Legislature(2021 - 2022)ADAMS 519

05/17/2022 09:00 AM House FINANCE

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                   HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                        May 17, 2022                                                                                            
                          9:12 a.m.                                                                                             
9:12:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Vice-Chair Ortiz called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 9:12 a.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Kelly Merrick, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Lauree   Morton,   Self,   Juneau;   Kelly   Goode,   Deputy                                                                    
Commissioner   and   Legislative  Liaison,   Department   of                                                                    
Corrections;   Kelly    Howell,   Special    Assistant   and                                                                    
Legislative  Liaison,  Department  of  Public  Safety;  John                                                                    
Skidmore,  Deputy   Attorney  General,   Criminal  Division,                                                                    
Department  of Law;  Nancy  Meade,  General Counsel,  Alaska                                                                    
Court System.                                                                                                                   
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Keely  Olson,  Standing  Together Against  Rape,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Kara Carlson,  Deputy Director,  Interior Alaska  Center for                                                                    
Nonviolent  Living,  Fairbanks;   Traci  McGarry,  Director,                                                                    
Child Advocacy  Center and Child and  Family Services, Nome;                                                                    
Kathleen  Navarre,  Alaska  School  Activities  Association,                                                                    
Anchorage; Arika  Paquette, Women in Safe  Homes, Ketchikan;                                                                    
Jessica Stossel,  Executive Director, Center  for Nonviolent                                                                    
Living, Fairbanks; Samantha  Cherot, Public Defender, Alaska                                                                    
Public Defender  Agency; James Stinson, Director,  Office of                                                                    
Public  Advocacy; Jay  Pea, President,  Save Standard  Time,                                                                    
San   Francisco;  Dr.   Andrew  Binder,   Sleep  Specialist,                                                                    
HB 5      SEXUAL ASSAULT; DEF. OF "CONSENT"                                                                                     
          HB 5 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                      
HB 31     OBSERVE DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ALL YEAR                                                                                 
          HB 31 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
Vice-Chair Ortiz reviewed the meeting agenda.                                                                                   
HOUSE BILL NO. 5                                                                                                              
     "An Act relating  to sexual abuse of  a minor; relating                                                                    
     to  sexual assault;  relating to  the code  of military                                                                    
     justice; relating  to consent; relating to  the testing                                                                    
     of sexual  assault examination kits; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
9:13:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Ortiz   noted  that   the  committee   had  last                                                                    
considered the bill on May 12, 2022.                                                                                            
Vice-Chair Ortiz OPENED public testimony.                                                                                       
9:14:12 AM                                                                                                                    
LAUREE MORTON,  SELF, JUNEAU,  spoke in  favor of  the bill.                                                                    
She  stated that  she currently  worked for  the Network  on                                                                    
Domestic   Violence  and   Sexual  Assault.   She  was   not                                                                    
identifying  as a  victim or  survivor but  as someone  that                                                                    
 had  lived  through  sexual   assault.   She  informed  the                                                                    
committee  that   repare  was  a  Latin  word that  was  the                                                                    
origin of  rape. It  meant to steal,  seize, or  carry away.                                                                    
She interpreted the  word to mean a person  was property and                                                                    
historically,  if  a woman  was  sexually  assaulted a  male                                                                    
relative, father,  brother, or  husband had to  seek justice                                                                    
in a court. Presently, a  woman was considered a person, but                                                                    
the narrative  had changed,  and it  was assumed  a stranger                                                                    
would be  the perpetrator, which  meant that a woman  had to                                                                    
act cautiously  to avoid  harm. She  voiced that  the belief                                                                    
was  bad girls  were at the wrong place, at  the wrong time,                                                                    
with the wrong  dress or attitude.  She  stated that rapists                                                                    
could be  a friend,  brother, father, or  husband. Currently                                                                    
in Alaska,  it was a  person's burden to  say "no" and  if a                                                                    
woman did not  fight back  and  force was not used there was                                                                    
not a  prosecutable crime.  She maintained  that prosecuting                                                                    
sex  offences  was an  uphill  struggle.  The bill  did  not                                                                    
intend to make  prosecuting sex crimes easier   it was meant                                                                    
to  make it  right.  She  hoped the  committee would  define                                                                    
consent as freely given and  shorten the time rape kits were                                                                    
processed.  She implored  the committee  to  not lessen  the                                                                    
current penalties  for sexual  assault crimes.  She believed                                                                    
that it  did not matter  the motivation of  the perpetrator;                                                                    
the victim  had a life  sentence, which was  not  okay.  She                                                                    
offered that  it was  past the  time to  move away  from the                                                                    
culture where a woman had  to resist to one where permission                                                                    
was needed. She thanked the committee for its time.                                                                             
9:18:26 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:23:23 AM                                                                                                                    
The gavel  was given  to Representative Josephson  as acting                                                                    
chair. He continued with public testimony for HB 5.                                                                             
KEELY OLSON, STANDING TOGETHER  AGAINST RAPE, ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference),  supported  the  bill  and  encouraged  the                                                                    
committee to  pass the legislation. She  thanked the sponsor                                                                    
for  the arduous  work on  the bill.  She believed  that the                                                                    
 clandestine   approach   taken   in  the   House  Judiciary                                                                    
Committee  (HJUD)   to  weaken   sexual  assault   laws  was                                                                    
"appalling.   She  stated  that   when  watching  the  House                                                                    
Judiciary Committee, she  had been horrified by  some of the                                                                    
 willful ignorance  of some of  the members and the types of                                                                    
questions they  had asked. She  contended that  freely given                                                                    
consent  was the  law  in multiple  states  and  force   was                                                                    
removed from  the national definition  of sexual  assault in                                                                    
the Uniform  Crime Act in  2013. The idea that  there should                                                                    
be  a  law that  consent  should  be  freely given  was  not                                                                    
controversial. She  relayed that out of  one thousand sexual                                                                    
assault cases  in Alaska less  than one-third  were referred                                                                    
to the Department  of Law (DOL) and one-third  of that would                                                                    
be  accepted  for  prosecution. She  stressed  the  need  to                                                                    
strengthen laws around sexual assault,  not weaken them like                                                                    
the HJUD  version of the  bill. She indicated that  the bill                                                                    
sponsor and the Department of  Law had been working together                                                                    
to pass  the bill  in the  current legislative  session. She                                                                    
stressed  that it  fell to  the House  Finance Committee  to                                                                    
move the bill forward.  She thanked Representative Josephson                                                                    
for   his  insightful,   thoughtful  questions   during  the                                                                    
previous bill  hearing. She wanted  to ensure the  state was                                                                    
moving  forward not  backward. In  response to  the question                                                                    
about why  the state  had highest  rates of  sexual assault,                                                                    
she  would honestly  answer the  reason was  the legislature                                                                    
lacked  the will  to  adopt new  laws  that protected  their                                                                    
constituents if HB 5 did not pass.                                                                                              
9:28:50 AM                                                                                                                    
KARA CARLSON,  DEPUTY DIRECTOR,  INTERIOR ALASKA  CENTER FOR                                                                    
NONVIOLENT    LIVING,   FAIRBANKS    (via   teleconference),                                                                    
supported  the legislation.  She  provided  a definition  of                                                                    
consent  that  meant  a freely  given  reversable  agreement                                                                    
specific  to the  conduct at  issue. She  explained that  it                                                                    
meant  agreement   to  cooperate   in  the   act  positively                                                                    
expressed by words or actions.  She shared that when she was                                                                    
15 years of  age, without consent, she had been  raped by an                                                                    
older man. She reported the  rape to law enforcement and was                                                                    
subjected to a  forensic exam. She stated that  on the phone                                                                    
with law  enforcement the assailant  admitted to  the sexual                                                                    
assault and  that he had  recorded the crime.  Her assaulter                                                                    
had  never been  prosecuted.  She spoke  in  support of  the                                                                    
provisions  in the  bill and  current penalties  in statute.                                                                    
She shared that her assailant  had coerced her into drinking                                                                    
alcohol.   She   supported  the   increased   incapacitation                                                                    
sentences. She  had spent her  entire adult life  working to                                                                    
support   people  who   experienced  sexual   violence.  She                                                                    
reminded the committee that Alaska  had the highest rates of                                                                    
sexual assault  in the nation,  and she wanted the  state to                                                                    
take a strong stand against it.                                                                                                 
9:30:44 AM                                                                                                                    
TRACI  MCGARRY, Director,  CHILD ADVOCACY  CENTER AND  CHILD                                                                    
AND FAMILY SERVICES, NOME  (via teleconference), favored the                                                                    
legislation.  She shared  that she  was also  testifying for                                                                    
Kawerak,  a  native  non-profit organization  in  Nome.  She                                                                    
highlighted  that  Alaska had  the  highest  rate of  sexual                                                                    
assault including  child abuse.  She asked the  committee to                                                                    
pass the legislation to address  consent issues and the rape                                                                    
kit timeline. She emphasized the  importance of consent. She                                                                    
stated the  definition needed to  be altered in  Alaska law.                                                                    
She thanked the sponsor for introducing the legislation.                                                                        
9:32:26 AM                                                                                                                    
KATHLEEN  NAVARRE,  ALASKA  SCHOOL  ACTIVITIES  ASSOCIATION,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke in  favor of HB 5. She                                                                    
highlighted   that  the   association   currently  had   two                                                                    
programs; Athletes  as Leaders, and Coaching  Boys into Men,                                                                    
which  they   were  promoting  throughout  the   state.  She                                                                    
indicated  that  both  evidence based  programs  included  a                                                                    
curriculum component  on consent and  healthy relationships.                                                                    
She stated that consent was  important in everyday life. She                                                                    
advocated for  a consistent definition  of consent  in order                                                                    
to send the  same message to young adults  in Alaska through                                                                    
programs like those offered by the association.                                                                                 
9:34:14 AM                                                                                                                    
ARIKA PAQUETTE,  WOMEN IN SAFE HOMES  (WISH), KETCHIKAN (via                                                                    
teleconference),  supported expedient  passage of  the bill.                                                                    
She  favored the  bills  definition  of consent.  She shared                                                                    
that  in  her experience  with  WISH  she had  thousands  of                                                                    
interactions  with  students  facilitating the  Alaska  Safe                                                                    
Children's Act  Lessons in schools across  Southeast Alaska.                                                                    
She   indicated  that   the  lesson   included  the   bills                                                                     
definition of consent.  She shared that in the  past she had                                                                    
classrooms  of seventh  and eighth  graders  that had  never                                                                    
heard  the  word consent.  In  the  current year,  in  every                                                                    
classroom  every  student was  aware  of  the definition  of                                                                    
consent.  She was  happy the  state had  supported education                                                                    
informing students  of the updated  version of  consent. She                                                                    
hoped  that  in  the  following  year  she  could  tell  the                                                                    
students  that the  definition was  in  Alaska statute.  She                                                                    
supported the improved timeline  of rape kit processing. She                                                                    
believed  that  quicker   prosecutions  and  moving  victims                                                                    
through the  judicial process quicker could  have a profound                                                                    
impact  on  the victim  and  communities.  She was  strongly                                                                    
opposed  to a  reduction in  sexual assault  crime penalties                                                                    
from an  unclassified felony  to a class  B felony  that was                                                                    
included  by  the House  Judiciary  Committee.  She did  not                                                                    
believe lessening  penalties was the message  that needed to                                                                    
be sent.                                                                                                                        
9:37:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Acting-Chair Josephson  asked the Department  of Corrections                                                                    
to review the fiscal note.                                                                                                      
KELLY  GOODE, DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER AND  LEGISLATIVE LIAISON,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF  CORRECTIONS,  reviewed  the  published  zero                                                                    
fiscal note for the  Department of Corrections (DOC), Alaska                                                                    
Institution Director's Office (FN8  (COR). She reported that                                                                    
should the  bill pass, it  was expected that  the department                                                                    
would accomplish any changes using existing resources.                                                                          
Acting-Chair  Representative  Josephson returned  to  public                                                                    
9:40:37 AM                                                                                                                    
JESSICA STOSSEL,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER  FOR NONVIOLENT                                                                    
LIVING,  FAIRBANKS  (via   teleconference),  encouraged  the                                                                    
passage of the  legislation. She shared that  she had worked                                                                    
with  many  victims  during her  career  and  reported  that                                                                    
 there  was nothing  more devastating  and life  changing as                                                                    
the  violation  of  a  sexual   assault.   She  relayed  how                                                                    
difficult it  was for a  victim to   fight the law  to prove                                                                    
that  a  victim  said   no.    She  felt  that  the  current                                                                    
statutory   language  was   the   wrong   message  to   send                                                                    
communities and  victims. She urged the  state to strengthen                                                                    
the definition  of consent. She  favored the  shortened time                                                                    
for  testing rape  kits to  6 months  rather than  one year,                                                                    
which increased the suffering of the victims.                                                                                   
9:42:27 AM                                                                                                                    
Acting-Chair Josephson CLOSED  public testimony. He returned                                                                    
to the review of fiscal notes.                                                                                                  
KELLY  HOWELL, SPECIAL  ASSISTANT  AND LEGISLATIVE  LIAISON,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF PUBLIC  SAFETY,  reviewed  the Department  of                                                                    
Public Safety's (DPS)  two fiscal notes. She  began with the                                                                    
published  zero  fiscal  note   allocated  to  Alaska  State                                                                    
Trooper  Detachments  (FN9  (DPS). She  explained  that  the                                                                    
changes  made  in  the  current version  of  the  bill  were                                                                    
currently   part  of   the  sexual   assault  response   and                                                                    
investigation  duties  of  the Alaska  State  Troopers.  She                                                                    
noted some additional training was  necessary to educate the                                                                    
troopers  on the  statute changes.  The department  expected                                                                    
that the troopers could accomplish  the tasks using existing                                                                    
Acting-Chair  Josephson  asked   to  hear  the  department's                                                                    
second fiscal note.                                                                                                             
Ms.  Howell reviewed  DPSs  published  fiscal impact  fiscal                                                                    
note  allocated  to  Laboratory Services  (FN14  (DPS).  She                                                                    
indicated that the fiscal note  addressed the sexual assault                                                                    
examination kit  provisions reducing the amount  of time the                                                                    
state  crime lab  must  test  a kit  from  one  year to  six                                                                    
months.  The fiscal  note reflected  the personnel  staffing                                                                    
cost of achieving that goal.  She reported that the governor                                                                    
had shortened the  time to 90 days and added  funding in the                                                                    
FY  2023   budget  request.   Therefore,  the   fiscal  note                                                                    
addressed  a  90-day  turnaround  time  for  testing  sexual                                                                    
assault kits.                                                                                                                   
9:45:15 AM                                                                                                                    
Acting-Chair  Josephson  noted  that  Vice-Chair  Ortiz  had                                                                    
returned to the committee. He  asked to hear the fiscal note                                                                    
from the Department of Law.                                                                                                     
JOHN SKIDMORE,  DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF LAW,  spoke to  the  published fiscal  impact                                                                    
fiscal note for the Department  of Law allocated to Criminal                                                                    
Justice  Litigation  (FN13  (LAW).  He  explained  that  the                                                                    
fiscal  note reflected  the need  for additional  positions.                                                                    
Two positions  were needed to develop  training and practice                                                                    
materials  and then  conduct trainings  for prosecutors  and                                                                    
law enforcement across the state  to prosecute under the new                                                                    
definitions.  The definition  of consent  was a  significant                                                                    
change in  the law, and the  bill expanded the scope  of the                                                                    
criminal  statutes, therefore,  it  would  likely result  in                                                                    
additional case referrals and additional  cases filed. It is                                                                    
also expected the new definition  of consent would result in                                                                    
additional litigation associated  with sexual assault cases.                                                                    
The  Criminal Division  also anticipates  the need  for four                                                                    
additional  prosecutors and  four  associated support  staff                                                                    
across the state  to handle the expected  increase in sexual                                                                    
assault cases and additional  litigation. He delineated that                                                                    
three prosecutors and associate staff  will be placed in the                                                                    
offices that  received the highest  number of  referrals for                                                                    
sexual  assault:  Anchorage,   Bethel,  and  Fairbanks.  The                                                                    
fourth  attorney  and  support  staff  combination  will  be                                                                    
placed in  Special Prosecutions, also located  in Anchorage,                                                                    
to assist offices across the state with these offenses.                                                                         
Acting-Chair Josephson asked if  the personal services costs                                                                    
could  be used  anywhere in  the department  or only  in the                                                                    
Criminal   Division.   Mr.   Skidmore   replied   that   the                                                                    
appropriation  was specifically  for  the Criminal  Division                                                                    
and  could  not  be  used  in  the  Civil  Division  or  the                                                                    
Administrative  Services  Division.  He furthered  that  the                                                                    
appropriation  could   be  moved  around  in   the  Criminal                                                                    
Division, but  the division  was not in  the habit  of doing                                                                    
something other than what was  stated in the fiscal note. He                                                                    
asserted  that  he  intended to  execute  the  appropriation                                                                    
exactly as noted.                                                                                                               
9:48:59 AM                                                                                                                    
Acting  Chair  Josephson  asked  to  hear  from  the  Public                                                                    
Defender Agency.                                                                                                                
SAMANTHA  CHEROT, PUBLIC  DEFENDER,  ALASKA PUBLIC  DEFENDER                                                                    
AGENCY (via  teleconference), reviewed the  published fiscal                                                                    
impact  fiscal note  for  the  Department of  Administration                                                                    
(DOA) allocated  to the Public  Defender Agency  (DPA) (FN12                                                                    
(ADM). She offered  that the bill changed  the definition of                                                                    
consent as  it related to  sexual assault and  established a                                                                    
new  crime,   thus  the  agency  anticipated   an  increased                                                                    
workload based on  the additional cases that  would be filed                                                                    
by  DOL and  more  litigation throughout  various stages  of                                                                    
sexual assault  cases. She shared that  the public defenders                                                                    
handling  sexual assault  cases  presently  had the  highest                                                                    
workload  in  the  agency. The  fiscal  note  reflected  the                                                                    
request   for   six   attorneys,  two   investigators,   one                                                                    
paralegal,  and one  law office  assistant in  FY 2023,  and                                                                    
beyond.  The   positions  would  be  placed   in  Anchorage,                                                                    
Fairbanks, Bethel,  and other areas  based on the  volume of                                                                    
the cases.                                                                                                                      
Acting-Chair Josephson  noted that  Representative Carpenter                                                                    
had joined the meeting.                                                                                                         
9:50:38 AM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  STINSON, DIRECTOR,  OFFICE  OF  PUBLIC ADVOCACY  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  reviewed   the  published   fiscal  impact                                                                    
fiscal  note  for DOA  allocated  to  the Office  of  Public                                                                    
Advocacy  (OPA)  (FN11  (ADM).   He  communicated  that  his                                                                    
comments mirrored Ms. Cherot's in  terms of the need for the                                                                    
additional  resources.  He  spoke   to  four  more  specific                                                                    
points. He  discussed that the  agency had a  severe backlog                                                                    
of cases due to the COVID  pandemic and had not received any                                                                    
new positions  in the prior  year. He elucidated  that OPA's                                                                    
structure  organized multiple  independent  law firms  under                                                                    
one  umbrella. Typically,  he would  add more  resources for                                                                    
in-house attorneys  if the job  market was good, but  it was                                                                    
not  presently  the case.  He  delineated  that due  to  the                                                                    
attorney shortage,  if he requested more  attorney positions                                                                    
(PCN's) he would compete with the  PDA for the small pool of                                                                    
available  hires.  Therefore,  he  focused  the  request  on                                                                    
contract services.  The fiscal  note shored up  the existing                                                                    
"lease spaces"  that currently  existed, added  one Attorney                                                                    
IV Specialist that would work  out of Anchorage, and updated                                                                    
the  contract  line. He  had  recently  increased its   case                                                                    
caps,  but  OPA has not updated  its hourly rate of  pay for                                                                    
contract attorneys ($65-$95 an  hour) since the early 1990s.                                                                    
He shared  that any attorneys  willing to take the  cases at                                                                    
the low rates had informed OPA  that they would not take any                                                                    
additional cases  beginning in July  2022. In order  to find                                                                    
contractors  willing   to  accept  these  cases,   OPA  must                                                                    
increase the hourly rate of pay.                                                                                                
Acting-Chair  Josephson  remarked  on  the  request  for  $1                                                                    
million  more than  the Public  Defender  Agency. He  deemed                                                                    
that the request was unusual  because he was requesting more                                                                    
for the agency's other shortfalls.                                                                                              
9:53:49 AM                                                                                                                    
NANCY MEADE, GENERAL COUNSEL,  ALASKA COURT SYSTEM, reviewed                                                                    
the  Court  System's  published  indeterminate  fiscal  note                                                                    
(FN10 (CRT). She commented that  the agencies were expecting                                                                    
to file  more cases  for sexual  felonies. The  Court System                                                                    
was unable to determine the number  of new cases or what the                                                                    
impacts would be.                                                                                                               
Representative Rasmussen  asked for a rough  estimate of how                                                                    
much one case  generally cost. Ms. Mead replied  that it was                                                                    
impossible to estimate that information  due to a tremendous                                                                    
variation in cases and the number would be invalid.                                                                             
9:55:09 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:55:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Acting-Chair Josephson  indicated that  amendments for  HB 5                                                                    
were due as soon as possible.                                                                                                   
HB  5   was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee   for  further                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 31                                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to daylight saving time; and                                                                              
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
9:56:34 AM                                                                                                                    
Acting-Chair Josephson noted that  it was the second hearing                                                                    
for HB 31.                                                                                                                      
9:56:47 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:57:09 AM                                                                                                                    
Acting-Chair  Josephson  asked  the   members  if  they  had                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter asked  to briefly  explain why  he                                                                    
chose Daylight Savings Time (DST) over Standard Time.                                                                           
Vice-Chair  Ortiz replied  that there  had been  discussions                                                                    
both  nationwide and  in  Alaska  regarding ending  changing                                                                    
clocks  in  the  spring  and   fall.  He  relayed  that  his                                                                    
constituents preferred  longer daylight  time in  the summer                                                                    
evenings  mostly for  economic reasons  such as  tourism and                                                                    
fishing.  Currently,  Alaska  had long  daylight  hours.  He                                                                    
offered   the  bill   in   support   of  his   constituents.                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter asked  if there  was any  analysis                                                                    
whether  children  would  benefit  from  the  change  or  if                                                                    
families  preferred morning  daylight.  He wondered  whether                                                                    
there  was a  dilemma about  whether the  time change  would                                                                    
affect  children and  families negatively.  Vice-Chair Ortiz                                                                    
observed that children  were already going to  school in the                                                                    
dark in  his district.  If HB 31  passed, children  would go                                                                    
home with  daylight hours remaining.  He was unaware  of any                                                                    
studies  about being  able  to  go to  school  in the  light                                                                    
versus the dark.                                                                                                                
10:02:10 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Rasmussen asked  when  the tourism  business                                                                    
started in Southeast Alaska.  Vice-Chair Ortiz answered that                                                                    
it  began in  early May.  Representative Rasmussen  observed                                                                    
that given  how much  daylight was  experienced by  May, she                                                                    
was  unsure   if  an  additional  hour   was  necessary  for                                                                    
extending  tourist  activities.  Vice-Chair  Ortiz  remarked                                                                    
that  extending daylight  into the  summer impacted  tourism                                                                    
later in  the season. He  noted that the tourism  season was                                                                    
solid  until around  the 24th  of  September and  businesses                                                                    
were  impacted in  their  ability to  do  flight seeing  and                                                                    
ocean  activities;  they  were  curtailed  due  to  lack  of                                                                    
daylight.  He noted  that typically  cruise ships  stayed in                                                                    
Ketchikan until 10:00 P.M.                                                                                                      
10:05:04 AM                                                                                                                   
Acting-Chair Josephson  asked if  the proposal  meant Alaska                                                                    
would  still remain  four hours  from  New York.  Vice-Chair                                                                    
Ortiz answered that part of the  year the state would have a                                                                    
three hour difference and part of  the year it would be at a                                                                    
four hour  difference. Acting-Chair  Josephson asked  if the                                                                    
state would  be on  Seattle time. Vice-Chair  Ortiz answered                                                                    
in the affirmative but noted  that the bill would be enacted                                                                    
when several  West Coast states  adopted permanent  DST that                                                                    
also had to be approved by the federal government.                                                                              
10:06:07 AM                                                                                                                   
Acting Chair Josephson opened public testimony.                                                                                 
JAY PEA,  PRESIDENT, SAVE STANDARD TIME,  SAN FRANCISCO (via                                                                    
teleconference), opposed  the bill  for several  reasons. He                                                                    
pointed  out that  in  federal law,  the  Uniform Time  Act,                                                                    
Title  15 forbade  permanent Daylight  Savings Time,  and it                                                                    
could not be implemented without federal approval.                                                                              
Permanent  Standard Time  was  pre-approved  by the  federal                                                                    
government. He  underlined that Arizona,  Hawaii, and  all 5                                                                    
US territories  avoided the biannual time  change by staying                                                                    
on permanent Standard  Time. He spoke to  the health issues.                                                                    
He  maintained  that  many  studies  showed  that  permanent                                                                    
daylight  time   impacted  health   and  stated   that  some                                                                    
countries tried it to ill  effects. He voiced that permanent                                                                    
daylight time  was like "forcing  ourselves to  wake earlier                                                                    
in the dark."  He  discussed current sunrises and sunsets in                                                                    
Anchorage and did  not think the extra  evening daylight was                                                                    
necessary. He did not support the legislation.                                                                                  
10:09:11 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  ANDREW   BINDER,  SLEEP  SPECIALIST,   CALIFORNIA  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  opposed the  legislation. He  acknowledged                                                                    
that it was universally agreed  that many people loathed the                                                                    
biannual  time  change.  He stated  that  it  created  sleep                                                                    
disorders.  He  listed  some   reasons  his  patients  hated                                                                    
changing  clocks.  He   declared  that   permanent  Daylight                                                                    
Savings Time  was a crime against  human physiology.  People                                                                    
suffering with insomnia and  mood disorders were exacerbated                                                                    
by waking in the dark and  needed to sleep more on weekends.                                                                    
The bodys  internal  clock was set by  sunlight. He believed                                                                    
that it  was  dangerous for  adolescents who were   prone to                                                                    
circadian misalignment.   He opined that Arizona  and Hawaii                                                                    
lacked problems with  tourism. He doubted there  was a sleep                                                                    
specialist  who would  defend  permanent  DST. He  supported                                                                    
permanent Standard Time.                                                                                                        
Acting Chair Josephson CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                 
Representative Rasmussen commented that  the bill would move                                                                    
daylight to 11:00  A.M. in Anchorage in the  winter. She did                                                                    
not want  her kindergarten aged  son to have  morning recess                                                                    
in the dark at 10:45 A.M. She did not support the concept.                                                                      
HB  31  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
Acting Chair Josephson notified  members amendments for both                                                                    
bills  heard  during  the  meeting   were  due  as  soon  as                                                                    
possible.  He  recessed  the   meeting  [the  meeting  never                                                                    
10:13:43 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 10:13 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 5 Public Testimony Rec'd by 051722.pdf HFIN 5/17/2022 9:00:00 AM
HB 5