Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/23/1995 02:05 PM House HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                         March 23, 1995                                        
                           2:05 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Con Bunde, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Gary Davis                                                     
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Caren Robinson                                                 
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 All members present                                                           
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 SB 62:    "An Act relating to birth certificates for certain                  
           foreign born persons who are adopted."                              
           PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
 *HB 231:  "An Act relating to the interview requirements of the               
           State Medical Board."                                               
           PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
 * HB 87:  "An Act authorizing youth courts to provide for peer                
           adjudication of minors who have allegedly committed                 
           violations of state or municipal laws, and renaming the             
           community legal assistance grant fund and amending the              
           purposes for which grants may be made from that fund in             
           order to provide financial assistance for organization              
           and initial operation of youth courts."                             
           PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
  HB 228:  "An Act reducing payment levels for the program of aid to           
           families with dependent children and the adult public               
           assistance program."                                                
           PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
 HB 104:   "An Act relating to disclosures of information about                
           certain minors."                                                    
           HEARD AND HELD                                                      
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 SENATOR LYDA GREEN                                                            
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Room 423, State Capitol                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-6600                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for SB 62.                     
 MAXINE DEVILBISS, Parent                                                      
 Palmer, AK  99645                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 745-3483                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 62.                            
 DR. DAVID McGUIRE, Chairman                                                   
 State Medical Licensing Board                                                 
 3601 C Street, Suite 722                                                      
 Anchorage, AK  99503                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 561-2878                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 231.                           
 BARBARA GABIER, Program Coordinator                                           
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce and                                                    
   Economic Development (DCED)                                                 
 P.O. Box 110806                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0806                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2572                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Indicated the DCED didn't have a                         
                      problem with HB 231                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Room 430, State Capitol                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3875                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HB 87.                     
 LIZ ROBERTS, Legislative Aide                                                 
 Office of Representative Bettye Davis                                         
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Room 430, State Capitol                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3875                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 87.                            
 LINDA EGAN, Adult Representative                                              
 Youth Commission                                                              
 3136 Pioneer                                                                  
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 789-3780                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 87.                            
 AMY MacKINNON, Student Representative                                         
 Youth Commission                                                              
 1114 Glacier Avenue                                                           
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3902                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 87.                            
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant to Commissioner Perdue                     
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 Alaska Office Building                                                        
 350 Main Street, Room 229                                                     
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3030                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 87.                            
 CURTIS LOMAS, Program Officer                                                 
 Welfare Reform Program, Division of Public Assistance                         
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 Alaska Office Building                                                        
 350 Main Street, Room 317                                                     
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3347                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 228.                                      
 ROD MOURANT, Administrative Assistant                                         
 Representative Pete Kott's Office                                             
 Room 432, State Capitol                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 104.                           
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General                                      
 Criminal Division                                                             
 Department of Law                                                             
 Court Building, Room 717                                                      
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3428                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 104.                                      
 LEE ANN LUCAS, Special Assistant (Legislation)                                
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 450 Whittier Street                                                           
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4322                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 104.                                      
 MARGARET W. BERCK, Representative                                             
 American Civil Liberties Union, Alaska Chapter                                
 227 7th Street                                                                
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3309                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 104.                                 
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  SB 62                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) GREEN                                                  
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 02/03/95       164    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/03/95       164    (S)   HES                                               
 02/15/95       287    (S)   HES RPT  3DP 1NR                                  
 02/15/95       287    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE  (DHSS - #1)                     
 02/15/95              (S)   HES AT 09:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 02/15/95              (S)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/20/95              (S)   RLS AT 11:25 AM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203               
 02/20/95              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                       
 02/21/95       349    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  2/21/95                        
 02/21/95       353    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 02/21/95       353    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT            
 02/21/95       353    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 62                        
 02/21/95       354    (S)   PASSED Y18 N- E1 A1                               
 02/21/95       354    (S)   ADAMS  NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                  
 02/22/95       373    (S)   RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP                      
 02/22/95       374    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 02/27/95       479    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/27/95       479    (H)   HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES               
 03/23/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 231                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) TOOHEY                                          
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 03/03/95       566    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/03/95       566    (H)   HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES               
 03/23/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 87                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: AUTHORIZING YOUTH COURTS                                         
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS, Davies, Robinson                       
 01/17/95        51    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/17/95        51    (H)   HES, JUD, FIN                                     
 01/18/95        76    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): DAVIES                              
 02/06/95       256    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ROBINSON                            
 03/23/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 228                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 03/03/95       565    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/03/95       565    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 03/14/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/16/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/16/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/16/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/23/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 104                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: DISCLOSURE OF JUVENILE RECORDS                                   
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT, Bunde, Green                              
 01/20/95       101    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/20/95       101    (H)   HES, JUD                                          
 01/25/95       136    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): GREEN                               
 02/10/95       301    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS           
 02/10/95       301    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/10/95       301    (H)   HES, JUD                                          
 02/23/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/23/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-27, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR CON BUNDE called the meeting of the House Health,                    
 Education and Social Services standing committee to order at 2:05             
 p.m.  Present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde,                
 Toohey, Rokeberg and Davis.  A quorum was present to conduct                  
 HHES - 03/23/95                                                               
 SB 62 - BIRTH CERTIFICATES FOR CERTAIN ADOPTEES                             
 Number 060                                                                    
 SENATOR LYDA GREEN presented her bill.  She said it has been her              
 pleasure to sponsor this bill.  Before 1982, Alaska did not have a            
 provision for granting birth certificates to foreign born adopted             
 children.  In 1982 when Alaska passed such a law, it was the first            
 state to do so.  At that same time, a provision was included that             
 prohibited anyone over the age of 18 from applying for a birth                
 SENATOR GREEN explained those persons who were over 18 at that time           
 were excluded from ever receiving an Alaska birth certificate.                
 This bill allows those who were adopted as children, but who are              
 now adults, to not be excluded from receiving a birth certificate.            
 Both the U.S. Immigration Office and Division of Vital Statistics             
 anticipate no great impact.  This does not allow individuals over             
 the age of 18 to be adopted, since federal law prohibits anyone               
 over that age from being adopted.                                             
 SENATOR GREEN said this bill would not be an avenue by which a                
 person living in this country could adopt his/her grandmother to              
 make her an automatic citizen of the U.S.  This bill is designed              
 for that very small group of people who fell through that window of           
 time and are not allowed to get an Alaska birth certificate.                  
 Number 187                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Senator Green to remain at the meeting for a             
 moment.  He noted the presence of Representatives Robinson and                
 Brice, who joined the meeting at 2:08 p.m.                                    
 Number 219                                                                    
 MAXINE DEVILBISS, Parent, testified via teleconference.  She and              
 her husband adopted their son Brian from Korea when he was three              
 years old.  At the same time, there were a number of other                    
 adoptions from Korea.  These are children of American Servicemen              
 and Korean women, conceived during the Korean War.  When Brian was            
 adopted, Mr. and Mrs. Devilbiss assumed he would receive a birth              
 certificate.  They found out they could not get a birth certificate           
 for him.                                                                      
 MS. DEVILBISS worked for many years to get a bill through that                
 would allow overseas children to receive Alaskan birth                        
 certificates.  However, she was amazed to find out that the                   
 situation was not retroactive.  She appreciates the bill that                 
 Senator Green has put forth.  The bill will allow Brian, who is 35            
 years old, to have a birth certificate.  There have been times when           
 he has needed one.  This measure will be appreciated by Brian and             
 by other adoptees who were over 18 when the 1982 bill was passed.             
 She really appreciates the consideration of this bill.                        
 Number 352                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thanked Ms. Devilbiss for her kind words and for her           
 testimony.  There were no questions for Ms. Devilbiss, and there              
 was no further public testimony.                                              
 CO-CHAIR CYNTHIA TOOHEY apologized for waiting this long to pass a            
 bill such as this.  She motioned that the bill be moved to the next           
 committee of referral with individual recommendations and                     
 accompanying fiscal notes.  There were no objections, and the bill            
 was so moved.                                                                 
 Number 433                                                                    
 MS. DEVILBISS thanked HESS Committee members on the behalf of her             
 son.  She said her son is a very wonderful Alaskan citizen.  He has           
 his own business, and Alaska can be proud of him.  She wished HESS            
 Committee members good luck and thanked them again.                           
 HHES - 03/23/95                                                               
 HB 231 - INTERVIEWS BY THE STATE MEDICAL BOARD                              
 Number 519                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said under existing law, physicians applying for              
 permanent licensures must be interviewed in person by the Alaska              
 State Medical Board or a member of the board.  The board, a member            
 of the board or an alternative designated interviewer must                    
 interview, in person, the locum tenant physician's interns or                 
 resident applicants.                                                          
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY explained the mandate interview is cumbersome,                
 expensive and of limited value since the license application                  
 process, which takes place prior to the applicant being                       
 interviewed, is extensive and thorough.  An interview is unlikely             
 to reveal any information not already known.  HB 231 would allow              
 the interview process to be discretionary.  This would relieve the            
 applicant, the board members and the board staff of a significant             
 amount of work.  Interviews could be conducted when the Alaskan               
 Medical Board deems it necessary.                                             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said HB 231 is supported by the Alaska State                  
 Medical Association, the Alaska State Medical Board, and by the               
 Division of Occupational Licensing (DOL).  There is a zero fiscal             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY announced that the chairman of the State Medical              
 Board was on-line to testify and respond to questions.                        
 Number 597                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE commented that this bill was heard by the HESS                 
 Committee members last year.  There is a cumbersome process where             
 someone comes in for a temporary arrangement, perhaps a month or              
 two of filling in for a doctor in a rural community, and they must            
 get to the Medical Board, have an interview, and then return to the           
 rural community.  This adds up to considerable cost.                          
 Number 640                                                                    
 DR. DAVID McGUIRE, Chairman, State Medical Licensing Board,                   
 testified via teleconference.  The board has endeavored to do the             
 best it could to be certain licensed physicians in the State of               
 Alaska are appropriately licensed.  Members of the board have                 
 viewed their job principally as one of patient and consumer                   
 protection.  The board continues to do so.                                    
 DR. McGUIRE wanted to reassure all the representatives that this is           
 something which has been considered from a position of patient                
 protection.  Patient protection will not be compromised, yet the              
 board and the individuals will be saved a lot of unnecessary                  
 Number 719                                                                    
 DR. McGUIRE said the opinion on this matter was arrived at through            
 research.  Dr. McGuire asked his secretary to help him review the             
 licenses issued and to see if there was ever a single instance in             
 which there was an adverse action on a license solely as the result           
 of the interview.  To put it another way, if the board thought the            
 application was "clean," meaning problem-free, the doctor wanted to           
 know if there was ever a single time in which the interview                   
 discovered something that would cause the board to deny the                   
 application.  The answer was no.                                              
 DR. McGUIRE said that situation never occurred, and he cannot find            
 a single instance of that occurrence in the history of the board.             
 From the opposing point of view, if the board receives an                     
 application and questions arise about the applicant, the board                
 absolutely wants the prerogative, without any discussion or appeal            
 on the part of the applicant to be able to interview that applicant           
 DR. McGUIRE said there have been many instances in which questions            
 have risen on the application, the applicant has been interviewed             
 by the board and, as a result of the application and the interview,           
 the license has been denied.                                                  
 Number 804                                                                    
 DR. McGUIRE stressed it is therefore imperative that the                      
 prerogative be present to interview any person with whom the board            
 does not feel 100 percent confident.  They should be required to              
 attend that interview without an explanation from the board.                  
 However, if an application is clean and everything is in order, the           
 board would like to have the ability to conduct interviews at the             
 board's discretion.  In the past, however, the board has been going           
 through this constant exercise, and they cannot demonstrate that it           
 does any good to anybody.                                                     
 DR. McGUIRE said he would be happy to answer questions.                       
 Number 855                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were questions of Dr. McGuire, and              
 there were none.  He asked for further public testimony, and noted            
 that Barbara Gabier of the Division of Occupational Licensing in              
 Juneau was also available to answer questions.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS asked Ms. Gabier to indicate with a nod             
 that the Department of Commerce does not have a problem with the              
 BARBARA GABIER, Program Coordinator, Division of Occupational                 
 Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCED),            
 did so.                                                                       
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said this bill made it all the way to the floor of            
 the Senate last year, and ran out of time.                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony, and asked for the wish of             
 the committee.                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS motioned for the committee to move HB 231 to             
 the next committee of referral with individual recommendations and            
 accompanying fiscal note.  There were no objections.  HB 231 was              
 moved out of the House HESS Committee.                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE called a five minute at-ease at 2:20 p.m. in order             
 for the sponsors of the next bill to prepare for a videotaped                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE reconvened the meeting at 2:25 p.m.                            
 HHES - 03/23/95                                                               
 HB 87 - AUTHORIZING YOUTH COURTS                                            
 Number 969                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS, sponsor of the bill, said this bill              
 was carried all the way through the House and died in Senate Rules            
 last year.  This bill had been introduced by then-Representative              
 Joe Sitton.  Representative B. Davis said youth courts is a program           
 that means a lot to her.  She was in Anchorage when youth courts              
 began there.  The program has been very successful.  Anchorage is             
 the only Alaskan city that has the program, and she wanted to put             
 it into statute so other cities and areas may also be able to have            
 this model.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS said this program works.  It creates pride            
 in students.  Some children who previously experienced problems in            
 school have gone through the program and have changed.  It does not           
 matter under what capacity they served.  Perhaps they were a juror,           
 or a judge, or a lawyer.  Whatever role they participated in, the             
 students participated wholeheartedly.  In fact, some of the                   
 punishments the students come up with are more restrictive than               
 what is handed down in adult courts.                                          
 Number 1035                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS added that many of these youngsters have              
 gone to college and have decided to be lawyers, judges, etc., due             
 to their experiences in the program.  Representative B. Davis was             
 pleased to present a videotape that explained youth courts.  This             
 has been one of the most popular bills for student study when they            
 participate in the Close-Up program.  Representative B. Davis' aide           
 has had many students inquiring about the bill, and asking how they           
 could help get it passed through the House and Senate.                        
 Number 1081                                                                   
 LIZ ROBERTS, Legislative Aide to Representative Bettye Davis, said            
 the Close-Up students really liked the fact that Youth Courts                 
 represent real democracy.  Youth offenders were really going to be            
 tried by their peers, instead of by grownups who live in a                    
 different generation and frequently, a different kind of world.               
 MS. ROBERTS explained defendants have to be first-time offenders,             
 they must be charged with a misdemeanor, and they must get                    
 permission to be tried in Youth Court.  The wonderful thing about             
 being the defendant in Youth Court is that when it is all over and            
 the defendant is found guilty, there is nothing on the individual's           
 criminal record.  The person only has community service to perform.           
 The recidivism rate is about 38 percent less than for children who            
 go through the regular juvenile courts.                                       
 MS. ROBERTS added this is a learning experience for all involved.             
 Number  1140                                                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he has been previously involved with Youth                
 Court.  One of the things he liked the most is that kids can fool             
 adults, but they are not very good at fooling other children.  Co-            
 Chair Bunde endorsed the statements of Representative B. Davis in             
 that sometimes young people call for a more severe and/or realistic           
 penalty whereas adults are more inclined to make excuses.                     
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS added that it is a good way for adults to             
 help students learn and respect the law.  This program works.  She            
 spoke of a friend's daughter who was having some problems as a                
 teenager.  She was running with the wrong crowd.  A flyer was sent            
 around to the schools about Youth Courts, and the girl decided she            
 wanted to be involved.  Her parents got all the information and got           
 her enrolled.  This girl has gone from a "C" student to an "A"                
 student because she now wants to be a lawyer.                                 
 Number 1209                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON said Youth Courts originated in                 
 Texas.  Representative Robinson had looked into the program while             
 she was working for Representative B. Davis.  That program was just           
 beginning, and it was experiencing incredible success.  It was                
 beginning to expand all over Texas.  Representative Robinson asked            
 if Ms. Roberts had looked at the Texas program, or if only the                
 Anchorage model was used for the drafting of the bill.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS said only the Alaska model was used, but              
 there are many states that are starting Youth Courts.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she may still have some information.             
 Texas was starting to set up training programs for people to visit            
 communities, train the youth, set up the programs and start the               
 operation of the programs.  Clearly, the program in Texas was                 
 experiencing incredible successes.                                            
 Number 1261                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY noticed there were three fiscal notes amounting to            
 zero in the packet.  She asked if those would carry through for the           
 next ten years, if the program were to continue in Alaska.                    
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS said this program will never have a state             
 fiscal note.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE commented that while the fiscal notes are            
 currently zero, HESS Committee members need to remember that in the           
 future this program will have a negative impact on state funds.               
 Considering the level of recidivism coming with the bill, the state           
 will see less impact on the juvenile system in the future.  The               
 fiscal note, therefore, should be negative.                                   
 Number 1322                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if the program is funded through federal                
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS said the City of Anchorage has received               
 money for this program in a variety of ways.  The municipality does           
 give some money toward Youth Courts, but mostly funding comes from            
 volunteers and professionals who want the program to succeed.                 
 Donations are also accepted.  Therefore, as a whole this program is           
 privately funded.                                                             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if the bill passes a mandate onto the city              
 that says it must provide Youth Courts.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS said no.  No mandates are being passed.               
 This is a program that is being picked up by the community.  If a             
 community does not choose to implement Youth Courts, that is fine.            
 Number 1354                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG said on page 4, lines 1 through 4 of           
 the bill, it reads of a legal assistance grant fund that will be              
 created within the department, and there will be legislative                  
 appropriations to the fund.  There is a provision in the bill,                
 therefore, to allow for such a fund, and Representative Rokeberg              
 was curious about where this money comes from.  This section                  
 appears to allow for legislative appropriations if the program can            
 get some.                                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS said he was right.  Apparently, there is a            
 national organization that provides monies for Youth Courts.  That            
 national organization wants the statute to stipulate that if a                
 grant comes through, it is to come through the state agency and               
 then filter down to the organization that organizes the Youth                 
 Courts.  That is the understanding of Representative B. Davis.  If            
 the program never got any money there would be no need to have the            
 statute.  However, if the statute is already set up, a system is              
 already in place and the money can filter through the state.                  
 Number 1401                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE observed that the government will not give the                 
 grants directly to non-profits.  Money has to filter through the              
 state.  For the record, there is no fiscal note involved with these           
 programs, and no general fund expenditures are anticipated with               
 this bill.                                                                    
 Number 1420                                                                   
 LINDA EGAN, Representing the Youth Commission in Juneau, said she             
 is one of two adult members of that commission.  She introduced a             
 student member of the commission, Amy MacKinnon.  Ms. Egan said               
 this has been one of the main projects of the Youth Commission, and           
 a lot of time has been spent in pursuit of the Youth Courts                   
 program.  The same videotape which will be seen shortly by the HESS           
 Committee members was also seen by Juneau assembly members, school            
 board members and the superintendent of schools.   They have been             
 very supportive of this program.                                              
 MS. EGAN said the law community is very supportive of this concept            
 also.  The program on the video is different than the program in              
 place in Anchorage.  The video shows a scaled-down version of the             
 program in which the students have already pleaded guilty.  In                
 Anchorage, the program is different.  However, this type of                   
 smaller-scale program is being investigated for Juneau, because of            
 Juneau's smaller population.                                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE summarized the program.  He said basically, someone            
 enters the Youth Courts, pleads guilty, and then throws him or                
 herself on the mercy of the Youth Court.                                      
 Number 1472                                                                   
 AMY MacKINNON, Student representative, Youth Commission,                      
 acknowledged that was the way the program would work in Juneau.               
 However, the accused is supposedly going to get more benefit out of           
 their punishment, and they will not have a criminal record.                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said whatever the punishment might be, it will not             
 include a criminal record.  Ms. MacKinnon acknowledged that he was            
 correct.  Co-Chair Bunde asked about Ms. MacKinnon's involvement              
 with the Youth Court.                                                         
 MS. MacKINNON said this was her first year on the program.  She               
 began in September.                                                           
 MS. EGAN said Amy was on the Youth Commission, however, she is not            
 involved in the Juneau Youth Court Program.                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Egan and Ms. MacKinnon to talk HESS                  
 Committee members through the video.                                          
 MS. EGAN said the video speaks for itself.                                    
 Number 1535                                                                   
 A video was presented about Youth Courts, showing how they work,              
 how students can get involved, and a true Youth Court case of a               
 basketball player who was involved in stealing money from a girl's            
 purse.  Because it began as a practical joke, and the boy did not             
 want to jeopardize his basketball season, he asked to work through            
 the Youth Court.                                                              
 Number 2041                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Amy MacKinnon could tell the HESS Committee           
 members what happened to the basketball player.                               
 MS. MacKINNON said the boy had to pay restitution, apologize to the           
 girl and perform community service.                                           
 Number 2080                                                                   
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant to Commissioner Perdue,                    
 Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), said the                     
 department is supportive of the bill.                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON made a motion to move HB 87 from committee            
 with individual recommendations and suggested a "strong letter" to            
 the Judiciary Committee to move the bill along.  There were no                
 objections, and the bill was passed out of committee.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noted the bill also had a Finance Committee           
 Referral.  She felt the bill is important, and asked if it would be           
 within the bounds of the HESS Committee members to write a letter             
 to the Chair of the Finance Committee saying there is no need to              
 send the bill to that committee.                                              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that was not the role of the HESS Committee,              
 however, he was sure Representative B. Davis would look into that             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON offered the HESS Committee's assistance in            
 such a case.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS said she thought the bill may be waived               
 from that committee, but it was not.  She said she would continue             
 to look into the matter.                                                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Egan and Ms. MacKinnon to give HESS                  
 Committee members an update on Juneau's Youth Court program next              
 year.  They said they would be happy to do so.                                
 Number 2147                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if any student, whether they be a freshman or           
 a senior, can be on the Youth Court as long as their grades are up.           
 The answer was yes.                                                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if, as a freshman, Ms. MacKinnon would be                
 brave enough to sentence a senior, especially a high school jock.             
 MS. MacKINNON explained that the "jock" would not know who,                   
 exactly, handed down the sentence because everyone is in a jury               
 with 11 other people.                                                         
 HHES - 03/23/95                                                               
 HB 228:  REDUCTION OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS                            
 Number 2169                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE introduced the bill and noted it had been heard                
 previously, and was held until this meeting.  He asked for public             
 testimony, and there was none.  Co-Chair Bunde therefore closed               
 public testimony and committee discussion began.                              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE commented that a similar bill, HB 78, is currently             
 being examined by the committee, however, Co-Chair Bunde would                
 prefer to have HB 228 available should it be needed.  If the                  
 federal block grants that were discussed come through, HB 228 may             
 provide a useful mechanism for the subsequent processes.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what Co-Chair Bunde was talking                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he was talking about HB 228.  The other bill to           
 which he was referring was HB 78, which is the combination of one             
 of the Governor's welfare reform bills, and Representative Mark               
 Hanley's bill.                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if that bill would affect HB 228.               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said no, they are two entirely different bills.  Co-           
 Chair Bunde distributed an amendment.                                         
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY moved Amendment 9LS0831-F.1, Amendment 1.                     
 Number 2239                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE explained that Amendment 1 would remove adult public           
 assistance (APA) from the purview of this bill.  APA assists                  
 individuals with disabilities.  These people do not have many                 
 options, and this bill focuses on people who have more options.               
 The amendment has been offered by Co-Chairs Bunde and Toohey.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked for a brief at-ease, and it was                 
 granted.  It was 2:53 p.m.                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting back to order at 2:54 p.m.  He              
 recapped that the amendment would cut APA from reductions.  There             
 were no objections to the amendment.  Now before the committee was            
 HB 228 as amended.  Co-Chair Bunde asked for further discussion.              
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if the committee is looking at version             
 (f) of the bill.  Co-Chair Bunde said yes.                                    
 Tape 95-27                                                                    
 Number 000                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS moved that CSHB 228(HES) be moved from                
 committee with accompanying fiscal notes and individual                       
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE objected for purposes of discussion.  He                 
 noticed that representatives from the DHSS had arrived at the                 
 meeting.  He asked if one of those representatives could answer a             
 questions regarding how many recipients receive both APA and Aid to           
 Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).                                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE reopened the meeting to public testimony.                      
 CURTIS LOMAS, Program Officer, Division of Public Assistance, DHSS,           
 said he did not have an exact figure to give Representative Brice.            
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said he is not talking about specific people,            
 he wanted to know about families.                                             
 MR. LOMAS said his guess would be somewhere in the area of 400 to             
 500 families.  That guess, however, is just off the top of his                
 head.  There is a total of about 800 situations in which the adult            
 is not included in the assistance unit because the adult is on APA,           
 or the children are housed with another relative who is not needy.            
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said he would contact Mr. Lomas at a later               
 time to discuss this.                                                         
 Number 122                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE reiterated the motion to move CSHB 228(HES).  A roll           
 call vote was taken.  Voting "yes" on the bill were Representatives           
 Rokeberg, Toohey, Bunde and G. Davis.  Voting "no" were                       
 Representatives Robinson and Brice.  The bill moved from committee.           
 HHES - 03/23/95                                                               
 HB 104:  DISCLOSURE OF JUVENILE RECORDS                                     
 Number 160                                                                    
 ROD MOURANT, Administrative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott,            
 said HESS Committee members should have before them the proposed CS           
 for the Sponsor Substitute (SS) for HB 104.  This CS was drafted              
 after the last HESS Committee hearing on this bill.  At the last              
 hearing, testimony and concerns were heard from the Department of             
 Law (DOL) and the DHSS about the impact of the disclosure of                  
 juvenile felony crimes by the DHSS and the effect this would have             
 on federal funding.                                                           
 MR. MOURANT said while Representative Kott still strongly believes            
 educators and the general public have the right to know who the               
 serious juvenile offenders are in society, he does not want to                
 disclose that information at the risk of federal funding for                  
 important programs.  Therefore, Representative Kott's office is               
 offering version "G", a proposed CS.                                          
 Number 263                                                                    
 MR. MOURANT explained the way the bill is currently written, it               
 pertains to the statutes that deal with disclosure of information             
 and the public's right to know information.  The amendment                    
 stipulates that records relating to a juvenile who is arrested for            
 a felony are public information which may be released by the                  
 employing agency of the arresting officer in the case of a juvenile           
 committing a felony.                                                          
 MR. MOURANT noted that in a report called "Releasing Juvenile                 
 Delinquent's Names to the Media," which was a study done in 1994,             
 by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, only four states and             
 the District of Columbia still forbid the release of serious                  
 offender information in the case of juveniles.  Those states are              
 Hawaii, North Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin.                                
 Number 324                                                                    
 MR. MOURANT said comments were solicited from the agencies through            
 the committee staff.  The proposed CS was circulated early, and               
 comments were asked for.  Mr. Mourant was told prior to the HESS              
 Committee meeting that the DOL still had a concern about the                  
 impacts of this legislation on potential funding.  This is because            
 evidently, even though a juvenile is charged with a felony, the               
 prosecution is not conducted by the District Attorney's (DA's)                
 Office but rather by the Division of Family and Youth Services                
 MR. MOURANT said his office was not aware of that, even at this               
 late date.  However, this is an important consideration and it will           
 be brought up in the next committee of referral, which is the                 
 Judiciary Committee.  That would be the recommendation of                     
 Representative Kott, if the HESS Committee members were gracious              
 enough to allow the Judiciary Committee to address the issue of the           
 prosecution of juvenile felons.                                               
 Number 396                                                                    
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division,                  
 Department of Law, said the situation is that law enforcement                 
 officials would be making these arrests.  That is the first step.             
 Therefore, the release of their police blotter information would be           
 coming from the law enforcement agencies instead of from the DHSS             
 DFYS.  That avoids the issue of the loss of federal funding,                  
 because the DFYS is not releasing that information.                           
 MS. KNUTH said she previously pointed out that if the wrong                   
 juvenile was arrested, or if it was obvious that the wrong charge             
 was leveled against the juvenile (it should have been a misdemeanor           
 charge) and the charge is reduced right away, that is going to                
 happen once the DFYS is involved in the case.  The division is                
 going to reduce the charge, acting with the civil side of the                 
 Attorney General's Office.  Because they are under that penalty of            
 jeopardizing federal funds, juveniles are going to be in a unique             
 situation, different from that of adults.                                     
 MS. KNUTH explained that the original arrest information can be               
 released, but correcting information, either immediately or down              
 the road, will not be available for juveniles because it will come            
 from the DFYS and that will jeopardize the funds.  This is sort of            
 an anomaly, and the consequences must be weighed.                             
 Number 504                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted the situation is much like the daily news                
 reporting the arrest of a legislator, but news of his/her                     
 vindication is usually found in the depths of the paper.  Co-Chair            
 Bunde asked for Ms. Knuth's recommendation to cure this problem.              
 MS. KNUTH said there does not seem to be a cure.  All that can be             
 done is balance the situation, and decide whether or not the                  
 release of information to the public is more important even if                
 there is going to be some mistaken information that cannot be                 
 undone.  On the other hand, the legislators could decide that the             
 possibility of wrong information is a significant enough factor               
 that they are not comfortable releasing that information.                     
 MS. KNUTH added she knows of at least one case in Juneau in which             
 this type of situation occurred.  She was working in the DA's                 
 Office when an officer from the Juneau Police Department simply               
 arrested the wrong juvenile on a serious offense.  He had come to             
 the DA's Office for a warrant, and then he came back the next week            
 asking for another warrant.                                                   
 MS. KNUTH asked the officer why he needed another warrant, and he             
 said, "Oh, that wasn't the right guy after all."  Ms. Knuth was               
 horrified.  It had not occurred to her that this happened in                  
 modern-day law enforcement.  Part of the problem is that there are            
 basically two types of law enforcement officers.  There is a "new             
 school" of pretty competent people.  These people have a fair                 
 amount of education and view their job very carefully.  There is              
 still, however, an "old school" that the officer of which she spoke           
 would belong to.  Things like the arrest of the wrong juvenile did            
 not seem to matter as much.                                                   
 Number 616                                                                    
 MS. KNUTH said part of the officer's analysis had been based on the           
 fact that a juvenile's arrest would not be public anyway,                     
 therefore, there was not as much at risk.  Ms. Knuth hopes that if            
 this information is publicized, officers like him would take                  
 greater care.                                                                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked her for a guess on the number of juveniles               
 charged with what would be a felony, if they were an adult, who               
 have their charges reduced.   He asked if that was an infrequent              
 MS. KNUTH said that was a fairly frequent occurrence, however, more           
 often than not it is a matter of negotiation rather than the                  
 initial charge having been incorrect.  There is simply a decision             
 to treat it as a lessor offense.  Sometimes, the crime was not the            
 higher offense, and that is fairly infrequent.  Most of the time,             
 the charge is accurate.  However, in terms of what the adjudication           
 ends up being, Ms. Knuth would say as often as half of the time,              
 the charge ends up being reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor for           
 juveniles.  This is not because the conduct was not felonious, but            
 because that is the way the system functions.                                 
 Number 707                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said anybody can look at the records.  Before a               
 juvenile is tried, the crime he has committed is listed as a felony           
 as if he were an adult.  This is put in the record.  However, the             
 non-felony juveniles are not put into the same record.  Therefore,            
 this is an arbitrary decision by the police officer.                          
 MS. KNUTH interjected that hopefully, the decision is not                     
 arbitrary.  Sometimes, however, it is a judgement call.                       
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the juvenile has not gone through the process             
 of adjudication.                                                              
 Number 749                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Ms. Knuth to talk about cases in                
 which she has been involved where information would be released               
 under HB 104.                                                                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE acknowledged the presence of Representative Vezey,             
 at 3:10 p.m.                                                                  
 MS. KNUTH said burglary in the first degree would be a class B                
 felony.  This would be the burglary of a residence.  The burglary             
 of a business would be a class C felony.  In the case of theft, if            
 the amount stolen is over $500, the theft is considered a felony.             
 Under $500, and it is a misdemeanor.  Possession of any illegal               
 drug except marijuana, whether you were going to sell it, use it or           
 give it away, is a felony offense.   Most weapons offenses that               
 juveniles will be involved in would be a misdemeanor.                         
 Number 869                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON recounted a case in which a group of young            
 men visited an island near Juneau and took a shovel to the Federal            
 Aviation Administration (FAA) Building.  The vandalism was a                  
 MS. KNUTH said it is not very difficult to do more than $500 worth            
 of damage to property.  For example, if a juvenile goes joyriding             
 and damages the car to an amount over $500, that is a felony.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to line 9 of the bill, which says            
 "records relating to the arrest of a juvenile...."  He asked if an            
 indictment or arraignment level is reached after the arrest.  He              
 does not know the criminal law procedures in various jurisdictions,           
 however, Ms. Knuth brought up the potential for a false arrest                
 situation.  Representative Rokeberg asked if there is one more step           
 that could be taken before the information is released.  Perhaps              
 this step would help overcome the possibility.                                
 Number 939                                                                    
 MS. KNUTH said that is what happens in adult cases.  Because the              
 Civil Division of the DOL works with the DHSS on juvenile cases,              
 she does not know if there is a counterpart like that for                     
 juveniles.  She said she does not know if they are placed before a            
 Grand Jury or not.  However, if they are, this is still at a point            
 where the DFYS is involved in the case.  She understands the                  
 federal government has said the moment documents generated by or              
 going through DHSS are released, the funds are jeopardized.  That             
 is why people were trying to work backwards to the arrest, which is           
 about the only thing that happens before DHSS gets involved.                  
 Number 993                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY commented it is important to remember that            
 destroying federal property is a federal crime, not a state crime.            
 state and federal statutes are not necessarily the same across the            
 Number 1036                                                                   
 LEE ANN LUCAS, Special Assistant (Legislation), Department of                 
 Public Safety (DPS), said the department has no philosophical                 
 objection of the disclosure of information to identify juvenile               
 felons.  As a matter of course, at the time of charge or arrest a             
 press release is generated which is a brief summary of the                    
 incident, the date, and time.  If the accused was an adult, it                
 would include identifying information.  The only difference is for            
 a juvenile, their name is not mentioned.   If the intent of this              
 legislation is to just identify the juvenile, the DPS would simply            
 add that information to the press release.                                    
 MS. LUCAS said on line 9 of the bill, which refers to "records                
 relating to the arrest," it was unclear to the DPS if the bill was            
 referring to the information included in the press release, or if             
 the bill stipulated that more information than that would be                  
 MS. LUCAS suggested that perhaps the bill could state more                    
 specifically what information is released on the juvenile, rather             
 than "records relating to the case."                                          
 Number 1108                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if anyone in the room could tell her how                
 often innocent juveniles are labeled felons, and how often children           
 are wrongly accused.                                                          
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked them also to give a number on how many people            
 are charged and not convicted.                                                
 MS. KNUTH said those are two different questions.  She said she               
 does not know how many people are arrested who had nothing to do              
 with the incident.  She stated she would like to think the                    
 incidents are unusual.  Perhaps someone from the DFYS or someone              
 from the Human Services Division of the Attorney General's Office             
 would be able to answer that question.                                        
 MS. KNUTH said the vast majority of cases are those that are                  
 charged with a felony and the charge ends up something short of an            
 adjudication for that felony.  This is because on first offenses,             
 there is a fair amount of desire to not go all the way to                     
 adjudication.  The courts try to use the leverage of the charge and           
 the threat of adjudication to accomplish a number of rehabilitative           
 goals such as restitution, treatment, etc.                                    
 Number 1189                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if it was being assumed that the crime is a             
 first offense.                                                                
 MS. KNUTH said not necessarily.                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said the juvenile could be a hard-core 16-year-old            
 who has lived a life of crime since he was 12.                                
 MS. KNUTH said she believes that most individuals are first                   
 offenders.  Those who are repeat offenders occupy a great deal of             
 paperwork and the attention of the system.  However, in terms of              
 numbers coming through, there are a lot of first offenders who are            
 not seen again.                                                               
 Number 1219                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS noted on page 1, line 9, where it says,               
 "records relating to the arrest...", Representative G. Davis said             
 he supposed the bill assumes the records being released are the               
 same as what is being released in an adult case.                              
 MS. LUCAS said that is the intent of the bill, but the DPS would be           
 more comfortable if the bill was more specific.                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he would be more comfortable too.  For example,           
 in a rape case, the entire record cannot be made public.  Those               
 records could not be released in an adult case; however, this bill            
 says, "records relating to the arrest...."  A person could point to           
 the statute and demand that it be followed.                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said (A) on page 1 may give some direction.           
 There is a standard procedure now set about in existing statutes.             
 Representative Rokeberg said he felt that is what is being                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for correction if he was wrong, but he did not           
 believe if someone is the victim of a crime, they wouldn't want               
 their personal lives available to the public as part of the arrest            
 Number 1295                                                                   
 MS. KNUTH said this type of information is certainly not available            
 while the investigation is going on, before the case has gone to              
 trial and has been completed.  This is because it can interfere               
 with the investigation, it can interfere with a fair trail.  If               
 there is a conviction, some records become public at that point.              
 However, the privacy interests of the victim would be weighed with            
 whatever the interest in disclosure is.  Generally, the victim's              
 name is going to be retracted.  That is required under the Victim's           
 Rights Act for certain cases of sexual abuse and sexual assault               
 MS. KNUTH said the state would not want a statute that authorizes             
 the disclosure of that type of information in juvenile cases when             
 the state has decided, as a matter of policy, that it does not want           
 that information released in adult cases.                                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that the bill does refer to after the arrest,            
 therefore, it does seem to broaden the scope of information that              
 may be released.                                                              
 Number 1340                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked what new crimes are being added over            
 and above what is included under the jurisdiction of SB 54, passed            
 last year, which was the automatic waiver bill.  She asked if rape            
 cases would not automatically fall under that bill.                           
 MS. KNUTH said the automatic waiver is for juveniles 16 and older.            
 Therefore, this bill could affect an offense committed by a                   
 juvenile who is under the age of 16.  In addition to that, felonies           
 covered would be the possession of drugs, burglary offenses,                  
 property damage and theft of over $500.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said therefore, everyone under the age of             
 16 who commits crimes that would be felonies, if they were adults             
 are being included, plus all those new crimes.                                
 MS. KNUTH noted the sponsor has made it very clear he did not                 
 intend for any more than police blotter information to be released.           
 Therefore, this is a drafting problem from Legal Services.  They              
 have written language which provides for a broader release of                 
 information than simply blotter information.  Police blotter                  
 information basically only includes the name of the juvenile, age             
 and the name of the offense.  Ms. Knuth knows the sponsor was only            
 looking to release that information.  The bill reflects an                    
 inadvertently broader scope.                                                  
 Number 1405                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE agreed.  However, the state does not want to create            
 statutes that assume goodwill.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that subsection (6) lays out the law            
 enforcement disclosure criteria.  The statute could refer into the            
 new addition for the requirements of that criteria.                           
 MS. KNUTH said the concern is that (2) is on equal footing with               
 (6).  One is talking about juveniles, and the other is talking                
 about everything except juveniles.  Therefore, as a matter of                 
 statutory interpretation the court would say, "what relates to                
 juveniles is more specific and therefore controlling."                        
 MS. KNUTH said what would be most clear would be to amend (2)(A) so           
 it is only authorizing the disclosure of police blotter                       
 information, specifically name, age, and offense.  This would be              
 better than saying "records relating to the arrest."                          
 Number 1462                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said Ms. Knuth has given some direction to the                 
 bill's sponsors as far as language, and there is some drafting that           
 does not need to be done at the table.  Co-Chair Bunde asked that             
 the last person wishing to testify does so, and the bill will be              
 held until the language is tightened up.  Co-Chair Bunde said he is           
 still concerned about the release of information at the time of the           
 arrest and not at the time of the conviction.  He does not know if            
 there is a way that can be worked around.  It does not appear so.             
 MS. LUCAS said the DPS shares the concerns of the DOL concerning              
 the correction of public misinformation.                                      
 Number 1509                                                                   
 MARGARET W. BERCK, Representative, American Civil Liberties Union             
 (ACLU), Alaska Chapter, said her organization is essentially                  
 opposed to what this bill does for the wholesale release of                   
 juvenile records and information regarding juveniles.                         
 MS. BERCK had been working with the bill available on the ground              
 floor of the Capitol Building, noted as SSHB 104.  She now                    
 understands there is a working draft that changes some provisions.            
 However, some general comments she has regarding an earlier version           
 of this bill may be of some assistance to HESS Committee members in           
 making their decision.                                                        
 MS. BERCK said when the bill talks about age 14 and up, and all               
 felony cases, that would include perhaps most juvenile cases.  She            
 said she has been practicing criminal law in Juneau since 1976.               
 Ms. Berck indicated she has done many court appointments and has              
 represented many juveniles.  Rarely is a juvenile in the court                
 system under age 14.  Occasionally someone would be younger, but              
 the incident would stick out in her mind.   Therefore, the bill               
 covers about all cases.                                                       
 Number 1578                                                                   
 MS. BERCK said pretty much all of the juvenile cases are initially            
 dealing with felony cases.  Rarely is there a juvenile who is in              
 juvenile court because of multiple minor offenses, has been through           
 the revolving door, and who will be shipped off to the juvenile               
 correctional facility.  That has happened, however, it is highly              
 unusual.  Most juveniles are charged with felonies.  If a juvenile            
 is not charged with a felony, he or she does not even get a court             
 appointed attorney.  Therefore, most of the cases are charged as              
 felonies, and this bill would sweep in pretty much the entire                 
 MS. BERCK said Co-Chair Toohey had asked how many juveniles may               
 have been wrongly arrested, at least as far as the initial charges.           
 That is difficult to say.  However, as far as Ms. Berck knows, in             
 the last ten years in Juneau, she is aware of only three juvenile             
 cases that actually went to jury trial.  Most cases result in some            
 sort of plea-bargaining mechanism.  As Ms. Knuth indicated, most of           
 the time juveniles are charged with a felony, the charge is reduced           
 to a misdemeanor, and something is worked out.  These cases do not            
 go to trial.                                                                  
 Number 1642                                                                   
 MS. BERCK recalled that of the three she knows did go to trial,               
 every single one was acquitted.  Because Juneau is a small                    
 community, everyone knows who these people are.  In one case,                 
 although the records were confidential, everyone knew who the                 
 alleged perpetrator was and what he had done.  Therefore, he waived           
 his own confidentiality because he wanted it in the press that he             
 had been acquitted.                                                           
 MS. BERCK said traditionally, arrest records are much more shaky              
 than the records resulting from the prosecutor's review, the                  
 evidence and the charge reviewed by a Grand Jury.  In this type of            
 procedure, things are looked at more carefully.  Charges are                  
 adjusted to particular facts.                                                 
 MS. BERCK said traditionally, arrest records have always been                 
 somewhat suspect.  In adult cases, arrest records may not                     
 necessarily be considered without a subsequent conviction when an             
 adult criminal is being sentenced.  Last week, Ms. Berck was                  
 involved in a case in which a very old arrest record was                      
 considered.   The person appealed, and the conviction was                     
 overturned.  The judge did not consider that arrest record.                   
 MS. BERCK continued that in the U.S. Supreme Court decisions                  
 regarding Title VII, arrest records have been frowned upon by use             
 of employers because the people who get arrested tend to be non-              
 caucasians.  There are many racial problems with arrest records               
 that have been considered in Title VII litigation.                            
 Number 1738                                                                   
 MS. BERCK reiterated that traditionally, arrest records have a much           
 more shaky footing because they have not gone through a more                  
 detailed analysis by perhaps a Grand Jury or a review by a                    
 MS. BERCK responded to the question about what happens in juvenile            
 court, and whether or not there is some sort of mechanism such as             
 an indictment or Grand Jury proceeding.  The juvenile procedure               
 does not work that way.  There is a petition filed alleging the               
 child to be a delinquent minor as a result of having committed some           
 particular act.  The act is described with some detail in the                 
 petition, and basically that is it.  There is no preliminary                  
 hearing or Grand Jury process in the juvenile proceeding.                     
 MS. BERCK explained the juvenile is brought into court under that             
 petition.  He/she admits or denies the allegation, and then usually           
 returns to court 30 days hence.  The judge is told whether or not             
 he/she is going to plea bargain or go to trial.  If trial is                  
 chosen, the case is set for trial.  However, that does not often              
 Number 1790                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if Ms. Berck was basically referring to a               
 child who is guilty.                                                          
 MS. BERCK said a judge once told her, "Everybody is guilty of                 
 something.  You just have to make sure you have the right charges             
 on them."  That is something Ms. Berck often remembers.  She                  
 referred HESS Committee members back to the bill, the video tape              
 presentation, and earlier discussion about the kinds of felonies.             
 It does not take much to step over the line from a misdemeanor to             
 a felony.  It takes one dollar--$499 versus $500.  In the                     
 circumstance of what the basketball player in the video was charged           
 with, having taken $48 dollars from a purse, she asked HESS                   
 Committee members to remember that it all started out as a joke.              
 MS. BERCK said if those boys had taken a backpack with a pair of              
 prescription glasses inside, perhaps also a calculator, and the               
 backpack cost $80, it does not take much to get up to $500.  If               
 those boys had taken a credit card and charged $20 worth of gas on            
 that card, it would be a felony.  Forgeries are felonies.  It does            
 not take much.  The question is whether the state really wants to             
 label a boy such as the basketball player for the rest of his life.           
 Does the state want to prevent him from getting a basketball                  
 Number 1862                                                                   
 MS. BERCK continued that one of the benefits of the Youth Courts              
 was that these children are given the opportunity to work their way           
 out of acquiring a record.  These individuals can have a youthful             
 indiscretion that does not affect the rest of their lives.                    
 Juvenile records are not necessarily kept completely confidential.            
 The court has the ability to order the release under existing law.            
 On behalf of the ACLU, she asked HESS Committee members to                    
 seriously consider whether or not they really want to allow for the           
 wholesale release of all juvenile records, because basically that             
 is what this bill does.                                                       
 Number 1899                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she thinks most children are not felons.                 
 However, if disclosure were to deter one child from stealing, maybe           
 it is worth it.                                                               
 MS. BERCK did not mean to suggest that all children are felons, and           
 Co-Chair Toohey acknowledged that.                                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that however, most charges are going to fall             
 under felonies.                                                               
 MS. BERCK said if most of the juvenile cases filed are studied,               
 they will involve individuals aged 14 to 18, and they are going to            
 be charged with felony offenses.  The question is, how much would             
 this really deter the person?  Oftentimes, teenagers do not realize           
 the consequences of their actions.  Ms. Berck is of the personal              
 opinion that this is primarily the fault of educators.                        
 Number 1942                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thanked those who participated.  If he had his                 
 preference, juveniles who were convicted of felonies would be                 
 subject to disclosure.  However, he has problems with the release             
 of information based on the arrest record.  There are things that             
 need to be worked out in this bill.  There are language and                   
 drafting questions, and he would like the bill to be sent back into           
 the subcommittee to see if the problems can be addressed.  He said            
 the bill will be held in committee.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he has not seen an NCAA scholarship                 
 contract, and he is not aware of any restrictions concerning felony           
 convictions or arrest records.                                                
 MS. BERCK did not know of any.  She referred Representative Vezey             
 back to the videotape, which he was absent for.  One of the                   
 concerns raised in this videotape was that a juvenile record may              
 make a difference whether the basketball player would get a college           
 scholarship.  Ms. Berck said she would think such a situation may             
 affect scholarships.  However, this would probably vary from one              
 university to the next, and also vary with how well one plays                 
 Number 2009                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG assumed there are procedures to remove                
 felony convictions from a juvenile record, if in fact a juvenile              
 has been convicted of a crime that is a felony.  He asked if this             
 was possible if an appeal is made to the court to that effect.  He            
 asked about the procedures for that.                                          
 MS. KNUTH said if this is an adjudication on a felony offense, the            
 record is sealed and remains sealed.  It is only used by                      
 prosecutors and the judge if one is prosecuted as an adult for a              
 felony.  Generally, however, if an individual is being treated as             
 a juvenile, all of the proceedings have been confidential.  The               
 record is sealed.                                                             
 MS. KNUTH said if the individual is waived and treated as an adult,           
 he/she can be prosecuted.  If he/she is convicted of a lessor                 
 offense or acquitted, he/she can have the records sealed.  Frankly,           
 this may not be worth much after the fact.  However, the provision            
 exists in the waiver bill.                                                    
 Number 2062                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG was trying to collect a fact pattern                  
 concerning the experience of a friend of his.  When his friend was            
 18, he had a minor traffic violation that ended up affecting his              
 military service career.  He subsequently found out the violation             
 had been removed from his record and he did not know it.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he is interested in the affect of                
 that.  If, in fact, these names were divulged and became part of              
 the public record, would there be any procedure to make amends as             
 a juvenile or young adult?  Currently, those records can be sealed.           
 He stated it is his understanding that the records have not been              
 removed, they are only sealed.                                                
 MS. KNUTH said everybody who learns that your son has been arrested           
 for a felony offense is supposed to bear in mind that he is                   
 presumed innocent until proven guilty.  That is the protection he             
 is offered.                                                                   
 Number 2109                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON reiterated the case in which a young man              
 broke out the window at the FAA building.  The agreement was he               
 should go into the military, and he was subsequently honored two              
 years later in Juneau's Fourth of July Parade when he came home               
 from the Gulf War.  Representative Robinson said we must constantly           
 remember who we could be talking about.  The man now has a four-              
 year college degree and is doing well.                                        
 MS. BERCK asked to respond to Representative Rokeberg.  It seemed             
 to her, from her earlier version of the bill, it talks about the              
 provisions for sealing the records.  This would delete the                    
 information set out in (f).                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said there is a new CS for that bill, that is a                
 totally new bill.                                                             
 Number 2151                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the meeting at 4:40 p.m.                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects