SB 4: "An Act relating to establishing an office of victims' rights; relating to compensation of victims of violent crimes; relating to eligibility for a permanent fund dividend for persons convicted of and incarcerated for certain offenses; and amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska Rules of Evidence."
00SENATE BILL NO. 4 01 "An Act relating to establishing an office of victims' rights; relating to 02 compensation of victims of violent crimes; relating to eligibility for a permanent 03 fund dividend for persons convicted of and incarcerated for certain offenses; and 04 amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska 05 Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska Rules of Evidence." 06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 07 * Section 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Crime Victims' Rights and 08 Advocacy Act of 1999. 09 * Sec. 2. AS 12.55.023(b) is amended to read: 10 (b) A victim may submit to the sentencing court a written statement that the 11 victim believes is relevant to the sentencing decision [,] and may give sworn testimony 12 or make an unsworn oral presentation to the court at the sentencing hearing. If there 13 are numerous victims, the court may limit the number of victims who may give sworn 14 testimony or make an unsworn oral presentation during the hearing. When requested
01 by the victim of a felony or a class A misdemeanor, if the class A misdemeanor 02 is a crime involving domestic violence or a crime against a person under 03 AS 11.41, when the victim does not submit a statement, give testimony, or make 04 an oral presentation, the victims' advocate may submit a written statement or 05 make an unsworn oral presentation at the sentencing hearing on behalf of the 06 victim. 07 * Sec. 3. AS 18.67.130(c) is amended to read: 08 (c) Compensation may not be awarded under this chapter in an amount in 09 excess of $30,000 [$25,000] per victim per incident. However, in the case of the death 10 of 11 (1) a victim who has more than one dependent eligible for 12 compensation, the total compensation that may be awarded as a result of that death 13 may not exceed $50,000; the [$40,000. THE] board may prorate the total awarded 14 among those dependents according to relative need ; or 15 (2) two or more victims in the same incident who jointly have a 16 dependent eligible for compensation, the total compensation that may be awarded 17 as a result of those deaths may not exceed $50,000 . 18 * Sec. 4. AS 18.67.130 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 19 (e) The dollar amounts in (c) of this section change, as provided in this 20 subsection, according to and to the extent of increases in the Consumer Price Index for 21 all Urban Consumers for the Anchorage Metropolitan Area compiled by the Bureau 22 of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor (the index). The index for 23 January of 1996 is the reference base index. The dollar amounts increase on October 1 24 of each even-numbered year if the percentage of change, calculated to the nearest 25 whole percentage point, between the index for January of that year and the most recent 26 index used to change the exemption amount, is one percent or more. If the index is 27 revised, the percentage of increase is calculated on the basis of the revised index. If 28 a revision of the index changes the reference base index, a revised reference base 29 index is determined by multiplying the reference base index applicable by the rebasing 30 factor furnished by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. If the index is 31 superseded, the index referred to in this section is the one represented by the Bureau
01 of Labor Statistics as reflecting most accurately changes in the purchasing power of 02 the dollar for Alaska consumers. The board shall adopt a regulation announcing 03 (1) on or before June 30 of each year in which dollar amounts are to 04 increase, the increases in dollar amounts required by this subsection; and 05 (2) promptly after the changes occur, changes in the index required by 06 this subsection, including, if applicable, the numerical equivalent of the reference base 07 index under a revised reference base index and the designation or title of any index 08 superseding the index. 09 * Sec. 5. AS 24.60.990(a)(9) is amended to read: 10 (9) "legislative director" means the director of the legislative finance 11 division, the legislative auditor, the director of the legislative research agency, the 12 ombudsman, the victims' advocate, the executive director of the Legislative Affairs 13 Agency, and the directors of the divisions within the Legislative Affairs Agency; 14 * Sec. 6. AS 24 is amended by adding a new chapter to read: 15 Chapter 65. Office of Victims' Rights. 16 Sec. 24.65.010. Office of victims' rights. There is created in the legislative 17 branch of the state the office of victims' rights. The victims' advocate is the director 18 of the office of victims' rights. 19 Sec. 24.65.020. Appointment of the victims' advocate. (a) A candidate for 20 appointment as the victims' advocate shall be nominated by the victims' advocate 21 selection committee composed of three members of the senate appointed by the 22 president of the senate and three members of the house of representatives appointed 23 by the speaker of the house. One member of a minority party caucus in each house 24 shall be appointed to the selection committee. 25 (b) The victims' advocate selection committee shall examine persons to serve 26 as victims' advocate regarding their qualifications and ability and shall place the name 27 of the person selected in nomination. The appointment is effective if the nomination 28 is approved by a roll call vote of two-thirds of the members of the legislature in joint 29 session. The vote on the appointment shall be entered in the journals of both houses. 30 Sec. 24.65.030. Qualifications. A person may not serve as victims' advocate 31 (1) unless the person has been a resident of the state for the three years
01 immediately preceding the person's appointment; 02 (2) unless the person has been engaged in the active practice of law for 03 the three years immediately preceding the person's appointment; 04 (3) unless the person has significant experience in criminal law; 05 (4) unless the person is an attorney licensed to practice law in this 06 state; 07 (5) within one year of the last day on which the person served as a 08 member of the legislature; 09 (6) while the person is a candidate for or holds another national, state, 10 or municipal office; the victims' advocate may not become a candidate for national, 11 state, or municipal office until one year has elapsed from the date the victims' advocate 12 vacates the office of victims' advocate; 13 (7) while the person is engaged in another occupation for which the 14 person receives compensation; 15 (8) unless the person is at least 21 years of age and is a qualified voter. 16 Sec. 24.65.040. Term of office. (a) The term of office of the victims' 17 advocate is five years. A victims' advocate may be reappointed but may not serve for 18 more than three terms. 19 (b) If the term of a victims' advocate expires without the appointment of a 20 successor under this chapter, the incumbent victims' advocate may continue in office 21 until a successor is appointed. If the victims' advocate dies, resigns, becomes 22 ineligible to serve, or is removed or suspended from office, the person appointed as 23 acting victims' advocate under AS 24.65.070(a) serves until a new victims' advocate 24 is appointed for a full term. 25 Sec. 24.65.050. Removal. The legislature, by a concurrent resolution adopted 26 by a roll call vote of two-thirds of the members of each house entered in the journal, 27 may remove or suspend the victims' advocate from office, but only for neglect of duty, 28 misconduct, or disability. 29 Sec. 24.65.060. Compensation. The victims' advocate is entitled to receive 30 an annual salary equal to Step A, Range 26, on the salary schedule set out in 31 AS 39.27.011(a) for Juneau.
01 Sec. 24.65.070. Staff and delegation. (a) The victims' advocate shall appoint 02 a person to serve as acting victims' advocate in the absence of the victims' advocate. 03 The victims' advocate shall also appoint assistants and clerical personnel necessary to 04 carry out the provisions of this chapter. Subject to AS 36.30.020, the victims' advocate 05 may enter into personal services and other contracts the victims' advocate finds 06 necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter. 07 (b) The victims' advocate may delegate to the assistants any of the victims' 08 advocate's duties except those specified in AS 24.65.150 and 24.65.160; however, 09 during the victims' advocate's absence from the principal business offices, the victims' 10 advocate may delegate the duties specified in AS 24.65.150 and 24.65.160 to the 11 acting victims' advocate for the duration of the absence. The duties specified in 12 AS 24.65.150 and 24.65.160 shall be performed by the acting victims' advocate when 13 serving under AS 24.65.040(b). 14 (c) The victims' advocate and the staff appointed by the victims' advocate are 15 in the exempt service under AS 39.25.110 and are not subject to the employment 16 policies under AS 24.10 or AS 24.20. 17 Sec. 24.65.080. Office facilities and administration. (a) Subject to 18 restrictions and limitations imposed by the executive director of the Legislative Affairs 19 Agency, the administrative facilities and services of the Legislative Affairs Agency, 20 including computer, data processing, and teleconference facilities, may be made 21 available to the victims' advocate to be used in the management of the office of 22 victims' rights and to carry out the purposes of this chapter. 23 (b) The salary and benefits of the victims' advocate and the permanent staff 24 of the victims' advocate shall be paid through the same procedures used for payment 25 of the salaries and benefits of other permanent legislative employees. 26 (c) The victims' advocate shall submit a budget for each fiscal year to the 27 Alaska Legislative Council, and the council shall annually submit an estimated budget 28 to the governor for information purposes in the preparation of the executive budget. 29 After reviewing and approving, with or without modifications, the budget submitted 30 by the victims' advocate, the council shall submit the approved budget to the finance 31 committees of the legislature.
01 Sec. 24.65.090. Procedure. (a) The victims' advocate shall, by regulations 02 adopted under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), establish procedures for 03 advocacy on behalf of crime victims, receiving and processing complaints, conducting 04 investigations, reporting findings, and ensuring that confidential information obtained 05 by the victims' advocate in the course of advocacy on behalf of a crime victim or in 06 the course of an investigation will not be improperly disclosed. The victims' advocate 07 may establish procedures so that advocacy and investigations on behalf of crime 08 victims in felony cases take a priority over advocacy and investigations on behalf of 09 crime victims in misdemeanor cases. 10 (b) The office of victims' rights may not charge fees for the submission or 11 investigation of complaints. 12 Sec. 24.65.100. Jurisdiction; duties. (a) The victims' advocate has 13 jurisdiction to advocate on behalf of crime victims of felony offenses or class A 14 misdemeanors, if the class A misdemeanor is a crime involving domestic violence or 15 a crime against a person under AS 11.41, in the courts of the state and to investigate 16 the complaints of crime victims of felony offenses or class A misdemeanors, if the 17 class A misdemeanor is a crime involving domestic violence or a crime against a 18 person under AS 11.41, that they have been denied their rights under the constitution 19 and the laws of the state. In this subsection, "crime involving domestic violence" has 20 the meaning given in AS 18.66.990. 21 (b) The victims' advocate shall exercise reasonable care to 22 (1) ensure that the victims' advocate's exercise of jurisdiction granted 23 under this section does not interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation or with a 24 criminal prosecution; 25 (2) prevent crime victims and employees of the office of victims' rights 26 from making extrajudicial statements that the victims' advocate is prohibited from 27 making under the Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct. 28 Sec. 24.65.110. Advocacy on behalf of crime victims; records. (a) The 29 victims' advocate shall assist crime victims in obtaining the rights crime victims are 30 guaranteed under the constitution and laws of the state with regard to the contacts 31 crime victims have with the justice agencies of the state.
01 (b) The victims' advocate may make the statement a crime victim is authorized 02 to make under art. I, sec. 24, Constitution of the State of Alaska, and AS 12.55.023, 03 in a court of the state when requested by the crime victim and when the crime victim 04 does not personally make a statement. 05 (c) When advocating on behalf of a crime victim in an ongoing criminal case 06 or juvenile adjudication, the victims' advocate is entitled to all information available 07 to the defendant or juvenile. 08 (d) Records obtained by the victims' advocate shall remain in the exclusive 09 custody of the victims' advocate. The victims' advocate may not disclose confidential 10 information to any person. 11 Sec. 24.65.120. Investigations. (a) The victims' advocate may investigate 12 complaints from crime victims that they have been denied the rights they are 13 guaranteed under the constitution and laws of this state. 14 (b) In an investigation, the victims' advocate may 15 (1) make inquiries and obtain information considered necessary; 16 (2) hold private hearings; and 17 (3) notwithstanding other provisions of law, have access at all times to 18 records of justice agencies, including court records of criminal prosecutions and 19 juvenile adjudications, necessary to ensure that the rights of crime victims are not 20 being denied; with regard to court and prosecution records, the victims' advocate is 21 entitled to obtain access to every record that the defendant is entitled to access or 22 receive. 23 (c) The victims' advocate shall maintain confidentiality with respect to all 24 matters and the identities of the complainants or witnesses coming before the victims' 25 advocate except insofar as disclosures may be necessary to enable the victims' advocate 26 to carry out duties and to support recommendations. However, the victims' advocate 27 may not disclose a confidential record obtained from a court or justice agency. 28 Sec. 24.65.130. Powers. (a) Subject to the privileges that witnesses have in 29 the courts of this state, the victims' advocate may compel by subpoena, at a specified 30 time and place, the 31 (1) appearance and sworn testimony of a person who the victims'
01 advocate reasonably believes may be able to give information relating to a matter 02 under investigation under AS 24.65.120; and 03 (2) production by a person of a record or object that the victims' 04 advocate reasonably believes may relate to the matter under investigation under 05 AS 24.65.120. 06 (b) If a person refuses to comply with a subpoena issued under (a) of this 07 section, the superior court may, on application of the victims' advocate, compel 08 obedience by proceedings for contempt in the same manner as in the case of 09 disobedience to the requirements of a subpoena issued by the court or refusal to testify 10 in the court. 11 (c) This section does not authorize the victims' advocate to issue a subpoena 12 to 13 (1) a justice, judge, magistrate, or a law clerk acting under the direction 14 of a justice, judge, or magistrate, concerning a judicial action or nonaction taken by, 15 or under the direction of, the justice, judge, or magistrate; 16 (2) a person acting under the direction of a justice, judge, or magistrate, 17 other than a law clerk, concerning a judicial action or nonaction taken by, or under the 18 direction of, a justice, judge, or magistrate except to establish the occurrence or 19 nonoccurrence of the action or nonaction or the person's own actions or nonactions; 20 this paragraph does not authorize the victims' advocate to inquire into the decision- 21 making or thought process of the justice, judge, or magistrate; 22 (3) a member of a jury concerning a matter that was considered by the 23 jury; or 24 (4) the person accused or convicted of committing the crime that is the 25 basis for the complaint, and investigation under AS 24.65.120, concerning a denial of 26 rights. 27 Sec. 24.65.140. Consultation. Before giving an opinion or recommendation 28 that is critical of a justice agency or person as a result of an investigation under 29 AS 24.65.120, the victims' advocate shall consult with that agency or person. The 30 victims' advocate may make a preliminary opinion or recommendation available to the 31 agency or person for review, but the preliminary opinion or recommendation is
01 confidential and may not be disclosed to the public by the agency or person. 02 Sec. 24.65.150. Procedure after investigation. (a) The victims' advocate 03 shall report the advocate's opinion and recommendations to a justice agency if the 04 victims' advocate finds, after investigation under AS 24.65.120, that the agency has 05 denied a crime victim rights the crime victim is guaranteed under the constitution and 06 laws of this state. 07 (b) The victims' advocate may request the justice agency to notify the victims' 08 advocate, within a specified time, of any action taken on the recommendations. 09 (c) The report provided under (a) of this section is confidential and may not 10 be disclosed to the public by the justice agency. The victims' advocate may disclose 11 the report under AS 24.65.160 only after providing notice that the investigation has 12 been concluded to the agency and after receiving the written approval of the 13 complainant to release the report. 14 Sec. 24.65.160. Publication of recommendations. Except as provided in 15 AS 24.65.150(c), within a reasonable amount of time after the victims' advocate reports 16 the advocate's opinion and recommendations to a justice agency, the victims' advocate 17 may present the opinion and recommendations to the governor, the legislature, a grand 18 jury, the public, or any of these. The victims' advocate shall include with the opinion 19 any reply made by the agency. 20 Sec. 24.65.170. Annual report. The victims' advocate shall submit to the 21 public an annual report of the victims' advocate's activities under this chapter and 22 notify the legislature that the report is available. 23 Sec. 24.65.180. Judicial review. A proceeding or decision of the victims' 24 advocate may be reviewed in superior court only to determine if it is contrary to the 25 provisions of this chapter. 26 Sec. 24.65.190. Immunity of the victims' advocate. A civil action may not 27 be brought against the victims' advocate or a member of the victims' advocate's staff 28 for anything done, said, or omitted in performing the victims' advocate's duties or 29 responsibilities under this chapter. 30 Sec. 24.65.200. Victims' advocate's privilege not to testify. The victims' 31 advocate and the staff of the victims' advocate may not testify in a court regarding
01 matters coming to their attention in the exercise or purported exercise of their official 02 duties except as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter. 03 Sec. 24.65.210. Penalty. A person who knowingly hinders the lawful actions 04 of the victims' advocate or the staff of the victims' advocate, or who knowingly refuses 05 to comply with their lawful demands, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction 06 may be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000. In this section, "knowingly" has 07 the meaning given in AS 11.81.900. 08 Sec. 24.65.250. Definitions. In this chapter, 09 (1) "justice agency" means a department, office, institution, corporation, 10 authority, organization, commission, committee, council, court, or board in the 11 executive or judicial branches of the state government that is, in any manner, involved 12 with or responsible for the apprehension, prosecution, incarceration, or supervision of 13 criminal or juvenile offenders; it also includes an officer, employee, or member of an 14 agency acting or purporting to act in the exercise of official duties, including the 15 governor and lieutenant governor, when acting with regard to executive clemency, 16 judges, and magistrates; 17 (2) "victim" has the meaning given in AS 12.55.185. 18 * Sec. 7. AS 39.27.022(d) is amended to read: 19 (d) This section applies to employees of the legislature only if the committee 20 responsible for adopting employment policies concerning the employee adopts a 21 written policy that the section applies. This section applies to the employees of the 22 office of the ombudsman only if the ombudsman adopts a policy that the section 23 applies. This section applies to the employees of the office of victims' rights only 24 if the victims' advocate adopts a policy that the section applies. 25 * Sec. 8. AS 39.35.385(f) is amended to read: 26 (f) Subject to AS 39.35.450, an employee is eligible for a normal retirement 27 benefit at age 60 or an early retirement benefit at age 55 if the employee was first 28 hired as a legislative employee before May 30, 1987 , and has at least 60 days of 29 credited service as an employee of the legislature, other than as an employee of the 30 Office of the Ombudsman or the office of victims' rights , during each of five 31 legislative sessions. An employee who was first hired as a legislative employee on or
01 after May 30, 1987 , and is otherwise eligible under this subsection must have at least 02 80 days of credited service during each of five legislative sessions to receive benefits 03 under this subsection. 04 * Sec. 9. AS 43.23.005(d) is amended to read: 05 (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of (a) - (c) of this section, an individual is 06 not eligible for a permanent fund dividend for a dividend year when 07 (1) during the qualifying year, the individual was sentenced as a result 08 of conviction in this state of a felony; 09 (2) during all or part of the qualifying year, the individual was 10 incarcerated as a result of the conviction in this state of a 11 (A) felony; or 12 (B) misdemeanor if the individual has been convicted of 13 (i) a prior felony as defined in AS 11.81.900; or 14 (ii) two or more prior misdemeanors [CRIMES] as 15 defined in AS 11.81.900. 16 * Sec. 10. AS 43.23.028(b) is amended to read: 17 (b) To the extent that amounts appropriated for a fiscal year do not exceed the 18 total amount that would have been paid during the previous fiscal year to individuals 19 who were ineligible to receive dividends under AS 43.23.005(d) if they had been 20 eligible, the notice requirements of (a)(3) of this section do not apply to appropriations 21 from the dividend fund to the 22 (1) crime victim compensation fund established under AS 18.67.162 for 23 payments to crime victims; 24 (2) council on domestic violence and sexual assault established under 25 AS 18.66.010 for grants for the operation of domestic violence and sexual assault 26 programs; [OR] 27 (3) Department of Corrections for incarceration and probation 28 programs ; or 29 (4) office of victims' rights . 30 * Sec. 11. AS 44.62.040(c) is amended to read: 31 (c) Before submitting the regulations and orders of repeal to the lieutenant
01 governor under (a) of this section, every state agency that by statute possesses 02 regulation making authority, except boards and commissions , the office of victims' 03 rights, and the office of the ombudsman, shall submit to the governor for review a 04 copy of every regulation or order of repeal adopted by the agency, except regulations 05 and orders of repeal identified in (a)(1) - (2) of this section. The governor may review 06 the regulations and orders of repeal received under this subsection. The governor may 07 return the regulations and orders of repeal to the adopting agency before they are 08 submitted to the lieutenant governor for filing under (a) of this section [,] (1) if they 09 are inconsistent with the faithful execution of the laws , or (2) to enable the adopting 10 agency to respond to specific issues raised by the Administrative Regulation Review 11 Committee. The governor may not delegate the governor's review authority under this 12 subsection to a person other than the lieutenant governor. 13 * Sec. 12. AS 44.62.215 is amended to read: 14 Sec. 44.62.215. Record of public comment. In the drafting, review, or other 15 preparation of a proposed regulation, amendment, or order of repeal, an agency, other 16 than a board or commission , the office of victims' rights, and the office of the 17 ombudsman, shall keep a record of its use or rejection of factual or other substantive 18 information that is submitted in writing as public comment and that is relevant to the 19 accuracy, coverage, or other aspect of the proposed regulatory action. 20 * Sec. 13. AS 44.66.050(c) is amended to read: 21 (c) A determination as to whether a board or commission or agency program 22 has demonstrated a public need for its continued existence must take into consideration 23 the following factors: 24 (1) the extent to which the board, commission, or program has operated 25 in the public interest; 26 (2) the extent to which the operation of the board, commission, or 27 agency program has been impeded or enhanced by existing statutes, procedures, and 28 practices that it has adopted, and any other matter, including budgetary, resource, and 29 personnel matters; 30 (3) the extent to which the board, commission, or agency has 31 recommended statutory changes that are generally of benefit to the public interest;
01 (4) the extent to which the board, commission, or agency has 02 encouraged interested persons to report to it concerning the effect of its regulations and 03 decisions on the effectiveness of service, economy of service, and availability of 04 service that it has provided; 05 (5) the extent to which the board, commission, or agency has 06 encouraged public participation in the making of its regulations and decisions; 07 (6) the efficiency with which public inquiries or complaints regarding 08 the activities of the board, commission, or agency filed with it, with the department 09 to which a board or commission is administratively assigned, or with the office of 10 victims' rights or the office of the ombudsman have been processed and resolved; 11 (7) the extent to which a board or commission that regulates entry into 12 an occupation or profession has presented qualified applicants to serve the public; 13 (8) the extent to which state personnel practices, including affirmative 14 action requirements, have been complied with by the board, commission, or agency to 15 its own activities and the area of activity or interest; and 16 (9) the extent to which statutory, regulatory, budgeting, or other 17 changes are necessary to enable the agency, board, or commission to better serve the 18 interests of the public and to comply with the factors enumerated in this subsection. 19 * Sec. 14. AS 44.99.240(2) is amended to read: 20 (2) "state agency" means 21 (A) a department, institution, board, commission, division, 22 authority, public corporation, or other administrative unit of the executive 23 branch, including the University of Alaska and the Alaska Railroad 24 Corporation; 25 (B) a committee, division, or administrative unit of the 26 legislative branch, including the Alaska Legislative Council, the leadership of 27 each house, the office of victims' rights, and the office of the ombudsman; 28 (C) an administrative unit of the judicial branch, including the 29 Alaska Judicial Council and the Commission on Judicial Conduct. 30 * Sec. 15. AS 24.65.110 and 24.65.120, added by sec. 6 of this Act, have the effect of 31 amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency
01 Rules, by allowing the victims' advocate a right of access to information in criminal 02 prosecutions and juvenile adjudications that is equal to that available to criminal defendants 03 or juveniles when the advocate is engaging in advocacy or that is unlimited when the advocate 04 is engaging in investigations concerning victims' rights. 05 * Sec. 16. AS 24.65.200, added by sec. 6 of this Act, amends Rule 501, Alaska Rules of 06 Evidence, by creating a new privilege from being compelled to testify in a court.