Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/23/1995 09:30 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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       SENATE BILL NO. 67                                                      
                                                                               
       "An Act relating to the crime of unlawful evasion."                     
                                                                               
  Co-chair  Halford   invited  Senator  Ellis   to  join   the                 
  committee.  Senator Ellis testified that this legislation is                 
  an effort  to increase  the penalties for  escape, or  walk-                 
  aways, from a  half-way house  facility.  He  said there  is                 
  agreement  among  the  professionals  and  the  neighborhood                 
  activists  that   the   penalty  is   not   sufficient   for                 
  misdemeanants,  in  those  facilities,  to  keep  them  from                 
  walking away.  This is a documented problem.  He stated that                 
  in FY  92 there were 49 walk-aways, in  FY 93 there were 23,                 
  in  FY 94  there were 68,  and in  FY 95 there  have been 31                 
  walk-aways.  Senator  Ellis noted that there  are documented                 
  cases resulting  in drunk  driving deaths,  drug deals,  and                 
  firearm  violations,  to  name  a   few.  There  is  general                 
  agreement that the penalty  for felons who walk away  from a                 
  facility  should  be a  class  A  misdemeanor.   He  cited a                 
  personal  experience  that  he   had  encountered  with  the                 
  Anchorage police department.                                                 
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger questioned  the definition  and statute of  a                 
  half-way house.   He felt  that the language  may be  loose.                 
  Senator Ellis testified  that there has  not been a need  to                 
  tighten  up  the language  on  this  bill.    Margot  Knuth,                 
  Department of  Law, Criminal  Division, supports  this bill.                 
  She stated it will  not add fiscal impact to  the Department                 
  of Law. It  does not cost  any more to  prosecute a Class  A                 
  misdemeanor than a Class B misdemeanor.                                      
                                                                               
  Senator Zharoff asked for explanation in Section 4, line 26.                 
  Ms.  Knuth responded that it states  the unlawful evasion in                 
  the  second degree that  exists now.   This legislation will                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  create one offense  of unlawful evasion  and will no  longer                 
  have both in the first degree and in the second degree.  All                 
  of the same conduct that is  now covered by unlawful evasion                 
  in the first and second degree will be covered in the single                 
  crime of unlawful evasion.   This bill will have  the effect                 
  of  repealing  AS  11.56.350,  so that  it  will  become  AS                 
  11.56.340.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Co-chair  Halford spoke to the fiscal notes attached to this                 
  bill.  He stated  that with an additional penalty,  it would                 
  appear that the departments are willing to absorb the costs.                 
                                                                               
  Senator  Phillips  MOVED  to  pass  SB  67  with  individual                 
  recommendations.  No objection having been raised, SB 67 was                 
  REPORTED OUT of  committee with three fiscal  notes from the                 
  Dept. of Administration, Dept. of  Law, and Corrections. Co-                 
  chairs Halford  and Frank,  along with  the full  committee,                 
  Senators  Rieger,   Phillips,  Donley,  Zharoff   and  Sharp                 
  recommended "do pass".                                                       
                                                                               

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