Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/09/2004 12:10 PM Senate FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 534(FIN)                                                                                             
     "An Act repealing the scheduled termination date of the office                                                             
     of victims' rights."                                                                                                       
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Co-Chair Wilken noted that  this legislation, CS HB 534, Version 23-                                                            
LS1830\D,  would  repeal  the  termination  date  of the  Office  of                                                            
Victims' Rights.  He noted that the  bill is sponsored by  the House                                                            
Rules Committee by request  of the Legislative Budget & Audit (LB&A)                                                            
SARA NIELSEN,  Staff to Representative  Ralph Samuels, Chair  of the                                                            
LB&A Committee,  stated  that this  "simple bill"  would repeal  the                                                            
termination  date  regarding  the  Office of  Victims'  Rights.  The                                                            
Office,  she noted,  is responsible  for providing  "legal  council,                                                            
education, and assistance  to victims of crime." She shared that the                                                            
original  version of  this bill  specified a  four-year termination                                                             
date; however,  she continued, the  House Finance Committee  amended                                                            
the original bill to specify that the Office be permanent.                                                                      
Co-Chair Wilken  inquired to the reason  the funding would  increase                                                            
from zero in  FY 05 and FY 06 to $541,000  in FY 07 as reflected  in                                                            
the Legislative Affairs  Agency fiscal note #2, dated April 5, 2004.                                                            
Ms. Nielsen  explained that the Office  is currently funded  through                                                            
FY 06, which was its original  termination date. She noted that were                                                            
the Office  to become  permanent as  the result  of the adoption  of                                                            
this legislation, funding would be required on an annual basis.                                                                 
Co-Chair  Wilken understood  therefore, that  rather than  requiring                                                            
new funds, the fiscal note reflects that fund source change.                                                                    
Ms. Nielsen concurred.                                                                                                          
Senator Hoffman  noted, however, that "the Permanent  Fund dividend"                                                            
would continue to be the funding source.                                                                                        
Ms. Nielson affirmed.                                                                                                           
Senator  Olson asked  how  this legislation  would  relate to  other                                                            
victims right legislation.                                                                                                      
Ms. Nielsen indicated  that this legislation would  compliment other                                                            
legislation such as the Victims Compensation Board.                                                                             
Senator Bunde  asked, as a follow-up  to Senator Hoffman's  comment,                                                            
for confirmation  that this  Office would continue  to be funded  by                                                            
the Permanent Fund Corporation earnings.                                                                                        
Ms. Nielsen affirmed, and  stated that the Corporation could provide                                                            
further information.  She understood  that funding is also  provided                                                            
by the Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                                              
Senator Bunde opined that  the use of Permanent Fund earnings should                                                            
not be  considered as "breaking  new ground"  as these earnings  are                                                            
currently being spent to support the Office.                                                                                    
Senator Dyson  voiced a conflict  of interest  as he disclosed  that                                                            
his wife's  counseling business has  received and might continue  to                                                            
receive funds from this Office.                                                                                                 
Senator  Bunde  moved  to  report  the  bill   from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
There  being  no  objections,  CS  HB  534(FIN)  was  REPORTED  from                                                            
Committee  with zero fiscal  note #2, dated  April 5, 2004  from the                                                            
Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects