Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/22/2022 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 142 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 03/24/22>
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Moved CSSB 214(STA) Out of Committee
-- Invited Testimony --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
         SB 207-ACCESS TO MARIJUANA CONVICTION RECORDS                                                                      
3:39:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SHOWER  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration  of SENATE  BILL NO.  207 "An  Act restricting  the                                                               
release of certain  records of convictions; and  providing for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
Speaking  as  sponsor,   Senator  Shower  invited  Representative                                                               
Jonathan  Kreiss-Tomkins'   staff  to  provide  the   answers  to                                                               
questions that were asked during the previous hearing.                                                                          
3:39:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CLAIRE  GROSS,  Staff, Representative  Jonathan  Kreiss-Tompkins,                                                               
Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska, stated  that SB  207                                                               
automatically  removes   from  CourtView  convictions   under  AS                                                               
11.71.060  or a  municipal ordinance  with similar  elements, for                                                               
possession of  less than  one ounce of  a Schedule  VI controlled                                                               
substance; the individual was 21 years  of age or older when they                                                               
committed the  offense; and the  individual was not  convicted of                                                               
any other  criminal charges in  the case.  The Court has  said it                                                               
could  absorb any  cost associated  with  removing these  records                                                               
from  CourtView.  The bill  also  shields  from view  those  same                                                               
convictions when an employer makes  an Any Persons Report request                                                               
for  a background  check  from the  Department  of Public  Safety                                                               
(DPS)  database  called  the  Alaska  Public  Safety  Information                                                               
Network (APSIN).                                                                                                                
MS. GROSS stated  that the DPS fiscal note reflects  the cost for                                                               
the department to research the  criminal history records in APSIN                                                               
to  determine whether  the conviction  qualifies  to be  shielded                                                               
from public  view. DPS proposes  hiring one person for  two years                                                               
to  do  this research.  Defendants  must  request the  department                                                               
determine whether  their conviction qualifies to  be shielded and                                                               
those  requests will  be prioritized,  although all  the criminal                                                               
convictions will eventually be reviewed.  She noted that there is                                                               
also a minor cost associated with the software change for APSIN.                                                                
3:45:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER listed who was available to answer questions.                                                                      
3:46:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD recalled that the  Court submitted a fiscal note                                                               
when a similar bill was introduced in a previous legislature.                                                                   
MS. GROSS  deferred to Ms. Meade  to discuss how that  bill was a                                                               
little different.                                                                                                               
3:46:37 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE said  that to  her  knowledge the  Court System  has                                                               
never  attached a  fiscal  note to  similar  bills introduced  in                                                               
prior  years.  When  the  first   bill  similar  to  SB  207  was                                                               
introduced five  or six  years ago, the  Court System's  IT staff                                                               
counted  and  identified the  case  numbers  for those  marijuana                                                               
possession cases  that would  be affected so  that they  could be                                                               
removed from CourtView somewhat  automatically. That list has not                                                               
grown since  the conduct  is now  legal and it  will take  just a                                                               
little work to fully implement the automation.                                                                                  
SENATOR REINBOLD mentioned  hypothetical non-marijuana possession                                                               
cases that  might affect a person's  life and asked for  her view                                                               
of having less information available for view on CourtView.                                                                     
MS. MEADE  replied the court does  not have a preference  for how                                                               
the  legislature decides  to  do  this, but  the  Court can  only                                                               
remove the entire  case from CourtView, not just one  charge in a                                                               
case that remains posted.                                                                                                       
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  if she  views the  intent language  in the                                                               
bill as helpful, confusing, or not helpful.                                                                                     
MS.  MEADE  offered  her  belief that  this  and  prior  sponsors                                                               
believe the  intent language in  Section 1 is helpful  because it                                                               
tells  why   the  legislature  is   removing  these   cases  from                                                               
CourtView. She asked if she  has asking about the intent language                                                               
in Section 5 about prior court records.                                                                                         
3:50:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  clarified that  she was uncomfortable  with the                                                               
term "low-level crimes" on page 1.  She said she assumes it would                                                               
not affect the bill if the intent were removed.                                                                                 
MS. MEADE said  she agrees with the last statement,  but since it                                                               
is  a policy  call she  would defer  to either  Ms. Gross  or the                                                               
3:50:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER said he was flexible,  but the purpose of the intent                                                               
was to inform  people that the bill was  solely about convictions                                                               
in marijuana  crimes for  conduct that is  no longer  illegal. He                                                               
asked Ms. Gross to comment.                                                                                                     
3:51:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GROSS said the language  provides an explanation for what the                                                               
bill does,  but she  believes the sponsor  of the  companion bill                                                               
would be amenable to removing it  if the committee believes it is                                                               
3:52:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO said  the first sentence of  the intent language                                                               
achieves the goal and she  would suggest the committee remove the                                                               
second sentence on page 1, lines 8-11.                                                                                          
     By protecting  records of  those low-level  crimes from                                                                    
     certain  types of  criminal history  background checks,                                                                    
     it  is   the  legislature's  intent  to   increase  the                                                                    
     likelihood  that people  convicted  of those  low-level                                                                    
     crimes will become contributing members of society.                                                                        
CHAIR  SHOWER  agreed  and  asked   if  she  wanted  to  offer  a                                                               
conceptual amendment.                                                                                                           
3:53:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO moved Conceptual Amendment 1 to SB 207.                                                                        
     Page 1, lines 8-11:                                                                                                        
          Delete entire sentence that begins "By protecting                                                                     
CHAIR SHOWER objected to ask  if there were questions or comments                                                               
to the proposed amendment.                                                                                                      
3:54:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  said she could  go either way.  She understands                                                               
what Senator Costello  is saying about low-level  crimes, but she                                                               
found the  intent to help  people become contributing  members of                                                               
society helpful.                                                                                                                
3:54:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  said the intent  seems to  be covered in  the first                                                               
sentence of the intent language. He read:                                                                                       
     It is the intent of  the legislature to reduce barriers                                                                    
     to  employment for  people who  have been  convicted of                                                                    
     low-level  marijuana possession  crimes  that would  be                                                                    
     legal on January 1, 2023.                                                                                                  
3:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SHOWER  removed   his  objection;   finding  no   further                                                               
objection, Conceptual Amendment 1 to SB 207 passed.                                                                             
3:55:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI asked if his  understanding was correct that the                                                               
bill is limited to persons 21  years of age or older because that                                                               
language was in the initiative.                                                                                                 
MS. GROSS  replied the intent was  to limit the scope  to conduct                                                               
that is not a crime  now. Marijuana possession by persons younger                                                               
than age 21 is still a crime in Alaska.                                                                                         
MS. MEADE agreed.                                                                                                               
SENATOR  KAWASAKI asked  if anything  other than  cannabis was  a                                                               
Schedule VI A controlled substance.                                                                                             
MS. GROSS answered no.                                                                                                          
CHAIR  SHOWER noted  that  she  had used  a  lifeline before  she                                                               
3:56:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER opened public testimony  on SB 207; finding none, he                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
CHAIR SHOWER held SB 207 for future consideration.                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
B.1 amendment sen .Holland.pdf SSTA 3/22/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB 142 FN.pdf SSTA 3/22/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 142
SJR 20 FN.pdf SSTA 3/22/2022 3:30:00 PM
SJR 20
Legal Memo 2-17-22.pdf SJUD 3/28/2022 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 3/22/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB214 32-LS1577-B.PDF SSTA 3/22/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB 214 Sponsor Statement 2.28.22.pdf SSTA 3/22/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 214
suport -2.pdf SSTA 3/22/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 214