Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

02/20/2020 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:30:22 PM Start
03:31:35 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
04:24:57 PM SB169
04:46:06 PM SB167
05:16:25 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Alaska Police Standards Council
- Ed Mercer - Juneau
- Joseph White - Ketchikan
- Jennifer Winkelman - Juneau
- Daniel Weatherly - Anchor Point
-- Public Testimony on all Appointees --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Moved SB 167 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
         SB 167-AGGRAVATING FACTOR: CORRECTIONS OFFICER                                                                     
4:46:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK  announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL  NO. 167,                                                              
"An  Act providing  for an  aggravating factor  at sentencing  for                                                              
contractors,  volunteers,  and  employees  of  the  Department  of                                                              
Corrections; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
He asked  Ms. Winkelman or Ms.  Howell to discuss  the information                                                              
DOC  provided  in response  to  the  committee request  about  the                                                              
scope  of  the contraband  problem  involving  the  Department  of                                                              
Corrections' employees, contractors, and volunteers.                                                                            
4:46:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER  WINKELMAN,  Acting Deputy  Commissioner,  Department  of                                                              
Corrections  (DOC), Juneau, Alaska,  said she  would touch  on the                                                              
DOC and human  resource research and Ms. Howell  would discuss the                                                              
Department  of  Public  Safety  (DPS)  information  regarding  the                                                              
number of charges for promoting contraband in the first degree.                                                                 
4:47:49 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY   HOWELL,  Special   Assistant  to   the  Commissioner   and                                                              
Legislative Liaison,  Department of Corrections  (DOC), Anchorage,                                                              
Alaska, stated that  the response from DOC included  a spreadsheet                                                              
of  charges disposed.  This  data from  the  Alaska Public  Safety                                                              
Information  Network,  the state's  criminal  history  repository,                                                              
provides a  global overview  of the charges  and number  of people                                                              
charged with promoting contraband in the first degree.                                                                          
She reported  that in  the five years  from 2015-2019,  there were                                                              
388 charges for  320 individuals. Of those 388 charges,  327 or 84                                                              
percent  were for  promoting controlled  substances  in the  first                                                              
degree.  Six  of  the promoting  contraband  charges  were  for  a                                                              
deadly weapon and  51 were dismissed, [132] resulting  in a guilty                                                              
verdict,  and  21   were  not  prosecuted.  She   noted  that  the                                                              
dismissed  charges do  not necessarily  mean  that the  individual                                                              
received no sanction.                                                                                                           
4:50:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILSON  calculated  that eight fewer  cases were  disposed                                                              
than there were total charges.                                                                                                  
MS. HOWELL said she would check the math and follow up.                                                                         
SENATOR COGHILL  said it would  be helpful  to know the  number of                                                              
people  charged  or sentenced  each  year  compared to  the  total                                                              
number of the workforce.                                                                                                        
4:52:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WINKELMAN responded  that  the  human resources  office  said                                                              
that since 2012, two have been charged with this crime.                                                                         
SENATOR COGHILL said that is helpful.                                                                                           
CHAIR  REVAK asked  if the  numbers on  the spreadsheet  represent                                                              
everybody who has  access to the prisoners, not  just correctional                                                              
MS. WINKELMAN  confirmed that the  numbers from the  Department of                                                              
Public  Safety  include  everybody.   She  reiterated  that  Human                                                              
Resources said that two DOC employees were subsequently charged.                                                                
CHAIR REVAK asked  if between 2015 and 2019 there  were 132 guilty                                                              
verdicts  for  all types  of  promoting  contraband in  the  first                                                              
MS. WINKELMAN answered yes.                                                                                                     
MS. HOWELL  added that  the spreadsheet  attached to the  response                                                              
provides more granular detail.                                                                                                  
4:56:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL asked  how many on the spreadsheet  were employees                                                              
and  how many  were volunteers.  He  said those  numbers show  how                                                              
creative people can be and how porous the system is.                                                                            
CHAIR REVAK  called the data shocking  and voiced support  for the                                                              
SENATOR COGHILL said  he did not need the information  to move the                                                              
bill, but he would like it before the bill goes to the floor.                                                                   
CHAIR REVAK requested Ms. Winkelman provide the information.                                                                    
MS. WINKELMAN agreed to do her best to comply.                                                                                  
4:58:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REVAK opened  and closed  public  testimony on  SB 167.  He                                                              
noted the  bill had  three fiscal  notes attached. The  Department                                                              
of Public Safety  and the Department of Law submitted  zero fiscal                                                              
notes   and   the   Department   of   Corrections   submitted   an                                                              
intermediate fiscal note.                                                                                                       
4:59:29 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
5:00:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK reconvened the meeting.                                                                                             
5:00:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KAWASAKI asked  what "a  controlled  substance" under  AS                                                              
11.56.375 covers.                                                                                                               
CHAIR REVAK asked what drugs elicit these charges.                                                                              
5:01:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MS HOWELL  explained that  "controlled substance"  has a  specific                                                              
definition under AS 11.71.900.                                                                                                  
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked Ms.  Winkelman to comment  on the  idea of                                                              
changing the  bill to include all  employees of the state  and the                                                              
public  because   the  current  language  would   not  necessarily                                                              
capture visitors to correctional institutions.                                                                                  
5:03:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WINKELMAN said  the  intent  was to  capture  those who  have                                                              
signed an oath of  service and are entrusted with  access to areas                                                              
of the  facility that  a visitor  or someone who  happens to  be a                                                              
state employee would not have.                                                                                                  
SENATOR COGHILL  related his  experience as  a volunteer  who goes                                                              
into correctional facilities in a ministerial capacity.                                                                         
SENATOR COSTELLO opined  that all contraband is a  problem and the                                                              
creativity in getting  it into the institutions has  no limit. She                                                              
suggested it would  be interesting to hear from  the Department of                                                              
Law  about  how aggravators  are  addressed  and  if they  act  as                                                              
5:07:26 PM                                                                                                                    
KACI  SCHROEDER, Assistant  Attorney  General, Criminal  Division,                                                              
Department  of   Law  (DOL),  Juneau,   Alaska,  stated   that  an                                                              
aggravator is used  to enhance a sentence. She  explained that the                                                              
crime  of promoting  contraband  in the  first  degree covers  the                                                              
normal range of  conduct for that offense and the  bill carves out                                                              
those  individuals whose  behavior  is deemed  outside the  normal                                                              
range of conduct  because they have signed an oath  of service and                                                              
hold a  position of trust.  These individuals deserve  an enhanced                                                              
sentence, she said.                                                                                                             
MS.  SCHROEDER  advised   that  the  burden  of   proof  for  this                                                              
aggravator would  be beyond a  reasonable doubt. The  procedure is                                                              
that  the  jury  considers  the aggravator  after  the  trial  and                                                              
verdict for the underlying offense.                                                                                             
SENATOR  COSTELLO questioned  whether  the bill  captures all  the                                                              
individuals it should who go into correctional facilities.                                                                      
MS. SCHROEDER replied  it is entirely possible that  an inmate may                                                              
have a visitor who  is under the state umbrella and  is not listed                                                              
in this aggravator.  Anybody not specifically listed  would not be                                                              
captured in the data.                                                                                                           
5:10:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL   asked  Ms.   Winkelman  if  behavioral   health                                                              
professionals  and teachers  who  regularly  go into  correctional                                                              
facilities would be considered volunteers.                                                                                      
MS.  WINKELMAN  explained  that  it  would  depend  on  where  the                                                              
individual has  access within the  facility. The bill  would cover                                                              
those individuals  who have gone through the  background check and                                                              
have extended  access, beyond the  attorney rooms at the  front of                                                              
the  facility. Responding  to a  further  question, she  confirmed                                                              
that volunteers are on the list.                                                                                                
5:12:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  moved to report  SB 167, work order  31-GS2138\A,                                                              
from   committee  with   individual   recommendations  and   three                                                              
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
5:12:40 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
5:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK reconvened  the meeting. There being  no objection, SB
167  was   reported  from  the   Senate  State  Affairs   Standing                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
APSC GOV App Joseph White Resume.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
Consideration of Governor's Appointees
APSC GOV App Ed Mercer Resume.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
Consideration of Governor's Appointees
APSC GOV App Jennifer Winkelman Resume.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
Consideration of Governor's Appointees
APSC GOV App Daniel Weatherly Resume.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
Consideration of Governor's Appointees
09_SB169_ArtsCouncil-Plates_Sectional_Version U.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 169
08_SB169_ArtsCouncil-Plates_BillText_Version U.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 169
10_SB169_ArtsCouncil-Plates_Summary-of-Changes_Version M to U.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 169
SB 167 DOC Responses to SSTA Questions 02.19.20.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 167
SB 167 AS 11.56.375 DOC Disposed Charges 2.19.20.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 167
SB 167 Article Corrections Officer GCCC.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 167