Legislature(1999 - 2000)
04/22/1999 06:05 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 4 "An Act relating to establishing an office of victims' rights; relating to compensation of victims of violent crimes; relating to eligibility for a permanent fund dividend for persons convicted of and incarcerated for certain offenses; and amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska Rules of Evidence." CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 4(JUD) "An Act relating to establishing an office of victims' rights; relating to compensation of victims of violent crimes; relating to eligibility for a permanent fund dividend for persons convicted of and incarcerated for certain offenses; and amending Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 9, Alaska Delinquency Rules, and Rule 501, Alaska Rules of Evidence." Co-Chair Torgerson spoke to the Letter of Intent included in the bill package. The intent of the letter would specify the Legislature to fund the Office of Victim's Rights solely from the additional revenue generated by the new provisions established in the legislation. Additionally, that funding would not result in a decrease of funding for crime victim's compensation, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. DARWIN PETERSON, Staff to Senator John Torgerson, explained that the Senate Finance Committee at a previous meeting had requested a new fiscal note from Legislative Affairs Agency. In the FY00 column, it was requested that only the amount needed to establish that office be entered. He referenced information from Senator Torgerson's office, outlining how the funding would work. The estimated amount of revenue that would be generated and available by SB 4 from FY97 and FY98 convictions, would be $391 thousand dollars. Mr. Peterson addressed the fiscal notes included in member's packets. Senator Adams asked if the fiscal impact referenced by Mr. Peterson would be the same amount as contained in the new work draft. Mr. Peterson understood that the fiscal impact would not change in the work draft. Co-Chair Torgerson interjected that the effective date would need to be changed. The key to making the legislation work would be delaying when that office would open. Senator Donley explained that the proposed committee substitute would change the location of the Office of Victims Rights from the Legislative Branch to the Department of Public Safety. He pointed out that is where the other grants for a victim's right pass through. The only change would be the language on Page 10, Line 31. Senator Donley MOVED to adopt committee substitute 1- LS0029\H, Luckhaupt, 4/22/99, as the bill version before Committee members. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. (Tape Malfunction) BRETT HUBER, Staff, Senator Rick Halford, pointed out that a qualification difference was indicated in the bill. The previous qualifications were more stringent that those recommended in the proposed draft. Senator Donley noted that the drafters had only four hours to work on the current language. Senator Donley MOVED to adopt Amendment #5 which would add the Senate Judiciary version qualifications for the victims advocate into the proposed committee substitute. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. (Tape Resumed Functioning) Senator Donley MOVED to adopt Amendment #6 which would revise the name of the office to conform the committee substitute as it appears in the Senate Judiciary version, from the Office of Victim Advocacy to the Office of Victim's Rights. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Senator Donley reminded members that Amendment #2 was pending and that the effective date would need to be changed. Senator Green pointed out that the "appointment" language was also different. Senator Donley advised that placing the Office in the Department of Public Safety would constitutionally change the appointment criteria removing the Legislature from the "loop". Senator Donley MOVED to adopt Amendment #2, a change to Page 1, Line 13, after "may" inserting "reasonably". There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Senator Donley MOVED to adopt Amendment #4, 1-LS0029\D.2, Luckhaupt, 4/19/99, which would provide for the delayed effective date for hiring. Upon request of Co-Chair Torgerson, Senator Donley WITHDREW consideration of Amendment #4. There being NO OBJECTION, it was withdrawn. Senator Donley MOVED a conceptual amendment to Amendment #4, that the committee substitute include the same delayed effective date as appears in the original #4. He requested that it be brought back to the full Committee for review. Co-Chair Torgerson noted that the delayed effective date would be restricted to the Department of Public Safety. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Co-Chair Parnell MOVED to adopt the Letter of Intent. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. ROBERT BUTTCANE, Juneau Probation Officer, Department of Health and Social Services, stated that the Department is committed to providing victims of juvenile crime a whole array of services to restore them to wholeness. Victims are an equal partner in the work of the Department. The bill is of concern to the Department, as it establishes a separate bureaucracy that polices the delinquency system. The Department would prefer that the Legislature support the juvenile system in its current efforts to provide services to victims. ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Law, testified that the Department of Law was not in favor of the proposed legislation. The Department does not support the public notice section or the approach of the bill. She stated that moving that Office to the Department of Public Safety was problematic. It would make that Department responsible for investigating some of their own staff people, placing them in an adversary position with their own lawyers. NANCI JONES, Director, Permanent Fund Dividend Division, Department of Revenue, noted that she was present to answer questions of the Committee. Co-Chair Torgerson noted that SB 4 would be HELD in Committee for further consideration.