Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/30/2021 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 92 MISSING PERSONS UNDER 21 YEARS OLD TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
-- Rescheduled from 3/23/2021 --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 89 ASSISTED LIVING HOMES: HOUSE RULES TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 89 Out of Committee
+= SB 98 ADULT FOSTER CARE FOR DISABLED TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 98 Out of Committee
           SB  92-MISSING PERSONS UNDER 21 YEARS OLD                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:32:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL  NO. 92                                                               
"An Act relating to missing persons under 21 years of age."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:33:09 PM                                                                                                                    
RANDI BREAGER, Legislative Liaison,  Department of Public Safety,                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska,  thanked the  committee  for  hearing SB  92,                                                               
reviewed the documents  in the bill packets, and  deferred to Ms.                                                               
Monfreda to introduce the bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:34:26 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHRYN  MONFREDA, Director,  Statewide Services,  Department. of                                                               
Public  Safety, Anchorage,  Alaska,  stated the  purpose of  this                                                               
bill is  to bring  state laws into  conformity with  federal laws                                                               
pertaining to  the reporting  of missing  persons between  18 and                                                               
21. Federal laws  from 2003 (Suzanne's Law) and  2006 (Adam Walsh                                                               
Act) require law enforcement to  enter missing person information                                                               
into  the  National  Crime  Information  Center  (NCIC)  database                                                               
within 2  hours of being  reported missing  if they are  under 21                                                               
years of age.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:35:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MONFREDA reported  that Alaska's  missing persons  laws have                                                               
not been  amended since enactment in  the mid to late  1980's. AS                                                               
18.16.620 requires  law enforcement  to report missing  minors to                                                               
the states  Missing Persons Clearinghouse,  if not located within                                                               
48  hours  of  being  reported  missing.  AS  47.10.141  requires                                                               
missing  minors   be  reported   to  the  Alaska   Public  Safety                                                               
Information  Network  (APSIN)   and  National  Crime  Information                                                               
Center  (NCIC) with  24 hours  after  a report  is completed.  AS                                                               
47.10.390 defines  a runaway minor as  a person under the  age of                                                               
18.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MONFREDA said  slide 4  summarizes the  proposed changes  to                                                               
bring state  law into  conformity with  federal law.  All missing                                                               
persons under  age 21,  instead of the  state requirement  of age                                                               
18, are  entered into the  state and national databases  within 2                                                               
hours versus the current state requirement of 24 hours.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA  advised that most  state and local  law enforcement                                                               
agencies  have  enacted training  to  meet  the more  restrictive                                                               
federal requirements. Many agencies  currently comply and changes                                                               
to the Alaska Public Safety  Information Network's programming is                                                               
completed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:37:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MONFREDA  stated the  benefits of enacting  this law  are the                                                               
removal  of  conflicting  and less  restrictive  state  statutory                                                               
requirements,  faster  state   and  nationwide  notification  for                                                               
missing person under  21 years of age, and  improved response for                                                               
the vulnerable,  college-age population. Upon being  entered into                                                               
the  national  system,  The  Center  for  Exploited  and  Missing                                                               
Children is notified and proactively assists in investigations.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:37:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MONFREDA presented the sectional analysis for SB 92.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Section 1 removes the reference  to AS 47.10.141 in AS 18.65.620,                                                             
since the time required for  entering a missing person into APSIN                                                               
and NCIC is specified in AS 18.65.620.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Section 2 adds  a subsection to AS 18.65,620  which specifies law                                                             
enforcement must report  a missing person under the age  of 21 to                                                               
APSIN  and NCIC  within 2  hours  of completing  the report.  Law                                                               
enforcement must  remove the information  no later than  24 hours                                                               
after learning a person has been located.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Section 3 amends AS 47.10.141(a)  by removing language pertaining                                                               
to the time of  entry and the time of removal  from the state and                                                               
national databases, since this is now specified in AS 18.65.620.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The bill will become effective 90 days after being signed.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:38:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  asked why the  bill is being proposed  now when                                                               
changes to federal law occurred  in 2003 and 2006. She questioned                                                               
whether  the  funds  Congress passed  for  indigenous  women  and                                                               
children served as an impetus.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MONFREDA  responded she  thinks  the  issue of  missing  and                                                               
murdered indigenous  women is partially responsible  for bringing                                                               
this  to the  forefront. The  department has  also been  taking a                                                               
hard look  as missing  persons. She noted  the bill  was proposed                                                               
previously  but failed  to advance.  Department of  Public Safety                                                               
proposed  it again  this year  and the  governor accepted  it for                                                               
introduction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD requested  confirmation that  nothing triggered                                                               
the  bill other  than it  is  correcting a  long-standing gap  in                                                               
conformity.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA  stated that is  correct. She reiterated  that since                                                               
law enforcement already trains to  the federal standard, the bill                                                               
is a formality to make the laws match.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:40:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  recalled one  of the slides  stated most  local law                                                               
enforcement  agencies  are now  complying  with  federal law.  He                                                               
asked how law enforcement statewide  would be notified if changes                                                               
to  the statute  were  made  and how  many  agencies  are not  in                                                               
compliance with the change.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MONFREDA replied  agencies are  audited for  compliance. She                                                               
said  she  does not  have  the  exact  number  but she  has  been                                                               
informed most agencies are complying.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON asked  her  to provide  compliance  numbers to  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA agreed to provide the information.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:41:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES asked  what information is entered  into a missing                                                               
persons under  age 21  database and  how it  compares to  what is                                                               
entered for an adult.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MONFREDA   stated  there  are   two  methods   for  entering                                                               
information.   The  Missing   Persons  Clearinghouse,   which  is                                                               
notified within  24 hours of  a person  missing and the  NCIC and                                                               
APSIN systems  which are primarily  for law enforcement  use. The                                                               
APSIN  and  NCIC  systems  include a  basic  description  of  the                                                               
person: name,  sex, race, height,  weight, last seen  wearing and                                                               
vehicle  description,  if  pertinent.  The  department  hopes  to                                                               
replace its  system with modern  technology capable  of including                                                               
photos.  Once  the  Missing   Persons  Clearinghouse  starts  its                                                               
investigation, they  will add photos,  and any  other descriptive                                                               
information,  including  dental  records.   In  addition  to  the                                                               
Missing Persons  Clearinghouse receiving this information,  it is                                                               
public information. The department also puts out flyers.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:44:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  requested  she comment  on  any  differences  in                                                               
reporting between minors and adults.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA stated there is  no difference in reporting. As much                                                               
information is obtained as possible regardless of age.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:44:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  opened public testimony on  SB92, ascertained there                                                               
was none and closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BREAGER, thanked the committee for hearing the bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:45:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD stated  she has  been unsuccessful  in tracking                                                               
what  happened  to  the  millions of  dollars  from  the  federal                                                               
government for  missing women and  children. She asked  if anyone                                                               
knows where the money is.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:58 PM                                                                                                                    
 MS. BREAGER  answered that the  mysticism surrounding  the money                                                               
is partly due  to federal government announcements  of funds that                                                               
had been granted to Alaska  for several years. She clarified that                                                               
$6  million  of new  money  was  received through  the  Emergency                                                               
Federal  Law Enforcement  Assistance (EFLEA)  grant program  as a                                                               
direct result  of Attorney General Barr's  violence against women                                                               
disaster  declaration,  following his  visit  to  the state.  The                                                               
Department  of Public  Safety applied  for the  grant. The  funds                                                               
were specifically to improve rural  public safety facilities. The                                                               
Department  of  Commerce,   Community  and  Economic  Development                                                               
(DCCED) managed  the funds but did  not retain any, not  even for                                                               
administrative  costs. Funds  were fully  granted to  local rural                                                               
communities.  Most   of  the   projects  were   upgrading  office                                                               
facilities  and jail  cells. Funds  were also  provided to  small                                                               
community village and tribal police  groups. Ms. Breager believes                                                               
the  funds  also  benefited two  Village  Public  Safety  Officer                                                               
(VPSO) programs                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD  asked  if  a decrease  in  missing  women  and                                                               
children has been achieved and  if prosecutions have increased so                                                               
that villages, rural communities  and even larger communities are                                                               
safer.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:48:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BREAGER  replied that  the  $6  million  grant was  all  for                                                               
capital funds. It did not go  to hiring Public Safety Officers or                                                               
personnel.  The designs  for the  funds  were infrastructure,  as                                                               
this was acknowledged as a  consistent need when Attorney General                                                               
Barr traveled the state.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD stated the reply was helpful.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:49:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON held SB 92 in committee.                                                                                           

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