Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/18/2020 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:36:27 PM Start
01:36:59 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):
01:56:19 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Violent Crime Compensation Board
- Richard "Kay" Payne
- Gregory Bringhurst
-- Public Testimony on All Appointees --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 191 TRUSTS, TRUSTEES, COMMUNITY PROPERTY TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 18, 2020                                                                                         
                           1:36 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
Senator Shelley Hughes (via teleconference)                                                                                     
Senator Lora Reinbold (via teleconference)                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                             
Richard "Kay" Payne - Wasilla                                                                                                   
Gregory Bringhurst - Fairbanks                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 191                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to trusts and trustees, including trust                                                                        
division, the  powers of  trustees, delayed  gifts to  trusts, and                                                              
community property trusts; and providing  for an effective date."                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GREGORY BRINGHURST, Appointee                                                                                                   
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                               
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Violent Crimes                                                              
Compensation Board.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD "KAY" PAYNE, Appointee                                                                                                  
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                               
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the  Violent Crimes                                                            
Compensation Board.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:36:27 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR   MICCICHE  called   the  Senate  Judiciary   Standing                                                            
Committee meeting to  order at 1:36 p.m. Present at  call to order                                                              
were  Senators Kiehl,  Reinbold  (via teleconference)  and  Hughes                                                              
(via teleconference) and Vice Chair Micciche.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                  
               Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:36:59 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  MICCICHE announced  that the  first order  of business                                                              
would   be   Confirmation   Hearings  for   the   Violent   Crimes                                                              
Compensation Board.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:37:34 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:37:57 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR  MICCICHE  reconvened  the meeting.  He  reviewed  the                                                              
Violent Crimes  Compensation Board  description and  function from                                                              
its website:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Description: The  board consists of 3  members appointed                                                                   
     by  Governor: at  least 1 member  must be  a medical  or                                                                   
     osteopathic  physician licensed  to practice in  Alaska,                                                                   
     or  holding  a  retired  status  license  in  Alaska;  1                                                                   
     member  must  be an  attorney  licensed to  practice  in                                                                   
     Alaska,  or   retired  from  practice  in   Alaska.  The                                                                   
     Governor  designates the board  chair. Members  serve at                                                                   
     pleasure of Governor.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Function:   Facilitates    and   permits    payment   of                                                                   
     compensation to innocent victims of violent crimes.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:38:56 PM                                                                                                                    
GREGORY   BRINGHURST,  Appointee,   Violent  Crimes   Compensation                                                              
Board, Department  of Administration, Fairbanks,  Alaska, provided                                                              
a  brief biography  and  reasons he  would  like to  serve on  the                                                              
board. He stated  that he is a lifelong Alaskan.  He was appointed                                                              
as  the public  member of  the Violent  Crimes Compensation  Board                                                              
last year  and has recently  been elected  as the board  Chair. He                                                              
said  it  is the  board's  duty  to  help alleviate  some  of  the                                                              
hardships violent  crime victims suffer  so they can  receive help                                                              
during  the   time  of  their   greatest  need.  He   related  his                                                              
experience as  a victim of  a violent crime.  In 1996,  his single                                                              
mother was  murdered in Fairbanks.  As a grieving  14-year-old the                                                              
details  are hazy,  but he  received  violent crimes  compensation                                                              
that  ultimately  was  used  for  college  tuition.  He  currently                                                              
serves as  the Fairbanks  regional director  for U.S.  Senator Dan                                                              
Sullivan   and  previously   worked  for   Senator  Murkowski   in                                                              
Washington and  as a  legislative aide in  Juneau. He  offered his                                                              
view that  his legislative experience  will help him serve  on the                                                              
board.  In closing,  he  said it  would  be an  honor  to use  his                                                              
experiences to help other victims in the state.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  MICCICHE remarked that  his background and  breadth of                                                              
experience in Alaska makes him uniquely qualified to serve.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:42:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD thanked him for his service.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:42:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES thanked  him for stepping forward to  serve on this                                                              
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:42:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL  thanked  him  for his  willingness  to  serve.  He                                                              
related that the  board has had significant upheaval  with a total                                                              
staff  turnover and  changes in  board  members. He  asked him  to                                                              
elaborate on the future direction of the board.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRINGHURST said  his interest  is  to ensure  that the  board                                                              
delivers  resources   to  Alaskans.   He  acknowledged   that  the                                                              
relocation  to Anchorage  effected  staff changes,  but it  should                                                              
not  prevent  the  board  from   providing  excellent  service  to                                                              
victims. He  committed to  helping the  new executive  director in                                                              
her role.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE  offered his view that he will  be an asset to                                                              
the board.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRINGHURST thanked members for their comments and questions.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR SENATOR  MICCICHE turned  to the  next appointee,  Mr.                                                              
Richard Payne.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:45:38 PM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD  "KAY"  PAYNE,  Appointee,   Violent  Crimes  Compensation                                                              
Board, Department  of Administration, Wasilla, Alaska,  provided a                                                              
brief  biography  and  reasons  he  would like  to  serve  on  the                                                              
Violent Crimes Compensation  Board. He said he was  raised in Utah                                                              
and attended  college in Oregon.  He moved  to Alaska in  1996 and                                                              
worked  for  the   Municipality  of  Anchorage  as   an  assistant                                                              
municipal attorney.  From 2001 to 2007  he worked in Palmer  as an                                                              
assistant  district attorney.  He and his  partner started  Denali                                                              
Law  Group, working  on  criminal  defense, personal  injury,  and                                                              
domestic cases  such as divorce,  adoption, trust and  estates. He                                                              
said his  firm is  the largest  criminal defense  firm in  Alaska.                                                              
They handle  the indigent  defense contract  for the  Municipality                                                              
of  Anchorage,   but  they  also   work  in  Palmer,   Kenai,  and                                                              
Fairbanks.  He said he  thinks he  is qualified  to serve  on this                                                              
board  because he  has worked  as a  prosecutor and  as a  defense                                                              
attorney,  giving him  a  perspective from  both  sides. He  would                                                              
like to  serve because  he enjoys service  and helping  others. As                                                              
an observer, he  has been pleased with some actions  of the board,                                                              
but he  has sometimes  wondered  what the rationale  was for  some                                                              
actions.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:48:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES   disclosed  that   his  law  partner,   Jon  Marc                                                              
Petersen, is a friend of hers.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:48:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD asked  which board member he is  replacing and if                                                              
it is a defense attorney position.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAYNE  answered that he  is replacing  a Juneau woman.  He was                                                              
not  aware that  the  board requires  a  defense attorney  member.                                                              
However,  he  said  he  does  not  define  himself  as  a  defense                                                              
attorney  since he  served as a  prosecutor for  many years.  Both                                                              
are important in the criminal justice system, he said.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:49:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  said she was  concerned because victims  need to                                                              
be at  the center of  all aspects of  criminal justice.  She asked                                                              
him to keep that in mind.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PAYNE remarked  that her  statement  was fair.  He said  that                                                              
when he  interviewed with the  Boards and Commissions'  office, he                                                              
expressed  concern that  the legislature  might  have issues  with                                                              
his  role  as defense  attorney  since  his  firm is  the  largest                                                              
criminal defense  firm in the state.  He said that it  is somewhat                                                              
misguided to  think that only  prosecutors should serve.  He asked                                                              
the  record to  reflect  his view  of himself  as  a fair,  honest                                                              
person  who can  see all  cases from  both sides.  He related  his                                                              
understanding  that  the focus  of  this  board is  to  compensate                                                              
victims  for  violent  crimes.  He  said  he  is  happy  to  be  a                                                              
participant and help in that capacity.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD said  she  does  not know  Mr.  Payne, but  this                                                              
causes her  pause because  of the sensitivity  of this  board. She                                                              
related  her   own  experiences   with  victims  in   Alaska.  She                                                              
expressed concern  that someone who defends criminals  would serve                                                              
on the Violent  Crimes Compensation Board. She asked  Mr. Payne to                                                              
be sensitive  to the cases  for victims.  She asked him  to recuse                                                              
himself if he  is causing any consternation to  victims. She asked                                                              
him to  reach out  to Mr.  Godfrey, who  previously served  on the                                                              
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:52:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL  thanked him  for  his  service.  He asked  him  to                                                              
elaborate on the concerns he had with previous decisions.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAYNE  responded that he  had limited information  on denials,                                                              
but  as  a prosecutor,  he  would  hear  victims lament  that  not                                                              
enough  money was  being paid.  He  acknowledged that  he did  not                                                              
have all  the facts,  but he questioned  what rationale  was used.                                                              
He wondered  how much information  the board  had on the  case and                                                              
the source of  this information. He characterized  it as questions                                                              
based on his own lack of information.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIEHL  asked if  he had  attended any  meetings and  if he                                                              
had a sense of whether or not the information is adequate.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAYNE  responded that  he has not  yet attended  any meetings,                                                              
but he  has received  two emergency  emails asking for  additional                                                              
funding  for pending  or  ongoing trials.  He  said his  questions                                                              
were answered  quickly by staff. He  said he voted to  approve the                                                              
additional  funds  for  lodging  in  a  current  murder  trial  in                                                              
Anchorage. The  other case related  to transportation costs  for a                                                              
sexual assault case in one of the villages.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE found no further questions.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He  stated  that  in accordance  with  AS  39.05.080,  the  Senate                                                              
Judiciary   Standing   Committee   reviewed  the   following   and                                                              
recommends the appointments be forwarded to a joint session for                                                                 
consideration:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                             
Gregory Bringhurst - Fairbanks                                                                                                  
Richard "Kay" Payne - Wasilla                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Signing  the   reports  regarding   appointments  to   boards  and                                                              
commissions  in no way  reflects individual  members' approval  or                                                              
disapproval  of   the  appointees;  the  nominations   are  merely                                                              
forwarded to the full legislature  for confirmation or rejection.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:56:19 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Vice Chair Micciche adjourned the Senate Judiciary Standing                                                                     
Committee meeting at 1:56 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 8 Support Letter - AMIA - 2.25.20.pdf SJUD 3/18/2020 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/20/2020 1:30:00 PM
SB 8
SB191 U.5.pdf SJUD 3/18/2020 1:30:00 PM
SB 191
SB191 U.6.pdf SJUD 3/18/2020 1:30:00 PM
SB 191