Legislature(2015 - 2016)GRUENBERG 120

03/30/2016 01:00 PM House JUDICIARY

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                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 30, 2016                                                                                         
                           1:03 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Wes Keller, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson (alternate)                                                                                           
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL  NO. 205, "An  Act relating to conditions  of release;                                                               
relating to community  work service; relating to  credit toward a                                                               
sentence  of imprisonment  for certain  persons under  electronic                                                               
monitoring;   relating   to   the   restoration   under   certain                                                               
circumstances  of an  administratively revoked  driver's license,                                                               
privilege to drive, or privilege  to obtain a license; allowing a                                                               
reduction  of  penalties  for offenders  successfully  completing                                                               
court-  ordered  treatment  programs  for  persons  convicted  of                                                               
driving  under  the  influence;  relating  to  termination  of  a                                                               
revocation of  a driver's license;  relating to restoration  of a                                                               
driver's  license;  relating  to  credits toward  a  sentence  of                                                               
imprisonment,  to  good time  deductions,  and  to providing  for                                                               
earned  good time  deductions for  prisoners;  relating to  early                                                               
termination  of probation  and reduction  of  probation for  good                                                               
conduct; relating  to the  rights of  crime victims;  relating to                                                               
the disqualification of persons  convicted of certain felony drug                                                               
offenses  from  participation in  the  food  stamp and  temporary                                                               
assistance   programs;  relating   to   probation;  relating   to                                                               
mitigating   factors;   relating   to  treatment   programs   for                                                               
prisoners;  relating  to  the  duties   of  the  commissioner  of                                                               
corrections;  amending   Rule  32,   Alaska  Rules   of  Criminal                                                               
Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
HOUSE BILL NO. 317, "An Act  relating to forfeiture to the state;                                                               
relating to  criminal law; amending Rules  3, 4, 11, 12,  16, 32,                                                               
32.2,  32.3,  39,   39.1,  and  42,  Alaska   Rules  of  Criminal                                                               
Procedure, Rules  501, 801,  and 803,  Alaska Rules  of Evidence,                                                               
and  Rules  202,   209,  and  217,  Alaska   Rules  of  Appellate                                                               
Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
HOUSE BILL NO. 236                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to marriage solemnization."                                                                                    
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 205                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CRIMINAL LAW/PROCEDURE; DRIV LIC; PUB AID                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) MILLETT                                                                                           
04/17/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/17/15       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
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03/14/16       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
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03/16/16       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
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03/18/16       (H)       JUD AT 12:30 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/18/16       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/18/16       (H)       MINUTE (JUD)                                                                                           
03/21/16       (H)       JUD AT 12:30 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/21/16       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/16       (H)       MINUTE (JUD)                                                                                           
03/21/16       (H)       JUD AT 5:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/21/16       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/16       (H)       MINUTE (JUD)                                                                                           
03/22/16       (H)       JUD AT 5:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/22/16       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/22/16       (H)       MINUTE (JUD)                                                                                           
03/23/16       (H)       JUD AT 12:30 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/23/16       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/23/16       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/23/16       (H)       -- Continued from 3/22/16 --                                                                           
03/28/16       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/28/16       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/28/16       (H)       MINUTE (JUD)                                                                                           
03/30/16       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
BILL: HB 317                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FORFEITURE: NO CIVIL IN REM; ONLY CRIMINAL                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WILSON                                                                                            
02/17/16       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/17/16       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/30/16       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
CATHLEEN MCLAUGHLIN, Director                                                                                                   
Partners Reentry Partners Reentry Center                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing of HB 205, discussed                                                                  
BRENDA STANFILL, Commissioner                                                                                                   
Alaska Justice Commission                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing of HB 205, discussed                                                                  
SYLVAN ROBB, Policy Analyst                                                                                                     
Office of Management & Budget (OMB)                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing of HB 205, answered                                                                   
KACI SCHROEDER, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                      
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Legal Services Section                                                                                                          
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing of HB 205, answered                                                                   
questions regarding restitution.                                                                                                
TAMMIE WILSON, Representative                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 317 as prime sponsor.                                                                       
KEVIN FITZGERALD                                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During the hearing of HB  317, testified in                                                             
favor of the bill.                                                                                                              
JOHN SKIDMORE, Director                                                                                                         
Legal Services Section                                                                                                          
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the  hearing of HB 317, testified and                                                             
answered questions.                                                                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:03:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GABRIELLE  LEDOUX  called  the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:03  p.m. Representatives Keller,                                                               
Lynn, Millett,  Claman, Foster,  and LeDoux  were present  at the                                                               
call  to order.    Representative Kreiss-Tomkins  arrived as  the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
        HB 205-CRIMINAL LAW/PROCEDURE; DRIV LIC; PUB AID                                                                    
1:04:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 205, "An  Act relating to conditions  of release;                                                               
relating to community  work service; relating to  credit toward a                                                               
sentence  of imprisonment  for certain  persons under  electronic                                                               
monitoring;   relating   to   the   restoration   under   certain                                                               
circumstances  of an  administratively revoked  driver's license,                                                               
privilege to drive, or privilege  to obtain a license; allowing a                                                               
reduction  of  penalties  for offenders  successfully  completing                                                               
court-  ordered  treatment  programs  for  persons  convicted  of                                                               
driving  under  the  influence;  relating  to  termination  of  a                                                               
revocation of  a driver's license;  relating to restoration  of a                                                               
driver's  license;  relating  to  credits toward  a  sentence  of                                                               
imprisonment,  to  good time  deductions,  and  to providing  for                                                               
earned  good time  deductions for  prisoners;  relating to  early                                                               
termination  of probation  and reduction  of  probation for  good                                                               
conduct; relating  to the  rights of  crime victims;  relating to                                                               
the disqualification of persons  convicted of certain felony drug                                                               
offenses  from  participation in  the  food  stamp and  temporary                                                               
assistance   programs;  relating   to   probation;  relating   to                                                               
mitigating   factors;   relating   to  treatment   programs   for                                                               
prisoners;  relating  to  the  duties   of  the  commissioner  of                                                               
corrections;  amending   Rule  32,   Alaska  Rules   of  Criminal                                                               
Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
[Before  the House  Judiciary Standing  Committee  was CSHB  205,                                                               
labeled 29-LS0896\H, adopted in the 3/14/16 meeting.]                                                                           
CHAIR LEDOUX  advised that the committee  will continue testimony                                                               
regarding reinvestment policies.                                                                                                
1:04:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CATHLEEN MCLAUGHLIN,  Director, Partners Reentry  Center, offered                                                               
to  answer  questions  regarding justice  reinvestment  from  the                                                               
standpoint  of the  Partners Reentry  Center  and holding  people                                                               
accountable.   She  explained that  the center  opened in  August                                                               
2013, and  since that time  it has served 2,992  individuals, and                                                               
since  July 1,  2015 through  March 30,  2016 there  are 943  new                                                               
individuals  in  the program  with  another  222 in  the  program                                                               
previous to  the beginning  of this fiscal  year, and  its budget                                                               
was to serve 500  but due to the need it  will exceed that amount                                                               
by  a long  shot.   She  further explained  the Partners  Reentry                                                               
Center  takes  people  who  would  otherwise  be  homeless.    It                                                               
provides, on a  partnership basis - not  through entitlement, the                                                               
ability  to  obtain  short-term   housing  for  45-60  days,  the                                                               
opportunity  to get  into permanent  placement  housing, and  the                                                               
opportunity  to obtain  employment  or get  back on  Supplemental                                                               
Security Income (SSI)  or other benefits that will  allow them to                                                               
become self-sufficient within 60 days upon release.                                                                             
1:06:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN explained  that as  of this  morning, data  shows                                                               
that its  daily attendance is  between 62-94 people each  day and                                                               
operates as an immediate provider  of services because people are                                                               
served the  day they walk in.   The Partners Reentry  Center asks                                                               
for   the  person's   commitment  to   work  with   them  because                                                               
statistically it has  found that if it can hold  onto people, who                                                               
would otherwise be homeless, to  be in the program one-to-two-to-                                                               
three times  per week they  have a higher likelihood  of success.                                                               
She said it is focused on  issues from the "Boots on the Ground,"                                                               
and  opined   that  several  of  the   House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee members may  have come to the  Partners Reentry Center.                                                               
She related  that the  Partners Reentry  Center does  have enough                                                               
housing with  12 sites  in Anchorage  and enough  beds available,                                                               
but it does  shepherd its resources carefully so it  can serve as                                                               
many people as  necessary while it refers them out  to other more                                                               
long-term reentry programs.   Of the individuals who  were in the                                                               
Partners Reentry  Center's program during the  month of February,                                                               
she  noted, it  had 62  hires for  employment, and  it started  a                                                               
Native reentry group  which is up to 25-30  Native reentrants who                                                               
are goal  driven to advocate for  themselves to go back  to their                                                               
1:08:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN explained  that the  Partners Reentry  Center has                                                               
been using that with a restorative  justice model and its goal is                                                               
to try  to get people back  to more culturally relevant  areas if                                                               
their villages invite them back and  there is not a public safety                                                               
risk.    The reality  with  justice  reinvestment is  that  90-95                                                               
percent of  all people incarcerated  will be released  and rather                                                               
than deny that fact, the  Partners Reentry Center embraces it and                                                               
asks  how  to  be  certain   these  people  have  the  healthiest                                                               
transition if  they don't have  a support  system in place.   She                                                               
pointed  out  that  the   Partners  Reentry  Center  aggressively                                                               
performs  in-reach  and  pre-release   planning  at  all  of  the                                                               
institutions,  and its  highest  volume comes  out  of the  Goose                                                               
Creek,  Palmer, and  Hiland Mountain  Correctional Centers.   She                                                               
said the  "inside and  out program"  was recently  transferred to                                                               
the  Partners  Reentry Center  at  retiring  Justice Dana  Fabe's                                                               
request, and  it will aggressively  follow through at  the Hiland                                                               
Mountain Correctional Center.                                                                                                   
1:09:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN  offered  that the  Partners  Reentry  Center  is                                                               
involved  in the  Vivitrol program  because there  were too  many                                                               
overdoses of  heroin and  the misuse of  alcohol.   She explained                                                               
that it is a no cost event  for the state as the Partners Reentry                                                               
Center is  doing it  without grant  monies.   Vivitrol is  a shot                                                               
version of  the oral Naltrexone  and the  goal is to  get opioid,                                                               
heroin, or  alcohol addicted people  the shot as soon  as release                                                               
is  possible because  it has  been  found that  people with  high                                                               
addiction rates, with those  three substances, usually recidivate                                                               
within the first thirty days, she  explained.  Currently, it is a                                                               
pilot program and the Partners  Reentry Center receives the first                                                               
shot free  of charge, and they  then sign people up  for Medicaid                                                               
in  order that  the second  through fourth  shots are  paid under                                                               
Medicaid.  As of today,  she advised, the Partners Reentry Center                                                               
has 49 people in that program,  28 of which accepted Vivitrol, of                                                               
those  28, 4  have recidivated.   She  continued that  of the  21                                                               
people declining  Vivitrol, 19  have been  re-incarcerated within                                                               
the first  30 days of release,  and of the two  individuals still                                                               
out  there is  a warrant  for  one for  failure to  report.   The                                                               
Partners Reentry  Center is using  that as an opportunity  to try                                                               
to deal  with the heroin,  opioid, and alcohol  addiction issues,                                                               
and  is working  with the  Matanuska-Susitna Valley  to determine                                                               
whether  the Vivitrol  program can  be expanded  into that  area.                                                               
She noted  there are  many peer groups  and the  Partners Reentry                                                               
Center's goal is simple "if you  touch people who are coming back                                                               
into  society  after  whatever  length of  stay  that  they  have                                                               
incarcerated,  you  give  them  a   sense  of  hope,  a  positive                                                               
attitude, and a path, they  have a higher likelihood of success."                                                               
The Partners Reentry  Center would like to  see other communities                                                               
around  the state  have  an  opportunity to  offer  this type  of                                                               
program  in their  local areas,  thereby, allowing  people to  go                                                               
home, to  have some  restorative justice  and healing  within the                                                               
communities, she said.                                                                                                          
1:12:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  asked the  total of the  Partners Reentry                                                               
Center's budget, including  the staff levels.   She further asked                                                               
if  this  bill  were  to  pass  with  the  reinvestment  how  she                                                               
anticipates  the  Partners  Reentry  Center's build  up  time  to                                                               
increase care for the influx of people.                                                                                         
MS. MCLAUGHLIN answered that she  is committed to being available                                                               
to anyone  who would  otherwise be homeless,  coming out  of jail                                                               
with  a  felony or  misdemeanor  with  an Alaska  Alcohol  Safety                                                               
Action  Program  (ASAP) or  treatment  component.   The  Partners                                                               
Reentry Center has  been able to give these  services to everyone                                                               
qualifying under those  two requirements.  Their  budget for FY16                                                               
was $550,000  and it was enhanced  by an AHFCB half  of $146,000.                                                               
There are six  staff working full time and she  commented that it                                                               
is understaffed  and needs to  be better staffed to  perform real                                                               
time data  entry and  real time services  because it  cannot have                                                               
people wait.   She pointed  out that  if people are  homeless the                                                               
people who fail are the  people the Partners Reentry Center can't                                                               
pass  off on  a quick  referral to  substance abuse  treatment or                                                               
mental  health  treatment  and; therefore,  it  is  committed  to                                                               
serving  people the  day they  walk through  the door.   Together                                                               
with the six  staff, she explained, there are  five practicum UAA                                                               
students  that  the  Partners  Reentry   Center  hosts,  and  one                                                               
(indisc.)  trainee through  the Department  of Labor  & Workforce                                                               
Development  (DLWD) who  was a  successful reentrant  and is  now                                                               
paid  through  the  DLWD  and staffed  at  the  Partners  Reentry                                                               
Center.   She explained that  it also collaborates with  the Cook                                                               
Inlet Tribal  Council (CITC) to have  substance abuse assessments                                                               
completed  the week  people release,  "so they  come over  and do                                                               
that,"  and the  Partners Reentry  Center borrows  from CITC  for                                                               
that purpose.                                                                                                                   
1:15:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN related that the  model Partners Reentry Center is                                                               
using is  that it is  the hub in  that a  person comes in  and is                                                               
referred out as quickly as possible  or gets people signed up for                                                               
Medicaid and PFDs.   She stated that  Commissioner Dean Williams,                                                               
Department of  Corrections (DOC)  wanted to  be certain  that was                                                               
being done.   The Partners Reentry Center  also collaborates with                                                               
all other entities and performs  quick referrals within the first                                                               
thirty days  of release.  In  response to how long  it would take                                                               
to ramp  up for additional  people she  answered that due  to the                                                               
model,  which  is  participant  centered,  the  Partners  Reentry                                                               
Center does  need more  staff without question,  but it  will not                                                               
turn someone away because it  is understaffed.  She remarked that                                                               
the Partners  Reentry Center's  ask has  been $685,000  for FY17,                                                               
which would include one additional staff member.                                                                                
1:16:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  asked where  clients go to  receive their                                                               
shots  when  volunteering  to  go   through  the  long-term  shot                                                               
program, and who is administering the shots.                                                                                    
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN  responded that  it  is  done two  ways:  through                                                               
myHealth Clinic with  a health practitioner working  on her Ph.D.                                                               
for medically  assisted treatment  and she provides  the majority                                                               
of  the shots;  and the  Alaska Native  Medical Partners  Reentry                                                               
Center.  She  reiterated that the shots begin the  day people are                                                               
released from jail.                                                                                                             
MS. MCLAUGHLIN, in response to  Representative Lynn, advised that                                                               
myHealth Clinic is on Abbott in South Anchorage.                                                                                
1:18:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked Ms. McLaughlin to explain the shots.                                                                         
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN responded  that the  Vivitrol shot  is a  sensory                                                               
limiter wherein if  someone attempted to use  alcohol, heroin, or                                                               
an opioid  they would not have  any kind of enhanced  effect.  It                                                               
doesn't make a person sick, it  just stops the sensory benefits a                                                               
person  would think  they would  receive from  those drugs.   The                                                               
shot is given  in the buttock every 28 days,  and the recommended                                                               
expectation for  the use  of the  shot is  six to  twelve months,                                                               
although it depends upon the  individuals.  For example, when she                                                               
travels  to Hiland  Mountain Correctional  Center  she will  tell                                                               
individuals who  have found  themselves rearrested  several times                                                               
because  of opioid,  heroin,  or  alcohol use,  if  they want  to                                                               
partner with the  Partner Reentry Center when  released they will                                                               
have a  shot ready the day  of release, and it  will make certain                                                               
the person  gets to myHealth Clinic  and receives the shot.   She                                                               
explained that  in tandem  with the shot,  it also  mandates that                                                               
people  have behavioral  treatment component,  such as  substance                                                               
abuse counseling,  or Moral Reconation  Therapy (MRT),  or attend                                                               
peer-to-peer groups because the shot  will only get the person so                                                               
far in stopping  physical cravings for these drugs.   She pointed                                                               
out that  unless the underlying reason  for the use of  the drugs                                                               
or alcohol  is determined,  the program  will not  be sustaining.                                                               
She opined that  the actual compound within Vivitrol  is the same                                                               
as  Naltrexone and  Norcan,  which is  the drug  used  to try  to                                                               
reverse an overdose.                                                                                                            
1:20:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked about Antabuse.                                                                                              
MS. MCLAUGHLIN explained  that this is not  like Antabuse because                                                               
it does  not make  a person  sick, it just  causes the  person to                                                               
stop  craving  the  desire  for  those  drugs  themselves.    For                                                               
example,  she  related  they  have an  individual  who  was  very                                                               
addicted to  Suboxone and  heroin, and  is on  his third  shot of                                                               
Vivitrol.  He advised her that  previously when he saw a Suboxone                                                               
pill he  would sweat and  anxiously hope  he could get  that pill                                                               
into his body, and a Suboxone  pill on the street is usually $80.                                                               
She said  he related that due  to the shot he  is fully employed,                                                               
paying rent,  and when  triggered in  that manner  it has  had no                                                               
effect on him  because he is not  craving it.  Vivitrol  is not a                                                               
drug  that causes  addiction; therefore,  if a  person stops  the                                                               
shots there  is no withdrawal  although the cravings  will return                                                               
unless the person has learned how to address them.                                                                              
CHAIR LEDOUX  asked whether she meant  the psychological cravings                                                               
will return.                                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  agreed and said  the psychological  cravings will                                                               
return and  basically the  shot tries  to give  the brain  a rest                                                               
from the drugs so it can start retooling itself.                                                                                
1:21:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked whether it eliminates physical cravings.                                                                     
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said correct, in that  it is a sensory blocker and                                                               
if  a person  tried to  drink on  Vivitrol the  person would  not                                                               
become intoxicated because it blocks those senses.                                                                              
CHAIR LEDOUX  asked whether  it would  work to  ease the  pain of                                                               
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  answered no, it  will put the  person immediately                                                               
into withdrawal.   With alcohol, she said, the shot  can be given                                                               
within two  to three days of  someone using alcohol.   While with                                                               
heroin, the person  must be free of heroin in  their system so it                                                               
requires an  approximate seven day  to ten  day wait in  order to                                                               
take  the  shot.   That  is  why,  within  their program,  it  is                                                               
imperative that  the shot is  given the day upon  release because                                                               
there  would  not be  an  opportunity  to  go  out and  use,  she                                                               
1:23:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER surmised that  the shots without the backup                                                               
treatments offer disappointing results.   He asked her to explain                                                               
MRT and peer  groups because he would like to  know whether there                                                               
are plenty of  services working with individuals  to retool their                                                               
life  patterns  and  replace  the   vacancy  left  there  by  the                                                               
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  replied that Representative Keller  is absolutely                                                               
correct, unless  a person gets  into the underlying  reasons, the                                                               
point  of failure  for Vivitrol  is after  a person  stops taking                                                               
Vivitrol  and the  cravings return,  and  if the  person has  not                                                               
determined  the source  of  the  cravings they  will  go back  to                                                               
using.   She  stressed it  is  key that  the behavior  management                                                               
component  is  included.   The  Partners  Reentry Center  has  an                                                               
individual, Robert  Champion, MRT  Facilitator at  the McLaughlin                                                               
Youth Center,  who offers groups  at the Partners  Reentry Center                                                               
filled with individuals on Vivitrol  so they have the capacity to                                                               
do it,  she said.   She  related that  she likes  MRT as  a model                                                               
because  it is  12 weeks  to 16  weeks that  gets into  cognitive                                                               
behavioral changes,  and for some  people that works.   She noted                                                               
individuals with  jobs, who have a  life, and are doing  okay but                                                               
cannot dedicate a tremendous amount  of time to a substance abuse                                                               
intensive treatment  program.  She  said they  offer peer-to-peer                                                               
group three times  a week, they also partner with  the Cook Inlet                                                               
Tribal  Council, and  the Anchorage  Native  Justice Centers  for                                                               
their  men's  and   women's  groups.    She   explained  that  if                                                               
individuals are over-programmed  and are required to  do too many                                                               
things, they are  being set up to fail.   Therefore, the Partners                                                               
Reentry Center is trying to give  people tools to move forward in                                                               
a healthy manner but not  over-programming them to the point they                                                               
have to decide whether to live  homeless or without food in order                                                               
to pay  for their substance abuse  treatment.  She said  she does                                                               
not want to be disrespectful  to any substance abuse programs but                                                               
the wait  lists and the  delay in getting assessments  is causing                                                               
people to fail before getting into the programs.                                                                                
1:27:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked whether the Partners  Reentry Center                                                               
has been around long enough to  accumulate data as to its success                                                               
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN advised  that Partners  for  Reentry started  the                                                               
program during second  week of September, and  she reiterated the                                                               
information   regarding  the   49   individuals  she   previously                                                               
explained.    They  have  looked at  other  programs  to  compare                                                               
themselves  to  and  they  have  not  found  any  programs  being                                                               
conducted in this  manner.  Although, Arizona  asked the Partners                                                               
Reentry  Center to  assist with  a  pilot program  that would  be                                                               
modeled after what is being done  in Alaska because it is showing                                                               
some promising results at this point.   She stated she is hopeful                                                               
that  with  the  benefit  of  Jill  Green,  health  practitioner,                                                               
performing the  injections and  working on  her thesis  that they                                                               
will acquire more  data.  The Partners Reentry Center  has a real                                                               
time data  base and every time  something happens it is  put into                                                               
their system  immediately, track  it, and perform  more analysis,                                                               
such as who  were these people, what was their  intensity of drug                                                               
usage, how many  times did they violate or have  new charges, and                                                               
she related that they will be able to do that but not yet.                                                                      
1:29:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN commented  that  her patrons  live all  over                                                               
town and ask how they typically get to the facility.                                                                            
MS. MCLAUGHLIN answered that Partners  for Reentry facility is at                                                               
419 Barrow  Street, and myHealth  Clinic for the  shot injections                                                               
is located off of Abbott.                                                                                                       
1:30:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN reiterated  his question  and asked  how the                                                               
patrons typically get to the facility.                                                                                          
MS. MCLAUGHLIN explained  that the bus goes right  there and they                                                               
ask them  to take  the bus but  if there is  any hesitancy  or if                                                               
they  are not  from Anchorage,  the Partners  Reentry Center  has                                                               
taxi vouchers that will allow them  to get to the facility to get                                                               
their shot and have them take a bus back to their housing.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN asked who pays for the shot.                                                                                
MS. MCLAUGHLIN related  that their patients are  homeless with no                                                               
money and  it paid by asking  the drug manufacturer to  give them                                                               
the first shot free  and they have been willing to  do that.  She                                                               
reiterated that the first shot is  free and they then sign people                                                               
up  immediately  for  Medicaid  if  Medicaid  eligible,  and  the                                                               
remaining shots are paid through Medicaid.                                                                                      
1:31:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT referred  to her  statement that  another                                                               
place for shots was the  Alaska Native Medical Center and assumed                                                               
it pays for the shots for their clients and back-bill Medicaid.                                                                 
MS. MCLAUGHLIN answered in the affirmative.                                                                                     
CHAIR LEDOUX  thanked her for  testifying and noted that  she had                                                               
been  to  the Partners  Reentry  Center  and  expressed it  is  a                                                               
phenomenal program.                                                                                                             
1:33:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN referred a  question to Brenda Stanfill and                                                               
asked  how   this  bill  will   improve  the  lot   for  victims.                                                               
Obviously, he  said, a target is  that there will be  a reduction                                                               
in the  crime rate  and the  best thing victims  will see  is not                                                               
being a victim.                                                                                                                 
1:34:12 PM                                                                                                                    
BRENDA  STANFILL, Commissioner,  Alaska Justice  Commission, said                                                               
she  has put  a lot  of thought  into that  question in  terms of                                                               
looking  at this  as each  victim of  crime versus  looking at  a                                                               
bigger picture  of Alaska in  that "we're all in  this together."                                                               
She related  that this is  only the  first building block  and in                                                               
moving forward  and reviewing these  specific bills, this  is the                                                               
first year  of the commission  working fully through to  set what                                                               
she considers to be a foundation.   It is known that changes have                                                               
to be made  in the state's criminal justice  system and initially                                                               
the  commission,  in  attempting  to determine  who  the  current                                                               
system  worked  for, went  around  the  table and  realized  that                                                               
victims, offenders,  judges, and defense and  prosecution are not                                                               
happy.   The commission  then tried to  create something  that is                                                               
actually working by  looking at the victims as being  part of the                                                               
process.  She noted some push  back on pretrial and said that, to                                                               
her,  pretrial  means the  state  will  do  the upfront  work  to                                                               
determine  how to  hear  victims' voices  and  complete the  risk                                                               
assessments.  If a judge is  expected to release someone on their                                                               
own recognizance,  she opined that  the judge will  listen closer                                                               
to a  victim's voice and  be certain  restraints are in  place to                                                               
keep the  victim and public  safe rather than just  ordering $500                                                               
bail  and no  contact with  the  victim.    She  related that  in                                                               
having a  Pretrial Services Office  the state can speak  with the                                                               
victim to uncover  more information for the  risk assessment, and                                                               
begin to consider  whether this defendant could  have a suspended                                                               
entry of judgment, which is  a totally different concept than the                                                               
current process.  She offered a  scenario of a 19 year old making                                                               
a  dumb mistake  by vandalizing  someone's property  or something                                                               
within a  group of peers, and  now there is a  high dollar crime,                                                               
and said  that pretrial  services can take  the time  to possibly                                                               
determine that  this is a  youthful offender and the  state could                                                               
order  one  year  to  pay  the victim  back  for  their  damages,                                                               
including community work  service, and if they do it  in one year                                                               
they do not have a record.   Consequently, she pointed out that a                                                               
huge hole  has not been dug  for the 19  year old to have  to dig                                                               
out of to make the victim whole.                                                                                                
1:37:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. STANFILL  said the bill may  be taking away some  prison time                                                               
but it is known that prison  is not changing people, and while it                                                               
may  make the  public  feel better  because  their punishment  is                                                               
jail.  She  commented that when speaking with  most people living                                                               
a portion  of their lives  in jail they will  say it's not  a bad                                                               
place to  be, because Alaska  does not have  uncomfortable jails.                                                               
She stated  that the state  would like  to get the  people before                                                               
jail  is a  part of  their  system and  that there  may be  other                                                               
options besides jail to use as  a punishment.  She then commented                                                               
that  the  state  could  look   at  holistic  ways  in  terms  of                                                               
restorative  justice  because  victims  are not  being  put  back                                                               
intact, and sometimes the crime is  so horrendous there is no way                                                               
the  victim can  be put  back  intact, and  what can  be done  to                                                               
provide  more support  services  in that  situation.   Currently,                                                               
$360  million is  put into  the Department  of Corrections  (DOC)                                                               
verses  approximately $15  million  for victims'  services.   The                                                               
state needs to get to the point  that it is spending as much time                                                               
focusing on victims and their health  and making them whole as it                                                               
is on the DOC, she related.                                                                                                     
1:39:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN noted  that he has been in  jail many times                                                               
professionally and  commented that each  time he goes in  he does                                                               
not have the  thought that he wants to be  there.  Although, some                                                               
people may feel  it is better than  life on the streets,  it is a                                                               
miserable place  to be and  the public  doesn't want to  be there                                                               
either, he remarked.                                                                                                            
CHAIR LEDOUX  referred to Ms.  Stanfill's statement that  jail is                                                               
not  an uncomfortable  place in  relationship to  punishment, and                                                               
she  expressed   that  some  crimes  society   needs  to  punish.                                                               
Possibly  this  is  not  the  politically  correct  comment,  she                                                               
remarked, but maybe it should be an uncomfortable place.                                                                        
MS. STANFILL  noted that  she shares in  those thoughts  and jail                                                               
does limit  freedom and certain  things.  Meanwhile,  victims are                                                               
doing  everything they  can to  have a  place to  live after  the                                                               
person paying  child support is  now incarcerated,  including how                                                               
to pay  the bills.   At  the same  time, the  person in  jail has                                                               
three square  meals, a place  to sleep,  and it's nice  and warm,                                                               
and  they  are not  sharing  a  bed  with  their children.    She                                                               
explained that when  she says jail is not bad,  she means that in                                                               
the way  of Alcatraz and the  movies and opined that  is not what                                                               
Alaskan  jails are.   Interestingly,  the Fairbanks  Correctional                                                               
Center's statistics are flat until  October through March because                                                               
people are  cold.  The  hope is to  get that person  warm without                                                               
committing a  crime, she  said.  Currently,  the state  can't get                                                               
ahead of  it enough  to focus  on it because  all of  the state's                                                               
resources are sucked into paying those hard bed dollars.                                                                        
1:42:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  surmised that when  she comments the jails  are not                                                               
that uncomfortable, she  is comparing it to  the movie, "Midnight                                                               
1:42:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  offered the old  saying for a lot  of people                                                               
not  leading a  successful  life, "three  hots and  a  cot."   He                                                               
commented that  at one time  prisons were  called penitentiaries,                                                               
which  is  where   penance  comes  from,  being   punished  at  a                                                               
penitentiary  and  paying  penance.   Currently,  the  state  has                                                               
morphed into correctional centers as  it is not trying to punish,                                                               
but rather to  correct.  He said there should  be some punishment                                                               
element and not  just to correct, such that  parents punish their                                                               
children by  taking away  the car  keys.   He remarked  that jail                                                               
should not be comfortable, although,  on the other hand it should                                                               
be a  safe place.   He  reiterated that the  bill is  changing it                                                               
from penitentiary with penance to corrections.                                                                                  
MS.  STANFILL related  that quite  a few  young men  in both  the                                                               
House of  Representatives and the Senate  committee meetings have                                                               
testified to the  changes they were able to  make after receiving                                                               
intensive  treatment while  in jail.   Unfortunately,  she noted,                                                               
the intensive  treatment piece  is missing  because it  was taken                                                               
away  and  that intensive  treatment  was  a  key part  of  their                                                               
testimonies.    The corrections  portion  needs  to be  put  back                                                               
because, currently,  the state is  just looking at  the penalties                                                               
and it  doesn't have the systems  and processes in place  to make                                                               
the corrections, she stressed.                                                                                                  
1:45:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER referred  to  tying in  the importance  of                                                               
jobs for  inmates because  if they  do have a  job they  have the                                                               
opportunity to  pay restitution  and continue  to care  for those                                                               
depending upon  them.   The plan of  the Alaska  Criminal Justice                                                               
Commission for  the future is to  take away some of  the barriers                                                               
to employment.   Also, the concept is to make  sure people locked                                                               
up  don't just  sit around,  but that  there actually  is a  work                                                               
penalty  or reward,  and that  element must  be built  in if  the                                                               
system is to reform, he opined.                                                                                                 
1:47:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SYLVAN  ROBB,  Policy  Analyst, Office  of  Management  &  Budget                                                               
(OMB), said she is available to answer questions.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  reminded  Ms.  Robb  that  the  committee                                                               
requested an  idea of the  savings from this bill  independent of                                                               
the governor's separate cuts.                                                                                                   
MS. ROBB  answered that when  taking out the $8  million Governor                                                               
Bill Walker's reduction,  the five year savings  from the reforms                                                               
included in  this bill are  $11 million,  which would be  the net                                                               
savings after reinvestment.                                                                                                     
MS.  ROBB, in  response to  Representative Claman,  answered that                                                               
the net savings  would be for five  years.  She added  that it is                                                               
worth  noting that  the Department  of  Corrections' budget  will                                                               
still be  reduced by an  additional $40 million during  that time                                                               
CHAIR  LEDOUX surmised  that the  $40 million  has nothing  to do                                                               
with this bill.                                                                                                                 
MS. ROBB responded that Chair LeDoux is correct.                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX asked why it is being discussed here.                                                                              
MS.  ROBB opined  that she  wanted to  clarify those  numbers and                                                               
that  the  Department  of  Corrections   will  have  that  budget                                                               
reduction.  She  related that Chair LeDoux is correct  in that it                                                               
is not part of  this, so the net savings over  five years from HB
205 is $11 million.                                                                                                             
1:49:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT   advised  that  she  has   requested  an                                                               
opportunity  to  speak  with  Governor Walker  about  HB  205  to                                                               
determine whether  he supports,  is neutral, or  is out  of favor                                                               
with the commission's recommendations and the bill.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked Kaci  Schroeder to give the committee                                                               
a  description  of  the  current   restitution  system,  and  the                                                               
measures  in place  for  a victim  experiencing  $1,500 worth  of                                                               
property stolen.                                                                                                                
1:51:30 PM                                                                                                                    
KACI  SCHROEDER, Assistant  Attorney General,  Criminal Division,                                                               
Legal  Services Section,  Department of  Law, said  that Alaska's                                                               
current  restitution statutes  are  fairly robust  in  that if  a                                                               
victim of a crime is entitled  to restitution it is something the                                                               
prosecutors  frequently seek.   The  restitution is  incorporated                                                               
into the  plea negotiations  and the  prosecution seeks  it after                                                               
trial as part  of sentencing.  They ask that  judges make it both                                                               
a  part  of  their  sentence  and  their  probation,  and  it  is                                                               
important to  note that restitution is  a civil order so  it does                                                               
extend  beyond  the  life  of  the  criminal  case.    After  the                                                               
restitution order is made, if the  victims choose they can try to                                                               
collect  on their  own  or ask  the Department  of  Law (DOL)  to                                                               
assist.   She offered that  DOL has a collections  unit dedicated                                                               
to   collecting  restitution   and  child   support  collections.                                                               
Unfortunately, DOL does not have  an attorney dedicated solely to                                                               
collections,  but  the  collections unit  focuses  on  garnishing                                                               
PFDs.   Although,  it  does have  other  avenues for  collections                                                               
available to  them; however, in  its experience  garnishing wages                                                               
or  bank  sweeps  are  not  particularly  helpful  because  often                                                               
probationers do not  have steady employment and don't  make a lot                                                               
of money so  getting restitution piecemeal sometimes  is not that                                                               
effective.  The PFD offers a  way to one-time collect a large sum                                                               
of  money  and  the  unit  also  takes  voluntary  payments  from                                                               
probationers who are paying.                                                                                                    
1:53:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked how much  money the Department of Law                                                               
collected in 2015 for restitution.                                                                                              
MS. SCHROEDER  advised that the  collections unit  collected just                                                               
under $2.8 million,  and it currently has  8,000 open restitution                                                               
1:53:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN referred to  people on probation and parole                                                               
and asked  whether it is  a condition of  all of those  people to                                                               
make restitution payments as a condition of their probation.                                                                    
MS.  SCHROEDER  reiterated  that  the  Department  of  Law  seeks                                                               
restitution  both as  a term  of the  sentence and  as a  term of                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  asked the  order in which  restitution is                                                               
MS.  SCHROEDER   responded  that  child  support   is  first  and                                                               
restitution is second.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT surmised  that child  support garnishment                                                               
would  continue  through completion  of  the  back child  support                                                               
being paid, and  in the meantime the victim's  portion would wait                                                               
until the  back child  support is paid  and the  restitution then                                                               
goes to the victim.  She asked how often that happens.                                                                          
1:55:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SCHROEDER  asked  Representative   Millett  to  clarify  her                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  said  that   the  civil  liability  goes                                                               
throughout the  life of the person,  and asked how long  it takes                                                               
to  get the  checks into  the hands  of the  victims after  child                                                               
support is paid.                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHROEDER  responded  that  it would  be  difficult  to  say                                                               
because  child support  payments vary  in their  amounts and  the                                                               
order  may stipulate  how much  money  to take  and leaving  some                                                               
money DOL could collect for restitution.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT asked  whether Ms.  Schroeder had  charts                                                               
depicting how  many years out  some victims  receive restitution.                                                               
She referred  to the order in  which restitution is paid  in that                                                               
victims are  second, acknowledging  the need  for the  payment of                                                               
back child  support.  She related  the need to balance  that with                                                               
the  victims who  sometimes don't  receive restitution  for 10-15                                                               
MS. SCHROEDER responded that she  spoke with the lead attorney in                                                               
the  collections  unit  and  they  do not  track  the  amount  of                                                               
restitution owed versus how much has  been paid per order.  It is                                                               
difficult to  say how  long victims  wait, although,  she offered                                                               
that they can wait an exceeding  long time and often they are not                                                               
paid at all.                                                                                                                    
1:56:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  opined that the  data she is  looking for                                                               
is not tracked, and asked  whether anyone tracks that information                                                               
other than the Department of Law.                                                                                               
MS.  SCHROEDER  said she  does  not  know  anyone that  would  be                                                               
tracking that information, and that  the collections unit is very                                                               
small and it  is overwhelmed with its workload which  can be part                                                               
of the reason for not tracking.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  said that  possibly restitution  could be                                                               
restructured wherein  at the same  time the arrears in  the child                                                               
support  are being  paid, the  victims are  also recognized  with                                                               
some portion  of restitution during  the time PFDs and  wages are                                                               
CHAIR LEDOUX commented that  she understands where Representative                                                               
Millett is coming from but  the child support arrears are usually                                                               
done  when  someone is  on  public  assistance within  the  child                                                               
support  enforcement  agency.   Therefore,  when  collecting  for                                                               
child  support, the  state  is actually  collecting  not for  the                                                               
children  anymore because  the  children have  been  paid by  the                                                               
state,   but  collecting   for  the   state  to   [repay]  public                                                               
assistance.  She pointed out  that if the state ceases collecting                                                               
as much  money for  the state  it will be  more expensive  to the                                                               
state.    That  is  not saying  that  the  legislature  shouldn't                                                               
necessarily be  doing it that way  but, she opined, it  will have                                                               
some fiscal impact on the state.                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER  responded that  Chair LeDoux  is correct,  that is                                                               
one of the reasons PFDs  are garnished for child support payment,                                                               
and opined there  are probably other ways but that  is outside of                                                               
her knowledge base.                                                                                                             
2:00:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER pointed  out that the committee  is told on                                                               
the one  hand that  Alaska has the  most robust  restitution laws                                                               
around and  yet the total  amount of money victims  have received                                                               
is unknown.  He then asked  for the total restitution compared to                                                               
the amount  of money  collected because  "certainly" that  can be                                                               
determined.   He said he assumes  the courts keep records  of the                                                               
restitution  orders   which  will  provide  a   total  amount  of                                                               
restitution, and then  DOL handles the collection  so that should                                                               
be an easy  comparison and he would  like to see the  number.  He                                                               
pointed to  the question  of where the  collected money  goes and                                                               
how much goes to  the state and how much to  victims and said the                                                               
committee  has  to  get  to  the bottom  of  this  and  start  by                                                               
comparing how the state is doing on restitution.                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER opined  that she does not know whether  DOL has the                                                               
numbers as  to the  amount the  outstanding judgments  total, but                                                               
she will ask.  She further  opined that she does not know whether                                                               
the  court system  tracks that  information, and  noted that  the                                                               
Department of Law (DOL) does  not execute every restitution order                                                               
because sometimes victims take it  into their hands to execute on                                                               
the order.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  referred to the priority  of child support                                                               
over restitution and  surmised it would be applied if  there is a                                                               
levy made on a PFD.                                                                                                             
MS. SCHROEDER said he was correct,  and the priority order is for                                                               
PFD garnishments.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN offered  a  scenario of  someone being  on                                                               
probation  or parole  and part  of  their condition  is that  the                                                               
person must  write $100 for restitution  once a month, and  get a                                                               
receipt.   He described that as  a voluntary payment and  even if                                                               
that person owes  child support if the probation  officer says he                                                               
doesn't care about  the child support, the person  still needs to                                                               
pay the restitution.                                                                                                            
MS. SCHROEDER answered that he was correct.                                                                                     
2:03:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked whether  she knew the differentiation                                                               
between the amounts collected through  levies from the PFD versus                                                               
amounts collected for restitution in voluntary payments.                                                                        
MS. SCHROEDER answered  that she does not have that  data but she                                                               
would check on it.                                                                                                              
2:03:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  asked whether  she had any  suggestions as  to what                                                               
the  committee   could  actually  do   to  beef  up   the  robust                                                               
restitution system because if people  are waiting 10-15 years for                                                               
their money it  may not necessarily be working.   She said she is                                                               
aware that "you can't squeeze money out of a rock ... a turnip."                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER  agreed, and offered  that an issue is  that people                                                               
do not make a lot of  money and sometimes restitution is in large                                                               
amounts.  She offered  that she does not have a  lot of ideas but                                                               
DOL would  evaluate any ideas  the committee offers  to determine                                                               
how it would  work.  As far  as a robust system,  she opined that                                                               
Alaska has  a robust  system as  far as being  able to  order and                                                               
obtain  judgments that  order  restitution,  and the  collections                                                               
issue may not be as robust.                                                                                                     
[HB 205 was held over.]                                                                                                         
       HB 317-FORFEITURE: NO CIVIL IN REM; ONLY CRIMINAL                                                                    
2:05:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 317, "An Act  relating to forfeiture to the state;                                                               
relating to  criminal law; amending Rules  3, 4, 11, 12,  16, 32,                                                               
32.2,  32.3,  39,   39.1,  and  42,  Alaska   Rules  of  Criminal                                                               
Procedure, Rules  501, 801,  and 803,  Alaska Rules  of Evidence,                                                               
and Rules 202, 209, and 217, Alaska Rules of Appellate                                                                          
Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
2:05:15 PM                                                                                                                    
TAMMIE WILSON, Representative, Alaska State Legislature,                                                                        
paraphrased   the    following   sponsor    statement   [original                                                               
punctuation provided] as follows:                                                                                               
     House Bill 317 protects  the private property rights of                                                                    
     innocent  citizens by  requiring that  Alaska's revered                                                                    
     and   dedicated  law   enforcement  agencies,   convict                                                                    
     individuals  of  a  crime  before  permanently  seizing                                                                    
     private  property.   Alaska's "civil  asset forfeiture"                                                                    
     laws have  been reported to  be among the worst  in the                                                                    
     country,  allowing private  property to  be permanently                                                                    
     taken  from individuals  suspected of  crimes, even  if                                                                    
     they are never charged, much less found guilty.                                                                            
     Across  the nation,  civil asset  forfeiture laws  have                                                                    
     gained notoriety in recent years  for rampant abuse and                                                                    
     deliberate   circumvention   of  due   process.   Well-                                                                    
     documented cases of policing  for profit have sparked a                                                                    
     wave  of  reform  nationwide.   In  Alaska,  local  law                                                                    
     enforcement only  need to show probable  cause to seize                                                                    
     property.   Failure  to challenge  a  seizure within  a                                                                    
     given timeframe  results in an automatic  and permanent                                                                    
     forfeiture.  These   problems  are  compounded   by  an                                                                    
     incentive  for  law enforcement  to  seize  as much  as                                                                    
     possible, since 75-100% of  the revenues generated from                                                                    
     civil  forfeitures  flow  back  to  the  local  agency.                                                                    
     Moreover,   there  is   no   requirement  that   Alaska                                                                    
     authorities   collect   or   report   data   on   their                                                                    
     While assets may be  reclaimed, civil asset forfeitures                                                                    
     places  the   burden  on   individuals  to   fight  the                                                                    
     bureaucracy to prove that their  assets were not gotten                                                                    
     through  ill means,  or that  they did  not consent  to                                                                    
     using  their property  for an  illegal purpose.   Civil                                                                    
     cases do not provide for  free legal assistance, so for                                                                    
     individuals that cannot  afford private representation,                                                                    
     the process  is intimidating at best,  and ill-fated at                                                                    
     worst.   HB  317 would  require that  an individual  be                                                                    
     convicted   of  an   actual  crime   before  forfeiture                                                                    
     proceedings   can  take   place,   and  would   protect                                                                    
     guiltless  spouses  and  family members  from  property                                                                    
     loss as  a result of  the process. The bill  would also                                                                    
     impose transparency and  accountability for civil asset                                                                    
     seizures and reduce financial  incentives for abuse, by                                                                    
     providing that  any revenues that  do flow back  to the                                                                    
     state  as  a  result of  federalized  proceedings,  are                                                                    
     deposited in the General Fund.                                                                                             
     This  bill  reaffirms  our   confidence  in  local  law                                                                    
     enforcement,  as  well  as the  most  basic  tenets  of                                                                    
     Constitutional  law  and  values.  Convicted  criminals                                                                    
     will still  see the  fruits of their  crime confiscated                                                                    
     by  the  state, but  innocent  Alaskans  can rest  easy                                                                    
     knowing  they will  no longer  be deprived  of property                                                                    
     without due process.                                                                                                       
2:09:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON said  the bill asks that "if  you are going                                                               
to  take something  until someone  has  their day  in court,  you                                                               
should take good care of it.   I would have already expected that                                                               
to have  happened."   She referred  to the  fiscal note  from the                                                               
Department of Public Safety (DPS)  and read as follows:  "Passage                                                               
of  this bill  could  potentially increase  costs  to the  Alaska                                                               
Wildlife  Troopers with  respect to  managing illegal  taken fish                                                               
and game  statewide."  She said  it is not illegal  until someone                                                               
has their  day in court and  until they are proven  guilty "we do                                                               
expect you  to take care  of things."   She then referred  to the                                                               
Department  of  Law's (DOL)  fiscal  note  in  the amount  of  $2                                                               
million,  which   stated  it   would  require   eight  additional                                                               
attorneys  and  eight  assistants  for each  attorney.    If  the                                                               
department needs  eight additional attorneys, she  asked how much                                                               
is being taken  from Alaskans, who is receiving it,  and where is                                                               
it  going.    She  explained  that the  bill  does  four  things:                                                               
criminal  conviction  before  forfeiture, provides  a  consistent                                                               
overall  process for  forfeiture, a  transparent accounting,  and                                                               
revenues  for  forfeiture  will  go   to  general  fund  and  not                                                               
necessarily to the  agencies deciding whether or not  they get to                                                               
keep it.                                                                                                                        
2:11:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX asked  whether there  is  anyone seriously  against                                                               
this bill, but the question was answered by the fiscal notes.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  related  that  the  commissioner  of  the                                                               
Department of  Public Safety (DPS)  advised that he did  not like                                                               
the bill, and  the representatives from DOL and  the Alaska Court                                                               
System have discussed their issues  and they are working on them.                                                               
She further related that this is  good for Alaska and they should                                                               
be  excited about  making  sure the  legislature  does the  right                                                               
thing for Alaskan residents.                                                                                                    
2:12:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN opined  that if property is  forfeited to DPS                                                               
or  the  state,  and  if  [a  person]  does  not  act  within  an                                                               
appropriate period of  time, the agency can take  the airplane or                                                               
boat and  give it  to the  federal government  and he  doubts the                                                               
owner would ever see it again.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON advised  there  is a  process  to where  a                                                               
person has a  limited amount of days to put  in paperwork, and if                                                               
the person doesn't do it the agency has the right to keep it.                                                                   
2:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN asked  whether it goes from  the state agency                                                               
to the federal government.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON opined that it  could be a federal case and                                                               
it could  go in that direction  but the person would  have had to                                                               
break  federal law.   She  related  stories that  when the  state                                                               
doesn't have enough  evidence the state will turn it  over to the                                                               
federal government and allow them to pursue the action.                                                                         
CHAIR LEDOUX said she presumes  that if the federal government is                                                               
charging an  individual and seizing  property initially,  that as                                                               
draconian  as Alaska's  forfeiture  laws are,  that probably  the                                                               
federal laws  are at  least equal if  not surpassing  Alaska law.                                                               
She surmised that  the bill doesn't do anything  with the federal                                                               
seizure of assets.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  explained that the federal  government can                                                               
still charge  but currently  there is an  agreement that  some of                                                               
the money comes back  to the state.  In those  cases it would not                                                               
come back  to the troopers or  any other agency, and  is directed                                                               
to the  general fund.  The  bill would not change  [federal] laws                                                               
or processes in any fashion, she said.                                                                                          
2:14:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  referred  to   the  offenses  subject  to                                                               
forfeiture, on pages  6-7, and asked her to explain  the types of                                                               
crimes being discussed.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  responded that  many are  mandatory having                                                               
to do  with drinking and driving  and she then deferred  to Kevin                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER referred to  the outline for the forfeiture                                                               
process under  the bill and asked  whether she is saying  that it                                                               
is not  currently there, and she  included it.  He  further asked                                                               
whether other  states have  clear standards  on forfeitures  as a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  replied yes,  and this  has come  from the                                                               
states that are rated as "A" or "B" and not "D" as Alaska is.                                                                   
2:15:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  advised he  likes the  bill, but  he would                                                               
like a description of the crimes.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON reiterated that  Mr. Fitzgerald could speak                                                               
to that issue.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR LEDOUX opened invited testimony.                                                                                          
2:16:42 PM                                                                                                                    
KEVIN FITZGERALD,  Attorney, said  he has been  in practice  as a                                                               
prosecutor and  a defense attorney for  over 27 years, and  is in                                                               
in favor of  the bill.  He  opined that the dual aim  of the bill                                                               
is  to  put into  play  standardized  and centralized  procedures                                                               
designed to protect the rights  of property owners and interested                                                               
parties while  at the  same time not  undermining the  ability of                                                               
the government  to seize  or ultimately  forfeit property  nor to                                                               
place undue  burdens on the  court in doing so.   He said  in the                                                               
perspective  of  a  practitioner  that  practices  in  the  areas                                                               
implicated by  the existing forfeiture  law, which  includes fish                                                               
and game,  Medicaid, and  other areas, he  is advocating  for the                                                               
bill.   In response to  the question concerning  offenses subject                                                               
to  forfeiture, he  advised that  they  include liquor,  assault,                                                               
property, drugs,  and DUIs.  He  described it as having  quite an                                                               
expansive scope  and it's  intended to  be that  way in  order to                                                               
centralize  and   standardize  procedures   for  any   number  of                                                               
different areas that  are in some measure  disparate, or contrary                                                               
to each  other, and  difficult to  find.   As a  practitioner, he                                                               
said  the  current law  as  it  addresses forfeiture  is  broken,                                                               
confusing,  ill  understood even  by  those  practicing in  these                                                               
areas, frequently  applied in a  haphazard or ad hoc  fashion, is                                                               
neither  standardized  nor  centralized,  and  appears  to  be  a                                                               
vehicle  increasingly used  by prosecution  to impose  sanctions.                                                               
He  reiterated the  benefits of  this bill  as being  profound in                                                               
providing a standardized and  centralized process for forfeiture.                                                               
He then  related a case he  has of seized property  spanning over                                                               
the  course  of  four  years  regarding  current  law  and  after                                                               
explaining  the  details of  the  case,  he commented  that  this                                                               
particular case is  not unusual and the  circumstances and issues                                                               
raises over the  forfeiture law are not unique to  that case.  He                                                               
then  reiterated that  he strongly  supports the  passage of  the                                                               
bill  to   give  standardize  and  centralized   rules  governing                                                               
Alaska's forfeiture law.                                                                                                        
2:27:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN referred to  Mr. Fitzgerald's earlier years                                                               
as  a  prosecutor  and  asked  his  perspective  regarding  civil                                                               
forfeiture, whether he ever used it, and in what cases.                                                                         
MR. FITZGERALD explained that it wasn't  used often as much as it                                                               
is now being  used, or used for items of  significance.  Case law                                                               
does  reference  occasional cases  in  which  airplanes had  been                                                               
seized, but  he estimated that  the forfeiture law is  being used                                                               
as  a  tool  more  frequently  to  obtain  significant  items  of                                                               
property.    He opined  that  when  it was  used  when  he was  a                                                               
prosecutor it  was largely items  that would be  characterized as                                                               
contraband and he does not  remember any actions pursued pursuant                                                               
to the  forfeiture and what typically  now is the avenue  used in                                                               
the fish  and game context under  AS 16.05.109 or 16.05.195.   In                                                               
answer to the  question he reiterated that it is  being used more                                                               
often now.                                                                                                                      
2:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN  asked   whether,   within  his   current                                                               
practice, he is in federal court as well as state court.                                                                        
MR.  FITZGERALD  answered that  he  is  in  both courts  and  the                                                               
federal arena offers even less  protections than Alaska's current                                                               
forfeiture law.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked  whether he sees a  difference in how                                                               
this is being  used in drug cases and the  forfeiture of property                                                               
that may be the benefits of  massive drug profits versus fish and                                                               
game  and fish  and wildlife  forfeiture cases  that shut  entire                                                               
businesses down for violations.                                                                                                 
MR.  FITZGERALD remarked  that the  difference in  many instances                                                               
within the  fish and  game context  occurs on  a state  level and                                                               
occasionally it  is in the federal  level as well, but  under the                                                               
Lacey  Act  [16  USC  3371-3378]  it  must  be  predicated  on  a                                                               
violation of state fish  and game law.  In a  drug context, it is                                                               
not  uncommon  that  the  state   charges  are  more  focused  on                                                               
individuals and  the state  side does  do co-defendant  cases but                                                               
the  federal government,  because of  its sentencing  guidelines,                                                               
utilizes a  lot more  conspiracy multi-defendant  cases involving                                                               
10-30 individuals.  In the event  an individual is charged with a                                                               
drug crime  at the  state level, Mr.  Fitzgerald said  he doesn't                                                               
see a  lot of attempts  at forfeiting property, and  typically if                                                               
the defendant does  not play ball with the  state authorities the                                                               
matter is  referred to the  federal authorities who are  happy to                                                               
help.   He remarked that under  federal law it can  be scary with                                                               
regard  to  what is  seized,  the  nexus between  the  properties                                                               
seized, and  the offense can  be extraordinarily de minimis.   An                                                               
individual really  has no  recourse at all  other than  under the                                                               
Eighth Amendment, which is cruel  and unusual punishment, and the                                                               
way  that  has been  defined  under  federal  law is  unless  the                                                               
property  amounts to  twice what  the  otherwise applicable  fine                                                               
would  be,  the  individual  does  not  have  cruel  and  unusual                                                               
punishment.  Since most of  the crimes proceeded in federal court                                                               
are  $500,000 at  least fine  range such  as million  dollar plus                                                               
items such as houses, he explained.                                                                                             
2:35:23 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  SKIDMORE,   Director,  Legal  Services   Section,  Criminal                                                               
Division, Department of Law (DOL),  said he has been a prosecutor                                                               
for the  last 18 years, and  has not practiced often  in the area                                                               
of  drug offense  but he  supervises the  prosecutors within  the                                                               
state.    He  said  he  previously  expressed  to  Representative                                                               
Wilson, and now  to the committee, the Department  of Law's (DOL)                                                               
interest and commitment  in working on trying  to standardize and                                                               
centralize forfeiture law in Alaska.   He agreed that the current                                                               
forfeiture law  is scattered in  at least seven  different titles                                                               
and  it addresses  different types  of crimes.   He  advised that                                                               
within those  seven different titles  it describes  the procedure                                                               
or process at  varying levels, and the Alaska  courts have filled                                                               
in the  procedures or processes that  are left vacant in  some of                                                               
the various  titles.   The result  has been  a complex  system in                                                               
trying  to understand  how forfeiture  law works,  and he  agrees                                                               
that is  an issue and  that trying to standardize  and centralize                                                               
is  an  excellent  idea.   Although,  he  commented,  the  issues                                                               
between  that [intent]  and this  bill  are that  this bill  adds                                                               
additional  processes  that  may  or  may  not  be  the  intended                                                               
consequences.  For example, he said,  in current law a person can                                                               
forfeit property  in a criminal  case at a sentencing  when there                                                               
is a preponderance of the evidence  that the item is connected to                                                               
the case and should be forfeited.                                                                                               
2:37:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE  explained that  HB 317  creates a  separate process                                                               
tracking  the criminal  process  to deal  with those  forfeitures                                                               
because it  wants the state  to file separately  against property                                                               
to be  forfeited, hold  separate hearings  to decide  what should                                                               
happen  with the  property, and  raise the  burden of  proof from                                                               
preponderance  of  the evidence  to  clear  and convincing.    He                                                               
related  that those  are the  sorts  of things  that resulted  in                                                               
DOL's fiscal  note.  He  agreed that  the process would  be labor                                                               
intensive  but   that  doesn't  mean   it  is  not   possible  to                                                               
standardize   and  centralize   without   having   some  of   the                                                               
requirements,  thereby,   eliminating  the   fiscal  note.     He                                                               
reiterated  that  the department  is  committed  to working  with                                                               
folks on those things, but there  are important issues to look at                                                               
which  are  ultimately  policy decisions  for  the  committee  to                                                               
decide.  He pointed out that in discussing forfeiture ...                                                                       
2:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  referred to  Mr. Skidmore's  statement and                                                               
said that due  to the fiscal note  it is more than  a policy call                                                               
because it  is now  about how  much money  is being  dedicated to                                                               
certain functions of government.                                                                                                
2:39:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER said  the policy here is  the Department of                                                               
Law  (DOL)   and  the  state's   justice  branch  of   the  whole                                                               
government,  and it  appears that  the things  Mr. Skidmore  said                                                               
need to  be dealt with are  fundamental.  He referred  to the job                                                               
not getting  done and  asked why  it takes more  money to  get it                                                               
done,  why hasn't  the  committee heard  about  this before,  why                                                               
aren't things  being done right, and  how does he attach  a price                                                               
tag to  doing things right.   He said he realizes  that different                                                               
sections of law were added on  but it appears DOL would have come                                                               
forward with proposed  legislation to fix this on  its own rather                                                               
than the  legislature trying to build  it.  He related  that part                                                               
of  the reason  he is  in  Mr. Skidmore's  face is  that time  is                                                               
running out, the session is moving  along, and this sounds like a                                                               
critical item to deal with.                                                                                                     
2:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE responded  that this is an issue  the department has                                                               
been  looking at,  and pointed  out that  there is  a distinction                                                               
between forfeiture  and seizure  that has  been somewhat  lost in                                                               
the discussion.   For example, when Mr.  Fitzgerald discussed the                                                               
airplane being seized, he said,  it was seized pursuant to search                                                               
warrants in a criminal case.   He remarked that he was unaware of                                                               
that particular  case and  did not know  whether it  was evidence                                                               
seized for purposes  of that case,  There  are legal restrictions                                                               
on the department  regarding its obligation to preserve  if it is                                                               
going to trial under Thorne  v. Department of Public Safety, [774                                                             
P.2d  1326  (1989)], or  if  it's  strictly  about seizure.    He                                                               
referred to  a DUI case and  driving a vehicle, and  said if that                                                               
vehicle is  seized pursuant  to a search  warrant or  incident to                                                               
arrest,  it may  be  that the  vehicle is  evidence  in the  case                                                               
because the defense  may allege the bad driving,  observed by the                                                               
officer, is  the result of  the vehicle having  faulty mechanics.                                                               
The department is  then required to preserve that  vehicle so the                                                               
information  can be  presented at  the time  of trial,  which has                                                               
nothing to  do with whether  or not that  vehicle is going  to be                                                               
forfeited at  the end of  the case.  He  extended that it  may be                                                               
that it's  not going to be  forfeited and it is  just about using                                                               
it  for evidence,  or it  may be  a case  in which  the DUI  is a                                                               
felony DUI  or something  else egregious, and  not only  was that                                                               
vehicle needed  for evidence but  then later was also  subject to                                                               
forfeiture.   He explained that it  is easy to confuse  those two                                                               
things  and he  opined the  area that  needing the  most work  is                                                               
returning property  that is not  needed in the criminal  case and                                                               
should not  be subject  to forfeiture.   He  stated that  for the                                                               
past  three years  while he  has  been director  of the  criminal                                                               
division it has  worked on trying to return  property to citizens                                                               
across the state.   There are problems of where  impound yards of                                                               
law  enforcement  agencies  have  more vehicles  than  should  be                                                               
there,  and  that  various  policies  have  been  instituted  and                                                               
practices to  get vehicles returned  to people.  He  opined there                                                               
is evidence  in evidence lockers within  law enforcement agencies                                                               
around that  state that  are not subject  to forfeiture  and that                                                               
property needs to be returned.   The law requires a process to be                                                               
followed  in order  to get  property  returned and  it should  be                                                               
looked  at, which  is separate  from property  seized, ultimately                                                               
subject  to forfeiture,  and whether  or not  that forfeiture  is                                                               
appropriate.   He related that  [there are provisions] in  HB 317                                                               
that he  is not certain  address the seizure problems  because it                                                               
focuses  on forfeiture,  although  there are  areas  it seems  to                                                               
cross over.   He said he views those as  two separate issues, and                                                               
the  seizure and  returning  things is  an area  to  work on  and                                                               
forfeiture needs to be standardized  and centralized.  The law in                                                               
Alaska regarding how  forfeiture is supposed to  work, he opined,                                                               
is  not broken,  it is  just not  in one  place that  is easy  to                                                               
2:44:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  referred to Alaska's  forfeiture law and  said that                                                               
sometimes a  case can be dismissed  against a person and  yet the                                                               
state  will continue  in an  in  rem action  for forfeiture,  not                                                               
seizure.  For example, she said,  take a drug case and the person                                                               
is  acquitted,  she asked  whether  the  state  is ever  able  to                                                               
forfeit the property when someone is acquitted.                                                                                 
MR.  SKIDMORE  responded  that the  vast  majority  of  materials                                                               
seized should be  returned, with the exception  of seized cocaine                                                               
and the department unable to prove its case.                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX expressed  that  she knows  the  department is  not                                                               
going to give back the cocaine, but what about the house.                                                                       
MR.  SKIDMORE said  he would  change it  to a  different type  of                                                               
case, such as  fish and game, because there are  certain types of                                                               
items in  fish and game cases  that are also illegal  to possess.                                                               
For example, in most of the  state when hunting moose the antlers                                                               
must be of  a certain size and a hunter  may have innocently shot                                                               
a moose that was not legal,  it is illegal to possess that animal                                                               
thereafter.    The  seized  gun  in that  case  would  have  been                                                               
returned, but  not the  moose because it  is illegal  to possess.                                                               
Generally,  he said,  the department  does not  use civil  in rem                                                               
forfeiture proceedings  in criminal  cases.   He referred  to the                                                               
case Mr.  Fitzgerald discussed and  although Mr.  Fitzgerald said                                                               
it  was  not an  exception,  he  disagreed  because he  does  not                                                               
believe the department  is using civil in rem  forfeitures in the                                                               
vast majority of cases other than the example offered.                                                                          
2:47:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  asked whether  civil in  rem forfeitures  are being                                                               
used and  further asked whether  he was  willing to say  that the                                                               
department is  prohibited by law,  and that the  department never                                                               
does  it for  something such  as, a  house, gun,  airplane, or  a                                                               
legal item.   She expressed that she can't  see any justification                                                               
whatsoever  when someone  hasn't been  convicted of  something to                                                               
seize their legal property.   She stressed that if the department                                                               
can't get the  person under criminal law, she  finds it repugnant                                                               
that  the  department  would  try   to  do  it  through  a  civil                                                               
forfeiture proceeding, and  she wanted to know whether  or not it                                                               
is used.                                                                                                                        
2:48:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE answered that the only  case he is aware of in which                                                               
civil forfeiture has  been attempted to be used like  that is the                                                               
case  Mr. Fitzgerald  discussed.   Wherein  there  was a  pending                                                               
prosecution that was expected to  result, but hadn't gotten there                                                               
until much later in the  process because the investigation seemed                                                               
to have  taken awhile.  Other  than that, he said,  he is unaware                                                               
of it being used.  He stated  that the department does not have a                                                               
problem  eliminating that  civil  in rem  forfeiture,  it is  not                                                               
often  used because  the department  doesn't think  it should  be                                                               
used often.                                                                                                                     
2:49:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  surmised that the  only thing the department  has a                                                               
problem with  is taking  care of the  property, and  figuring out                                                               
where it is at a certain time.                                                                                                  
MR. SKIDMORE  said that  law enforcement  can tell  the committee                                                               
where  the seized  property is  because it  is required  to track                                                               
that  information.   The  question  asked was  how  much of  that                                                               
property has been forfeited and he  said that is a statistic that                                                               
DOL has not  kept.  For example, he could  answer how many murder                                                               
sentences,  but  could  not  answer  how  many  of  those  murder                                                               
sentences resulted  in property being forfeited  because he would                                                               
have  to  go  back  and  look  at  each  individual  judgment  to                                                               
determine which cases had property  forfeited.  He explained that                                                               
he doesn't have  the ability to track  that information currently                                                               
and  does  not  know  the  cost, but  it  would  not  take  eight                                                               
attorneys.   He  referred to  the eight  attorneys in  the fiscal                                                               
note and  qualified it is  when a separate proceeding  is created                                                               
where  the department  has  to file  against  the property,  then                                                               
there  are court  hearings  about the  property  both before  the                                                               
trial  and  after  the  trial  that are  not  the  trial  or  the                                                               
sentencing itself.   If the  current process is  followed wherein                                                               
items can be seized and  subject to forfeiture at the sentencing,                                                               
he opined that the fiscal note would disappear.                                                                                 
2:50:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  asked him to  repeat how  he would make  the fiscal                                                               
note disappear rather than just zeroing it out.                                                                                 
MR. SKIDMORE explained  that in current law with  regard to items                                                               
that are seized a person has  the opportunity to petition to have                                                               
it bonded out ...                                                                                                               
CHAIR  LEDOUX argued  that if  it is  seized she  thought it  was                                                               
seized because  it's evidence,  so how could  a person  ever bond                                                               
out the  evidence.  She  surmised that the department  is seizing                                                               
property that  may not be  evidence or  required to be  kept, and                                                               
that the department  seizes property because it  believes it will                                                               
convict  the defendant  and; therefore,  wants to  make sure  the                                                               
property  the department  might  want forfeited  is  there.   She                                                               
expressed  that she  has a  problem with  that because  the state                                                               
doesn't get  to fine someone  before being convicted so  why does                                                               
the department  get to  take this property  if it's  not evidence                                                               
just to make sure it stays around.                                                                                              
2:52:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE explained there are  two different reasons for which                                                               
seizure  can  occur,  simply  for   evidence  that  is  sometimes                                                               
forfeited  but  it   is  evidence  in  the  case   and  in  those                                                               
circumstances  that property  cannot be  bonded out.   There  are                                                               
also  circumstances  rarely used  in  which  law enforcement  can                                                               
seize property  that would be  subject to forfeiture  not because                                                               
it  is evidence  in  the case,  but because  it  would likely  be                                                               
forfeited at the end of the  case.  He further explained that the                                                               
reason is that,  in the law, it is recognized  that with property                                                               
subject  to  seizure there  are  defendants  who will  frequently                                                               
attempt to  sell, destroy, or  somehow change that  property from                                                               
their ownership so it can't be taken later on.                                                                                  
CHAIR LEDOUX  pointed out that the  seizure for this reason  is a                                                               
civil action  and, other than a  maritime suit which has  its own                                                               
unique rules of law, the property  can't be seized.  For example,                                                               
as an attorney, Representative Claman  may be 100 percent certain                                                               
he has a slam dunk winnable case,  he still is not allowed to ask                                                               
the court to  seize the property because the defendant  may go to                                                               
Mexico  or spend  the  money.   She  reminded  Mr. Skidmore  that                                                               
Representative Claman  must wait  until the end  of the  case and                                                               
then sometimes the case is not a slam dunk.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN said  in  the background  "We  know a  lot                                                               
about (indisc.) and they only seize them in federal court."                                                                     
2:54:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE  responded that  it is  not a  civil matter,  it's a                                                               
criminal matter  and when people  have violated the  criminal law                                                               
authorities are  given greater power  to take property.   That is                                                               
what the  Fourth Amendment  of the  United State  Constitution is                                                               
about, the search and seizure laws are about.                                                                                   
CHAIR LEDOUX  argued that if  it is  a criminal matter  why isn't                                                               
the  standard of  proof  beyond a  reasonable  doubt when  taking                                                               
property, the same as when imprisoning a person.                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE explained that there does  have to be proof beyond a                                                               
reasonable  doubt  that  the  person committed  the  crime.    He                                                               
clarified that once  it has been proven the  person committed the                                                               
crime  with a  conviction,  in determining  the  sanctions to  be                                                               
imposed the  courts evaluate the  evidence on a  preponderance of                                                               
the  evidence standard  to determine  jail  time, community  work                                                               
service, fine,  probation, probation conditions,  and forfeiture.                                                               
He reiterated that all of  those various sanctions, after proving                                                               
someone committed a  crime beyond a reasonable  doubt, the courts                                                               
evaluate  those  sanctions  based   on  a  preponderance  of  the                                                               
2:55:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER referred  to  property  being seized,  and                                                               
whether  law enforcement  or a  governmental entity  receives any                                                               
benefit from the seizure such as  using it.  He explained that he                                                               
can't help but think about a  seized airplane for four years, and                                                               
being a  pilot he knows that  is the end of  some $30,000-$50,000                                                               
engines  because they  have  to  be used.    He  referred to  Mr.                                                               
Skidmore's statement  that it  is totally  up to  the authorities                                                               
when making  that determination as  to whether the  property will                                                               
likely be  forfeited and it  can take  that into account  or not,                                                               
meanwhile the  airplane sits.   The state has  the responsibility                                                               
to store  property in a dry  place, possibly heated.   He said he                                                               
would like to know how many  warehouses are available and full of                                                               
evidence, how  long it sits there,  and the cost to  the state in                                                               
keeping this  evidence.   He commented that  he saw  Mr. Skidmore                                                               
shaking  his head  no, and  requested confirmed  information that                                                               
seized  property  is  not  ever  used  for  the  benefit  of  law                                                               
enforcement or governmental entities until it is forfeited.                                                                     
2:57:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE responded that when  property is seized prior to any                                                               
forfeiture order, the state cannot  and does not use any property                                                               
that is seized  and the state has an obligation  to hold onto the                                                               
property and safeguard it.   He acknowledged that there have been                                                               
steps in recent years to  do precisely what Representative Keller                                                               
was discussing for  a seized airplane and not  many airplanes are                                                               
seized  but for  those  that  are, they  are  stored indoor,  the                                                               
engine  is foamed  to  try to  preserve it,  and  other sorts  of                                                               
things that need  to be done in order to  preserve that airplane.                                                               
In  the event  the airplane  is ultimately  forfeited, the  state                                                               
would  have  the  opportunity  to,  in some  cases  use  it,  and                                                               
according  to statute  give  it  to the  Civil  Air Patrol  Wing.                                                               
Other  items can  be forfeited  and used  in different  ways, and                                                               
other  items are  auctioned.   He  reiterated that  prior to  the                                                               
forfeiture order,  the state cannot  use the property  because it                                                               
does not belong to the state.                                                                                                   
2:58:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked whether the state  currently has the                                                               
authority to bring  a civil action for in  rem forfeiture against                                                               
an airplane allegedly used or connected with criminal activity.                                                                 
MR. SKIDMORE  answered in  the affirmative,  which does  exist in                                                               
statute and is not often used.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  surmised  that  things are  seen  in  the                                                               
federal reporters such as "United  States v. $450,000 in Cash, or                                                               
United  States  v. One  Cessna  206,  or  United States  v.  Some                                                               
fishing boat  that was used  in, typically  we see these  in drug                                                               
cases," the state  still has the authority as  a prosecution tool                                                               
to seize  the property and  try to  forfeit the property  to take                                                               
some drug kingpins ill-gotten gains  away even if it doesn't have                                                               
the evidence to convict him of selling the drugs,                                                                               
MR. SKIDMORE answered that he does  know whether he would call it                                                               
a prosecution tool, but the state does have that authority.                                                                     
3:00:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN surmised  that Mr.  Skidmore, speaking  on                                                               
behalf  of the  state,  would  have no  problem  cleaning up  the                                                               
statute  with respect  to these  civil actions  against property.                                                               
Although,  Mr.  Skidmore  would like  the  continued  ability  to                                                               
forfeit  property  connected with  a  crime  at  the end  of  the                                                               
criminal case with a conviction, he further surmised.                                                                           
MS.  SKIDMORE replied  that the  description  is accurate  except                                                               
when the items are illegal in  and of themselves, as he discussed                                                               
with Chair LeDoux.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  offered a  hunting scenario wherein  a big                                                               
game guide has an airplane  and has successfully flown clients to                                                               
various areas for  many years.  The state  performs an undercover                                                               
investigation and  discovers the  guide is  taking folks  out but                                                               
the wrong size  game is being taken  so there is a  fish and game                                                               
prosecution against the  guide.  He said the  rifles are evidence                                                               
of  the crime  but  there  is nothing  in  the  airplane that  is                                                               
evidence  other  than the  fact  that  the  money he  was  making                                                               
involved  the  airplane.   Representative  Claman  asked why  the                                                               
state would take  the airplane for purposes of  trying to forfeit                                                               
the airplane even though it is  not needed for evidence at trial,                                                               
and why the state would go  after the airplane and hold it during                                                               
the entire period of time awaiting trial.                                                                                       
3:02:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SKIDMORE answered  that  generally  the department  wouldn't                                                               
seize   the  airplane   and  within   this  scenario,   the  only                                                               
hypothetical  circumstance in  which seizing  the airplane  would                                                               
become  justified  is   whether  the  guide  had   a  history  of                                                               
committing fish  and game  violations and  that he  was primarily                                                               
getting to the  locations to commit those  violations through the                                                               
use of the  airplane.  He noted that  other hypothetical concepts                                                               
must be  added to  that scenario  before it  becomes appropriate,                                                               
and  he   would  have   to  know   more  information   about  the                                                               
hypothetical  before  he could  determine  the  exact crimes  and                                                               
determine whether  the state  would seek  to seize  the airplane.                                                               
He advised  that the department  could hypothetically  attempt to                                                               
obtain  a court  order  to  seize the  airplane  for purposes  of                                                               
forfeiture, but it  generally doesn't do that except  in the more                                                               
serious or egregious cases.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN commented  that it  appears this  bill may                                                               
not perfectly do  it, but the idea that the  department still has                                                               
the authority for  civil in rem forfeiture actions,  is not using                                                               
it,  and it  is creating  problems is  something the  legislature                                                               
should  fix.   He  surmised that  the  more complicated  question                                                               
about what happens in criminal  cases, which appears must be tied                                                               
into the criminal cases at  all times, the department can forfeit                                                               
after the conviction.  He related  that he does not like the idea                                                               
of anyone  being able to  forfeit property absent  the conviction                                                               
and there  have been  a tremendous amount  of comments  about how                                                               
the  federal   government  and  many   states  are   using  civil                                                               
forfeiture where they can't get  convictions and that is what the                                                               
committee is unhappy about.                                                                                                     
CHAIR LEDOUX expressed that she is definitely unhappy about it.                                                                 
3:04:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  expressed   concern  that  Representative                                                               
Wilson's  bill  may   go  further  and  create   burdens  on  the                                                               
prosecution and costs  that may not be  appropriate, and stressed                                                               
his concern  about having  laws on  the books  that no  one wants                                                               
enforced and are not enforceable.                                                                                               
CHAIR  LEDOUX  encouraged  Mr.  Skidmore  to  work  quickly  with                                                               
Representative Wilson  because members  of the  committee believe                                                               
there is a  real problem here and it wants  to do something about                                                               
MR. SKIDMORE  reiterated that  he is  committed to  continuing to                                                               
work with Representative Wilson.                                                                                                
[HB 317 was held over.]                                                                                                         
3:06:30 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing  Committee meeting was recessed  at 3:06 p.m.,                                                               
and will reconvene on March 31, 2016, at 1:00 p.m.                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 317 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Sectional Analysis.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Version A.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Legal Memo.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Supporting Documents - Americans for Tax Reform Letter of Support 03.23.16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Supporting Documents - Mike Jimerson Letter of Support.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Supporting Documents - NFIB Letter of Support 03.08.16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Supporting Documents - Resident Hunters of Alaska Letter of Support 03.22.16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Supporting Documents - Thomas Brown Letter of Support 03.22.16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Supporting Documents - USJAN Letter of Support 03.17.16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Letter of Opposition - APOA.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Back-Up Document - Fairbanks News Miner 03.21.16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 236 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Sectional Analysis.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Legislation Ver. A.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Letters of Support - Received by 3-17-16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Letters of Opposition - Received by 3-17-16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Supporting Document - SB 2065 - Legislation - Texas.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Supporting Document - SB 2065 - Summary - Texas.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Supporting Document - Equality Texas SB 2065.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Supporting Document - Texas House Passes Pastor Protection Act.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 236 - Supporting Document - Letter Pamela Lynn 3.25.16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 236
HB 317- Supporting Documents - APHA.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317
HB 317 - Supporting Documents - Jana Weltzin Letter of Support 03.28.16.pdf HJUD 3/30/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 317