Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/17/2009 01:30 PM House FINANCE

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 98                                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to  minor   consuming  and  repeat  minor                                                                   
consuming; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
JANE  PIERSON, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  JAY RAMRAS,  presented                                                                   
the sponsor statement explaining three fixes in the bill.                                                                       
     HB 98 fixes a problem that occurred with the enactment                                                                     
     of HB 359, a bill that passed the House unanimously in                                                                   
     the 25th Legislative Session. HB 359 originated due to                                                                     
     the desire of Alaskan youths to join the military and                                                                      
     not being able to due to probation restrictions from a                                                                     
     minor consuming charge that may have occurred 5 years                                                                      
     previously. Unfortunately, when the bill was drafted,                                                                      
     it left a loop-hole in the repeat minor consuming law.                                                                     
     HB 98 fixes this loop-hole by amending the language of                                                                     
     AS 04.16.050(c) to include in the list of predicate                                                                      
     offenses for repeat minor consuming "previously granted                                                                    
     suspended imposition of sentence", and "a prior                                                                            
     conviction under AS 04.16.050 (b)(2)."                                                                                   
     This new language will now cover all repeat offenders,                                                                     
     no matter how their previous minor consuming charges                                                                       
     were adjudicated.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair Stoltze requested a summary  of the ultimate goal in                                                                   
passing House  Bill 98. Ms. Pierson  referred to HB  359 that                                                                   
states a  minor convicted of  minor consuming could  be taken                                                                   
off probation in order to join  the military, play sports, or                                                                   
cross  into Canada,  so their  lives would  not be placed  on                                                                   
hold because of  a mistake. House Bill 98 is  a technical fix                                                                   
to that bill.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Gara questioned  what  would  happen if  this                                                                   
bill  passed. He  wondered if  it  was correct  that a  young                                                                   
person, with a  first time arrest for having a  beer, the law                                                                   
now states  they are convicted.  Ms. Pierson stated  that the                                                                   
minor may  be convicted  two ways;  first under AS  04.16.050                                                                   
(b)(1) which grants  a suspension of sentence  and places the                                                                   
minor on  probation or  AS 04.16.050  (b)(2) which  imposes a                                                                   
fine of  at least $200 but  not more than $600,  requires the                                                                   
minor  to  attend   alcohol  information  school   or  be  on                                                                   
probation  for up  to one year.  It further  states that  the                                                                   
court  may suspend  a portion  of the  fine if  the minor  is                                                                   
required to pay for education or treatment.                                                                                     
Representative  Gara reminded  the committee  that when  this                                                                   
bill came  before them last year  some members wanted  to fix                                                                   
the law, but  were met with resistance. He  contended that he                                                                   
disliked the  "convicted" language for  a 17 year  old caught                                                                   
having a beer.  He judged this offense could  be settled with                                                                   
a  fine  or  require  education   but  not  use  "conviction"                                                                   
1:45:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Pierson replied  that  under AS  94.16.050  (1) (3)  the                                                                   
statute  states  that  previously   convicted  to  exclude  a                                                                   
conviction  for  minor  consuming, therefore  there  is  some                                                                   
leeway. Representative  Gara emphasized he did  not want this                                                                   
person treated as a criminal and  reiterated it should not be                                                                   
considered a crime. Ms. Pierson  replied it would be a crime.                                                                   
Representative   Gara  believed   the  bill  needed   further                                                                   
1:46:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Austerman  expressed   the  same  concern  as                                                                   
Representative  Gara. He  believed  more time  was needed  to                                                                   
investigate this  bill. Co-Chair Stoltze expressed  there had                                                                   
been intent to  pass the bill, but he believed  if there were                                                                   
still questions, the bill needed further examination.                                                                           
QUINLAN   STEINER,   DIRECTOR,    PUBLIC   DEFENDER   AGENCY,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF  ADMINISTRATION, testified via  teleconference,                                                                   
and affirmed  the department  would look  into the  questions                                                                   
expressed   by   Representative   Gara   and   Representative                                                                   
Austerman.  Representative  Gara  contended  the  statute  is                                                                   
strange in  that it is only  statute on the books  that talks                                                                   
about probation  and a suspended  imposition of  sentence for                                                                   
something that does not receive a jail sentence.                                                                                
1:49:36 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE CARPENETI,  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY  GENERAL, LEGAL  SERVICES                                                                   
SECTION-JUNEAU, CRIMINAL  DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF  LAW agreed                                                                   
that  a minor  consuming is  not a  crime for  the first  and                                                                   
second time  but the word "crime"  is used because it  is not                                                                   
clear what else  to call it. In 2001 the law  was changed for                                                                   
minor consuming  in the  state to  recognize that minors  try                                                                   
things and should  not be tagged with a crime  but at present                                                                   
there is no  other label to assign to this  offense. Co-Chair                                                                   
Stoltze  asked if  this was a  semantic issue,  calling  it a                                                                   
crime for lack  of a better definition. Ms.  Carpeneti agreed                                                                   
it  should not  be  a crime,  but crime-related  language  is                                                                   
used. Co-Chair  Stoltze asked if Ms. Pierson's  testimony was                                                                   
in error.  Ms. Carpeneti asserted  that the first  and second                                                                   
offenses  are not crimes  but the  third would  be a  Class B                                                                   
misdemeanor. Representative  Gara asked if language  could be                                                                   
inserted into  the statute that  said the first  two offenses                                                                   
are not considered  crimes. Ms. Carpeneti expressed  the need                                                                   
to  look at  the  statute more  carefully  before making  any                                                                   
final decisions.                                                                                                                
1:51:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  asked if this was the  only statute that                                                                   
had  probation and  suspended imposition  of sentences  where                                                                   
there is no  possible jail time. Ms. Carpeneti  believed that                                                                   
was true, but needed to investigate further.                                                                                    
1:52:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Austerman  reiterated he  was  not trying  to                                                                   
protect the  habitual drinker,  but he also  did not  want to                                                                   
penalize a minor for trying something for the first time.                                                                       
Representative  Joule wondered  if citations, something  less                                                                   
than  crimes,  could be  used  in  this case.  Ms.  Carpeneti                                                                   
explained  that  a  citation   is  a  charging  or  ticketing                                                                   
document and caution would be  needed in using that word, but                                                                   
it could be  considered. Chair Stoltze interjected  that this                                                                   
discussion would  depart from Representative  Ramras's intent                                                                   
from a  technical fix to a  substantive change to  an exiting                                                                   
statute. He would  want all interested parties to  have a say                                                                   
before making such a change.                                                                                                    
HB  98   was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  Committee   for  further                                                                   
1:55:02 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AkConsvAllianceHB20Support.PDF HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
Amendment 2 Gara.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
AS 04.16.050.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 98
Anchorage Muni Resolution.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
DMV Procedures.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Articles.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Sectional Summary.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
CSHB20-FSH--SponsorStatementAndSectional.doc HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
CSHB20 (FSH) SWAMC Support.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
Explanation of Version Changes.doc HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
Commercial Fishing Loan Fund Summary.PDF HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
Amendment 3 Gara.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB20--RTennysonSupportMssg.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
HB20-FJohnsonSupport.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
HB20-RDC Support.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
HB20GlenGardnerSupport.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
HB20HarringtonSupportMssg.PDF HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
HB20SEAKFSHAllianceSupport.PDF HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
HB20UFASupport.PDF HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
HB3 Stoltz amendment.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
Immigration_Numbers_Alaska_Justice_Forum.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
New HB98 Fiscal Note DPS .pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 98
PSPA Support for HB20.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
SeaGrantFuelSurvey--HB20.pdf.PDF HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20
Michigan_Stops_issuing_licenses_illegals.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 98
Sponsor_Statement.doc HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
Support Letter Brakel.doc HFIN 2/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 20