Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/15/1996 01:37 PM Senate CRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CSHB 474(JUD)(tile am) VIOLATIONS OF MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES CHAIRMAN TORGERSON called the Senate Community & Regional Affairs Committee meeting to order at 1:37 p.m. and brought CSHB 474(JUD) (title am) before the committee as the only order of business MARVEEN COGGINS, aide to Representative Cynthia Toohey who is prime sponsor of HB 474, said the legislation was introduced at the request of the Municipality of Anchorage to help address juvenile crime at the municipal level. It will allow municipalities to better respond to less serious juvenile behavior by expanding its jurisdiction to include the ability to subject juvenile offenders to civil violation. It will also allow the state juvenile justice system to focus on the more serious criminal activity while assuring that the juvenile offenders of less serious offenses can receive more immediate consequences for their actions at the municipal level. Number 058 SENATOR TORGERSON referred to language on page 1, line 14 and asked if it was really intended to have each day be a violation. MS. COGGINS responded that it is almost more of a clarification that this section of the statute includes a minor. She said she has checked with the various entities who have been working on this bill and they feel that they would not want to change the "each day" language to address minors differently. SENATOR TORGERSON said Section 3 provides that a copy of the civil complaint goes to the commissioner of health and social services or the commissioner's designee on every offense. He said on curfew violations, or graffiti, etc., that may be something they may want to have happen, but there are other ordinances that he assumes would come under this that wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with a police officer writing a citation or somebody making that notice available to the commissioner. He suggested this could be an extra burden they are placing upon local governments. Number 095 DIANE WORLEY, Director, Division of Family & Youth Services, Department of Health & Social Services, said the division requested this language because if these violations were outside of the juvenile system, they wanted some way to make sure that they had information about certain patterns of behavior with youth. If they at a later date got into the juvenile justice system, they did not want to have a youth have numerous ordinance violations and yet come into the juvenile justice system and be considered a first time offender because they have no record or history of their behavior up to that point. Also, it will keep them informed as to juveniles who are on probation. Number 135 SENATOR TORGERSON asked Senator Hoffman, if, as a past city manager, he sees problems with Section 3. SENATOR HOFFMAN replied it would depend on whether they required a report on a daily basis or on a monthly basis. He added that if it's handled properly, like on a monthly basis, it wouldn't be as much paper work, but if it is required on a more immediate basis, it might require another full-time position. MS. WORLEY responded that the department has not set up any specifics of that process, but she thinks that the department and the municipality can come up with a reasonable process that will work for both sides. Number 170 SENATOR TORGERSON referred to subsection (b) on page 2, and questioned if it should specify that it is a municipal hearing officer rather than just a hearing officer. MS. COGGINS said she spoke to the Department of Law regarding this provision and they pointed out it is an optional process and they would prefer not to have municipal in there because there are times that they might contract out. CARMEN CLARK-WEEKS, representing the Municipality of Anchorage, said she didn't think it makes a lot of difference. She said since it already says "allegations against a minor for a civil penalty under municipal ordinance may be assigned a hearing officer" then those would have to go to some type of municipal employee. Under the current system they cannot go to a state hearing officer for violation of municipal code under any circumstances except through appeal of a municipal or administrative decision based on the way Title 14 of the Anchorage Municipal Code is drafted and based on the way the Appellate Rules to the state courts are drafted. Ms. Clark-Weeks also suggested that on page 2, line 5, Section 3, adding clarifying language "which relates to the purposes of the Department of Health and Social Services." Number 262 BOB BAILEY, representing the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, said juvenile crime is a huge problem and a growing problem in the state, and particularly, in the Municipality of Anchorage. The municipality is virtually helpless is the area of juvenile crime because they have absolutely no jurisdiction. Everything has to be turned over to the state system, and although it is a good system, it is overburdened. He requested the committee's support of HB 474 because the Chamber believes it is an important first step to fighting juvenile crime, not only in Anchorage, but statewide. Number 285 DUANE UDLAND, Deputy Chief, Anchorage Police Department, voiced his support for the clarification language suggested by Ms. Clark- Weeks. The department sees the legislation as something for the municipalities to help the state out by taking up some of the slack. He urged passage of the legislation. Number 310 SENATOR TORGERSON brought the amendment proposed by the Municipality of Anchorage before the committee for its consideration. On page 2, line 5: After the word "ordinance" insert "which relates to the Department of Health & Social Services." SENATOR KELLY moved adoption of the amendment. Hearing no objection, the Chairman stated the motion carried. SENATOR TORGERSON again referred to subsection (b) on page 2 and asked if it should defined as a state hearing officer or a municipal hearing officer. ANN CARPENETI, Department of Law, said she believes it is clear enough in the legislation that it is a municipal hearing officer. She talked to the deputy municipal attorney for the Municipality of Anchorage and was told they have a hearing officer in-house. They prefer not to add the word "municipal" because of the possibility of contracting with a hearing officer in the event that there is a conflict of interest with their in-house hearing officer. Number 326 SENATOR TORGERSON asked for the pleasure of the committee. SENATOR KELLY moved that SCS CSHB 474(CRA) be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.