Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/04/2018 01:30 PM Senate FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Scheduled but Not Heard
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Bill Postponed to 04/05/18 at 9:00 a.m.
Heard & Held
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 4, 2018                                                                                            
                         2:09 p.m.                                                                                              
2:09:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  called  the  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 2:09 p.m.                                                                                                   
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Vice-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Rynnieva Moss,  Staff, Senator John  Coghill; Representative                                                                    
Geran  Tarr, Sponsor;  Diana Rhoades,  Staff, Representative                                                                    
Tarr; Carmen Lowry, Executive  Director, Network on Domestic                                                                    
Violence  and  Sexual  Assault,  Juneau;  Judith  Cavanaugh,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau; Alyson  Currey, Legislative  Liaison, Planned                                                                    
Parenthood Votes, Juneau.                                                                                                       
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Keeley  Olson, Executive  Director,  Stand Together  Against                                                                    
Rape,  Anchorage;  Nancy   Porto,  Self,  Washington;  Randi                                                                    
Breager,  Criminal  Justice  Trainer, Department  of  Public                                                                    
Safety,   Anchorage;    Orin   Bym,   Chief    of   Forensic                                                                    
Laboratories, Department of Public Safety, Anchorage.                                                                           
SB 122    OCS CITIZEN REVIEW PANEL                                                                                              
          SB 122 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
HB 31     SEX ASSAULT TRAINING and EXAM KITS;DOM VIOL                                                                           
          HB 31 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
SENATE BILL NO. 122                                                                                                           
     "An Act  repealing the authority  for a child  abuse or                                                                    
     neglect  citizen  review  panel in  the  Department  of                                                                    
     Health and Social Services;  and establishing the Child                                                                    
     Protection Citizen  Review Panel  in the office  of the                                                                    
2:10:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair   Bishop  MOVED   to  ADOPT   proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for  SB  122, Work  Draft  30-LS0047\R  (Laffen,                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                     
RYNNIEVA MOSS,  STAFF, SENATOR  JOHN COGHILL,  discussed the                                                                    
bill. She stated  that the main function of the  bill was to                                                                    
transfer the  review panel to  the Legislative  Branch under                                                                    
the  Office  of  the  Ombudsman.  She  stated  that  it  was                                                                    
determined  that  there  was a  close  tie  between  federal                                                                    
dollars  through the  Child Protection  Act and  the general                                                                    
fund dollars that were used  to fund the review panel. There                                                                    
would have needed to have  some creative accounting in order                                                                    
to move  the panel.  She stated that  it was  withdrawn, but                                                                    
required more  accountability between  the review  panel and                                                                    
Office of Children's Services (OCS);  and between the review                                                                    
panel and  the legislature.  The sections  of the  bill that                                                                    
transferred  the  review  panel   to  the  legislature  were                                                                    
deleted.  She  stated that  the  bill  would direct  OCS  to                                                                    
provide  the panel  with  reasonably necessary  professional                                                                    
and technical  assistance. She  related that  it statutorily                                                                    
directed  the panel  to facilitate  public participation  in                                                                    
developing  and implementing  child protection  policies and                                                                    
practices.  She remarked  that it  also reinserted  language                                                                    
that  the panel  be  composed of  volunteer members  broadly                                                                    
representative of the  state. It also adds  a provision that                                                                    
at lease  one member  from each  of the  five administrative                                                                    
regions of OCS  be on the panel. The bill  also directed the                                                                    
panel to review policies and  procedures of OCS on an annual                                                                    
basis, and to report those  findings to the legislature. She                                                                    
stated that  it adds a  section that required the  panel and                                                                    
the department  to prepare a  joint report to  the governor,                                                                    
legislature, and  public every three years.  The report must                                                                    
include an  assessment of  the panel,  any panel  staff; and                                                                    
the responsiveness of OCS, and any constraints.                                                                                 
Co-Chair MacKinnon  WITHDREW her  OBJECTION. There  being NO                                                                    
OBJECTION, the proposed committee substitute was adopted.                                                                       
Co-Chair MacKinnon wondered what  the bill was attempting to                                                                    
Ms.  Moss replied  that  the  bill was  intended  to make  a                                                                    
public  awareness of  the panel.  She stated  that the  term                                                                    
"Child Protection  Citizen Review Panel" was  defined in the                                                                    
bill.  There  was   also  an  attempt  to   make  the  panel                                                                    
accountable   and  a   purpose   that   could  benefit   the                                                                    
legislature and OCS.                                                                                                            
2:16:01 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:16:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
SB  122  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
2:17:25 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:18:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 31(FIN)                                                                                                 
     "An  Act  relating  to   law  enforcement  training  in                                                                    
     domestic  violence  and  sexual  assault;  relating  to                                                                    
     sexual  assault investigation  protocols; requiring  an                                                                    
     inventory  and  reports   on  untested  sexual  assault                                                                    
     examination kits; and providing for an effective                                                                           
2:18:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GERAN TARR, SPONSOR,  discussed the bill. She                                                                    
stated that  the bill was  a step in addressing  the backlog                                                                    
of rape kits in the state.  Her office had been contacted by                                                                    
a group by the name of  'End the Backlog.' The first step in                                                                    
researching  the  bill was  to  complete  a statewide  audit                                                                    
examining the  number of  untested rape  kits in  the state.                                                                    
She stressed that Alaska had some  of the worst rates in the                                                                    
nation for  sexual assault. She stated  that working through                                                                    
the process  includes a process  for improving  efforts. She                                                                    
shared that there  had been a push on the  national level to                                                                    
examine various  areas to  improve. She  stated that  one of                                                                    
the  components  in  the  bill was  about  training  of  law                                                                    
enforcement officials. She stated  that most law enforcement                                                                    
officials  went  to the  State  Trooper  Academy or  to  the                                                                    
academy  in  Anchorage.  Currently, there  was  a  statutory                                                                    
requirement for  12 hours of training  on domestic violence,                                                                    
but  there  was  no  requirement   for  training  on  sexual                                                                    
assault.  The bill  added provisions  to require  the twelve                                                                    
hours of training on sexual  assault. She stated that people                                                                    
working  in  the  field  had   brought  that  issue  to  her                                                                    
attention.  She remarked  that the  response  to victims  of                                                                    
sexual  assault  depended on  your  location  in the  state,                                                                    
because there may be some  differences in training. She felt                                                                    
that  formalizing an  expectation would  provide reassurance                                                                    
that law enforcement would receive training.                                                                                    
2:22:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Tarr stated  that there  would be  a victim-                                                                    
centered approach to  the kit testing. She  remarked that an                                                                    
unfortunate situation that could  occur is that the evidence                                                                    
collected, must be  collected within a short  amount of time                                                                    
- often  within just 72  hours of the assault.  She remarked                                                                    
that someone  may not  be able  to make  a decision  in that                                                                    
time to  move forward  with the  criminal justice  system or                                                                    
choose  a different  option.  She wanted  to  ensure that  a                                                                    
victim  had all  the  options available.  She stressed  that                                                                    
there  would be  an  anonymous reporting  option written  in                                                                    
statute. She  understood that it  would be the  option about                                                                    
whether the  victim wanted the  kit performed, but  chose to                                                                    
not  move forward  with law  enforcement at  that time.  She                                                                    
remarked that  an individual often  needed a period  of time                                                                    
to process  the trauma and  develop support before  making a                                                                    
decision  to  move  forward.  She  remarked  that  anonymous                                                                    
reporting was available, so the  evidence could be collected                                                                    
in  a timely  fashion. She  shared that  there was  a report                                                                    
from the Justice Department that  outlined the importance of                                                                    
a  victim-centered approach,  so that  the individual  could                                                                    
have a choice.  She shared that she had  worked closely with                                                                    
organizations  and  individuals  to receive  knowledge  from                                                                    
advocates that work with victims on a daily basis.                                                                              
Representative Tarr shared that  it cost approximately $1500                                                                    
to process a rape kit.  She stated that continuing the audit                                                                    
would not  have any  additional costs.  She shared  that the                                                                    
audit would  allow a  way for the  legislature to  track the                                                                    
effort, because  it was a  multi-year effort to  improve the                                                                    
system.  She shared  that the  state  currently had  support                                                                    
from  two federal  Department of  Justice grants.  The first                                                                    
grant was  used to  form the  Sexual Assault  Kit Initiative                                                                    
(SAKI).  It was  a group  of law  enforcement officials  and                                                                    
advocates that were working together  to examine some of the                                                                    
reforms that  could be done without  legislative action. She                                                                    
stated that  the kits had  been sent from Anchorage  with no                                                                    
tracking information, so there was  no way to know whether a                                                                    
kit that left Anchorage and went  to Bethel and there was no                                                                    
chain of custody.                                                                                                               
2:29:28 PM                                                                                                                    
DIANA  RHOADES, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  TARR, discussed  the                                                                    
Sectional Analysis (copy on file):                                                                                              
     HB 31 Version U (S STA) Sectional Analysis                                                                                 
     Sections one  and two mandates  that all  Alaska police                                                                    
     officers receive  at least 12  hours of  sexual assault                                                                    
     training,  in  addition   to  their  existing  domestic                                                                    
     violation training.                                                                                                        
     Section three defines sexual assault.                                                                                      
     Section  four mandates  a  unified, statewide,  victim-                                                                    
     centered approach  to reporting sexual assault.  At the                                                                    
     request  of the  bill's sponsor,  victim advocates  and                                                                    
     the  Alaska Department  of  Public  Safety, the  Senate                                                                    
     State  Affairs  Committee  amended the  legislation  to                                                                    
     eliminate  one of  the three  reporting  options    the                                                                    
     medical  option.   The  two  that  remain      the  law                                                                    
     enforcement option  and the anonymous option,  meet the                                                                    
     standards of the US Dept. of Justice best practices.                                                                       
     Dept. of  Justice White Paper language  "Testing sexual                                                                    
     assault  kits  associated  with  victims  who  obtained                                                                    
     medical forensic  exams but who  have not  consented to                                                                    
     having the  kit tested  by law enforcement,  can result                                                                    
     in  a  sense  of   revictimization  and  can  undermine                                                                    
     community trust."                                                                                                          
     Section five defines vulnerable adult.                                                                                     
     Section six mandates  that by November 1  of each year,                                                                    
     the Department  of Public Safety must  deliver a report                                                                    
     to  the Legislature  on the  inventory of  the untested                                                                    
     rape kits.                                                                                                                 
     Section seven sets a July 1, 2018 effective date.                                                                          
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked about Section 4.                                                                                       
Ms.  Rhoads  restated  that  Section   4  outlined  the  two                                                                    
reporting options.  The one option was  the anonymous report                                                                    
and the other was the police report.                                                                                            
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
2:32:14 PM                                                                                                                    
KEELEY  OLSON, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  STAND TOGETHER  AGAINST                                                                    
RAPE  (STAR), ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  testified in                                                                    
support  of  the  bill.  She had  worked  closely  with  the                                                                    
sponsor to develop the legislation.  She understood that the                                                                    
sponsor  had   worked  with  other  organizations   and  the                                                                    
Department  of  Public Safety  (DPS)  to  make the  bill  as                                                                    
effective as possible.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair  MacKinnon wondered  whether there  was a  planning                                                                    
for the upcoming spring tea for STAR                                                                                            
Ms. Olson replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
2:33:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CARMEN   LOWRY,  EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,  ALASKA   NETWORK  ON                                                                    
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  AND SEXUAL ASSAULT, JUNEAU,  testified in                                                                    
support  of  the  bill.  She   expressed  gratitude  to  the                                                                    
committee  for  the  opportunity  to  testify,  as  well  as                                                                    
gratitude to the sponsor. She  pointed to the accountability                                                                    
embedded in  the legislation. She felt  that the twelve-hour                                                                    
training  requirement meant  that  the  response to  victims                                                                    
would   be  well-informed,   victim-centered,  and   trauma-                                                                    
informed. She  highlighted the two options  of anonymous and                                                                    
law  enforcement  reporting.  She   stressed  that  the  two                                                                    
options for reporting  would serve to provide  a victim with                                                                    
immediate  opportunities  to exercising  self-determination.                                                                    
She stressed that sexual assault  eliminates the ability for                                                                    
a person to make their own choices.                                                                                             
2:36:04 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  PORTO, SELF,  WASHINGTON (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of the  bill. She shared  that she  had provided                                                                    
testimony from  a previous legislature. She  stated that she                                                                    
had experienced a  sexual assault. She shared  that her rape                                                                    
kit had  yet to  be fully processed.  She remarked  that she                                                                    
was  waiting on  the biological  evidence of  her exam.  She                                                                    
stressed  that  over  six  months  after  her  assault,  she                                                                    
learned  that there  was no  sperm  from her  rape kit.  She                                                                    
remarked  that it  took over  18 months  to learn  her blood                                                                    
panel, which showed that she  had been drugged. She remarked                                                                    
that the number that she  was given after she was discharged                                                                    
from her exam went straight  to voicemail. She has left many                                                                    
messages, and  frequently did not  receive a  returned call.                                                                    
She stated that  five years after her assault  she was still                                                                    
waiting for her rape kit to be fully processed.                                                                                 
Co-Chair MacKinnon  wondered whether Ms. Porto  had provided                                                                    
written testimony.                                                                                                              
Ms.  Porto  replied  that  she   had  only  provided  verbal                                                                    
2:39:00 PM                                                                                                                    
JUDITH CAVANAUGH, SELF, JUNEAU,  testified in support of the                                                                    
bill. She  was a retired  emergency room (ER) nurse  and had                                                                    
collected evidence  on dozens of  women who  had experienced                                                                    
sexual assault.  She shared that  she had worked  before the                                                                    
time  that there  was  a team  to  gather evidence,  however                                                                    
AWARE Inc. had always provided  support. She felt that there                                                                    
was a  much better process,  and that the  legislation would                                                                    
standardize  the  approach  for  care,  treatment,  evidence                                                                    
collection, and rape kit testing in the state.                                                                                  
2:40:48 PM                                                                                                                    
ALYSON  CURREY,  LEGISLATIVE   LIAISON,  PLANNED  PARENTHOOD                                                                    
VOTES,  JUNEAU,  testified  in  support  of  the  bill.  She                                                                    
remarked that  the state  had a duty  to keep  the community                                                                    
safe, and the bill had  a direct positive impact for victims                                                                    
of sexual assault in the  state who were waiting for closure                                                                    
and justice. She  stated that, as a  reproductive and sexual                                                                    
health care  provider, Planned  Parenthood was  keenly aware                                                                    
of  the pervasiveness  of sexual  assault in  the state  and                                                                    
country. She  stressed that it  was crucial that  all sexual                                                                    
assault  examination  kits  were collected,  submitted,  and                                                                    
tested in  a timely  manner with  the victim's  consent. She                                                                    
stated  that leaving  the thousands  of sexual  assault kits                                                                    
untested  allowed  sexual  predators to  evade  justice  and                                                                    
reoffend;  and  left  thousands of  sexual  assault  victims                                                                    
without closure.                                                                                                                
2:42:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  referenced  Section 1,  and  asked  for                                                                    
confirmation that there  would be an additional  12 hours of                                                                    
training or whether  it would be combined  with the training                                                                    
for domestic violence.                                                                                                          
RANDI  BREAGER,  CRIMINAL  JUSTICE  TRAINER,  DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
PUBLIC SAFETY, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), replied that                                                                    
the  training  was  currently   a  12-hour  requirement  for                                                                    
domestic  violence.  She  stated  that  there  would  be  an                                                                    
additional  12   hours  for  sexual   assault  investigation                                                                    
training.  She  stressed  that the  training  would  not  be                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon   surmised  that   there  would   be  no                                                                    
additional  cost.  She   remarked  that  sometimes  domestic                                                                    
violence was described as sexual assault.                                                                                       
Ms. Breager replied that she  currently provided 24 hours of                                                                    
domestic  violence  only  training, and  remarked  that  she                                                                    
already  provided  12  hours   of  sexual  assault  training                                                                    
separately in the academy. She  remarked that there would be                                                                    
a total of  36 hours of training between  sexual assault and                                                                    
domestic  violence,  and  were  two  separate  courses.  She                                                                    
remarked that  other police academies  would need  to adjust                                                                    
their training  do add in  their additional twelve  hours of                                                                    
sexual assault training.                                                                                                        
2:46:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon asked  if the  requirement  would be  an                                                                    
unfunded  mandate  for   other  organizations  that  trained                                                                    
public safety officers.                                                                                                         
Ms.   Breager   believed   that  Representative   Tarr   had                                                                    
conversations  with the  police  department. They  currently                                                                    
offered portions  of sexual assault  training, and  she felt                                                                    
that  there  needed  to  be an  evaluation  of  the  current                                                                    
offerings   to   ensure   that   they   were   meeting   the                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  requested the committee  members contact                                                                    
their local agencies to determine the impact.                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Bishop asked how many  trainers would conduct the                                                                    
additional 12 hours of training.                                                                                                
Ms.  Breager  stated  that   two  instructors  provided  the                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  wondered whether advocacy  services were                                                                    
included in  the training, or  if the training  was provided                                                                    
as a standalone service from the state.                                                                                         
Ms.  Breager  stated  that the  training  was  developed  in                                                                    
partnership with advocates, and  was approved by the Council                                                                    
on Domestic  Violence and Sexual Assault.  Historically, the                                                                    
person  providing  the  training  had  advocacy  experience.                                                                    
There was  also a  partnership with  the Office  of Victim's                                                                    
Rights to provide a portion  of that training. She felt that                                                                    
the advocacy  portion was well represented.  Training was in                                                                    
partnership  with corporal  at  the academy  who  was a  law                                                                    
enforcement officer.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked  if   there  was  follow-up  with                                                                    
victims to ascertain the effectiveness of the training.                                                                         
Ms. Breager answered in the negative.                                                                                           
2:49:38 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Bishop asked how long  it would take to process a                                                                    
ORIN  BYM, CHIEF  OF  FORENSIC  LABORATORIES, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
PUBLIC SAFETY,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  stated that                                                                    
the typical kit's  round of DNA work was  a six-week process                                                                    
from the time all the  evidence was collected until a report                                                                    
was released to an agency.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair  MacKinnon wondered  whether Mr.  Bym said  that it                                                                    
took six weeks to process a kit.                                                                                                
Mr. Bym replied  that it was six weeks from  the time that a                                                                    
case began until there was a report.                                                                                            
Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated that  when she had  accompanied a                                                                    
victim to  the hospital with  a victim's advocacy  team, she                                                                    
learned that the process of  collecting evidence for the kit                                                                    
could take anywhere from a few  hours to a day. She stressed                                                                    
that  it  was  painful   and  frustrating  to  hear  whether                                                                    
bloodwork was complete.                                                                                                         
2:54:12 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  noted  there  was  no  staff  from  the                                                                    
Legislative Legal  available online.  She remarked  that she                                                                    
had pointed to the two  options for reporting, and she would                                                                    
reach out  to law enforcement.  She remarked that  the state                                                                    
has and  should step into  the footsteps of the  victim. She                                                                    
remarked  that   the  notion  of  anonymous   reporting  was                                                                    
foreign, because of her experience.  She hoped to understand                                                                    
how the victim could control the situation. S                                                                                   
Co-Chair  MacKinnon noted  that there  were two  zero fiscal                                                                    
notes, and was concerned the notes may be understated.                                                                          
Vice-Chair  Bishop  discussed  a previously  published  zero                                                                    
fiscal note                                                                                                                     
Vice-Chair  Bishop  discussed  a Statement  of  Zero  Fiscal                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon set the bill aside.                                                                                          
Representative Tarr  stated that  there had been  a repeated                                                                    
conversation about testing rape  kits for multiple offenders                                                                    
while allowing for anonymity of the victim.                                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon wanted to hear from the Department of                                                                        
Law regarding the anonymity concern.                                                                                            
HB 31 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
3:01:40 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:01 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CS HB 31 FIN Sponsor Statement 2.13.18.pdf SFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 31
DPS SB55 Rape Kit Inventory Report and Plan-signed.pdf SFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 55
CS HB 31 FIN Supporting Document DNA Evidence leads to conviction AK Dispatch 3.1.17.pdf SFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 31
HB 31 Public Safety Q A Sexual Assault Kits.pdf SFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 31
HB 31 summary of changes 3-22-18.pdf SFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 31
HB 31 Version U Sectional Analysis 3.23.18.pdf SFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 31
HB 31 JHF_Testimony_AK_HB31_TAR_SEN_FIN.pdf SFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 31
HB 31_sexual assault kits_letter of support.pdf SFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 31