Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
03/16/2020 01:30 PM Senate JUDICIARY
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SB 8-ACCESS TO MARIJUANA CONVICTION RECORDS 2:30:33 PM CHAIR COGHILL announced that the next order of business would be SENATE BILL NO. 8, "An Act restricting the release of certain records of convictions; amending Rule 37.6, Alaska Rules of Administration; and providing for an effective date." CHAIR COGHILL suggested that testifiers could submit their testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org. He solicited a motion. 2:32:27 PM SENATOR MICCICHE moved to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS) for SB 8, work order 31-LS0208\S, as the working document. CHAIR COGHILL objected for discussion purposes. CHAIR COGHILL asked the sponsor to review the explanation of changes. 2:33:10 PM SENATOR TOM BEGICH, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, stated that the changes in version S were ones that the committee agreed to. 2:33:45 PM ALEX JORGENSEN, Staff, Senator Tom Begich, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, reviewed the changes between Version A and Version S: Explanation of Changes for Senate Bill 8 (31-LS0208) Version A to Version S: • Page 1, lines 1-2: Removes reference to Rule 37.6 Alaska Rules of Administration in the title. This is to conform with the removal of section 4 in Version A, the Indirect Court Rule change. • Page 1, lines 1-2: Removes reference to Rule 37.6 Alaska Rules of Administration in the title. This is to conform with the removal of section 4 in Version A, the Indirect Court Rule change. • Page 1, line 9: Before "criminal history background": delete the word "a" and insert "certain types of" 2:34:32 PM At-ease. 2:35:05 PM CHAIR COGHILL reconvened the meeting. MR. JORGENSEN continued to review the changes in version S. • Page 1, lines 9-10: Delete "make it more likely" and insert "increase the likelihood" • Page 1, line 10: Delete "only" and insert "those" • Page 1, line 11: Amends AS 12.62.160(b)(8) (Release and use of criminal justice information). The new Section 2 of the bill is conforming language to include changes made to new background check policy changed by SB 8. • Page 1, line 12: Delete "Notwithstanding (b)(8) of this section, an agency may not release records of a criminal case" and insert "An agency may not release criminal history record information" • Page 2, line 3: Insert new subclause that reads "(2) was 21 years of age or older at the time of commission of the offence;" and renumber subclauses accordingly • Page 2, line 3: Add the word "criminal" before the word "charges" • Page 2, lines 6-12: Delete all material and insert: Sec. 22.35.040. Records concerning criminal cases for marijuana possession. The Alaska Court System may not publish on a publicly available Internet website the court records of a criminal case in which the defendant (1) was convicted under AS 11.71.060, or a municipal ordinance with similar elements, for possession of less than one ounce of a schedule VIA controlled substance; (2) was 21 years of age or older at the time of commission of the offense; and (3) was not convicted of any other criminal charges in that case. • Page 2, line 13-23: Delete all material • Page 2, line 24: Change effective date to January 1, 2021 2:38:03 PM CHAIR COGHILL removed his objection. There being no further objection, version S was adopted. 2:38:10 PM SENATOR MICCICHE questioned whether the page number references were correct. SENATOR BEGICH explained that the page numbers refer to version A. For example, the last change shown on page 2, line 24 of version A can be found on page 3, line 18 of version S. SENATOR BEGICH explained that SB 8, version S, helps to ensure that the language in the bill is compatible and consistent with the language the Department of Public Safety and the court system use. 2:41:30 PM CHAIR COGHILL opened public testimony on SB 8. 2:41:46 PM LACEY WILCOX, President, Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, Juneau, Alaska, said that the association is supportive of the language in version S. Under SB 8, Alaskans with prior convictions for conduct that is legal today will have a better chance of securing housing, employment and educational opportunities. The association understands that the bill would make these offenses confidential and does not expunge the record. This is a step in the right direction, she said. 2:43:07 PM SENATOR HUGHES said her concern is that employers may wish to know who tends to not follow the law. Marijuana was illegal at the time of the offense, even though it is currently legal. She asked if employers can obtain that information. She said she wants people to get housing and work, but this information may be important to some employers. 2:44:31 PM SENATOR BEGICH said several things in the bill are designed to address people applying for jobs, including ones in public safety. He acknowledged that there are some areas where employers could gain access to the information. He deferred to the Department of Public Safety to elaborate on its policy. 2:45:45 PM CHAIR COGHILL held SB 8 in committee with public testimony open.