Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205

04/09/2010 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 386 CITATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 386(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 108 PROP. FORECLOSURE/EXECUTION/TRUST DEEDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 108(JUD) Out of Committee
+= HB 52 POST-TRIAL JUROR COUNSELING TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 52 Out of Committee
+= HJR 48 CRIME VICTIMS FUND PRESERVATION ACT TELECONFERENCED
Moved HJR 48 Out of Committee
+ HB 253 MECHANIC/MATERIALMEN LIENS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 287 UNIFORM ACT: PROPERTY INTEREST DISCLAIMER TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 251 VEHICLE LIENS/TOWING/STORAGE/TRANSPORT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 355 CRIMINAL FINES FOR ORGANIZATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SB 190 BIOMETRIC INFORMATION FOR ID
Moved CSSB 190(JUD) Out of Committee
            HB 355-CRIMINAL FINES FOR ORGANIZATIONS                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH  announced  the  consideration  of  HB  355.  [CSHB
355(JUD) was before the committee.]                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:35:06 AM                                                                                                                    
GRETCHEN STAFT,  Staff to  Representative Max  Gruenberg, sponsor                                                               
of  HB 355,  explained  that  the bill  amends  the statute  that                                                               
provides the  maximum criminal fines  that may be  levied against                                                               
an organization upon  conviction of an offense. Page  1, lines 7-                                                               
13, provides the following:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   · The maximum fine for a felony offense that results in death                                                                
     or a misdemeanor offense that results in death is increased                                                                
     [from $1 million to $2.5 million.]                                                                                         
   · The maximum fine for a class A misdemeanor offense that                                                                    
     does not result in death is increased [from $200,000 to                                                                    
     $500,000.]                                                                                                                 
   · The maximum fine for a class B misdemeanor offense that                                                                    
     does not result in death is increased [from $25,000 to                                                                     
     $75,000.]                                                                                                                  
   · The maximum fine for a violation is increased [from $10,000                                                                
     to $25,000.]                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. STAFT noted that the  fines for the less serious misdemeanors                                                               
and a  violation haven't changed  since 1990 and  inflation alone                                                               
would have  increased those by about  60 percent. The fine  for a                                                               
felony offense  or a misdemeanor  offense resulting in  death was                                                               
last raised in  2002, but the sponsor believes  that the increase                                                               
is  justified  because of  the  seriousness  of the  offense  and                                                               
because crimes by organizations  are more sophisticated and yield                                                               
great benefit to  the organization. She clarified  that these are                                                               
maximum fines and  the judge can order anything from  zero to the                                                               
maximum depending on the egregiousness of the offense.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:37:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Page  1, line  14,  through page  2, line  7,  relates to  treble                                                               
damages.  Current  law  provides  that   a  judge  can  order  an                                                               
organization to  pay triple the  amount of damages gained  by the                                                               
defendant in  the crime  or three  times the  loss sought  by the                                                               
defendant.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHAFT said  there's a loophole in the current  law because in                                                               
some crimes,  like bribery  or conspiracy, there  might not  be a                                                               
gain to  the defendant  or a  loss to the  victim. HB  355 closes                                                               
that loophole  and allows  the court to  issue treble  damages in                                                               
those cases as well.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:39:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MAX  GRUENBERG, sponsor of  HB 355, said  a recent                                                               
news article about  the Massey Coal Mine  explosion that resulted                                                               
in multiple  deaths caught his  eye because it  could potentially                                                               
lead to a  charge of negligent homicide  against the corporation.                                                               
This bill would potentially help in that sort of case, he said.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:42:18 AM                                                                                                                    
RICK  SVOBODNY,  Deputy   Attorney  General,  Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department of Law (DOL), said the department supports the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI commented that it's a great bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRENCH announced he would hold HB 355 in committee.                                                                       

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