felons                                                                    
from an  18-month probationary  sentence to  a zero  to two-                                                                    
year  sentencing range.  He  clarified  that the  governor's                                                                    
bill did  address presumptive ranges  for Class  C felonies.                                                                    
Representative Josephson  spoke to  vehicle theft  and noted                                                                    
that  a colleague  introduced a  mandatory minimum  bill. He                                                                    
related  that  the  administration's  crime  bills  did  not                                                                    
contain mandatory  minimums. Mr. Henderson responded  in the                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson  asked  Mr. Henderson  how  the  department                                                                    
would measure  the impact of  the changes being made  in the                                                                    
bill. She  wondered how effective  the decisions  being made                                                                    
were.  Mr. Henderson  offered that  the  question was  "very                                                                    
broad." He  explained that the  criminal justice  system was                                                                    
based  on   discretion  and   relied  on   the  professional                                                                    
judgement of  its practitioners. The system  was adversarial                                                                    
by  design.  He pointed  to  the  "discretion" that  existed                                                                    
prior  to  SB  91   that  compelled  where  the  appropriate                                                                    
sanction was. He  noted that prior to SB 91  the range for a                                                                    
class A  felony offense  was 7  to 11  years if  a dangerous                                                                    
instrument was  involved. He believed  that the  court could                                                                    
assign the  appropriate sentence based on  the circumstances                                                                    
of the  offense. He concluded  that the system was  based on                                                                    
the  discretion  of  highly   trained  judges  weighing  the                                                                    
information presented  by the  prosecution and  defense that                                                                    
could offer  aggravating or mitigating factors.  He endorsed                                                                    
returning  the law  to pre-SB  91  standards. He  emphasized                                                                    
that SB 91 reduced the amount of discretion in the system.                                                                      
2:56:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Knopp  stated  his  unfamiliarity  with  the                                                                    
judicial  system.   He  wondered   if  the  judge   had  the                                                                    
discretion to accept  or reject the deal or  change the deal                                                                    
"on  the spot"  when a  defense and  a prosecuting  attorney                                                                    
reached a deal. Mr. Henderson  responded that it depended on                                                                    
how  the plea  deal  was structured.  He  indicated that  in                                                                    
general,  a  judge had  the  discretion  to only  accept  or                                                                    
reject the  agreement. The  charging decision  rested solely                                                                    
with the prosecution.  The court could look  at the sentence                                                                    
and  determine whether  the sentence  was too  harsh or  too                                                                    
lenient and  would ask the  parties to adjust  the agreement                                                                    
but could  not impose  a different  sentence. Representative                                                                    
Knopp asked whether a mechanism  was in place that affords a                                                                    
judge  the discretion.  He felt  that the  discretion always                                                                    
ended up with  the prosecutors or defense  attorneys and not                                                                    
the judge.  Mr. Henderson  replied that  the answer  lied in                                                                    
the recognition  that most  cases were  resolved via  a plea                                                                    
agreement, which was the function  of volume. The system did                                                                    
not  contain the  capacity to  take all  cases to  trial. He                                                                    
thought that  sentencing ranges  provided discretion  to the                                                                    
prosecutor  and  the judge  in  plea  agreements. The  court                                                                    
would   look  at   the  plea   agreement.  He   agreed  that                                                                    
prosecutors had  a "tremendous amount  of discretion  in the                                                                    
criminal justice system." He felt  that prosecutors took the                                                                    
matter of  discretion very "seriously." He  agreed that when                                                                    
more discretion  was granted to  the system  more discretion                                                                    
was given to prosecutors.                                                                                                       
3:01:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Josephson  referenced credit for  time served                                                                    
under  electronic monitoring  (EM) while  on bail.  He noted                                                                    
the use of  the word "may" regarding credit  for time served                                                                    
and wondered why  a judge would very likely  grant a certain                                                                    
amount of credit. He pointed  out that may could mean "maybe                                                                    
or  maybe  not."  Mr.  Henderson   cited  the  statute  that                                                                    
Representative  Josephson referenced  AS 12.65.027  (d) that                                                                    
used the words "may grant."  He added that another provision                                                                    
stated,  may grant  if.  He qualified that  that the statute                                                                    
was  typically  interpreted  as "if  the  offender  did  not                                                                    
commit a new  criminal offense" time served  may be granted.                                                                    
He  was unsure  whether  the legislature  intended that  the                                                                    
judge  had  complete discretion,  but  the  way many  judges                                                                    
interpreted the statute  was as a directive  to grant credit                                                                    
if the offender did not  commit a new criminal offense while                                                                    
on bail. He  furthered that the one case,  Bell versus State                                                                    
[1983 -  Alaska Court of  Appeals] that had  interpreted the                                                                    
subsection and was carried through  to the Court of Appeals.                                                                    
He noted that the case  started with the proposition that if                                                                    
the offender did not commit  a new criminal offense while on                                                                    
bail,  he was  entitled  to  EM credit.  He  called it  "the                                                                    
foundational premise" of the case.  Mr. Henderson provided a                                                                    
hypothetical scenario. He suggested  that if the legislature                                                                    
intended  a  different  goal,  then  it  would  not  be  the                                                                    
practitioner's   interpretation.  Representative   Josephson                                                                    
deduced that the  small word "if" "energized  the word "may"                                                                    
to lean towards awarding the  credit in conjunction with the                                                                    
Bell case. Mr. Henderson responded in the affirmative.                                                                          
Co-Chair Wilson  inquired about  how to  fix the  issue. Mr.                                                                    
Henderson  suggested the  legislature  clarify the  statute.                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson asked  whether the  legislature could  have                                                                    
taken more  time to clarify  the statute or did  the problem                                                                    
lie in  how the  statute was  written. Mr.  Henderson agreed                                                                    
with the  former statement and  reported that  the appellate                                                                    
courts would always look at  legislative intent and how much                                                                    
weight was  placed on the  intent depended on how  clear the                                                                    
underlying statute  was. He favored clearly  written statute                                                                    
in the  situation. Co-Chair Wilson  agreed that  clarity was                                                                    
the superior choice.                                                                                                            
3:06:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Josephson  offered  that the  defendant  was                                                                    
entitled  to  an  "order"   that  rationalized  the  judge's                                                                    
decision  and  was another  problem  with  not granting  the                                                                    
credit.  The way  the statute  was written  it could  appear                                                                    
that the  judge's decision was "arbitrary"  and "capricious"                                                                    
even  if the  judge felt  that the  defendants past  violent                                                                    
acts negated or precluded credit.  He asked for comment. Mr.                                                                    
Henderson  maintained that  the representative  made a  very                                                                    
good point.  He voiced that  the time served should  be left                                                                    
to DOC and the courts.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Wilson  thought that  the  bill  would remove  the                                                                    
pretrial  EM  altogether.  Mr.  Henderson  answered  in  the                                                                    
affirmative. He relayed that the  court was really doing two                                                                    
separate  analysis.   In  the  pretrial  phase,   the  judge                                                                    
assessed whether  the person  was a flight  risk or  posed a                                                                    
danger to the public, but  when sentencing many factors were                                                                    
considered. He expounded that the  court was not considering                                                                    
the same  sentencing factors when granting  Pretrial release                                                                    
and  was  granting credit  for  time  served under  pretrial                                                                    
considerations  that  under  sentencing were  not  the  same                                                                    
3:09:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter thought  that if  a person  was on                                                                    
electronic  monitoring,   a  good  defense   strategy  would                                                                    
accumulate  time  served  to  minimize  the  jail  time  the                                                                    
offender  served.   He  asked   whether  the   scenario  was                                                                    
happening.   Mr.  Henderson   believed  that   the  scenario                                                                    
occurred. He  thought that it  was a beneficial  strategy to                                                                    
lengthen the  time on bail whether  on EM or for  cases that                                                                    
resulted in  incarceration. There was an  incentive to delay                                                                    
a  case  and remain  in  pre-trial  status  for as  long  as                                                                    
possible.  Representative Carpenter  deduced  that time  and                                                                    
money  was wasted  in  the  strategy and  thought  it was  a                                                                    
significant issue.                                                                                                              
Co-Chair   Wilson   indicated   that   the   Department   of                                                                    
Corrections was available to answer questions.                                                                                  
Representative  Merrick asked  whether the  EM base  station                                                                    
was included in  terms of tampering with the  devise and how                                                                    
they were managed so they  were not tampered with by someone                                                                    
other than the offender. She  had learned that EM technology                                                                    
did not utilize  GPS technology and solely relied  on a base                                                                    
station unit.                                                                                                                   
JENNIFER  WINKELMAN,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  PROBATION  AND                                                                    
PAROLE,  DEPARTMENT  OF  CORRECTIONS  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
clarified  that GPS  monitoring  equipment was  used for  EM                                                                    
except in  some areas  where it  didn't work.  She explained                                                                    
that  the equipment  on the  ankle was  the primary  concern                                                                    
related  to  tampering.  Officers   stationed  at  the  base                                                                    
station were trained in reading  the alerts and working with                                                                    
the  manufacturer   to  determine  tampering   or  equipment                                                                    
issues.  She had  not experienced  another person  tampering                                                                    
with the  GPS system. The GPS  relayed information regarding                                                                    
the defendant in real time.                                                                                                     
3:15:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Merrick   asked  if  ankle   bracelets  were                                                                    
monitored  24 hours  a  day  7 days  a  week. Ms.  Winkelman                                                                    
answered  in   the  affirmative.  She  explained   that  the                                                                    
equipment was monitoring the  bracelets continuously and the                                                                    
data was  entered into  a database  that the  officers could                                                                    
access at any  time. However, if an alert  happened the call                                                                    
center immediately  alerted the probation or  parole officer                                                                    
to respond. The alerts went  off immediately for things like                                                                    
low    batteries,    tampering,     fit,    or    proximity.                                                                    
Simultaneously, the officers had access  to the data base on                                                                    
a computer system  at any time. She likened  the call center                                                                    
to  an emergency  911  call  center. Representative  Merrick                                                                    
asked  how  the  ankle  monitors  were  tampered  with.  She                                                                    
wondered if it  was difficult to tamper or  remove them. Ms.                                                                    
Winkelman was aware  that the EM had to be  easier to remove                                                                    
in case  of an emergency.  She reported that  the percentage                                                                    
of escapes  in the prior  years was minimal. She  had looked                                                                    
at  the amount  of escapes  that  happened in  the prior  12                                                                    
months and noted  it amounted to less than  one percent. The                                                                    
department  had  done a  risk  assessment  prior to  placing                                                                    
someone on EM. She added that  when an alert was sounded, it                                                                    
was investigated immediately to  determine the cause. If the                                                                    
conclusion  was  tampering  or removal,  the  defendant  was                                                                    
placed  back  into custody.  She  emphasized  that very  few                                                                    
offenders tampered with the equipment.                                                                                          
Co-Chair Wilson wondered  how a person could  get lost under                                                                    
EM. Ms.  Winkelman was  unable to  answer the  question. She                                                                    
noted it depended  on the reliability of the  GPS system and                                                                    
guessed that it would happen in area without GPS coverage.                                                                      
3:19:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Sullivan-Leonard    requested   information                                                                    
concerning misconduct involving  a controlled substance. She                                                                    
referred  to page  14, Section  24, which  was the  point HB
49-Crimes; Sentencing;  Drugs; Theft; Reports  was partially                                                                    
inserted into  HB 20 to  form the CS. She  communicated that                                                                    
her  community's  overwhelming  concern was  regarding  drug                                                                    
users,   drug  offenders,   drug   distributors,  and   meth                                                                    
producers and  the "revolving door"  of offenders  not being                                                                    
sentenced for longer periods. She  asked whether HB 20 would                                                                    
close the  gap that  created a  revolving door  of offenders                                                                    
going in  and out  of prison. She  wondered whether  DOC was                                                                    
prepared for  a larger prison population  and rehabilitation                                                                    
KELLY  GOODE, DEPUTY  DIRECTOR,  DEPARTMENT OF  CORRECTIONS,                                                                    
deferred to  DOL and the  Court System  regarding sentencing                                                                    
since DOC  was on  the "downstream"  side of  sentencing and                                                                    
sentencing laws. She relayed that  DOC was given time, until                                                                    
the  following Monday,  to  provide a  fiscal  note for  the                                                                    
bill. The department was carefully  scrutinizing the bill to                                                                    
prepare accurate fiscal notes  and present "real numbers" to                                                                    
the committee.                                                                                                                  
Representative  Carpenter  asked  how the  present  pretrial                                                                    
electronic monitoring compared to  the less than one percent                                                                    
escape statistic for sentenced  individuals on EM. Ms. Goode                                                                    
deferred the question to Ms. Winkelman.                                                                                         
Ms. Winkelman answered that she  would provide the committee                                                                    
current  numbers.  She  commented  that the  crime  was  not                                                                    
charged   with  escape.   Pretrial  escape   was  considered                                                                    
violating  conditions of  release or  "VCOR". She  needed to                                                                    
compile the information.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Wilson  interposed   that  she  heard  discussions                                                                    
regarding eliminating Pretrial  EM, which currently included                                                                    
over 1,000  individuals. She asked Ms.  Winkelman to provide                                                                    
an estimate  of people who would  reject EM if they  did not                                                                    
receive  credit.  She  wondered  how  the  department  could                                                                    
measure  the  scenario.  She   inquired  whether  under  the                                                                    
current risk  assessment tool process, the  defendant had an                                                                    
opportunity to  choose jail  time instead  of EM.  Ms. Goode                                                                    
deferred to Ms.  Meade and DOL to help  answer the question.                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson reiterated her question.                                                                                        
Ms.  Winkelman also  deferred to  Ms. Meade  for assistance.                                                                    
She explained that very rarely  would a person decline to be                                                                    
released,   if  given   the   option.   She  observed   that                                                                    
individuals released  on Pretrial  EM often  did not  have a                                                                    
home or  supportive environment to return  to versus inmates                                                                    
released on EM.  The department would not  release an inmate                                                                    
on EM  without establishing  the residence they  returned to                                                                    
was   livable.   Some   pretrial   EM   involved   releasing                                                                    
individuals without support in place.                                                                                           
Co-Chair Wilson asked  Ms. Mead to answer  the question. She                                                                    
relayed  her  question  again. She  relayed  a  hypothetical                                                                    
scenario.  She wondered  if  an offender  had  to accept  EM                                                                    
instead  of jail  time. Ms.  Mead thought  Co-Chair Wilson's                                                                    
hypothetical scenario was unlikely,  which made it difficult                                                                    
to answer.  She hypothesized that a  homeless person without                                                                    
the option of  plugging in the monitoring  device might turn                                                                    
down  EM  even  if  their pretrial  tool  score  recommended                                                                    
release. She  suggested that if  the prosecutor  agreed, the                                                                    
judge would reverse  the finding and likely  offer cash bail                                                                    
that  would effectively  keep the  individual  in bail.  She                                                                    
thought  it highly  unlikely that  a judge  would grant  the                                                                    
request of  an individual  to be  placed in  jail if  EM was                                                                    
possible to be carried out  safely just because they desired                                                                    
jail  time for  credit. She  maintained that  judges do  not                                                                    
impose   jail  as   housing  and   thought   the  idea   was                                                                    
"farfetched." Co-Chair  Wilson merely wanted to  know if the                                                                    
offender legally  had the choice.  She continued  to address                                                                    
her hypothetical scenario and  deduced that the tool created                                                                    
the  choice unlike  the  system  prior to  SB  91. Ms.  Mead                                                                    
expressed some confusion with the  scenario and relayed that                                                                    
it was  a difficult hypothetical  to provide an  answer for.                                                                    
She  answered  that prior  to  SB  91  a judge  could  order                                                                    
certain conditions  of release  and the person  could choose                                                                    
not to meet them as was  still currently the case. She could                                                                    
not  imagine  a judge  taking  up  a  jail bed  for  someone                                                                    
turning down pretrial release just  because they refused it.                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson restated  her  question  and concerns  with                                                                    
over 1,000 individuals  on EM. She wondered  if her scenario                                                                    
was  likely a  reality. Ms.  Mead did  not believe  Co-Chair                                                                    
Wilson's scenario  was realistic even if  time served credit                                                                    
was eliminated.                                                                                                                 
3:33:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson OPENED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
3:34:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  COONS,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference),  noted                                                                    
that he was  the President of the Greater  Alaska Chapter of                                                                    
AMAC. He  was confused with the  process by which HB  20 was                                                                    
being vetted.  He wondered  whether HB  20 was  a substitute                                                                    
for HB 49 and HB   52-Crimes; Sex Crimes; Sentencing; Parole                                                                    
that were added to HB 20.  He contended that some members of                                                                    
the House were "leading a  concerted effort" to "tie up" the                                                                    
governor's crime bills  that overturned SB 91.  He talked of                                                                    
the  prior year's  passage  of SB  54  being a  watered-down                                                                    
effort to address crime. He  thought the current process was                                                                    
equal  to "smoke  and mirrors"  and  deceptive. He  believed                                                                    
that citizens  voted for the  governor to address  crime and                                                                    
the  PFD.  He  demanded   that  the  committee  address  the                                                                    
governor's crime  bills. He urged members  to either support                                                                    
the people or the criminals.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson   commented  that  there  would   be  other                                                                    
opportunities for public testimony in the future.                                                                               
Representative Knopp asked about  the acronym that Mr. Coons                                                                    
mentioned. He  asked Mr. Coons to  repeat his organization's                                                                    
name.  Mr.  Coons  responded AMAC  was  the  Association  of                                                                    
Mature American Citizens.                                                                                                       
3:37:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson CLOSED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
Representative  Merrick thought  the current  topic was  the                                                                    
most important subject of the session.                                                                                          
Co-Chair Wilson indicated the  committee would take whatever                                                                    
time was necessary.                                                                                                             
Representative  Merrick  asked  about what  was  being  done                                                                    
about   drug   contraband   in  the   state's   correctional                                                                    
facilities and how prevalent the  problem was. Ms. Goode was                                                                    
unprepared to  answer the question  fully. She  offered that                                                                    
DOC  was  aware of  the  problem  and constantly  addressing                                                                    
contraband in its  correctional facilities. The correctional                                                                    
officers   were   trained   to  identify   contraband.   The                                                                    
commissioner  was always  seeking  new ways  to address  the                                                                    
issue. She stressed  that the issue was a  high priority for                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter asked  if  DOC had  a policy  that                                                                    
addressed  making sure  people  were aware  of their  rights                                                                    
being  limited upon  entry  of  correctional facilities.  He                                                                    
asked about  the privacy policies and  process for employees                                                                    
and visitors.  Ms. Goode would  provide the policies  to the                                                                    
committee. Representative Carpenter  asked if the department                                                                    
saw  a problem  with prosecuting  employees who  bring drugs                                                                    
into   prison.   Ms.   Goode  related   that   the   current                                                                    
commissioner   stated  she   would   seek  prosecution   for                                                                    
employees  providing  drugs   to  prisoners.  Representative                                                                    
Carpenter asked  whether she knew of  any prosecutions under                                                                    
the new  administration. Ms. Goode  replied in  the negative                                                                    
but noted that any pending cases would be confidential.                                                                         
Co-Chair  Wilson inquired  whether  the drug  dogs would  be                                                                    
prohibited  from entering  some  parts  of the  correctional                                                                    
facility  to  check for  drugs.  Ms.  Goode replied  in  the                                                                    
Representative Tilton  asked whether  the policies  were the                                                                    
same for  all correctional  facilities statewide.  Ms. Goode                                                                    
answered  that   in  general,   DOC  policies   covered  all                                                                    
institutions that were pertinent  to a specific institution,                                                                    
with  some exceptions.  However, the  overall policies  that                                                                    
managed all the department's  institutions were the policies                                                                    
for  the  entire  department.  Representative  Tilton  asked                                                                    
whether   the   commissioner   could   change   a   specific                                                                    
institutions  policy.  She exemplified a policy  specific to                                                                    
a facility  that allowed for  an event that could  result in                                                                    
contraband  entering the  facility. Ms.  Goode replied  that                                                                    
the  commissioner  would  have  the  ability  to  alter  the                                                                    
policy. She  agreed that the  allowable events were  an area                                                                    
of risk for contraband.                                                                                                         
3:44:44 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Knopp  highlighted   the   high  level   of                                                                    
behavioral health issues at  correctional facilities. He was                                                                    
informed of the rehabilitation  and educational programs DOC                                                                    
offered  and was  "astonished" at  the  number reported.  He                                                                    
addressed the mental health support  provided to inmates. He                                                                    
wondered  how  the support  was  provided  and who  mandated                                                                    
them.   He  referenced   the  programs   and  rehabilitation                                                                    
services.  He wondered  if any  statutes drove  offering the                                                                    
rehabilitation  services  or whether  it  was  a good  faith                                                                    
effort on the part of DOC.  He wondered whether out of state                                                                    
facilities would  be chosen  that offered  the same  sort of                                                                    
resources  if the  services were  mandated via  statute. Ms.                                                                    
Goode  responded  that  68 percent  of  inmates  had  mental                                                                    
health  issues and  22 percent  had severe  issues. She  was                                                                    
uncertain  what guided  the policy  regarding mental  health                                                                    
support and would provide  the answer. Alaska's constitution                                                                    
mandated  reformation, which  drove  the rehabilitation  and                                                                    
educational  opportunities.  In  terms   of  a  request  for                                                                    
proposal  (RFP) for  sending prisoners  to an  out of  state                                                                    
facility, the facility was mandated  to provide the required                                                                    
Representative   Tilton  referenced   the  money   spent  on                                                                    
educating  prisoners  in  relationship  to  inmates  in  the                                                                    
system  and thought  spending the  dollars  should have  the                                                                    
best impact on  Alaska's prisoners. She asked  how often the                                                                    
educational programs were reviewed  for efficacy and whether                                                                    
funds were readjusted  towards more effective rehabilitation                                                                    
programs.    Ms.   Goode    reported   that    the   current                                                                    
administration  shared the  concern  and  learned that  many                                                                    
programs  were not  measured for  effectiveness. She  agreed                                                                    
that the  dollars should be  spent on programs that  had the                                                                    
best  impact on  reforming  inmates and  helping become  law                                                                    
abiding  citizens. She  emphasized that  the department  was                                                                    
addressing the issue.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair  Wilson  cited  the  severe  mental  health  inmate                                                                    
population. She questioned whether  DOC had the expertise to                                                                    
support  the severely  mentally ill.  She asked  whether the                                                                    
department  had looked  at certain  out of  state facilities                                                                    
that could  offer better assistance  for those  inmates with                                                                    
severe  behavioral health  issues. Ms.  Goode was  unable to                                                                    
answer the question and offered  to provide the information.                                                                    
She was  uncertain the  facilities existed.  Co-Chair Wilson                                                                    
surmised  that correctional  facilities were  not set  up to                                                                    
help  the  severely  mentally  ill.  She  expounded  on  her                                                                    
opinion of  Alaska's prison  systems. She  ultimately wanted                                                                    
to know  whether the changes  the legislature  was embarking                                                                    
on would  produce desired  outcomes and  how they  were best                                                                    
measured.   She  believed   in   punishment   but  also   in                                                                    
rehabilitation.  She deemed  that  "the system  was made  to                                                                    
fail and not to succeed and wondered why."                                                                                      
HB  20  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson relayed that Amendments  were due by 5:00 pm                                                                    
on Monday, April  29, 2019 to Legal Services.   She reported                                                                    
that committee  would not  be meeting  on Sunday,  April 28,                                                                    
2019 at 1:30 P.M.                                                                                                               
3:55:06 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects