Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/15/1996 01:37 PM Senate CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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.                                                            

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