Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532
04/12/2016 09:00 AM FINANCE
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CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 155(FIN) "An Act repealing an exploration incentive credit; amending the calculation of adjusted gross income for purposes of the tax on gambling activities aboard large passenger vessels; repealing the amount that may be deducted from the motor fuel tax to cover the expense of accounting and filing for the monthly tax return; repealing a provision allowing an investigation expense under the Alaska Small Loans Act to be in place of a fee required under the Alaska Business License Act; repealing the amount that may be deducted from the tobacco excise tax to cover the expense of accounting and filing for the monthly tax return; repealing the discount on cigarette tax stamps provided as compensation for affixing the stamps to packages; and providing for an effective date." 9:53:54 AM AT EASE 9:55:27 AM RECONVENED REPRESENTATIVE STEVE THOMPSON, SPONSOR; discussed the bill: With increasing technology, DNA exonerations have been on the rise. There have been 325 post-conviction DNA exonerations with the vast majority coming since 2000. Each of these individuals spent time behind bars, an average of 13.6 years, and was released into a changed world. House Bill 55 gives these wrongfully imprisoned victims a chance to start a new life and integrate back into society. Specifically, HB 55 creates an administrative process whereby victims of overturned criminal convictions can request compensation from the state for time served. They can be compensated up to $50,000 per year with a cap at two million dollars. In order to qualify for the compensation, the claimant must have served time in prison and then have been exonerated via retrial, dismissed charges, or executive pardon because of innocence. While there is no price on the emotional and personal suffering of those who were wrongfully imprisoned, HB 55 would bring Alaska up to the federal compensation standard to help right the state's wrong. Financial compensation would help victims of wrongful imprisonment repair their lives by covering costs of education, healthcare, housing and transportation. This legislation will right the state's wrongs. Every innocent person, regardless of how they became incarcerated, deserves just compensation for the time they wrongly served. HB 55 is a stepping stone in a long process towards protecting all Alaskans. 9:57:18 AM BRODIE ANDERSON, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE STEVE THOMPSON, discussed the sectional analysis: Section 1of the bill adds wrongful conviction and imprisonment to AS 44.77.010(a) which provides for the presentation of money claims against the state to the Department of Administration. Section 2 sets out the circumstances under which a person will be eligible for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment: AS 44.77.018(a) requires that for a person to obtain compensation, the person must first present the claim to the attorney general and show that the person was convicted of one or more offenses, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment, served part or all of the sentence, and: (1) That the conviction was vacated or reversed because the person was not guilty; or a pardon was granted on account of innocence and wrongful conviction (2) The person did not commit any of the crimes charged in the criminal action in which the person was convicted, and did not cause the conviction by committing perjury or induce another to commit perjury. A false confession or guilty plea to a crime the person did not commit is not considered a cause of conviction in this section. AS 44.77.018(b) provides that a person is not entitled to compensation for a period of imprisonment that is served concurrently with a sentence for another offense. AS 44.77.018(c) sets the requirement of the section at $50,000 times the number of years of wrongful imprisonment, including fractions representing partial year, up to a maximum of $2 million. AS 44.77.018(d) prohibits a person who receives compensation under the section from bringing an action on the same subject matter involving the person's arrest, conviction, or length of confinement. AS 44.77.018(e) requires that a claim must be filed within two years after the dismissal, not guilty verdict, or pardon on which the claim is based, except that the attorney general can authorize payment for a late-filed claim if the person shows good cause for the delay. Section 3 a person making a claim from wrongful conviction and imprisonment may appeal the denial of the claim under the Administrative Procedures Act, but may not, unlike other claimants under AS 44.77.010, bring an action under AS 09.50.250 - 09.50.300 (claims against the state) if the Department of Administration fails to act under AS 44.77. Section 4 provides that for claims for wrongful conviction and imprisonment, the claims process in AS 44.77.010 - 44.77.060 applies even if the agency to which the person applies (which in this case would be the Department of Law) has a mandatory claims procedure. Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony. HB 155 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. 10:01:37 AM AT EASE 10:02:00 AM RECONVENED