Legislature(2023 - 2024)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
04/13/2023 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS
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SB 119-STATE IDENTIFICATION CARD FOR PRISONERS 3:40:22 PM CHAIR KAWASAKI announced the consideration of SENATE BILL NO. 119 "An Act relating to state identifications and driver's licenses for persons in the custody of the Department of Corrections; relating to state identifications issued by the Department of Corrections; relating to the duties of the commissioner of corrections; relating to misconduct involving confidential information; relating to voter identification; relating to identification for fishing permits; relating to identification for debtor financing statements; and providing for an effective date." 3:40:42 PM SENATOR ROBERT MYERS, District Q, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, sponsor of SB 119, introduced the legislation speaking to the sponsor statement. Senate Bill 119 provides easier access to identification cards for reentrants upon release, granting them an important tool for reintegration. SB 119 grants the Department of Corrections the statutory authority to issue state IDs to anyone leaving their custody that does not have an ID in their possession. Individuals are required to present a valid form of ID in order to gain new employment, apply for housing, drive a car, open a bank account, travel, purchase a phone, apply for Medicaid or Social Security, obtain medication, and register to vote. The inability to find housing or employment or obtain medications are significant factors in whether or not a person is likely to reoffend, endangering public safety and costing the state more money once they are back in prison. Reentry is an essential part of public safety. Ensuring reentrants are supported during their transitional period helps improve community well-being and public safety. By providing reentrants with a valid form of identification upon their release we also provide the individual with an essential tool for finding housing, employment, and medical care and alleviate the risk of reoffending. 3:42:06 PM DAWSON MANN, Staff, Senator Robert Myers, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, presented the sectional analysis for SB 119 on behalf of the sponsor. Section 1: AS 11.76.115 (c) Page 1, Lines 8-12 This section adds information encoded on Department of Corrections identification cards to the list of confidential information that is prohibited to obtain illegally. Section 2: AS 15.07.055 (e) Page 1, Line 13, Page 2, Lines 1-10 AS 15.07.055 - This section clarifies that an ID issued by the Department of Corrections can be used to register to vote or change voter registration. Section 3: AS 16.10.267 (c) Page 2, Line 11-15 This section adds conforming language that states a fishermen may use a Department of Corrections identification card to verify their identity for a limited entry permit. Section 4: AS 33.30.011 (a) Page 2 Lines 16-31, Page 3, Lines 1-31, Page 4, Lines 1-31, Page 5, Lines 1-19 This section requires the Department of Corrections to ensure that a prisoner has an identification card in their possession upon release. The Department of Corrections will issue a person an ID if they do not have one, and they will pay the application fee an identification issued by the Department of Administration. Section 5: AS 33.30.105 Page 5, Lines 20-31, Page 6, Lines 1-23 New section AS 33.30.105 is added with the following subsections: AS 33.30.105 (a) The Department of Corrections shall issue an Identification Card that is identical to a Driver's license except that the card will be a different color and clearly state that the card is for identification purposes only. AS 33.30.105 (a) 1 Identification Cards issued by the Department of Corrections will be assigned distinguishing numbers. AS 33.30.105 (a) 2 - Identification Cards issued by the Department of Corrections must include a person's full name, date of birth, physical description, and photograph. AS 33.30.105 (a) 3 - Identification Cards issued by the Department of Corrections must include a signature. AS 33.30.105 (a) 4 - Identification Cards issued by the Department of Corrections must have features designed to prevent tampering. AS 33.30.105 (a) 5 - Identification Cards issued by the Department of Corrections must clearly display that a person is under the age of 21. AS 33.30.105 (a) 6 - Identification Cards issued by the Department of Corrections must clearly state that the individual is restricted from purchasing alcoholic beverages. AS 33.30.105 (b) - Identification Cards issued by the Department of Corrections may not show a person's social security number. AS 33.30.105 (c) Identification Cards issued by the Department of Corrections expire 180 days after they are issued or 90 days after the person turns 21, whichever comes first. AS 33.30.105 (d) A person cannot provide false information in an application for a Department of Corrections identification card, use a fraudulent identification card, or allow another person to use their identification card. AS 33.30.105 (e) It is a misdemeanor to violate section (d) of AS 33.30.105 in this bill. Section 6: AS 45.29.503 (a) Page 6 Lines 24-31, Page 7, Lines 1-31, Page 8, Lines 1-4 Clarifies that an Identification card issued under AS 33.30.105 is a valid form of ID for financial documents. Section 7: AS 45.29.503 (g) Page 8, Lines 5-10 Clarifies that the most recently issued identification card issued by the department is the only valid card. Section 8: Page 8, Line 11 This section establishes an effective date for the bill of January 1st, 2024 SENATOR MYERS noted the individuals his office had invited to answer questions. 3:47:49 PM CHAIR KAWASAKI asked whether the ID card would be Real ID compliant. SENATOR MYERS answered no; someone who is just released from prison often is not able to provide proof of residence, which is a requirement for Real ID. 3:48:59 PM CHAIR KAWASAKI opened public testimony on SB 119. CHAIR KAWASAKI referenced the fiscal note analysis from the Department of Corrections (DOC) that says DOC will "make a good faith effort" to ensure a released prisoner has a valid state ID card. He asked if it was the department's intent that all prisoners will have a state identification card upon release. 3:50:20 PM APRIL WILKERSON, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Corrections, Juneau, Alaska, answered yes. If the individual had a valid State of Alaska ID when they entered prison, that will be returned if it's still valid; otherwise, an ID card will be issued upon release. 3:51:06 PM MICHAEL GARVEY, Advocacy Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, stated support for ensuring that people returning to their communities from prison have valid identification because it's a critical piece to reentry. When someone is released without identification they may not be able to do routine tasks such as secure housing, apply for a job, establish a consistent mailing address, apply for a bank account, have a steady phone number, or get health care outside an emergency situation. Leaving prison without proper ID adds one more thing to the list of things a person needs to do to survive outside of prison. He said it's in everybody's best interest to ensure that people who are released from prison have the tools they need to succeed and not feel ostracized by society. MR GARVEY encouraged the committee to make sure that the requirements for ID listed in SB 119 will not allow the cards to be produced in a way that could identify the person as previously incarcerated. He reiterated support for SB 119 and its intent. 3:53:09 PM DON HABEGER, Coalition Coordinator, Juneau Reentry Coalition, Juneau, Alaska informed the committee that he submitted a letter to the sponsor in support of SB 119. He conveyed a story that illustrates the real need for the legislation. In early November he received a call from someone who was recently released from Lemon Creek Correctional Center and wanted an ID card. The first trip to DMV wasn't successful because he didn't have a birth certificate to prove his identity. He had the birth certificate in hand a month later and they made a second trip to DMV. The man was denied again because he didn't have proof of address. The emergency shelter wrote a letter on their letterhead saying the man was staying at the emergency shelter. DMV accepted that and the man got a state ID card. MR. HABEGER said what's so significant about the story is how long it took to gather the necessary information to satisfy the DMV requirements to obtain an identification card. All the man was trying to do was to start the process to reestablish himself in the community. Whatever the state can do to decrease the impediments to reentry is important. He said that is why the Juneau Reentry Coalition supports SB 119. 3:56:07 PM CHAIR KAWASAKI closed public testimony on SB 119 and held the bill in committee.