Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/28/2004 09:06 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     SENATE BILL NO. 65                                                                                                         
     "An  Act authorizing  the Department  of  Corrections to  enter                                                            
     into agreements with  municipalities for new or expanded public                                                            
     correctional  facilities in the  Fairbanks North Star  Borough,                                                            
     the Matanuska-Susitna  Borough, Bethel, and the Municipality of                                                            
This  was the third  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Co-Chair Green overviewed  the proposed committee substitute Version                                                            
"E".  She  noted it  incorporates  the  amendments  adopted  by  the                                                            
Committee  at the previous  hearing. In addition,  new language  has                                                            
been added  intending  to assure  bond ratings  by stipulating  that                                                            
"the  commission  may not  enter into  the  agreement  if any  bonds                                                            
issued for the  project are rated below investment  grade" on page 5                                                            
lines 10  and 11 and also  on page 3 lines  23 and 24. Further  bond                                                            
assurance language has been added on page 6 lines 5-7 and 10-14.                                                                
Co-Chair Green  stated the intent of the committee  substitute is to                                                            
authorize  the Commissioner  of  the  Department of  Corrections  to                                                            
review  multiple  correctional  facility  location options,  and  to                                                            
increase participant bids  in the State with the purpose of bringing                                                            
prisoner's  being  housed  in  out-of-state   facilities  back  into                                                            
Alaska. The high  costs and inefficiencies incurred  by transferring                                                            
prisoners   should  be  avoided.   These  prisoner  transfers   have                                                            
especially inconvenienced  the communities of Bethel, Anchorage, and                                                            
the Matanuska-Susitna   Borough. The  occupancy  levels of  Alaska's                                                            
correctional  facilities  are only  getting worse;  prison  capacity                                                            
must be increased.  She urged continued discussion  on strategies to                                                            
increase correctional facility capacity within the State.                                                                       
Co-Chair  Green moved  for adoption  of CS SB  65, 23-LS0392\E  as a                                                            
working document.                                                                                                               
There was  no objection  and the committee  substitute, Version  "E"                                                            
was ADOPTED as a working document.                                                                                              
Co-Chair Wilken ordered the bill HELD in Committee.                                                                             

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