Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519
05/01/2019 05:00 PM FINANCE
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HOUSE BILL NO. 49 "An Act relating to criminal law and procedure; relating to controlled substances; relating to probation; relating to sentencing; relating to reports of involuntary commitment; amending Rule 6, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure; and providing for an effective date." 5:00:22 PM ^PUBLIC TESIMONY 5:00:26 PM WILL MADISON, SELF, SOLDOTNA (via teleconference), supported increasing the penalty for a revoked driver's license from a (Driving Under the Influence) DUI offense to a misdemeanor with no holds and no bail. He maintained that individuals caught driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license only received a citation. He believed that most people driving with a revoked license were typical career criminals who ignored orders to appear in court. He opined that criminals likely had stolen goods and drugs in their car and the police were unable to search the car under current law. He reiterated his support for making driving with a revoked license and arrestable offense and to grant the police the tools necessary to clean up the habitual criminals. 5:03:19 PM JANE MADISON, SELF, SOLDOTNA (via teleconference), supported the legislation. She requested that the committee work on a speeding fine issue and bail issues. She reported that there was a stretch of road where people chose to speed on the Seward Highway between Girdwood and Anchorage. She shared that a driver was caught speeding 135 miles per hour; 75 miles per hour over the limit and received a $3.6 thousand dollar fine. She deduced that the penalty for the same offense under state law would have been $3 hundred plus a $20 surcharge because that was the maximum state speeding charge. She did not believe the state should limit fines for speeding and thought that it would increase state revenues. She asked the committee to consider how the Municipality of Anchorage set its fines. She advocated for the state to retain the bail money paid for offenders who did not appear for their court dates. She asked the committee to raise the deposit amount for third-party custodians. She indicated that third-party custodians paid an offender's bail and watched the person until the offender returned for their court appearance. She believed that it was nearly impossible to watch an accused person 24 hours per day and the custodian often allowed the person to leave supervised custody. She opined that under a charge called violation of a third-party custodial agreement the custodian could be charged with a misdemeanor. She felt that the third-party custodian bail rate should be very large, and she asked the legislature to require forfeiture of the deposit if the offender failed to appear in court. She supported larger bail amounts for misdemeanors and felonies and reiterated her plea for bail forfeiture for individuals who fail to appear in court. 5:08:11 PM SID ATWOOD, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), shared that he was a member of the Alaska Advisory Board on Drug and Alcohol Abuse. He believed that HB 49 was a better bill than the previous version. However, he did not support eliminating both credit for time served and participation in rehabilitative services that acted as incentives for change. He maintained that change gave the offender a chance to reenter society. He believed that penalty or punishment was not correction for some crimes and that prison beds should be prioritized for individuals convicted of serious crimes. He was thankful for support groups he had been involved in over the years that help others. He stated that treatment and support and not punishment had turned his life around 42 years ago. 5:10:24 PM KATIE BOTZ, SELF, JUNEAU/MINNESOTA (via teleconference), had two questions for members to consider. She asked the members to consider a person's value and if the value was less valuable than money. She believed that legislators played with peoples lives especially when debating what to spend and what to cut. She maintained that Alaska was dangerous, and no one could deny it had not been impacted by crime. She urged the legislature to set money aside for public safety and impose stiffer penalties to keep offenders off the street. She was a survivor of sexual abuse. She stressed that offenders needed to be held more accountable. She shared that she had been adopted at the age of six months and spoke against killing babies. She implored the legislature to keep criminals in jail until they had proven they could participate in society. 5:13:13 PM KARA NELSON, SELF, JUNEAU (via teleconference), spoke in support of the bill, though she felt she made a significant personal compromise to do so. She did not support increasing sentencing ranges, but she understood that some solutions were necessary. She believed that continual community resources were needed including recovery homes, treatment centers, and other community support. She related that long incarceration periods created more chaos and ripped our communities apart. She believed a solution was necessary. She viewed the bill as a compromise. She asked the legislature to make smart decisions. She opined that there were a myriad of devastating things happening statewide. She reiterated that longer sentencing harmed communities and harmed communities and individuals. She understood accountability was necessary and could be applied smartly. She stated that punitive justice had not made citizens feel safer. She wanted to continue moving in the direction of strategic reforms. The problem would not be solved by longer sentences. 5:16:37 PM LARS GLEITSMANN, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), shared that he lived in Alaska since 1996. He was opposed to the prior legislation, SB 91 Omnibus Crim Law & Procedure; Corrections [CHAPTER 36 SLA 16 - 07/11/2016]. He offered that SB 91 eroded the idea of punitive justice and implementation created more crime. He stated that criminals were laughing at the police and victims. He stated there had been no positive change - things were only worsening. He supported a jail system that put people in jail for crimes and a full repeal of SB 91. He supported the governor's version of the bill over the House Judiciary Committee version. He stressed the high increase in crime. Many property crimes were not reported because people felt reporting would do no good. He shared that everyone he knew had been a victim of a crime. He wondered what happened to the representation of the victim. He hoped for a full repeal of SB 91. 5:20:10 PM TOM MCGRATH, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), was concerned that third degree property offenses would still go without a serious penalty. He believed that there was no consequence for a person who had stolen less than $250. He characterized it as a revolving door. He shared a story about a recent situation involving criminals with virtually no consequence for stealing items under $250. He thought SB 91 should be repealed. He understood that some parts of SB 91 needed to remain, but he thought those components should be included in another bill due to its negative connotations. He characterized the current system as catch and release. 5:22:06 PM KERRY PHILLIPS, FAIRBANKS REENTRY COALITION, FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), spoke against the bill. She shared that she was proof that treatment over incarceration worked. She shared her personal story with prescription drug addiction and conviction for prescription fraud. She had been given treatment and had checked in with a district attorney daily for one year. She currently worked as a forensic peer support specialist to help other inmates reintegrate successfully into the community. She believed that drug possession offenses should be dealt with on a case by case basis and offenders should be offered other choices like therapeutic court and treatment rather than incarceration. She noted that some believed that addicts should be left in jail and receive treatment there, but treatment was sparse, and inmates could still obtain drugs while incarcerated. She shared that she received a degree in criminal justice. She furthered that she had successfully completed her felony probation requirement and favored incentives for good behavior. She indicated that since the inception of the reentry coalition the recidivism rate was reduced to 20 percent. She was living proof that treatment over incarceration worked. 5:24:38 PM MAXINE DOOGAN, COMMUNITY UNITED FOR SAFETY AND PROTECTION, FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), opposed the bill. She associated with the comments made by Kara Nelson. She opposed higher fines and fees and criminalization for drug possession. She related that the federal government had seized the California prison system because California could not provide services for the incarcerated population. She did not want to spend more on prisons than education like the state of California had done. 5:25:28 PM CORIN COOPER, SELF, NIKISKI (via teleconference), did not support HB 49. He supported the other crime bills by the governor. 5:25:52 PM KATHLEEN MCLAUGHLIN, DIRECTOR, PARTNER REENTRY CENTER, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), addressed the key to successful reentry into society. She detailed that the center had served 7,500 reentrants since its inception. She had learned that pre-release planning was the key to successful reentry into society. She relayed Department of Corrections (DOC) statistics that since 2016 recidivism rates had declined from 67 percent to 61 percent. The goal was to prepare inmates for a purposeful and normal life. She indicated that the reentry partners regularly visited the prison intuitions in the Anchorage area. She reported that HB 49 assured that DOC and the community based reentry advisors would stay accountable through an offender management plan. She had learned that Alaska was at the forefront in the area of reentry. 5:28:03 PM AT EASE 5:29:39 PM RECONVENED TRIADA STAMPAS, POLICY DIRECTOR, ACLU-ALASKA, spoke in support of the bill over the governor's version. She pointed to provisions that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) specifically supported like mandating the timely processing of sexual assault kits; the coordination that was mandated between DOC and reentry providers in drafting offender management plans; reinstatement of revoked drivers license within 10 years of a clean record; and enhanced reporting by the criminal justice system. However, some provisions in the bill raised concerns and were contrary to the principles and evidence upon which the 2016 justice reform was based on. She listed the unfavorable provisions. She indicated that HB 49 increased sentencing ranges for a range of crimes and was antithetical to reform principles that established longer sentences contributed to recidivism. The proposed elimination of inflation indexing for property crimes would result in longer lengths of incarceration. The third conviction for drug possession for Schedule 1A and 2A crimes increasing to a felony offense was troubling and meant that individuals with substance use disorders would end up with a felony penalty and a criminal record. She believed that the state had a range of alternatives that were more effective solutions. She heard earlier in the hearing that the problems were complex, and she asked the committee to choose a range of alternatives rather than methods that were proven ineffective. 5:34:25 PM Representative Sullivan-Leonard asked what the evidential data she had referred to was. Ms. Stampas replied that the United States (US) Department of Justice had performed extensive analysis of academic research regarding what deterred crime. She related that the research found that the length of a sentence was less of a deterrent than the certainty that an offender would be caught. Increasing the perception that a criminal would get caught acted as an effective deterrent. Representative Knopp asked whether a correlation existed between too short a period of incarceration and recidivism. Ms. Stampas answered that she was unaware of any evidence that supported the premise. 5:35:07 PM DON HABEGER, COMMUNITY COORDINATOR, JUNEAU REENTRY COALITION, JUNEAU, explained the mission of the reentry coalition. He voiced that the mission was to promote community safety through identifying and implementing strategies that increased reentrants success after release from incarceration. The coalition recognized that smart justice was a balance of accountability and appropriate sanctions and needed to include services and treatment options to assist in successfully returning the offender to the community and ensuring public safety. He believed that HB 49 struck an appropriate balance between enforcement and a pathway for recovery and success in returning offenders to the community. 5:36:53 PM AT EASE 5:48:08 PM RECONVENED Co-Chair Wilson noted there had been phone connection difficulties. 5:48:32 PM BERT HOUGHTALING, SELF, BIG LAKE (via teleconference), did not support the current version of the bill. He believed that another bill, HB 145 - Property Crime; Motor Vehicle Theft Tools, was inserted into HB 49. He asked the committee to pass the governor's original version of HB 49 along with his other crime bills. He opined that inserting the provisions of HB 145 into HB 49 was disingenuous. 5:50:27 PM LEANN MCCAUGHEY, SELF, NIKISKI (via teleconference), spoke against HB 49 and asked the legislature to support the governor's legislation and restore the rule of law. She agreed with the governors top priority to ensure public safety. 5:51:22 PM MARY HILCOSKE, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), shared that she was Vice-Chair of the board of the voluntary organization, Partners for Progress. She related that the organizations purpose was to fight crime. She supported the House Judiciary version of HB 49. 5:52:04 PM MIKE LIGHTNER, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), did not support HB 49. He reported that since the passage of SB 91, crime had increased in his neighborhood. He considered the bill a failure. He requested that the legislature lead the state into a new direction and pass the governors suite of crime legislation. 5:52:56 PM AT EASE 6:00:19 PM RECONVENED DEBBIE WHITE, SELF, JUNEAU (via teleconference), understood and respected the value of reentry programs, but believed that the core function of government was the protection of its citizens. She believed SB 91 had tied the hands of the public safety system. She felt that public safety was left up to the citizenry, which possessed many firearms. She was shocked that the governor's four bills had been "mutilated." She asked the committee to reject the current version of the bill. 6:02:13 PM RHADELLA DIVELBISS, SELF, BIG LAKE (via teleconference), supported the governor's bill. She wanted SB 91 to be repealed. She stated that everyone had to pay for what they chose to do - there were consequences to actions. She did not support the current version of the bill. Co-Chair Wilson asked individuals to call back if there was a problem. 6:03:25 PM MIKE COONS, SELF, PALMER (via teleconference), did not support the House Judiciary Committee version of the bill. He supported the governor's bill. He thought the current version of the bill was disgusting. He stressed that the governor's bills needed to be passed. He related that the governor had stated he would veto the bill. He would prefer another year of SB 91 compared to the current bill. He thought that the legislature was putting Alaskans in harm's way. He stressed that people were in jail because they committed a crime. He did not support going easy on repeat offenders. He asked the committee to pass the governor's bills. 6:07:12 PM HENRIETTA MINIUM, SELF, NIKISKI (via teleconference), was a victim of property crime on the Peninsula. She urged the committee not to pass the current version of the bill and pass the governor's crime bills. 6:08:12 PM JANET MCCABE, PARTNERS FOR PROGRESS, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), supported the current version of HB 49. She indicated that her organization supported therapeutic courts and reentry entities. She believed that the bill was a more balanced approach and was the result of careful work on SB 91. The bill improved the weak parts. She believed HB 49 did a better job addressing the most dangerous drugs. The bill strengthened the electronic monitoring (EM) program and addressed real threats of violence. She reported that reentry work solved problems, reduced the cost of incarceration and protected the public. She believed the bill was smart on crime and not merely tough on crime. She implored the committee to pass the bill. 6:10:21 PM KATHY SWANSON, SELF, JUNEAU (via teleconference), urged the committee to vote against the bill and pass the governor's crime bills. She would be happy to see a complete repeal of SB 91 and then replace some of its elements in another bill. She wondered where the reentry program was in Juneau. She was in favor of Haven House and had financially supported it. She supported reentry programs that rehabilitated prisoners and thought the bill discarded the reentry programs. She was fine with people in jail earning their way into treatment or rehabilitation. She noted that the programs were not readily available and had up to one year's wait time. She was tired of getting "flipped the bird" by the guy who had burglarized her house. She stressed that there were many stolen firearms in Alaska. She related that there was a man at the playground that day with a knife. She underscored that the individual needed mental health help. She emphasized that the bill did not represent compassion yet also let criminals and drug addicts go without treatment or rehabilitation. She stated it was a matter of time before a tragedy happened. 6:13:50 PM EVELYN GOUGHNOUR, SELF, WASILLA (via teleconference), spoke in support of a repeal of SB 91. She shared that neighbors had been burglarized, gas was siphoned out of cars, and mailboxes were rifled. The residents knew who the culprits were, but nothing had been done. She shared that she grew up in Alaska and had never seen the crime as bad as it was at present. She was upset by the number of criminals and amount of crime. She urged the committee to reject HB 49 because it was inadequate. She wanted a bill that worked and asked the legislature to quit tying the hands of the police. 6:16:48 PM PHIL SHANAHAN, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), testified in support of the bill. He voiced that antidotal evidence was not real evidence. He believed that the Criminal Justice Commission had put a lot of thought, analysis, and research in criminal justice reform. The reforms were beginning to work, and he advised that patience was necessary. He pointed out that rolling back reforms would cost the state millions of dollars. He stated that crime had not begun because of SB 91 and the bill did not intend for an end to incarceration. He stressed that treatment was the answer to the problem. He observed that SB 91 did not create the problem people were seeing in their communities and the statistics did not support that crime was skyrocketing. He noted that the old way of doing things did not work and crime was a problem prior to passage of SB 91. The cost of incarceration was out of control and the recidivism rate was very high. He did not support sending individuals to prisons out of state. He was supportive of fixing the problems with SB 91 but did not favor scaping justice reform. He thought the current bill was a measured and evidence-based approach even though he did not endorse all provisions in the bill. 6:19:50 PM IDA NELSON, SELF, IGIUGIG (via teleconference), spoke against HB 49 and believed it caused more harm than good. She had counted 19 amendments in the bill and thought it was a band aid approach that would get ripped off in the future. She believed that the many changes were unnecessary and were only in place to create an appearance of public safety. Many improvements were needed in the bill along with awareness of the consequences. She suggested breaking the bill down into smaller bills. She reiterated her disapproval of the bill and thanked the committee. 6:21:32 PM WILLIE KEPPEL, SELF, QUINHAGAK (via teleconference), spoke against HB 49. He reported that people were sleeping with loaded guns as protection against perpetrators. Thieves were stealing snow machines and four wheelers with impunity, and the culprits were well known. He emphasized that the use of snow machines to maintain a subsistence lifestyle was a necessity. He spoke of the revolving door of thieves back out on the street after one night in jail. He supported the governor's four proposed crime bills. He noted the recurrence of a heroin epidemic and believed nothing will cure it. He favored locking up all criminals and drug users. 6:23:17 PM PATTI WILLIAMS, SELF, NIKISKI (via teleconference), spoke against HB 49 and urged support for the governor's four crime bills. 6:23:35 PM ELIZABETH HOLT, SELF, PALMER (via teleconference), spoke against HB 49 that was essentially HB 145. She characterized the bill as a watered down version of SB 91. She urged support for the governor's crime bills. She believed that the provisions in HB 145 was similar to SB 91. She suggested that passing the bill would complicate matters and urged support of the governors crime bills. 6:25:10 PM GAIL LIMBAUGH-MOORE, SELF, SOLDOTNA (via teleconference), did not support the bill. She supported the governor's bills. She was tired of crime in the state. She worried about her elderly parents when she had to take them to Anchorage for medical care. She did not know how patient the legislature wanted the public to be when waiting for the elements of SB 91 to work. She stressed that Alaska did not seem safe. She was traveling to Anchorage the following week and she asked someone to accompany her because she was fearful of homeless individuals. She characterized criminal justice reform as a hug-a-thug solution that was not working. She wanted to see SB 91 repealed. 6:27:32 PM JOSEPH ROSS, SELF, NIKISKI (via teleconference), stated that the property crime had gotten out of hand. He detailed that the same perpetrators were repeating the crimes over and over and nothing happened to them. He did not support HB 49. He supported all four of the governor's bills. He did not care about costs or if the state had to build one to three more prisons. He did not care if individuals had to be sent out of state. He urged passage of the governors crime package. 6:28:57 PM SARAHANN JACKSON, SELF, JUNEAU (via teleconference), stated that SB 91 had not been one simple bill, but was a conglomeration of ideas taken from other states. She continued that SB 54 had not fixed the problems with SB 91. She underscored that her home had been violated twice. She had installed surveillance cameras. She wanted to know why the state was not paying for the cameras because crime was making residents the prey. She spoke of the revolving door that kept releasing the criminals back onto the streets. She shared various stories about crime at her house and of individuals that had broken into her car. She noted that one of the individuals was still free. She questioned where her justice was. She thought it was crazy that SB 91 was passed by the legislators and citizens had to tolerate the consequences. She was strongly opposed to the bill. She stressed that citizens had been hurt by SB 91. She read information listing the programs offered at Lemon Creek Correctional Center and was appalled. She spoke against prison programs. 6:33:48 PM ROSE HUBBARD, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke against the bill. She did not feel the crime bill discussion was balanced. She stressed that crime was a touchy subject that affected everyone. She was a reformed drug addict and was a positive influence in working towards helping create a productive community. She did not believe in short-term sentences for habitual offenders, drug traffickers, sexual abuse perpetrators, or sex traffickers should get a break. However, she had compassion for those that rehabilitate and recover. She participated in treatment when she was ready, which she believed was the only way recovery worked. She thought that treatment should be provided in jail. She believed that habitual offenders should be locked away for longer periods of time. She did not think the state should throw away the key when they incarcerated a young person with no prior offenses. She did not believe the bill fixed the problem, but she thought a real solution involved all parties dedicated to a solution. 6:37:48 PM DEBRA HOLLAND, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), testified in support of the governor's crimes bills. She did not support HB 49 and thought it was a diluted version of SB 91. She stressed that crime needed to be stopped. 6:38:34 PM CHRIS HAYES, SELF, KENAI (via teleconference), spoke against HB 49. He was supportive of a full repeal of SB 91. He had never seen crime any worse than it had been - he referenced "opioid zombies" that were disturbing the peace and committing crimes in his community. He believed that all the crime was due to financing drug addiction. He went to the Kenai Police Department once a month or more to report crimes. He noted that the police had a quick response time. He relayed that the officers wanted people to call to report offenses, but the officers felt that the problem was the catch and release system created under SB 91. 6:40:59 PM BETTY BEST, SELF, NIKISKI (via teleconference), spoke against HB 49 and supported a repeal of SB 91. She thought it was time for punishment to fit the crime. 6:41:42 PM LARRY BEST, SELF, NIKISKI (via teleconference), was in favor of the governor's crime bills. He opposed SB 91, which he believed had been non-effective. 6:42:28 PM GARY MCDONALD, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), emphasized the high crime rate in the state. He thought 1,000 prisoners needed to be sent to Arizona to save money. He did not support offering any programs in jail. He stressed that people were very upset. He could not believe the amount of crime. He did not support HB 49. He supported the governor's four crime bills. 6:43:47 PM JOHN LAMBORN, SELF, WASILLA (via teleconference), felt that SB 91 should have been repealed already. He supported the governor's bills. He voiced that the legislature had not done anything the governor had proposed. He supported the governors agenda. 6:44:41 PM CAROLINE LAMBORN, SELF, WASILLA (via teleconference), was opposed to HB 49. She supported the governor's bills. She spoke about the high crime rate in her district and listed her experiences with criminal activity. She noted that officers had to let criminals go due to SB 91. She highlighted that offenders who had been caught had pages of prior offenses - she did not know why they were not going to jail. She was tired of being scared. She implored the legislature to do something about crime. She supported the governor's agenda. 6:46:08 PM ROBERT WALL, SELF, STERLING (via teleconference), did not support HB 49. He thought that the legislature needed to go back to the governor's original bill. Co-Chair Wilson noted that individuals could send testimony in. She CLOSED public testimony. HB 49 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration.
|HB 49 Public Testimony pkt.pdf||
HFIN 5/1/2019 5:00:00 PM