Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/15/2016 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 77                                                                                                             
     "An  Act relating  to  training regarding  disabilities                                                                    
     for   police  officers,   probation  officers,   parole                                                                    
     officers,  correctional  officers, and  village  public                                                                    
     safety  officers; relating  to  guidelines for  drivers                                                                    
     when encountering or being stopped  by a peace officer;                                                                    
     relating   to   driver's  license   examinations;   and                                                                    
     relating  to a  voluntary disability  designation on  a                                                                    
    state identification card and a driver's license."                                                                          
Co-Chair Thompson read the bill title.                                                                                          
2:29:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman  MOVED  to  ADOPT  the  proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for  HB  77,  Work  Draft  29-LS0072\N  (Martin,                                                                    
12/2/15). There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                          
JANE PIERSON, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE STEVE THOMPSON,                                                                             
presented the "Sponsor Statement" and "Explanation of                                                                           
Changes HB 77 version E to version N" (copy on file):                                                                           
     SPONSOR STATEMENT                                                                                                          
     When  people  with non-apparent  disabilities  interact                                                                    
     with peace officers  and corrections officers, elements                                                                    
     of  their disabilities  often  brush against  officers'                                                                    
     protocols  and may  result in  serious misunderstanding                                                                    
     or  even  tragedy.  The  goal of  HB77  is  to  improve                                                                    
     communications between law  enforcement and corrections                                                                    
     professionals who  interact with  people who  have non-                                                                    
     apparent    disabilities,   whether    these   disabled                                                                    
     individuals   encounter  the   "systems"  as   victims,                                                                    
     witnesses, or alleged perpetrators.                                                                                        
     The first part  of HB 77 focuses  on training regarding                                                                    
     interactions    with     people    with    non-apparent                                                                    
     disabilities. The  bill requires the  implementation of                                                                    
     a non-apparent disability  awareness training component                                                                    
     for  Alaska peace  officers,  corrections officers  and                                                                    
     parole/probation officers. The  Alaska Police Standards                                                                    
     Council, has established a basic  course at the academy                                                                    
     level. The  training instructs  officers how  to engage                                                                    
     in  appropriate   interactions  with   individuals  who                                                                    
     experience  a   non-apparent  disability.   The  course                                                                    
     instructs  officers  and  the  guidelines  will  stress                                                                    
     understanding of  the different manner in  which people                                                                    
     with non-apparent disabilities  process sensory stimuli                                                                    
     and language.                                                                                                              
     The  bill also  requires that  the Department  of Motor                                                                    
     Vehicles (DMV)  add a section to  the Passenger Vehicle                                                                    
     Driver  Handbook that  instructs  drivers  as to  their                                                                    
     responsibilities   when   interacting  with   a   peace                                                                    
     officer.  Basic  instruction  will   be  added  to  the                                                                    
     driver's  manual  and one  or  more  questions will  be                                                                    
     added to  the written driver's license  test. Awareness                                                                    
     training for  both police officers and  the public will                                                                    
     aid in increasing the safety of most encounters.                                                                           
     Another component of HB 77  is to implement a statewide                                                                    
     voluntary  identification   system  where   a  discrete                                                                    
     marker will be placed on  an Alaska Driver's license or                                                                    
     an Alaska ID  card. The marker would  indicate that the                                                                    
     individual has  a disability that may  not be apparent.                                                                    
     The  police or  corrections officer,  having taken  the                                                                    
     disability   awareness  training,   will  be   able  to                                                                    
     understand  and more  appropriately  interact with  the                                                                    
     If a  person's disability  is not recognized  during an                                                                    
     encounter,   it  may   affect  the   outcome  of   that                                                                    
     encounter.   This   bill    would   push   to   improve                                                                    
     communication   between  peace   officers,  corrections                                                                    
     officers    and    parole/probation    officers    when                                                                    
     interacting   with   people   who   have   non-apparent                                                                    
     disabilities. The  hope of this  bill is to  reduce the                                                                    
     potential for tragic encounters in our state.                                                                              
     EXPLANATION OF CHANGES:                                                                                                    
     Section 1  was added back into  the bill, as it  was in                                                                    
     the original W version of the bill.                                                                                        
          The  Alaska  Police   Standards  Council  has  now                                                                    
          adopted   regulations   concerning  the   training                                                                    
          component  relating to  people with  disabilities.                                                                    
          This disability training component  is part of the                                                                    
          required  curriculum for  Alaska police  officers,                                                                    
          correctional  officers, and  parole officers.  The                                                                    
          curriculum   focuses  on   training  officers   to                                                                    
          recognize and interact  appropriately with persons                                                                    
          with  disabilities,  as  well as  familiarize  the                                                                    
          officers  with  resources  that are  available  to                                                                    
          those with hidden disabilities.                                                                                       
     Section 3  was also  added back into  HB 77  to include                                                                    
     training for village public safety officers.                                                                               
2:33:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman asked if the identifier was voluntary.                                                                          
Ms. Pierson responded affirmatively.                                                                                            
Co-Chair Neuman told of having  a discussion with an officer                                                                    
in  his district  in which  the officer  had gone  through a                                                                    
program that  trained in identifying  psychiatric disorders.                                                                    
He wondered if that was similar training.                                                                                       
Ms. Pierson  stated that he  was correct. There  was already                                                                    
exceptional training available.                                                                                                 
Representative Gattis asked about  the training. She queried                                                                    
the  reason   for  removing  the  training   aspect  of  the                                                                    
Ms. Pierson  replied that  the training  program regulations                                                                    
were being  drafted at  the time.  The training  program was                                                                    
removed, so  it could be  drafted to match  the regulations.                                                                    
The  reinserting of  the  training was  to  ensure that  the                                                                    
statutory inclusion  may have to  opportunity to  be offered                                                                    
to conforming to Title 2.                                                                                                       
Representative  Gattis  wondered  if the  bill  sponsor  had                                                                    
worked through that issue.                                                                                                      
Ms. Pierson replied in the affirmative.                                                                                         
Representative Kawasaki spoke to  the voluntary component of                                                                    
the  bill. He  wondered  whether  a nonpermanent  disability                                                                    
could be cancelled from the  designation. He wondered if the                                                                    
disability would always be a part of their personal record.                                                                     
Ms. Pierson  answered that it  did not relate to  the Alaska                                                                    
Public  Safety   Information  Network  (APSIN),   which  was                                                                    
through  DPS. The  disability designation  would only  be on                                                                    
the identification card or driver's license.                                                                                    
2:39:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki noted that  his driver's license was                                                                    
tied to  his conceal  and carry permit.  He wondered  if the                                                                    
license would attach to broader systems.                                                                                        
Ms. Pierson deferred the question to Mr. Hansen.                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki noted that  Sections 4 and 5 related                                                                    
to new  language addressing the duties  and responsibilities                                                                    
of  drivers when  encountering a  peace officer.  He queried                                                                    
the duties of the peace officers.                                                                                               
Ms.  Pierson replied  that the  duty was  to pull  over when                                                                    
safely   possible,  ensure   license   and  insurance   were                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  did not  know the exact  duties and                                                                    
responsibilities. He  shared that  some definition  he would                                                                    
be more comfortable with the language.                                                                                          
Representative  Wilson  referred to  section  4  and 5.  She                                                                    
wondered  how there  was  a zero  fiscal  note if  rewriting                                                                    
tasks was necessary.                                                                                                            
Ms. Pierson answered  that the book was  revised annually so                                                                    
there would be no extra cost.                                                                                                   
Representative Wilson queried DMV process.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Thompson  noted  that  DMV was  online  to  answer                                                                    
questions as well.                                                                                                              
Ms.  Pierson reviewed  the basics.  She did  not believe  it                                                                    
would come through regulation                                                                                                   
2:43:20 PM                                                                                                                    
AMY   ERICKSON,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   MOTOR  VEHICLES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION  (via teleconference), answered                                                                    
that  all of  the items  on the  driver's test  were set  in                                                                    
statute, but  the division  could easily  add things  to the                                                                    
Representative Wilson  asked about putting the  provision in                                                                    
the  manual.   She  wondered  if  there   was  a  regulatory                                                                    
requirement when adding to the manual.                                                                                          
Ms.  Erickson   replied  that  the  DMV   would  insert  the                                                                    
Representative Wilson stressed that  she was concerned about                                                                    
greater causing of problems as  related to not understanding                                                                    
the procedures.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Thompson  believed even  young people did  not know                                                                    
the procedures if they were stopped by police.                                                                                  
Representative  Gara  believed duties  and  responsibilities                                                                    
were defined by law.                                                                                                            
Ms. Pierson agreed.                                                                                                             
Vice-Chair Saddler  asked if a  designation of  a disability                                                                    
record be  kept anywhere. He  wondered if it be  retained in                                                                    
DMV's records.                                                                                                                  
Ms. Pierson  replied that  she had  not thought  through the                                                                    
question and did  not know. She imagined it may  stay in the                                                                    
DMV file.                                                                                                                       
Ms. Erickson  answered that if  it went into the  DMV system                                                                    
it would go into APSIN, it  would be possible to restrict it                                                                    
from  going  into  APSIN  if  that was  the  desire  of  the                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler looked  at page 1, line  13, and wondered                                                                    
if the professions had the  ability to designate a person as                                                                    
having  a  disability  for  any  other  purpose  such  as  a                                                                    
handicap parking space.                                                                                                         
Ms. Pierson deferred the question to Ms. Erickson.                                                                              
Co-Chair  Thompson  wondered   if  the  physical  disability                                                                    
requirement was in statute.                                                                                                     
Vice-Chair Saddler repeated the question.                                                                                       
2:47:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Erickson answered in the affirmative.                                                                                       
Vice-Chair  Saddler   referred  to  other   definitions  for                                                                    
disability. He  stated that the  bill focused on  drivers of                                                                    
motor vehicles. He  wondered how many people  may likely get                                                                    
a designation on a license who did not drive.                                                                                   
Ms.  Pierson did  not  know,  but the  bill  did include  ID                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler  relayed that he  had a previous  bill to                                                                    
include  a veteran's  designation on  the driver's  license,                                                                    
and  remarked  that it  had  a  very  high fiscal  note.  He                                                                    
wondered why there was no fiscal note for the current bill.                                                                     
Ms. Erickson  replied that  there was a  new vender  for the                                                                    
cards. She stated that it was currently a simple change.                                                                        
Representative Pruitt  relayed that he had  visited DMV, and                                                                    
shared that the DMV was no longer printing the manuals.                                                                         
Ms. Erickson  answered that the division  still printed some                                                                    
manuals in hardcopy and had lightened the printing load.                                                                        
Representative  Pruitt  relayed   that  the  individual  who                                                                    
worked  for  DMV  had  good ideas.  He  wondered  about  the                                                                    
barriers to access the system to prevent potential abuse.                                                                       
2:51:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Erickson replied  that she  did not  believe under  the                                                                    
legislation  the person  would not  be required  to disclose                                                                    
the specific disability.                                                                                                        
Representative   Pruitt    stated   that   he    must   have                                                                    
misunderstood  the earlier  comments on  the disability.  He                                                                    
wondered  if someone  had a  temporary concern,  he wondered                                                                    
how the scenario would be dealt with.                                                                                           
Ms. Erickson answered that because  it was voluntary she did                                                                    
not see the harm if a person wanted a temporary indicator.                                                                      
Ms. Pierson pointed to line 13 and read from the bill.                                                                          
Representative Pruitt pointed to  Sections 4 and 5, wondered                                                                    
about the rights of the individual being stopped.                                                                               
2:54:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Pierson believed it should  be left to the discretion of                                                                    
the legal  team. She stressed  that the bill  only addressed                                                                    
the basics.                                                                                                                     
Representative  Pruitt  countered  that  the  committee  was                                                                    
writing  law  and  did  not believe  it  was  an  acceptable                                                                    
answer. He  wanted to know the  goal of the sections  (4 and                                                                    
Ms.  Pierson  replied  that   the  sections  were  developed                                                                    
because of  the issue of  what to  do when pulled  over. The                                                                    
sections were only the basics to ensure safety.                                                                                 
Co-Chair Thompson interjected that the  bill did not set new                                                                    
Ms. Pierson agreed and elaborated.                                                                                              
Co-Chair Neuman remarked that the  sections were included to                                                                    
provide the information about statutes.                                                                                         
Representative  Pruitt   stated  that  Section  4   added  a                                                                    
subsection.  He wondered  about the  crux of  the issue.  He                                                                    
wondered if it was a real problem.                                                                                              
2:59:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Thompson  replied that  the issue had  been brought                                                                    
forward  due to  some actions  that had  taken place  in the                                                                    
past. He provided an example of  someone who may not be able                                                                    
to communicate.                                                                                                                 
Ms. Pierson  replied that  she worked  with someone  who had                                                                    
been pulled over, and did not  know what to do. She remarked                                                                    
that the sections were knowledge.                                                                                               
Representative   Edgmon  believed   with  the   neurological                                                                    
spectrum  increasing, specifically  the autism  spectrum and                                                                    
Asperger's and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome  the bill reflected an                                                                    
evolution of things.                                                                                                            
Representative  Pruitt understood  the main  portion of  the                                                                    
bill, but  he was trying  to connect the other  sections. He                                                                    
pointed  to the  sticker  symbol that  would  appear on  the                                                                    
3:02:35 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  thought  that  when  someone  had  a                                                                    
disability  it was  important the  issue was  documented and                                                                    
documented  privately. She  stated that  for many  people it                                                                    
was not  possible to visibly  see a disability.  She thought                                                                    
it may be important information for an officer.                                                                                 
Ms. Pierson  answered that the  sponsor did not want  to get                                                                    
into HIPPA  law. She  imagined that if  a person  was pulled                                                                    
over multiple times that it would  show up on APSIN. She did                                                                    
not think the sponsor wanted  to identify everyone and their                                                                    
disorders.  She believed  it  would be  a  problem to  start                                                                    
compiling everyone's disabilities.                                                                                              
Co-Chair Neuman stated that it  was one of his problems with                                                                    
the prescription database. He  did not support compiling all                                                                    
of the information on people.                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson  spoke to  the  option  to share  the                                                                    
information if it was voluntary.                                                                                                
Ms. Pierson deferred the question to the department.                                                                            
3:07:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  stated that  the individual  did show                                                                    
up  on the  database. She  was concerned  that it  would not                                                                    
help if a person was not able to verbalize the issue.                                                                           
Representative  Gara referred  to APSIN,  and did  not think                                                                    
there was any danger that  a police officer would think that                                                                    
a person committed a crime.  He surmised that if the purpose                                                                    
of the bill was to protect individuals with a disability.                                                                       
3:11:37 PM                                                                                                                    
JUANITA   WEBB,  WALLBUSTERS,   FOX  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
relayed that she  is a normal person with  a disability. She                                                                    
supported  the  concept  of making  the  standard  the  same                                                                    
across  the  state. She  explained  that  Wallbusters was  a                                                                    
grassroots  organization   that  was   made  up   of  normal                                                                    
individuals with disabilities.                                                                                                  
3:14:46 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK  WEBB, WALLBUSTERS,  FOX  (via teleconference),  shared                                                                    
that he is  blind. He supported the bill. He  shared a story                                                                    
about  a young  deaf  woman who  had been  at  a party.  The                                                                    
individual had decided not to  drive right away. She started                                                                    
her car  because it was cold  and climbed into the  back and                                                                    
fell asleep.  The military police  had grabbed the  woman by                                                                    
the leg to  see if she was  alive. She had been  in fear and                                                                    
thought she  was being  attacked. She had  been drug  out of                                                                    
the car  and restrained all  because she could not  hear the                                                                    
instructions  of  law  enforcement.  She  ended  up  with  5                                                                    
felonies  including   assaulting  an  officer   and  drunken                                                                    
driving. She had plead guilty to  all of the charges and now                                                                    
lives with  family in  California. He  stressed that  it was                                                                    
just  one  story  out  of  many. He  stated  that  a  little                                                                    
knowledge  on law  enforcement's  part could  have ended  in                                                                    
different result. He thanked the sponsors of the bill.                                                                          
3:19:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CATHY GERBY, ACCESS  ALASKA, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of  the bill.  She  provided a  story                                                                    
related to one of the program participants.                                                                                     
3:22:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SARAH  HIEB,   ALASKA  POLICE  STANDARDS   COUNCIL,  JUNEAU,                                                                    
relayed that she was available for questions.                                                                                   
Co-Chair Thompson  asked where  the council stood  on having                                                                    
the issue in statute rather than regulation.                                                                                    
Ms.  Hieb replied  that the  council supported  training for                                                                    
officers  in disability  awareness.  She  stated that  there                                                                    
were  some  regulatory  changes  that  would  mandate  basic                                                                    
training,  including eight  hours  of disability  awareness.                                                                    
She  noted that  the  same regulations  would require  eight                                                                    
hours   of  training   in  recognizing   and  dealing   with                                                                    
emotionally  disturbed individuals,  who were  different but                                                                    
related to disability awareness.                                                                                                
3:25:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Thompson  explained that the language  had been put                                                                    
back in related to statute.  He stressed that funding may be                                                                    
cut  from  training,  so  the bill  would  ensure  that  the                                                                    
training occur.                                                                                                                 
Ms. Hieb agreed.                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt wondered  how difficult  it would  be                                                                    
for the council if the issue was placed in statute.                                                                             
Ms. Hieb  answered that  if the council  wanted to  go above                                                                    
and beyond what the legislature  put into statute it had the                                                                    
ability to do so.                                                                                                               
Representative Pruitt  asked about the  council's resistance                                                                    
to the change.                                                                                                                  
Ms.  Hieb  understood  that  the   issue  had  been  put  in                                                                    
regulation and  not in statute  by the prior  committee. She                                                                    
observed  that  statute and  regulation  were  both law  and                                                                    
imagined it was somewhat redundant.                                                                                             
3:28:01 PM                                                                                                                    
ART DELAUNE, GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL  ON DISABILITIES AND SPECIAL                                                                    
EDUCATION; AND WALLBUSTERS,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of the  legislation. He  relayed that                                                                    
the bill  would help  police officers  to understand  that a                                                                    
person  had  a  disability.  He  hoped  to  make  encounters                                                                    
between police  and individuals with disabilities  safer. He                                                                    
did  not  believe  records  should be  kept  anywhere  on  a                                                                    
person's disability related to  the issue. He continued that                                                                    
some individuals carried an autism  card, a person with FASD                                                                    
was  confused by  multiple orders  by a  police officer.  He                                                                    
stressed that the bill was about safety and communication.                                                                      
Co-Chair   Thompson  thanked   the  individuals   for  their                                                                    
testimony.  He relayed  that the  bill would  be before  the                                                                    
committee again in the future.                                                                                                  
3:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gattis  shared that  she has an  adult nephew                                                                    
with autism.  She supported the  idea of the sticker  to get                                                                    
the conversation going. She wondered  how someone would have                                                                    
the  opportunity to  opt in.  She  stressed that  it was  in                                                                    
issue of the safety of family members.                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Thompson assumed  that the  identification on  the                                                                    
state ID would start the conversation.                                                                                          
Ms. Pierson stated that the person  should be able to keep a                                                                    
visible ID.                                                                                                                     
Representative Gattis stated that  her nephew would keep his                                                                    
Representative  Edgmon  wanted  to   ensure  that  a  tribal                                                                    
identification  card   was  included.  He  would   hold  his                                                                    
question to the next hearing.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Thompson believed it was a good idea.                                                                                  
Vice-Chair  Saddler  asked  if  there was  a  limit  to  the                                                                    
maximum number of  designations on a driver's  license or ID                                                                    
Ms. Erickson agreed to provide that information.                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler liked  the motive  behind the  bill, but                                                                    
had some problems with some  of the language. He believed it                                                                    
would be very difficult to train police. He would be                                                                            
concerned about liability protection to police officers. He                                                                     
stated that the state was asking too much.                                                                                      
HB 77 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
Co-Chair Thompson discussed the agenda for the following                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 77 Supporting Documents-Letter Frank Ron.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 Supporting Documents - Letter Lance Ostnes.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 Supporting Documents - Article People with disabilities half of people killed by cops.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 Supporting documents - 5 Letters of Support-.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
Hb 77 Supporting Document - How Misunderstanding Disability Leads to Police Violence.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 Sponsor Statement 3.11.16.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 Sectional ver. N 3.11.16.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 Changes version E to version N.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 - Supporting Documents- Wallbusters Disability Info.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 - Supporting document-Letter Juanita Webb.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
CS WORKDRAFT FIN HB 77 - Bill ver. N.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB231 Supporting Documents.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 231
HB231 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 231
HB 77 NEW FN ADM DMV 3-11-16.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 77 - Non-apparent disabilities symbol.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 77
HB 231 NEW FN DOC 3-14-16.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 231
HB 231 NEW FN DOC 3-15-16 Corrected.pdf HFIN 3/15/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 231