Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/08/2004 09:04 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 308(JUD)                                                                                            
     "An Act relating to  warnings on domestic violence and stalking                                                            
     forms;  and increasing  the duration  of certain provisions  of                                                            
     domestic  violence protective  orders from six months  to up to                                                            
     one year."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken  explained  that  the  Senate  Judiciary  committee                                                            
substitute,  Version 23-LS1672\H,  would double the current  maximum                                                            
length of domestic  violence protective  orders by allowing  a judge                                                            
to issue an  order for no less than  six months and up to  a maximum                                                            
of one  year. He  stated that in  addition to  being accompanied  by                                                            
several fiscal  notes, there is a  Letter of Intent from  the Senate                                                            
Judiciary Committee.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH,  the bill's sponsor, explained that this bill                                                            
would  allow a  judge to  extend the  current  six-month  protective                                                            
order mandate  to "up to one year."  He informed the Committee  that                                                            
the State  has two types  of protective orders:  a 20-day  emergency                                                            
order  that  a  petitioner   could  have  implemented   without  the                                                            
involvement of  the other party; and the six month  protective order                                                            
which could be issued upon  a court hearing involving the petitioner                                                            
and the  respondent. He  clarified that this  bill solely  addresses                                                            
the six-month  domestic  violence protective  order, which  requires                                                            
full due process before implementation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator  French shared  that the  Senate Judiciary  Committee  added                                                            
language  to the bill,  which would  clarify  that false  statements                                                            
made  during a  court hearing  would be  subject to  the penalty  of                                                            
perjury.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  French   voiced  disagreement  with  the  Public   Defender                                                            
Agency's  fiscal  note  as,  he contented  that  the  Agency  simply                                                            
doubled its current  associated expense level through  the rationale                                                            
that  the length  of  the  protective  order  would be  doubled.  He                                                            
distributed a copy of an  email exchange [copy on file], dated March                                                            
16, 2004 between himself  and Bob Linton of the Department of Law in                                                            
which it  is noted  that, of  the 23 Domestic  Violence Restraining                                                             
Orders violations  cases that occurred in Anchorage  between January                                                            
1 and  March 1,  2004, 19  were related  to the  20-day restraining                                                             
order that is  not affected by this legislation, and  only four were                                                            
violations  of the  six-month order;  thus, he  contended that  most                                                            
violations  occur within the first  20 days of an order.  Therefore,                                                            
he concluded that  the fiscal note "is quite a bit  higher" than the                                                            
expenses that would be realized were this legislation enacted.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde asked regarding  the Senate Judiciary Committee Letter                                                            
of  Intent  that accompanies  the  bill;  specifically  whether  any                                                            
financial impact would result.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator French replied  that the Letter of Intent addresses language                                                            
in Sections  1 and  3 of the bill,  which would  require the  Alaska                                                            
Court System  to "conspicuously" highlight  the penalty for  perjury                                                            
on Court System  domestic violence restraining order  documents. The                                                            
Letter  of Intent,  he continued,  would  mandate  that, only  after                                                            
current forms  are exhausted, should  the Courts implement  the bold                                                            
type requirement.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator French voiced support for the Letter of Intent.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde moved to  adopt the Senate Judiciary Letter of Intent.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection,  the Senate Judiciary Letter of Intent was                                                            
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson  moved to report the bill and the accompanying  Letter                                                            
of  Intent  from  Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and                                                            
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection, CS SB 308(JUD)  and the Judiciary  Letter                                                            
of Intent  were REPORTED  from Committee  accompanied by a  $125,600                                                            
fiscal  note,   dated  April  9,   2004,  from  the  Department   of                                                            
Administration  and zero fiscal  note #2, dated  March 8, 2004  from                                                            
the Alaska Court System.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                

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