Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120

03/25/2009 01:00 PM House JUDICIARY

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Scheduled But Not Heard
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
HB 170 - REPEAL AUTHORITY FOR DAY FINES                                                                                       
1:14:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  170, "An  Act  repealing the  authority for  day                                                               
1:15:14 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM   WRIGHT,  Staff,   House  Majority   Office,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, explained  on behalf of the  sponsor, Representative                                                               
Mike Chenault, that  HB 170 repeals the authority  granted to the                                                               
Alaska  Court   System  (ACS)  to   charge  "day  fines."     The                                                               
legislation establishing this authority  was enacted in 1994, and                                                               
required the Alaska  Supreme Court to adopt a day-fine  plan.  To                                                               
accomplish this,  the court  created a  committee to  establish a                                                               
fine  schedule based  on the  legislation's  stipulations.   That                                                               
committee found  several problems with adopting  a day-fine plan,                                                               
and  requested legislation  to address  those problems,  but that                                                               
legislation did  not pass.   As a result,  the ACS has  still not                                                               
adopted  a day-fine  schedule,  and since  this  law isn't  being                                                               
used, HB  170 has  been introduced  to clean  up the  statutes by                                                               
repealing this unused law.                                                                                                      
1:18:00 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG  WOOLIVER,  Administrative Attorney,  Administrative  Staff,                                                               
Office  of  the  Administrative  Director,  Alaska  Court  System                                                               
(ACS), concurred that the committee  established by the ACS found                                                               
a  number of  problems such  as a  question of  which misdemeanor                                                               
crimes to  include and which to  exclude, since one of  the goals                                                               
of the original legislation was  to reduce prison overcrowding by                                                               
limiting  the number  of people  incarcerated due  to misdemeanor                                                               
convictions.     There  were  also  problems   in  determining  a                                                               
defendant's income for purposes of  calculating the amount of the                                                               
day fine.   Furthermore, using the guidelines  recommended by the                                                               
legislature, many of  the fines would have been  very, very high,                                                               
and the court was reluctant to  impose such high fines given that                                                               
there were  a lot of  other options available  to the court.   In                                                               
addition,  the  legislation   didn't  provide  for  court-ordered                                                               
treatment.   In other words,  there was  a whole host  of reasons                                                               
why  the ACS  wanted more  legislative direction  before imposing                                                               
day fines, but  that direction never came and so  that statute is                                                               
sitting idle.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  RAMRAS, after  ascertaining  that no  one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 170.                                                                                     
1:21:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report  HB 170 out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 170 was reported  from the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB170 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
02 HB170 Bill version A.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
03 HB170 Letter re Court implementation problems.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
04 HB170 Previous Bills.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
05 HB170 Relevant Statutes.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
06 HB 170 FN CTS.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
07 HB170 FN DOC-3-24-09.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170