Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS 519

03/21/2020 09:00 AM House FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
-- Continued from 3/20/20 --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 137 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSSB 120(HSS) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSHB 290(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSHB 247(FSH) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
SENATE BILL NO. 137                                                                                                           
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                     
     Parole; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
9:06:41 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Johnston OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                           
Co-Chair Johnston  asked for a  brief reintroduction  of the                                                                    
SENATOR PETER  MICCICHE, SPONSOR, the bill  would extend the                                                                    
Board  of  Parole from  2020  to  2025. He  highlighted  the                                                                    
importance  of the  bill,  given  the need  for  a Board  of                                                                    
Parole. He asked his staff to provide additional detail.                                                                        
MICHAEL WILLIS, INTERN, SENATOR  PETER MICCICHE, shared that                                                                    
the  bill would  extend the  Board of  Parole from  June 30,                                                                    
2020  to June  30,  2025.  He detailed  that  the board  was                                                                    
serving  the  public's  interest by  effectively  evaluating                                                                    
prisoners' likelihood  of recidivism and whether  a prisoner                                                                    
poses a  threat to the  public. He relayed that  Kris Curtis                                                                    
with  the Division  of Legislative  Audit was  available for                                                                    
additional questions.                                                                                                           
9:08:42 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Knopp asked  if  the fiscal  note showed  an                                                                    
increased or decreased cost from prior fiscal notes.                                                                            
Mr. Willis answered  that he had not looked  at prior fiscal                                                                    
notes. He deferred the question to the legislative auditor.                                                                     
Senator Micciche answered that  he had reviewed prior fiscal                                                                    
notes.  He highlighted  that the  auditor's report  (copy on                                                                    
file)  showed that  the  cost had  increased  because SB  91                                                                    
[crime  reform legislation  passed in  2016] had  added five                                                                    
positions.  He  believed  there may  be  an  opportunity  to                                                                    
reduce the members on the  board the following year once the                                                                    
impacts of HB  49 [crime reform legislation  passed in 2019]                                                                    
were  understood. He  explained  that a  reduction in  board                                                                    
members would bring the cost down somewhat.                                                                                     
Representative   Carpenter  directed   a  question   to  the                                                                    
legislative auditor.  He asked about the  board's ability to                                                                    
effectively evaluate the likelihood  of recidivism. He asked                                                                    
if  it was  something the  audit was  able to  evaluate with                                                                    
statistics the  Department of Corrections  or board  kept on                                                                    
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT,  replied  that  what  the  sunset  audit                                                                    
reviewed was  dictated by statute  (the 11  various statutes                                                                    
were  included in  the appendix  of the  audit report).  The                                                                    
audit did not look at the  quality of a board's decisions in                                                                    
terms of whether  they were making the  right decisions. The                                                                    
background information  sections of the audit  explained how                                                                    
a board went  about making decisions and the  tools it used.                                                                    
When  Legislative Audit  did  its testing,  it  made sure  a                                                                    
board was  using the tools  described in regulation,  but it                                                                    
did not reaffirm a board's decision.                                                                                            
9:11:04 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wool  stated that  the renewal date  had been                                                                    
pushed back  due to  HB 49. He  thought the  board extension                                                                    
had been reduced  from eight to five years. He  asked if the                                                                    
extension was too long considering that  SB 91 and HB 49 had                                                                    
taken place during a short  timeframe. He knew that numerous                                                                    
staff had  been added  as a  result of SB  91. He  thought a                                                                    
reduction may occur sooner than five years.                                                                                     
Ms. Curtis answered  that HB 49 had not  been considered [in                                                                    
the audit].  She elaborated that  when the audit  report had                                                                    
been   written,  Legislative   Audit  did   not  know   what                                                                    
legislation  would pass;  therefore, she  had recommended  a                                                                    
five-year  extension.  The  last  time the  board  had  been                                                                    
extended  was three  years earlier.  At that  time, she  had                                                                    
recommended a  six-year extension,  which had been  cut down                                                                    
to  three  years  due  to uncertainty.  The  length  of  the                                                                    
extension was solely up to  policy makers. She reported that                                                                    
the  Board of  Parole  was very  well run  and  had done  an                                                                    
amazing job with the change they had gone through.                                                                              
Senator  Micciche  answered that  there  would  be a  parole                                                                    
board whether or  not the extension was  made. He elaborated                                                                    
that whether  the board was extended  for 3, 5, or  8 years,                                                                    
the  things  the  legislature  would  have  to  adjust  were                                                                    
independent of the  board extension. He noted he  was on the                                                                    
Department   of   Corrections   finance   subcommittee.   He                                                                    
referenced  exhibit  3   on  page  2  [of   the  audit]  and                                                                    
considered whether the legislature  had over capitalized the                                                                    
board  with  positions  now  that  there  was  no  longer  a                                                                    
requirement for a  Board of Parole hearing.  He believed the                                                                    
legislature  would have  to work  through the  issue in  the                                                                    
budget  process. He  explained  that the  board would  still                                                                    
need to  be extended and  he did not  see the five  years as                                                                    
being a factor  in how the legislature  adjusted the board's                                                                    
budget in the next five years.                                                                                                  
9:13:30 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Foster MOVED  to REPORT  SB 137  out of  committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
SB  137 was  REPORTED  out  of committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and  with  one previously  published  fiscal                                                                    
impact note: FN1 (COR).                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 120 ver. K Amendment 1 3.19.20.pdf HFIN 3/21/2020 9:00:00 AM
SB 120
HB 120 Testimony Letters 032120.pdf HFIN 3/21/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 120