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 senate.judiciary@akleg.gov. 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                                                               
CHAIR COGHILL objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  the sponsor  to review  the explanation  of                                                               
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                                                                                                                    
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                                                                    
     (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                                                                    
     (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.                                                                

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