Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/22/1999 06:05 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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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.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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