Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/19/2001 11:38 AM Senate RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                   
                      SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                          March 19, 2001                                                                                        
                            11:38 a.m.                                                                                          
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Drue Pearce, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Randy Phillips                                                                                                          
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 77                                                                                                              
"An  Act repealing  the exception  that  applies  to collection  and                                                            
payment of interest  of $150 or less on royalty or  net profit share                                                            
underpayments  and  overpayments;  and providing  for  an  effective                                                            
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
SENATE BILL NO. 78                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to municipal regulation of radio antennas."                                                                    
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
SENATE BILL NO. 99                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the DNA identification registration system."                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
SB 77 - See Resources minutes dated 2/21/01 and Finance report                                                                  
dated 3/13/01.                                                                                                                  
SB 78 - See Community and Regional Affairs minutes dated 3/7/01.                                                                
SB 99 - See Judiciary minutes dated 2/28/01 and Finance report                                                                  
dated 3/14/01.                                                                                                                  
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Ms. Juli Lucky                                                                                                                  
Staff to Senator Halford                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 01-3, SIDE A                                                                                                             
Number 001                                                                                                                      
CHAIRWOMAN DRUE PEARCE  called the Senate Rules Committee meeting to                                                          
order  at 11:38 a.m.  Present were  Senators  Phillips, Cowdery  and                                                            
Pearce.  She announced  that three bills were before  the committee:                                                            
SB 77, SB 78 and SB 99.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  COWDERY   moved  to  calendar  SB    77-NET   PROFIT  SHARE                                                        
UNDER/OVERPAYMENTS.   There being no objection, the  motion carried.                                                        
SENATOR COWDERY  moved to  calendar SB   78-MUNICIPAL REGULATION  OF                                                        
RADIO ANTENNAS  and  asked for unanimous  consent.   There being  no                                                        
objection, the motion carried.                                                                                                  
CHAIRWOMAN  PEARCE noted  that SB  99-DNA REGISTRATION  OF  BURGLARS                                                        
with zero and  "asterisked" fiscal  notes was before the  committee.                                                            
SENATOR  PHILLIPS  asked what  SB 99  attempts  to do  and what  DNA                                                            
identification is applied to at this time.                                                                                      
MS. JULI  LUCKY, staff  to Senator  Halford, the  sponsor of  SB 99,                                                            
replied that SB  99 requires DNA samples to be taken  from convicted                                                            
burglars.  At this point,  DNA samples are taken from people who are                                                            
convicted of crimes against  a person; SB 99 expands the sample take                                                            
to convicted burglars.                                                                                                          
SENATOR PHILLIPS  asked what  the public policy  argument is  for SB
MS.  LUCKY explained  that  in 1995,  during discussions  about  the                                                            
original legislation,  burglary was  discussed but that legislation                                                             
did not  include burglars  in the list of  offenders from which  DNA                                                            
samples are  taken for Alaska's database.  Since that time,  studies                                                            
done in Great  Britain and the states  of Virginia and Florida  have                                                            
shown that  a very high  percentage of burglars  (between 40  and 60                                                            
percent, depending on the study) go on to commit violent crimes.                                                                
SENATOR  PHILLIPS noted  that  he did not  have  any information  on                                                            
those studies in his file.                                                                                                      
MS. LUCKY offered to provide him with materials.                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN  PEARCE  announced  that Senator  Therriault  joined  the                                                            
SENATOR  COWDERY  asked what  the  difference  is between  a  person                                                            
convicted of burglary and a felony attempt to convict burglary.                                                                 
MS. LUCKY said  she believes the felony attempt to  convict burglary                                                            
crime occurs, "if they  catch you at the door with the tools, you're                                                            
almost in the  house but they catch  you before you've had  a chance                                                            
to actually  commit the burglary."   A person would be convicted  of                                                            
that crime  if there  was enough  evidence to  prove the person  was                                                            
about to commit the crime but was caught before it could occur.                                                                 
SENATOR COWDERY  asked if there is  a dollar amount associated  with                                                            
the two charges.                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY replied  that burglary is  a class C or a class  B felony.                                                            
Burglary  and theft  are  two different  things.   Burglary  in  the                                                            
second  degree  is  defined  as, "A  person  commits  the  crime  of                                                            
burglary if  the person enters or  remains unlawfully in  a building                                                            
with the  intent to commit  a crime in the  building."  Burglary  in                                                            
the first  degree makes  it a class  B felony if  the building  is a                                                            
dwelling  or the  person  is armed  or  attempts to  cause  physical                                                            
injury  or uses  a dangerous  instrument.    SB 99  only applies  to                                                            
burglary  - not theft.   She  pointed out  that in  the studies  she                                                            
mentioned,  about 50 percent of burglars  went on to commit  violent                                                            
crimes.   The State of Virginia  has had its  DNA database  in place                                                            
since 1989  and tests all  felons.  That  study found that  burglary                                                            
has the  highest  correlation with  subsequent  violent crimes,  the                                                            
theories being  that either it is a crime of convenience  or that it                                                            
is a gateway crime.   She read a quote from a forensic  scientist in                                                            
Virginia about  the results of the  Virginia study.  He said,  "What                                                            
has been fascinating  and somewhat  remarkable is that greater  than                                                            
60 percent of the hits  from violent offender cases matched database                                                            
samples  from convicted  burglars,  not  violent offenders."    That                                                            
means when the  police have a cold hit from a crime  scene, a lot of                                                            
the  hits match  samples  that  come  from burglars.    The  studies                                                            
conclude that  when convicted burglars are not required  to give DNA                                                            
samples, they are being given a free violent crime.                                                                             
MS. LUCKY stated that according  to the Department of Public Safety,                                                            
when a sample is taken  from a convicted felon, no name is attached;                                                            
it is given  a bar code and put in  the database.  It would  only be                                                            
accessed again  if the sample was  found at a crime scene.   DPS has                                                            
assured  her that  the information  on  race, heredity  and  disease                                                            
cannot be taken out of the sample in the database.                                                                              
SENATOR  COWDERY thanked  Ms.  Lucky and  said he  believes this  is                                                            
another tool that can be used to deter crime.                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked,  regarding the Virginia study, "If you had                                                            
a violent  crime, you  would find  that the person  had committed  a                                                            
burglary,  but if  you had a  burglary,  there wasn't  as high  of a                                                            
chance that you would find  that they had committed a violent crime.                                                            
Is that what it said?"                                                                                                          
MS. LUCKY said  it has been said both ways.  Regarding  the Virginia                                                            
database,  the forensic scientist  was saying  the surprising  thing                                                            
was that  60 percent  of  the matches  from crime  scenes come  from                                                            
burglars.   Looking at the statistics  the other way, 40  percent of                                                            
convicted burglars go on to commit violent crimes.                                                                              
SENATOR  PHILLIPS asked  if the  committee has  received a  response                                                            
from the ACLU on this bill.                                                                                                     
CHAIRWOMAN  PEARCE informed  him  that a  letter from  the ACLU  was                                                            
received this morning via e-mail.                                                                                               
MR. PAT CARTER,  aide to the Senate Rules Committee,  clarified that                                                            
a representative  from the  ACLU called to  explain that the  letter                                                            
was sent to Senator Pearce only.                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN PEARCE  offered to make copies for committee  members and                                                            
asked  Senator  Phillips  if  he  would  prefer  to hold  SB  99  in                                                            
SENATOR PHILLIPS  said he  would and noted  his concern is  with how                                                            
much information  the  government is  keeping on  people.  He  would                                                            
like to hear what the ACLU has to say on this issue.                                                                            
CHAIRWOMAN  PEARCE  announced  that  SB  99 would  come  before  the                                                            
committee at its next meeting.  She then adjourned the meeting.                                                                 

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