Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205
04/03/2009 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES
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SB 156-COMPACT FOR JUVENILES; INTERSTATE COUNCIL 2:41:27 PM CHAIR DAVIS announced consideration of SB 156. TREVOR FULTON, staff to Senator McGuire, sponsor of SB 156, presented the sponsor statement. He said this bill was introduced at the request of the Division of Juvenile Justice, Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). He explained that SB 156 puts Alaska on the same page as 36 other states by adopting a new interstate compact on transfer of juveniles under court supervision across state lines, and that legislation is pending in at least four other states. The new compact was developed by the Council of State Governments in collaboration with the U.S. Office Juvenile Justice and Delinquency. If it is not adopted, the state could soon face serious and costly challenges in its ability to monitor juveniles who come here from other states, including some who may be dangerous and a liability concern for Alaskan agencies. In addition, other states will be under no compunction to accept Alaskan juveniles who seek to visit or reside within their borders. Not adopting the compact would also likely result in requiring Alaska to form individual agreements with each state, which could prove to be time-consuming, expensive and far less effective. 2:44:34 PM TONY NEWMAN, Social Services Program Officer, Division of Juvenile Justice, Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), supported SB 156. He said his division is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the interstate compact for juveniles in Alaska. Every year the division oversees the comings and goings of about 160 juveniles to and from Alaska under court supervision. The existing interstate compact on juveniles has for several decades helped them do this, but they agree that an update to the compact is sorely needed. He echoed what Mr. Fulton said about this being a public safety issue as well as something needed to protect the welfare of juveniles in the communities in which they reside. SENATOR ELLIS asked if this would be considered model legislation. MR. NEWMAN replied he thought it would be safe to say that. SENATOR PASKVAN said on page 24, the commissioner's duty to notify says it will take effect only if at least 34 other states ratified this model law, but then the memorandum says that 36 states have already ratified it. So, is language on page 24 meaningless? MR. NEWMAN answered yes; that threshold has been reached and the compact is considered in active status around the country. 2:47:51 PM Section Analysis: MR. NEWMAN explained that Section 1 adds "and juvenile" to the State Council for Interstate Offender Supervision. This bill creates an in-state council to oversee the compact. The Department of Corrections already has an adult offender compact and a similar requirement for a state council; so one council will oversee both operations. Section 2 changes the number of council members from seven to nine; the two extra positions are the commissioner of DHSS or designee and the compact administrator of the juvenile compact. Section 3 deletes "uniform" and inserts "for" instead of "on". Section 4 is the body of the new compact itself. Section 5 changes the designator of the compact administrator from the governor to the commissioner of DHSS Services (DHSS) to reflect what actually happens now. It also adds a new section, Section 6, which designates the state Council for Interstate Adult and Juvenile Offender supervision to serve as the same council. Section 7 adds new section, which allows the DHSS to adopt regulations to implement the provisions of the chapter. Section 8 is a cleanup for clarity by the drafter. Section 9 states that the short title of this title may be cited as the Interstate Compact for Juveniles. Section 10 repeals the existing section - AS 47.15.050 - because it is already covered in the section governing the management of juvenile delinquents. Section 11 changes the uncodified law of the state by adding new sections changing the name of the compact to the new Interstate Compact for Juveniles and changes that name in the Rules of Civil Procedure. Section 12 changes the uncodified law and adds a new section that applies old compact rules to states that haven't opted to join the new compacts in the transition period. Sections 13 adds a new section that the court rule changes take effect only if approved by two-thirds of the majority of each house. Section 14 states that the compact takes effect only if at least 34 other states ratify this compact. Section 15 sets the effective date as either the day after the date on which the commissioner of DHSS or designee notifies the revisor of statutes that at least 34 states have ratified the new compact or July 1, 2009, whichever is earlier. 2:52:02 PM MR. NEWMAN pointed out that this new compact means that Alaska would be expected to support establishment of an independent national compacting commission to support the compact activities; that doesn't exist right now. Alaskan representative would be appointed by the governor and Alaska would agree to be subject to the rules and requirements of the new compact developed by the members of the interstate commission. It would agree to collect and provide data and other information as requested by the commission, and to pay dues to participate in the national compact operation. And it would have to create a State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision. SENATOR PASKVAN advised that there is a zero fiscal note. 2:54:02 PM CAROL BRENCLE, Chair, Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (AJAC), said she is an attorney in Kenai, Alaska, said they are an advisory board of Alaskan citizens appointed by the governor to oversee implementation of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act within Alaska. They assure compliance to receive as much federal money as is available and advise the governor, the legislature and citizens on juvenile justice matters. AJAC is proactive; they have discussed the importance of the Interstate Compact for Juveniles as it affects Alaska and the kids in the juvenile delinquency system. She said AJAC supported SB 156 and thinks it is extremely important that it passes promptly, because uniform laws make it much easier for states to work together. She was also concerned that not adopting the compact soon would cost the state money. A letter from Representative Ramras in their packets refers to the fact that states that haven't enacted the new compact by December 2009 will not be able to transfer juveniles to and from states operating under the new compact at that time. This means the state would need individual memorandums of understanding for its kids to be transferred out of state. It is also extremely important to deal with juveniles on an immediate basis and not delay proceedings so that a child can be with a parent who can give him supervision and protection. Also, as an attorney, she realizes that other states will be making laws that affect Alaska. 2:59:46 PM CHAIR DAVIS closed public testimony. MR. FULTON stated that the House version of this bill did get a $45,000 fiscal note from the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), but Mr. Newman said he could describe it for her. CHAIR DAVIS asked if the House made changes to the bill. MR. NEWMAN replied no, but he didn't know why it wasn't transmitted to the committee. 3:01:17 PM SENATOR PASKVAN moved to report SB 156 from committee with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note(s) with the understanding that an amended fiscal note would catch up to it in the Judiciary Committee. There being no objection, the motion carried.