Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

04/11/2022 01:30 PM Senate JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSSB 229(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved SCS CSHB 157(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
        SB 207-ACCESS TO MARIJUANA CONVICTION RECORDS                                                                       
1:34:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HOLLAND announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL NO. 207                                                               
"An   Act  restricting   the  release   of  certain   records  of                                                               
convictions; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
[CSSB 207(STA) was before the committee.]                                                                                       
1:35:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HOLLAND  opened public testimony  on SB 207;  finding none,                                                               
he closed public testimony on SB 207.                                                                                           
1:35:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL said  he raised questions at the  last hearing, but                                                               
since then, he  had reviewed the statutes and  spoke to advocates                                                               
for the  bill and  is satisfied  that the bill  as written  is in                                                               
good shape.                                                                                                                     
1:36:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MYERS   stated  that   the  committee   previously  held                                                               
discussions on  background checks used by  employers or landlords                                                               
to check  on job  applicants or potential  renters. He  asked how                                                               
this bill would  affect background checks for  those applying for                                                               
legal guardianship or adoption.                                                                                                 
SENATOR  SHOWER  deferred  to  the   Department  of  Law  or  the                                                               
Department of Public Safety.                                                                                                    
1:38:21 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY  HOWELL, Special  Assistant,  Office  of the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department of  Public Safety,  Anchorage, Alaska,  responded that                                                               
the  background  checks performed  by  the  Department of  Public                                                               
Safety  were for  employment or  criminal  justice purposes.  She                                                               
deferred  to Ms.  Purinton to  respond to  background checks  for                                                               
foster care or adoption.                                                                                                        
1:38:54 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA  PURINTON,   Chief,  Criminal  Records   and  Identification                                                               
Bureau,  Division of  Statewide  Services,  Department of  Public                                                               
Safety, Anchorage, Alaska,  stated that a person  would request a                                                               
complete  criminal history  report for  the purpose  of adoption.                                                               
Since  that  request  was  outside  the  scope  of  SB  207,  any                                                               
marijuana  convictions  would  be  displayed  in  the  background                                                               
1:39:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES related  her understanding that even  if this bill                                                               
passed,  a  person   could  walk  in  and   obtain  the  complete                                                               
background records,  which is great  for those in proximity  to a                                                               
courthouse.  She  asked whether  a  person  seeking the  complete                                                               
background check could write, call, or  email a request or if the                                                               
person must physically go to a courthouse.                                                                                      
1:40:30 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE,  General  Counsel,  Office  of  the  Administrative                                                               
Director,  Alaska Court  System, Anchorage,  Alaska, stated  that                                                               
under  the bill,  people  would  not be  able  to view  marijuana                                                               
records on  CourtView from their  homes. However, a  person could                                                               
go to any of the state's  42 courthouses and view any unpublished                                                               
case via  kiosks. She  pointed out that  this information  is not                                                               
available by phone.                                                                                                             
SENATOR HUGHES  asked whether that  information was  available if                                                               
the person requested it by mail.                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE said  she was  uncertain.  She offered  her view  that                                                               
small courthouses would  likely be able to  respond; however, the                                                               
Anchorage  courthouse  probably  would  not  have  the  staff  to                                                               
respond due to its heavy workload.                                                                                              
1:42:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER asked  if  a  person could  send  someone to  the                                                               
courthouse to check records at a kiosk on their behalf.                                                                         
MS. MEADE  agreed they  could. She stated  that there  are public                                                               
kiosks  in  the  court  lobby   for  the  public  to  access  any                                                               
unpublished cases. She  characterized it as a  more expanded view                                                               
of the CourtView available at home.                                                                                             
1:42:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   HUGHES  expressed   concern  about   equal  access   to                                                               
information, especially for those  with physical limitations. She                                                               
asked  whether  Ms.  Meade  could  research  and  report  to  the                                                               
MS.  MEADE  commented that  this  bill  addresses two  completely                                                               
different   things.  Although   CourtView  is   often  used   for                                                               
background checks  since the information  is input by  clerks for                                                               
the court system's use, it  is not audited. She acknowledged that                                                               
many people,  including landlords, employers, and  others, use it                                                               
because it  provides good  information. However,  someone seeking                                                               
to obtain a criminal background  check should request it from the                                                               
Department of  Public Safety (DPS).  She noted that  DPS receives                                                               
federal  funding  and communicates  with  the  Federal Bureau  of                                                               
Investigation (FBI)  so the report  is broad;  however, CourtView                                                               
was not intended for that purpose.                                                                                              
1:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES asked  Ms.  Purinton whether  a  person or  small                                                               
business owner  could call or send  a letter to DPS  requesting a                                                               
thorough background check if they could not go to a kiosk.                                                                      
MS.  PURINTON responded  that criminal  records are  confidential                                                               
and can only  be released with a signed waiver  by the individual                                                               
authorizing the release of the  information. She said if a person                                                               
cannot come  into any DPS location,  they could use a  DPS online                                                               
release  form. If  the person  wanted to  share that  information                                                               
with their  landlord or  employer, they  would sign  the release.                                                               
The  department would  mail it  to the  individual or  any person                                                               
designated to receive the information.                                                                                          
SENATOR HUGHES  asked her  to clarify that  the records  would be                                                               
accessible  if  the  person released  the  information.  Thus,  a                                                               
business owner or  landlord could not obtain  the records without                                                               
first obtaining the person's permission.                                                                                        
MS.  PURINTON agreed  that the  individual would  sign a  form to                                                               
authorize the court to release the information.                                                                                 
1:47:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HOLLAND held SB 207 in committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 229 version G.pdf SJUD 4/11/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 229
SB 229 Summary of Changes (version G).pdf SJUD 4/11/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 229
SB 229 Amendment G.1.pdf SJUD 4/11/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 229
HB 157 Amendment #4 (G.4).pdf SJUD 4/11/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 157