Legislature(2019 - 2020)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/02/2019 01:30 PM 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

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Scheduled but Not Heard
                  SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                         May 2, 2019                                                                                            
                          1:31 p.m.                                                                                             
1:31:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  called the  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 1:31 p.m.                                                                                                   
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Natasha von Imhof, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Mike Shower                                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
James  Stinson, Director,  Office of  Public Advocacy;  John                                                                    
Skidmore,  Director, Criminal  Division, Department  of Law;                                                                    
Jen Winkelman,  Director of Probation, Parole  and Pretrial,                                                                    
Department of Corrections;  Kelly Goode, deputy commissioner                                                                    
for  DOC,  In Room;  Nancy  Meade,  General Counsel,  Alaska                                                                    
Court   System;   Kelly   Howell,  Director,   Division   of                                                                    
Administrative  Services,   Department  of   Public  Safety;                                                                    
Senator Cathy Giessel, Senator  Mia Costello, Senator Shelly                                                                    
Hughes, Senator Laura Reinbold.                                                                                                 
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Beth   Goldstein,  Interim   Public  Defender;   Major  Andy                                                                    
Greenstreet, AK State Troopers, Anchorage.                                                                                      
SB 32     CRIMES; SENTENCING;MENT. ILLNESS;EVIDENCE                                                                             
          SB 32 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
SB 33     ARREST;RELEASE;SENTENCING;PROBATION                                                                                   
          SB 33 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
SB 34     PROBATION; PAROLE; SENTENCES; CREDITS                                                                                 
          SB 34 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 32                                                                                                            
     "An  Act  relating  to   criminal  law  and  procedure;                                                                    
     relating   to   controlled  substances;   relating   to                                                                    
     probation; relating to  sentencing; relating to reports                                                                    
     of  involuntary  commitment;  amending Rule  6,  Alaska                                                                    
     Rules  of  Criminal  Procedure; and  providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
Co-Chair von Imhof introduced the bill.                                                                                         
1:33:17 PM                                                                                                                    
BETH    GOLDSTEIN,    INTERIM     PUBLIC    DEFENDER    (via                                                                    
teleconference),   discussed    that   the    American   Bar                                                                    
Association recommended  amount was used. Four  attorneys to                                                                    
handle  the caseload.  The Department  of Law  (LAW) support                                                                    
staff positions. She remarked  that there was an anticipated                                                                    
increase  in new  felony drug  cases, with  the anticipation                                                                    
that there  would be  approximately 740  new cases  based on                                                                    
the rollback and statistics.  She assumed that approximately                                                                    
19 percent  would not  come to  the Public  Defender Agency,                                                                    
because  either the  defendants  would not  be eligible  for                                                                    
appointed counsel  or they  would have  a conflict  with the                                                                    
agency.  Therefore they  would go  to the  Office of  Public                                                                    
Advocacy (OPA) or contracted counsel.  She stated that there                                                                    
would  be a  remaining 600  new felony  drug cases  that the                                                                    
agency  would handle  under  the  legislation. She  remarked                                                                    
that   the  agency   used  the   American  Bar   Association                                                                    
recommended  amount of  150 felony  cases  per attorney  per                                                                    
year to determine  what would be needed with  respect to the                                                                    
felony  drug  cases.  As  a  result,  there  would  be  four                                                                    
attorney to handle  the increased case load.  She noted that                                                                    
one  additional  attorney  would  be needed  to  handle  the                                                                    
recriminalizing of the driving  without a license cases. The                                                                    
department was  also seeking  five additional  support staff                                                                    
positions.   She  stressed   that,  currently,   the  Public                                                                    
Defender office was understaffed  with respect to law office                                                                    
assistants and paralegals.  She felt that in  order to avoid                                                                    
requesting  more attorney  positions,  four  new staff  were                                                                    
needed for the  new drug felony cases and one  new staff for                                                                    
the driving cases.                                                                                                              
1:35:38 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof noted that  the review of the fiscal note                                                                    
8  OMB  1631. She  stated  that  it was  approximately  $1.4                                                                    
million a year to handle the new caseload of 600 new cases.                                                                     
Senator Bishop  asked if  the fiscal  note was  adequate for                                                                    
the bill.                                                                                                                       
Ms. Goldstein  that there  would be  an updated  fiscal note                                                                    
was actually $1.3 million                                                                                                       
Senator  Bishop asked  about  the new  cases  ever year.  He                                                                    
asked if  the cases would  all go  to trial. He  wondered if                                                                    
the state could execute the proper action.                                                                                      
Ms.  Goldstein responded  that it  was not  anticipated that                                                                    
all  the cases  would go  to trial.  She explained  that the                                                                    
most drug cases were basic  felony cases, but some were more                                                                    
complicated than  others. She stated  that the  American Bar                                                                    
Association  determined that  a  reasonable  caseload for  a                                                                    
felony-level attorney was 150  cases per year. She explained                                                                    
that, because the  cases would move through  the system, the                                                                    
agency could  handle 600 more  cases with  four felony-level                                                                    
Senator Bishop stated  that he would discuss  the issue with                                                                    
the Co-chairs.                                                                                                                  
Co-Chair von  Imhof corrected  the fiscal  note 8  amount to                                                                    
$1.3 million.                                                                                                                   
Senator Wielechowski  asked about Section 47  and the switch                                                                    
to allow for  hearsay evidence to be presented  to the Grand                                                                    
Jury. He queried support for that section.                                                                                      
Ms.  Goldstein responded  that she  also had  concerns about                                                                    
the  section.  She noted  that  the  cases may  take  longer                                                                    
without  the  certified  judgements.  She  stated  that  the                                                                    
agency  did   not  typically   participate  in   Grand  Jury                                                                    
proceedings. She remarked  that it may take  a little longer                                                                    
to  plead  out  the  cases,   because  there  would  not  be                                                                    
certified judgments from the Grand Jury.                                                                                        
Senator Wielechowski  asked if  there would be  an increased                                                                    
fiscal note as a result, or only an increased workload.                                                                         
Ms. Goldstein replied  that she believed that  it would only                                                                    
slightly increase the workload.                                                                                                 
Senator Wielechowski asked about Section  29 and a change in                                                                    
time to  be served  for possession.  He understood  that the                                                                    
first two  offences for simple  possession were  currently a                                                                    
Class  A misdemeanor  with  no jail  time,  and the  section                                                                    
changed it  to a  Class C  felony with up  to five  years in                                                                    
Ms. Goldstein agreed.                                                                                                           
Senator Wielechowski asked about the policy perspective.                                                                        
1:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Goldstein   noted  that  the  directed   measure  could                                                                    
increase litigation and caseloads.                                                                                              
Senator Wielechowski asked how  many cases could be expected                                                                    
to  be first  time possessors  of drugs.  He noted  that the                                                                    
felony provision.                                                                                                               
Ms. Goldstein responded that the  first time cases could not                                                                    
be predicted. She noted that  tracking future cases would be                                                                    
easier  with new  software. She  stated that  the philosophy                                                                    
that treatment available was necessary.                                                                                         
Senator Shower  pointed out the  analysis. He wondered  if a                                                                    
section might be missing.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair von Imhof wondered whether  there was work with the                                                                    
Office  of   Management  and  Budget   (OMB)  administrative                                                                    
director to acquire new fiscal notes.                                                                                           
Ms. Goldstein noted that the  mistake on the fiscal note was                                                                    
being corrected.                                                                                                                
Senator Shower  stressed that  it seemed  to be  a recurring                                                                    
theme, so wanted to be sure it was correct.                                                                                     
1:44:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator   Wielechowski    expressed   concern    about   the                                                                    
terminology  related  to  possession.  He  asked  about  the                                                                    
perspective of  the long-term impacts  of someone  getting a                                                                    
felony arrest.  He specifically asked about  job, education,                                                                    
and housing opportunities.                                                                                                      
Ms. Goldstein  noted that  conviction of  a felony  had many                                                                    
major ramifications from  not being able to  vote to getting                                                                    
a job.  She noted  that there  were some  ramifications with                                                                    
respect to  child custody issues and  needed public housing.                                                                    
She reiterated that  a felony conviction could  put a person                                                                    
behind in many areas of life.                                                                                                   
Senator Wielechowski stated  that the prosecutors understood                                                                    
that  possession could  be pled  down to  a misdemeanor.  He                                                                    
queried  that rational,  and the  experience about  pleading                                                                    
down simple possession.                                                                                                         
Ms.  Goldstein  agreed  that the  felony  caused  additional                                                                    
issues when compared  to a misdemeanor. She  stated that the                                                                    
ramifications in life.                                                                                                          
Senator  Wielechowski  commented  on the  argument  about  a                                                                    
suspended entry  of judgment. He  queried the  percentage of                                                                    
drug possession cases  that were dealt with  in that manner,                                                                    
and  whether it  was a  reasonable way  to deal  with future                                                                    
Ms. Goldstein  replied that she  would provide  the numbers.                                                                    
She noted that there were  some useful tools that would help                                                                    
people  to gain  treatment.  She noted  other components  to                                                                    
help  succeed. She  added that  the different  challenges to                                                                    
receiving treatment.                                                                                                            
1:49:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Micciche  asked about  incentive to  seek treatment.                                                                    
He  remarked that  someone may  not want  to seek  treatment                                                                    
without a suspended entry of  judgment. He felt that issuing                                                                    
a  violation   would  not  have   a  higher   incentive  for                                                                    
Ms. Goldstein  noted that a person  has to want to  have the                                                                    
treatment.  She stressed  that  the  addictive cycle  showed                                                                    
that people regularly  try to get sober, but  built into the                                                                    
recovery is  a failure  rate before they  can get  back into                                                                    
Senator Micciche  stated that the  state was at  war because                                                                    
of  drug related  crime.  He noted  that  crimes related  to                                                                    
supporting  requirement. He  stated  that the  change was  a                                                                    
lifesaver. He felt that someone who has                                                                                         
1:51:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.   Goldstein  believed   that  the   charge  versus   the                                                                    
conviction.  She commented  that the  obstacles to  overcome                                                                    
were, and not everyone who possesses is addicted.                                                                               
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  stated  that  a  specialist  regarding                                                                    
mental  health  and addiction  would  be  presenting to  the                                                                    
Senator  Hoffman   agreed  with   the  chair   that  another                                                                    
contributing  entity might  be necessary.  He felt  that new                                                                    
treatment centers were likely  necessary. He stated that the                                                                    
doors could  be open by  the individuals to  seek treatment.                                                                    
The provision might provide false hope.                                                                                         
1:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wilson  stated  that   the  without  incentive  for                                                                    
treatment the  facilities do not  succeed. He  stressed that                                                                    
without  the supportive  infrastructure  there  would be  to                                                                    
patient incentive. The lingering time can affect.                                                                               
Senator   Wielechowski  asked   about  treatment   incentive                                                                    
experience as the public defender and punishment.                                                                               
Ms. Goldstein responded that the  approach much be holistic,                                                                    
and  multiple things  were  asked of  the  people that  were                                                                    
Senator  Bishop  wanted  to have  a  difficult  conversation                                                                    
about  addiction.  He  thought  that  the  dialog  was  very                                                                    
Co-Chair  von Imhof  agreed that  the holistic  approach was                                                                    
very important. She noted that  federal funds were available                                                                    
for behavioral health therapy.                                                                                                  
1:59:14 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES STINSON,  DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PUBLIC  ADVOCACY, echoed                                                                    
the statements  made by  Ms. Goldstein.  He remarked  on the                                                                    
increase  in caseload  for the  legislation. He  stated that                                                                    
OPA  was   requesting  $694,700,  which  equated   to  three                                                                    
attorneys  and  two  support staff.  He  believed  that  was                                                                    
needed to absorb the increase in caseload.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  noted  the fiscal  note,  OMB  43,  at                                                                    
approximately $350,000.                                                                                                         
Mr. Stinson stated that it  was incorrect, because it was an                                                                    
older fiscal note. She queried the new fiscal note number.                                                                      
Senator Hoffman replied that it was OMB 694.                                                                                    
Senator Bishop asked if the fiscal note was accurate.                                                                           
Mr. Stinson  replied that he  believed it was  accurate. The                                                                    
fiscal note was  based on the numbers that  were most easily                                                                    
monetized.  He noted  that  there  were probably  additional                                                                    
costs, that were still uncertain.  He felt the money allowed                                                                    
for a distribution to the key  areas and offices for the new                                                                    
Senator  Bishop asked  about  the new  fiscal  note and  the                                                                    
elimination of the DNA testing.                                                                                                 
Mr. Stinson was in agreement.  He remarked that there was no                                                                    
anticipated cost  increase as a  result of the  DNA testing,                                                                    
so there would be no impact on the fiscal note.                                                                                 
Senator Micciche  asked about the contract  to staff funding                                                                    
shift. He  wondered whether there  was work to  resolve some                                                                    
of the conflict problems with the Public Defenders Agency.                                                                      
Mr.  Stinson  replied that  the  Office  of Public  Advocacy                                                                    
(OPA)  relied  on   expensive  independent  contractors.  He                                                                    
remarked that  there was a  proposal to remove  $500,000 out                                                                    
of  the contractor  line, and  utilize  additional PCNs  for                                                                    
attorneys. He  noted that  the request  did not  consider SB
32. He stated  that OPA was attempting  to find efficiencies                                                                    
to bring  the taxpayer the  best value for their  dollar. He                                                                    
noted  that contractors  were  more  expensive than  inhouse                                                                    
attorneys  in almost  all  circumstances.  He stressed  that                                                                    
there was  an attempt  to find a  balance, while  also being                                                                    
conscious  of   large  overhead  with  a   large  amount  of                                                                    
2:04:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wilson  asked  about different  jurisdictions  that                                                                    
were more conflicted out.                                                                                                       
Mr. Stinson  replied that there were  localities with higher                                                                    
conflict  rates.   He  shared  that  Kenai   was  a  smaller                                                                    
community,  and remarked  that an  increase  in felony  drug                                                                    
prosecutions   would  result   in   more  codefendants   and                                                                    
additional drug cases. He was  not completely sure where the                                                                    
positions would be placed  geographically, but the positions                                                                    
were based on raw numbers.                                                                                                      
Senator Wilson requested the rates  of the conflicted cases.                                                                    
He remarked that,  in Palmer, he may prefer  to conflict out                                                                    
as a  public defender for  the person who had  the contract.                                                                    
He felt  that it  would be a  better attorney's  office than                                                                    
the Public Defenders Agency.                                                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski   asked  about  an   expired  narcotic                                                                    
prescription, and whether that be a crime under this bill.                                                                      
Mr. Stinson  replied that, presuming  it would meet  the new                                                                    
definition, it  would be  the zero  to two  year presumptive                                                                    
range up to five years.                                                                                                         
Senator Wielechowski wondered whether it would be a felony.                                                                     
Mr. Stinson  replied in the  affirmative, but  would further                                                                    
examine the exact answer.                                                                                                       
Senator  Wielechowski  queried  was considered  a  Class  6A                                                                    
controlled substance.  He wondered if marijuana  was in that                                                                    
2:06:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Stinson asked for the location within the bill                                                                              
Senator Wielechowski stated that he  was looking at page 19,                                                                    
lines 22-24.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  wondered  whether  this  question  was                                                                    
better for a different testifier.                                                                                               
Senator Wielechowski agreed.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof stated that  Mr. Skidmore might be better                                                                    
to provide the requested information.                                                                                           
Mr. Stinson deferred to Mr. Skidmore.                                                                                           
2:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von  Imhof recalled a presentation  about Fentanyl.                                                                    
She noted that any weight  of Fentanyl seemed almost deadly,                                                                    
but a small  amount of oxycontin of similar  weight may have                                                                    
a different  impact on the  body. She wondered if  the drugs                                                                    
were treated similarly under the legislation.                                                                                   
JOHN  SKIDMORE, DIRECTOR,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
LAW,  stated  that a  schedule  6A  drug was  marijuana.  He                                                                    
stated  that Fentanyl  and  oxycontin  were both  considered                                                                    
schedule  1A  substance, but  SB  32  did not  differentiate                                                                    
based  on  weight.  He  stated  that  there  were  different                                                                    
factors  within the  law,  both  aggregators and  mitigators                                                                    
that  both  applied. He  stated  that  the amounts  and  the                                                                    
seriousness of the amount was  treated differently, which is                                                                    
why  there was  a range  in sentencing.  He referred  to the                                                                    
Knight  Case,  which  addressed those  different  considered                                                                    
factors within the current Alaska law.                                                                                          
Co-Chair von  Imhof remarked that there  was a consideration                                                                    
of both  sentencing and  also having  a felony  on someone's                                                                    
record. She  did not know whether  there was a way  to sever                                                                    
those two drugs, and treat each one differently.                                                                                
2:10:44 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski  asked if  an expired  prescription for                                                                    
oxycodone, and  that was given  to someone in  pain, whether                                                                    
that would be a felony under the bill.                                                                                          
Mr. Skidmore  responded that the  concept of  giving another                                                                    
person a  controlled substance without a  prescription would                                                                    
qualify  as a  felony.  He noted  that in  his  20 years  of                                                                    
prosecution, there  was no case  with those  referred facts.                                                                    
He stressed that  all the prosecutors state  that, with that                                                                    
hypothetical,  that   they  would  decline  that   case.  He                                                                    
remarked  that his  division did  not evaluate  those drugs,                                                                    
rather the  Controlled Substance  Advisory Board  made those                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski requested  statement from Department of                                                                    
Law  (DOL)  that  they  would  not  be  prosecuting  someone                                                                    
because of an expired prescription.                                                                                             
Mr. Skidmore  noted that he  was not  in a position  to make                                                                    
such claims.                                                                                                                    
2:13:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski  asked  about  the  schedule  6,  four                                                                    
ounces  or more  of marijuana  was  now a  felony under  the                                                                    
Mr. Skidmore  explained that the  possession outside  of the                                                                    
legal amounts within the industry  was affirmative. He noted                                                                    
the  exceptions  on page  18,  line  19, which  showed  more                                                                    
complications  than   the  one  subsection   addressing  the                                                                    
Senator  Micciche   wondered  whether  the  intent   of  the                                                                    
administration was  to pass the  bill in order  to prosecute                                                                    
the person  who takes another person's  controlled substance                                                                    
for some temporary relief from pain.                                                                                            
Mr. Skidmore replied  that it the intent was  not the intent                                                                    
of the administration.                                                                                                          
Senator  Micciche asked  whether the  state's drug  problems                                                                    
were  a  associated  with a  single  oxycodone  provided  to                                                                    
someone is a necessary pain relief situation.                                                                                   
Mr. Skidmore replied that he did not believe so.                                                                                
Senator Micciche asked for the  difference between the legal                                                                    
and black market marijuana industry.                                                                                            
2:15:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Skidmore  noted that  the  black  market for  marijuana                                                                    
remained  a crime.  He noted  that outside  of the  industry                                                                    
regulation remained a crime.                                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche wondered  whether the  bill was  clarified                                                                    
that  legal  marijuana  was  not a  part  of  the  increased                                                                    
Mr.  Skidmore  replied that  it  was  on  page 18,  and  was                                                                    
repeated in a number of sections.                                                                                               
Senator  Wielechowski  cited  the language  in  Section  29,                                                                    
which said, "if a person  possesses any amount of a Schedule                                                                    
1A controlled  substance, they are committing  a felony." He                                                                    
understood that  there may  not be  an attempt  to prosecute                                                                    
with  a felony,  but wondered  whether a  trooper or  police                                                                    
officer could arrest  and charge a person with  a felony and                                                                    
put that person  in jail requiring that person  to post bail                                                                    
and  possibly   lose  their  housing,  child   custody,  and                                                                    
housing, under the bill made it possible under the bill.                                                                        
Mr.  Skidmore  agreed  that  the  law  stated  that  it  was                                                                    
illegal, but his experience showed him otherwise.                                                                               
Senator Wielechowski wondered why  a trooper could authorize                                                                    
with a  heavy hand, and  advised that the felony  portion be                                                                    
changed. He                                                                                                                     
2:19:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Skidmore responded  that Oxycodone  was scheduled  as a                                                                    
controlled  substance. He  stated  that  a prescription  was                                                                    
necessary to obtain the drug.  He stressed that the bill was                                                                    
focused on the seriousness of the drug.                                                                                         
Co-Chair von  Imhof stated  that it was  the intent  to hear                                                                    
public testimony at a later meeting.                                                                                            
SB  32  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 33                                                                                                            
     "An  Act  relating  to pretrial  release;  relating  to                                                                    
     sentencing;  relating   to  treatment   program  credit                                                                    
     toward service of a  sentence of imprisonment; relating                                                                    
     to  electronic  monitoring;  amending  Rules  38.2  and                                                                    
     45(d),   Alaska  Rules   of  Criminal   Procedure;  and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
2:22:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof noted that the committee was hearing the                                                                     
bill for the first time.                                                                                                        
JOHN SKIDMORE, DIRECTOR, CRIMINAL DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                       
LAW, discussed SB 33, which was focused on pretrial issues.                                                                     
He read from the Sectional Analysis (copy on file):                                                                             
     Summary:     This  bill  requires  that   a  person  be                                                                    
     arraigned within 48 hours  after arrest, eliminates the                                                                    
     use  of  the risk  assessment  tool  as a  factor  when                                                                    
     determination  bail  and  conditions  of  release;  and                                                                    
     allows  judges  to   use  third-party  custodians  more                                                                    
     freely.   It  also  eliminates the  requirement that  a                                                                    
     judge  find by  clear and  convincing evidence  that no                                                                    
     less  restrictive  means  will  reasonably  ensure  the                                                                    
     person's  appearance  in court  or  the  safety of  the                                                                    
     victim or community before  imposing monetary bail. The                                                                    
     bill moves  the supervision  functions of  the pretrial                                                                    
     services  program under  the probation  statutes rather                                                                    
     than having  a separate  program in statute.   Finally,                                                                    
     the  bill encourages  the Alaska  Court  System to  use                                                                    
     videoconferencing for all pretrial hearings.                                                                               
      Section 1 Legislative intent.   Expressing intent that                                                                    
     the  Alaska Court  System,  Department of  Corrections,                                                                    
     and  Department  of  Public  Safety  continue  to  make                                                                    
     efforts to  find efficiencies  in the  criminal justice                                                                    
     system   and   use    contemporaneous   two-way   video                                                                    
     conferencing for pretrial hearings wherever possible.                                                                      
     Section 2  Increases the amount  of time  available for                                                                    
     an  arraignment to  happen from  24 hours  to 48  hours                                                                    
     from the  time of arrest.   Eliminates language related                                                                    
     to  proceeding with  an arraignment  regardless of  the                                                                    
     availability  of  a  risk  assessment  conducted  by  a                                                                    
     pretrial services officer.                                                                                                 
     Section  3  Eliminates  language   related  to  a  risk                                                                    
     assessment conducted by a pretrial services officer.                                                                       
2:26:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Skidmore continued with the Sectional Analysis:                                                                             
     Section  4  Eliminates  language requiring  a  judicial                                                                    
     officer  to review  any condition  of release  that has                                                                    
     prevented  the defendant  from being  released.    Also                                                                    
     eliminates  language requiring  a  judicial officer  to                                                                    
     find  by  clear and  convincing  evidence  that a  less                                                                    
     restrictive  condition  cannot  reasonably  ensure  the                                                                    
     defendant's appearance or the safety of the victim.                                                                        
     Section 5 Eliminates  inability to pay as  a reason for                                                                    
     a judicial officer to  conduct subsequent bail hearings                                                                    
     and a review of the person's conditions of release.                                                                        
     Section 6  Conforming amendment.   Eliminates reference                                                                    
     to AS 33.07.                                                                                                               
     Section 7 Largely  reenacts the bail statute  as it was                                                                    
     prior to  January 1, 2018.   Eliminates the requirement                                                                    
     that the  release decision be  tied to a  person's risk                                                                    
     assessment  score.    Eliminates  the  presumptions  of                                                                    
     release  and the  requirement that  a judicial  officer                                                                    
     find  by clear  and  convincing evidence  that no  less                                                                    
     restrictive condition can ensure  the appearance of the                                                                    
     defendant or  safety of the community  or victim before                                                                    
     a judicial officer can impose monetary bail.                                                                               
2:29:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Skidmore continued with the Sectional Analysis:                                                                             
     Section 8  Eliminates the  requirement that  a pretrial                                                                    
     services officer not be available  in the area before a                                                                    
     third-party custodian can be appointed.                                                                                    
     Section  9  Reenacts   the  prohibition  on  appointing                                                                    
     individuals who may be called  as a witness in the case                                                                    
     from   being  appointed   as  third-party   custodians.                                                                    
     Establishes  that a  person cannot  be  appointed as  a                                                                    
     third   party  custodian   if  the   person  has   been                                                                    
     unconditionally  discharged  within the  previous  five                                                                    
     years from a felony or a crime against a person.                                                                           
     Section 10  Requires the court  to state orally  on the                                                                    
     record the  terms of a person's  sentence including the                                                                    
     minimum term  the defendant must serve  before becoming                                                                    
     eligible for discretionary parole.                                                                                         
     Section  11  Prohibits  the court  from  granting  jail                                                                    
     credit for  time spent on electronic  monitoring before                                                                    
     Section 12 Conforming amendment  to the changes made by                                                                    
     section 11.                                                                                                                
     Section 13  Adds prosecuting authority  to the  list of                                                                    
     entities  that   can  be  notified   if  a   person  is                                                                    
     discharged from a treatment program for noncompliance.                                                                     
     Section 14  Limits the amount  of jail credit  that can                                                                    
     be granted  for time  spent in  a treatment  program to                                                                    
     180 days.                                                                                                                  
     Section  15  Requires  the  prosecutor  to  notify  the                                                                    
     victim  if the  defendant  has been  discharged from  a                                                                    
     treatment program for noncompliance before trial.                                                                          
     Section  16  Conforming  amendment.   Conforms  to  the                                                                    
     change made in section 2.                                                                                                  
     Section 17  Adds authority for the  commissioner of the                                                                    
     department   of  corrections   to  supervise   pretrial                                                                    
     Section 18 Requires the  commissioner of the department                                                                    
     of  corrections  to  make  officers  available  to  the                                                                    
     courts  for  pretrial  supervision.   Also  allows  the                                                                    
     commissioner  to  contract  with private  entities  for                                                                    
     electronic monitoring services.                                                                                            
     Section  19 Clarifies  that probation  officers may  be                                                                    
     made available to district courts.                                                                                         
     Section  20 Adds  pretrial supervision  to the  list of                                                                    
     duties  which  a  probation  officer  may  perform  and                                                                    
     clarifies that  when performing those  duties probation                                                                    
     officers are pretrial services officers.                                                                                   
     Section 21 Lays  out the duties of  a probation officer                                                                    
     when  acting as  a  pretrial services  officer.   These                                                                    
     duties   include   arresting  defendants   and   filing                                                                    
     criminal  complaints for  violations  of conditions  of                                                                    
     Section  22  Conforming   amendment.    Eliminates  the                                                                    
     reference  to AS  33.07, which  is  where the  pretrial                                                                    
     services  program is  currently located.   AS  33.07 is                                                                    
     repealed in the bill.                                                                                                      
     Section   23  Eliminates   the  requirement   that  the                                                                    
     Department   of  Corrections   report  to   the  Alaska                                                                    
     Criminal Justice Commission  on pretrial defendant risk                                                                    
     levels  and charges  and pretrial  recommendations made                                                                    
     by pretrial services officers.                                                                                             
     Section 24 Conforming amendment  to the changes made in                                                                    
     section 25.                                                                                                                
     Section 25 Requires the  use of contemporaneous two-way                                                                    
     video  conferencing  at  all arraignments,  pleas,  and                                                                    
     non-evidentiary bail hearings  in misdemeanor cases and                                                                    
     initial  appearances  and nonevidentiary  bail  reviews                                                                    
     and  arraignments in  felony cases.    Also allows  the                                                                    
     court   to   order   the   defendant   to   appear   by                                                                    
     contemporaneous  two-way  video   conferencing  at  any                                                                    
     other hearing.                                                                                                             
     Section  26  Allows  a  defendant  or  the  defendant's                                                                    
     counsel to consent to a continuance of trial.                                                                              
     Section 27 Repealer section.                                                                                               
     Section 28 Applicability section.                                                                                          
     Section  29  Transition  section.    Ensures  that  the                                                                    
     Department  of   Corrections  can  still   monitor  any                                                                    
     defendant  that is  currently on  pretrial release  and                                                                    
     under the supervision of  the Department of Corrections                                                                    
     despite  the  transfer  of   that  authority  from  the                                                                    
     pretrial     services      program     to     probation                                                                    
     Conditional  effect  due  to   the  direct  court  rule                                                                    
     Section 30 Conditional effect section.                                                                                     
     Section 31  Effective Date.   This Act takes  effect on                                                                    
     July 1, 2019.                                                                                                              
2:35:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stedman  asked  about  page  8,  Section  10,  and                                                                    
recalled that there  was currently both an  oral and written                                                                    
report.   He  wondered   whether  the   bill  changed   that                                                                    
specification to an oral report only.                                                                                           
Mr. Skidmore  replied in  the negative.  He stated  that the                                                                    
currently  required  a  written  report in  the  form  of  a                                                                    
judgment, and  that remained. The  bill added  a requirement                                                                    
that, not only it be in  the judgment, but also be announced                                                                    
orally at the time of sentences.                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman asked who received the report.                                                                                 
Mr. Skidmore answered that the  judgement was distributed to                                                                    
the Court  System (Court), prosecutor, defense  counsel, and                                                                    
the Department of Corrections (DOC).                                                                                            
Co-Chair Stedman  wondered about  the victim's  families and                                                                    
the reports. He wondered also about the media.                                                                                  
Mr. Skidmore stated that the  media obtained a copy from the                                                                    
Court. The families of victims  were not required to receive                                                                    
a copy,  but the DOL would  contact all victims and  sends a                                                                    
copy of the judgment in a letter.                                                                                               
Co-Chair von Imhof asked about fiscal notes.                                                                                    
Mr. Skidmore commented on the zero fiscal note.                                                                                 
Co-Chair  von Imhof  recalled that  there  were some  people                                                                    
available for presentation. She  wondered whether there were                                                                    
any questions.                                                                                                                  
Senator  Wielechowski  asked  about  Section  2,  and  asked                                                                    
whether  there  was  ever  a   time  when  someone  was  not                                                                    
available to  taken before a  judge or magistrate  within 24                                                                    
Mr.  Skidmore  replied  that  the   law  had  most  recently                                                                    
required that it  occur within 24 hours, and  was unaware of                                                                    
a case where that did not occur.                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski   asked  about   Section  7   and  the                                                                    
elimination of  the risk assessment tool.  He understood the                                                                    
rationale, but wondered  why it was not  still available for                                                                    
Mr. Skidmore noted  that Section 7 did not  include the risk                                                                    
assessment tool.  The Department of  Law was not  opposed to                                                                    
the idea of the using the  risk assessment as tool. He noted                                                                    
that  the  concept  of  coupling it  with  the  statute  was                                                                    
2:41:18 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski asked  about the  ability to  continue                                                                    
cases. He  specifically wondered  about the  experience when                                                                    
LAW may  want a continuance,  and the defendant  was against                                                                    
that ide.                                                                                                                       
Mr. Skidmore  replied that it  does occur, but did  not know                                                                    
the frequency. He  recalled a case when the  defendants in a                                                                    
murder case  wanted to  go to  trial immediately,  but their                                                                    
counsel stated that they were  not ready for trial. The case                                                                    
did  go   to  trial,   but  after  those   individuals  were                                                                    
convicted,  they  filed  for Postconviction  Relief,  stated                                                                    
that  they had  ineffective assistance  or counsel,  because                                                                    
their counsel was not ready for trial.                                                                                          
Senator Wielechowski asked how their filing was found.                                                                          
Mr. Skidmore replied that he  did not believe that the post-                                                                    
conviction relief  was rewarded,  but stated that  there was                                                                    
time put  in by all sides  for a frivolous claim.  He stated                                                                    
that the bill fixed future frivolous claims.                                                                                    
Senator Wilson  remarked that  the risk-assessment  tool was                                                                    
initially  established  without  a regulatory  process,  and                                                                    
wondered whether  the regulatory process had  since occurred                                                                    
after its establishment.                                                                                                        
Mr. Skidmore did not know the answer.                                                                                           
Senator Wilson wondered who might know that answer.                                                                             
Mr. Skidmore responded that the  DOC was responsible for the                                                                    
risk assessment tool.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair  von Imhof  stated that  SB 34  would be  heard the                                                                    
following day.                                                                                                                  
2:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
JEN WINKELMAN,  DIRECTOR OF PROBATION, PAROLE  AND PRETRIAL,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, offered to answer questions.                                                                         
Senator Wilson asked about the risk assessment tool.                                                                            
Ms. Winkelman deferred to Ms. Goode.                                                                                            
2:45:30 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY GOODE,  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER FOR DOC,  wondered whether                                                                    
Senator  Wilson was  referring to  the  regulations for  the                                                                    
pretrial risk assessment tool.                                                                                                  
Senator Wilson agreed.                                                                                                          
Ms. Goode  responded that the validation  would be finalized                                                                    
in a  couple of months.  The commissioner had  restarted the                                                                    
regulation process.                                                                                                             
Senator Micciche stated that the  risk assessment tool was a                                                                    
high  profile  case.  He queried  the  reason  for  stopping                                                                    
without the regulatory process.                                                                                                 
Ms. Goode  responded that the regulations  codified what was                                                                    
in the  law. She  stated that  the tool  was intended  to be                                                                    
validated, and  the validation was  intended to  be complete                                                                    
in the upcoming months.                                                                                                         
Senator  Micciche   noted  that  the  issues   were  current                                                                    
problems.  He remarked  that  the  pretrial risk  assessment                                                                    
tool had  returned people  to the  street who  were possible                                                                    
high-risk  individuals.  He  asked whether  the  system  was                                                                    
working, or  whether there should  be an elimination  of the                                                                    
risk assessment tool.                                                                                                           
Ms.  Goode  replied  that  the  administration  had  serious                                                                    
concerns  with the  risk-assessment tool,  which is  why the                                                                    
administration proposed removing the risk-assessment tool.                                                                      
Senator  Wielechowski queried  the number  of people  in the                                                                    
DOC   system  were   currently  considered   pre-trial,  and                                                                    
wondered how those numbers would change in the bill.                                                                            
Ms.  Goode replied  that she  did not  know, but  that there                                                                    
were approximately  2000 a  day on  pre-trial, with  half on                                                                    
electronic  monitoring.  She  agreed to  provide  the  exact                                                                    
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  asked  whether the  staff  was  at  an                                                                    
appropriate  workload, and  whether they  could absorb  more                                                                    
Ms. Winkelman  replied that the staff  could take additional                                                                    
cases. She stated  that in SB 54, there was  a cap placed on                                                                    
probation caseloads of 75.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair von  Imhof wondered when  the fiscal note  would be                                                                    
Ms. Goode  replied that the  fiscal note was  available, but                                                                    
there  would be  an updated  fiscal  note for  SB 32,  which                                                                    
would be available that evening.                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof asked whether it could be addressed.                                                                         
Ms. Goode  stated that she  was not prepared to  discuss the                                                                    
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
2:50:22 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY MEADE, GENERAL COUNSEL,  ALASKA COURT SYSTEM, reviewed                                                                    
the fiscal  note. She  stated that  the release  would allow                                                                    
the effect  of keeping people  in jail. She pointed  out the                                                                    
legislative   intent  regarding   video  conferencing.   The                                                                    
legislature has the right to change the court rules.                                                                            
Co-Chair  von Imhof  queried an  explanation  of the  fiscal                                                                    
Ms. Meade discussed  FN 7 trial courts  Alaska Court system.                                                                    
She  noted that  the  legislative intent  would receive  the                                                                    
support.  The fiscal  note addresses  two issues.  The video                                                                    
conference coordinator  and IS  technician to  better handle                                                                    
the issues that occur. $224,800                                                                                                 
2:56:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wilson asked about the video conferencing.                                                                              
Ms. Meade explained that if  video conferencing occurred for                                                                    
certain  hearings, certain  proceedings, they  would address                                                                    
arraignments over video conferencing.                                                                                           
Senator Wilson asked about the location.                                                                                        
Ms.  Meade  stated that  the  defense  counsel was  not  yet                                                                    
appointed in these situations. She  stated that they did not                                                                    
visit the  facility. Client and  attorney are  not together.                                                                    
She   stated  that   the  privacy   for  communication   was                                                                    
Senator  Wilson appreciated  the additional  information. He                                                                    
wondered about the funding.                                                                                                     
Ms.  Meade  replied that  the  funding  in the  fiscal  note                                                                    
reflected the request of the legislature.                                                                                       
Senator  Micciche  asked  about the  conferencing  equipment                                                                    
from different  facilities. He noted the  video conferencing                                                                    
would offset the cost.                                                                                                          
Ms. Meade replied that the  court system did not save money,                                                                    
but  she  believed  that  the  simplicity  was  in  checking                                                                    
inmates in and out of the facility.                                                                                             
3:02:15 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY   HOWELL,   DIRECTOR,   DIVISION   OF   ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC  SAFETY, responded further to                                                                    
Senator Micciche's question. She  stated that the Department                                                                    
of  Public   Safety  (DPS)   was  statutorily   required  to                                                                    
transport   prisoners,   and  moved   approximately   85,000                                                                    
prisoners per year  with the assistance of  the Alaska State                                                                    
Troopers,  municipal  police  officers, and  village  public                                                                    
safety  officers  (VPSOs).  She  stated that  there  was  an                                                                    
anticipation   that   pretrial    hearings   conducted   via                                                                    
videoconferencing  would increase  with  some cost  savings.                                                                    
Prisoners,  however, would  be transported  for a  myriad of                                                                    
reasons beyond the  pretrial hearings, and much  of that was                                                                    
outside the department's control.  She stressed that a judge                                                                    
always had  the discretion  to order  the appearance  of the                                                                    
defendant. She  explained that  there would  not necessarily                                                                    
be a savings.                                                                                                                   
Senator Micciche looked  at Section 1, and  wondered who was                                                                    
"pushing" the  additional teleconferencing. He  also queried                                                                    
the intent of the additional teleconferencing.                                                                                  
Ms.  Meade responded  that  the addition  was  not from  the                                                                    
Court, but was from the governor.                                                                                               
Ms.  Howell   added  that  the  public   safety  transported                                                                    
Senator Wilson  followed up regarding the  quantification of                                                                    
Ms.  Howell responded  that  it was  difficult  to know  for                                                                    
sure. She  stated that there  was an additional  increase in                                                                    
video conferencing.                                                                                                             
Senator  Wielechowski  asked about  Section  2  and the  DOC                                                                    
fiscal note,  which showed a  likely modest increase  in the                                                                    
cost  of  incarceration, but  it  was  not quantified.    He                                                                    
wondered whether  it was  a problem for  the Court  to bring                                                                    
people before  a judge or  magistrate within 24  hours after                                                                    
Ms. Meade  responded that it  was not a problem  for Courts.                                                                    
She noted that over the last  two years, the number had gone                                                                    
from 24 to  48 to 24 then  now back to 48.  She stated that,                                                                    
in  all cases,  arraignments were  scheduled every  day. She                                                                    
stated that everybody was arraigned  within 24 hours, unless                                                                    
there was  a particular  reason. She  stressed that  the law                                                                    
required 24  hours, but there  was a provision  that allowed                                                                    
for the prosecutor to ask  for additional time under certain                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski  asked about  section 10  and different                                                                    
Ms. Meade responded that she  wished the section was removed                                                                    
because  compliance  was  difficult.   She  noted  that  the                                                                    
information  allows the  victim to  find the  identification                                                                    
3:10:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Hoffman  asked  about transporting  prisoners  from                                                                    
Anchorage  to  Bethel  and  back.   He  wondered  about  the                                                                    
guardians  and  why  different   numbers  of  troopers  were                                                                    
Ms. Howell deferred to Mr. Greenstreet.                                                                                         
3:11:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR ANDY  GREENSTREET, AK  STATE TROOPERS,  ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference), responded that the  criminal history of the                                                                    
individual helped establish the number of troopers.                                                                             
Senator Hoffman  asked if the  DPS considered a  less costly                                                                    
method of transporting prisoners.                                                                                               
Mr.   Greenstreet  responded   that   the  transports   were                                                                    
conducted by core officers as a first preference.                                                                               
3:14:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Hoffman  asked about the  potential for  escape from                                                                    
custody when alcohol was the majority of the charges.                                                                           
Mr.  Greenstreet  replied  that  many  transports  from  the                                                                    
Kotzebue area  during his  time there  incurred risk  to the                                                                    
Senator Bishop  asked about  section 10  and the  reading of                                                                    
sentence and terms.                                                                                                             
Ms. Meade responded that the  judge would typically accept a                                                                    
plea bargain, which  would apply a statute  to the sentence.                                                                    
She noted  that the additional  issue of consideration  of a                                                                    
parole date under the sentencing criteria.                                                                                      
Senator Micciche asked about the administration's objective                                                                     
Ms.  Meade  responded  that  the  section  was  not  in  the                                                                    
administration's  initial   bill,  and  was  added   in  the                                                                    
Judiciary Committee.                                                                                                            
3:20:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Skidmore agreed  that the  provision was  added in  the                                                                    
Judiciary Committee, with the  concept that victims ought to                                                                    
know what is going on.                                                                                                          
Senator Micciche  wondered about the amendment  that changed                                                                    
the bill in the Judiciary Committee.                                                                                            
Ms.  Meade replied  that the  victims rights'  statutes were                                                                    
addressed by the Department of Law.                                                                                             
SB 33 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
Co-Chair von Imhof noted that the committee would work on                                                                       
crime and capitol bills on Saturday.                                                                                            
3:24:18 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:24 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects