Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/20/2015 01:30 PM Senate JUDICIARY

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
01:38:58 PM Start
01:39:21 PM Confirmation Hearings: State Board of Parole and Alaska Police Standards Council
02:04:05 PM SB43
02:11:16 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled:
+ Confirmation of Governor's Appointments: TELECONFERENCED
Rebecca Hamon - Alaska Police Standards Council
Gustalf Sandahl - Alaska Police Standards Council
Richards "Ole" Larson - State Board of Parole
Confirmation Hearing Postponed:
Allen Joseph - Alaska Judicial Council
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 43(JUD) Out of Committee
Scheduled but Not Heard
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 20, 2015                                                                                         
                           1:38 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 43                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to immunity for a fire department and employees                                                                
or members of a fire department."                                                                                               
     - MOVED CSSB 43(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
     Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                          
          Rebecca Hamon                                                                                                         
          Gustaf Sandahl                                                                                                        
     - CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                   
     State Board of Parole                                                                                                    
          Richard "Ole" Larson                                                                                                  
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 43                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: IMMUNITY FOR FIRE DEPT. & MEMBERS                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COGHILL                                                                                                  
02/06/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/15       (S)       CRA, JUD                                                                                               
02/17/15       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/17/15       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/17/15       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/05/15       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/05/15       (S)       Moved  CSSB 43(CRA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/05/15       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/06/15       (S)       CRA RPT CS  3DP  SAME TITLE                                                                            
03/06/15       (S)       DP: BISHOP, EGAN, MACKINNON                                                                            
03/16/15       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/16/15       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/18/15       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/18/15       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/18/15       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/20/15       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
RICHARD "OLE" LARSON, Appointee                                                                                                 
State Board of Parole                                                                                                           
Boston, Massachusetts                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as an appointee to the State Board                                                              
of Parole.                                                                                                                      
GUSTAF SANDAHL, Chief                                                                                                           
Kenai Police Department                                                                                                         
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as an appointee to the Alaska                                                                   
Police Standards Council.                                                                                                       
REBECCA HAMON, Appointee                                                                                                        
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                                 
King Salmon, Alaska                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as an appointee to the Alaska                                                                   
Police Standards Council.                                                                                                       
JORDAN SHILLING, Staff                                                                                                          
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented an overview of SB 43 on behalf of                                                               
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
MITCH FLYNN, Chief                                                                                                              
Steese Volunteer Fire Department                                                                                                
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 43.                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:38:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LESIL   MCGUIRE  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:38  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Costello,  Wielechowski, Coghill,  and Chair                                                               
^CONFIRMATION HEARINGS:  State Board of Parole  and Alaska Police                                                               
Standards Council                                                                                                               
                     CONFIRMATION HEARINGS:                                                                                 
1:39:21 PM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR  MCGUIRE announced  the first  order of  business would  be                                                               
confirmation  hearings for  the  State Board  of  Parole and  the                                                               
Alaska Police  Standards Council.  She asked  Mr. Larson  to tell                                                               
the committee  about his interest  in serving on the  State Board                                                               
of Parole.                                                                                                                      
                     State Board of Parole                                                                                  
1:39:29 PM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD  "OLE"   LARSON,  Appointee,   State  Board   of  Parole,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, testified that he  is seeking his second five-                                                               
year term on the State Board  of Parole. He shared that he worked                                                               
for the Department  of Corrections for over 29  years and retired                                                               
as the  superintendent of the  Mat-Su Pretrial Facility.  He said                                                               
he  is also  on  the Mat-Su  School Board  which  gives him  more                                                               
appreciation  for  the Board  of  Parole's  goal to  ensure  that                                                               
parolees  have the  opportunity  to get  into rehabilitation  and                                                               
education programs. He  looks forward to continuing  to serve the                                                               
SENATOR  COGHILL thanked  Mr.  Larson  and asked  if  he had  any                                                               
suggestions for effective rehabilitation tools for parolees.                                                                    
MR. LARSON described  the PACE program and what it  has to offer,                                                               
such as drug and alcohol  programs. He stressed the importance of                                                               
not having  the parolee go  through a program  independently. The                                                               
goal  is   to  provide  effective  drug   and  alcohol  programs,                                                               
cognitive  thinking  programs,  and  moral  recognition  programs                                                               
followed by long-term after care to reinforce the skills.                                                                       
SENATOR  COGHILL noted  that the  committee  considered the  PACE                                                               
Program last year. He asked if  there had been a discussion about                                                               
whether  the  State  Parole  Board  or a  specialty  court  or  a                                                               
combination  of the  two should  be used  as a  vetting tool  for                                                               
long-term felons.                                                                                                               
MR. LARSON explained that the  parole staff vets applications and                                                               
then they are submitted to  the governor's office or the clemency                                                               
board. However, the clemency board  has not been in operation for                                                               
eight years and the hope is  that under Governor Walker it can be                                                               
1:46:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO   thanked  Mr.  Larson  and   opined  that  his                                                               
background  made him  perfect for  the  job. She  brought up  the                                                               
connection between reading  skills in third grade  and the future                                                               
history of crime.                                                                                                               
MR. LARSON said the parole board  does look at level of education                                                               
as  a  parole item  for  consideration.  He agreed  that  reading                                                               
readiness is important. He mentioned  the number of children with                                                               
parents who are incarcerated and the need for intervention.                                                                     
1:50:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  said she  would  like  to see  school/business                                                               
partnerships strengthened at an early age.                                                                                      
CHAIR MCGUIRE noted his long years of service.                                                                                  
MR. LARSON said  his experience at McLaughlin opened  his eyes to                                                               
many issues.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE echoed Senator Costello's  thanks. She spoke of the                                                               
cost of corrections and the difficulty in rehabilitation.                                                                       
                Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                             
1:53:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE recognized Chief Sandahl.                                                                                         
GUSTAF SANDAHL,  Chief, Kenai Police Department,  testified as an                                                               
appointee to  the Alaska Police  Standards Council.  He described                                                               
his law enforcement history with  the Kenai Police Department and                                                               
his  education. He  said this  would be  his second  term on  the                                                               
council. He  noted his role  on the  council is an  important one                                                               
and he  enjoyed his  experience. He explained  what the  staff of                                                               
the council does.                                                                                                               
CHAIR MCGUIRE thanked Mr. Sandahl for his service.                                                                              
1:56:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL voiced gratitude for Mr. Sandahl's service.                                                                     
1:57:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE recognized Ms. Hamon.                                                                                             
REBECCA HAMON,  Appointee, Alaska Police Standards  Council, King                                                               
Salmon, Alaska,  testified as an  appointee to the  Alaska Police                                                               
Standards Council.  She described  her work  with Safe  and Fear-                                                               
Free Environment (SAFE) in Dillingham  as an advocate for victims                                                               
of domestic violence. She said  she works in partnership with the                                                               
local police  departments, troopers,  and service  providers. She                                                               
said she  has worked on the  council for two years.  She said she                                                               
brings a  unique viewpoint to the  council in that she  is not in                                                               
police work.  She has raised her  family in King Salmon  and is a                                                               
part of  a community  team. She hopes  to bring  understanding of                                                               
rural issues to the council and the state.                                                                                      
2:02:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE  pointed out the  highlights of Ms.  Hamon's resume                                                               
and  thanked her  for  her  service as  a  public  member on  the                                                               
2:03:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  expressed his  gratitude  for  her service  and                                                               
CHAIR MCGUIRE discussed the importance of SAFE.                                                                                 
[The names were advanced to the full body for consideration.]                                                                   
            SB 43-IMMUNITY FOR FIRE DEPT. & MEMBERS                                                                         
2:04:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCGUIRE announced  the  consideration of  SB  43. "An  Act                                                               
relating  to immunity  for  a fire  department  and employees  or                                                               
members  of  a  fire  department." She  noted  that  Chief  Flynn                                                               
testified  at the  last  meeting. [CSSB  43(JUD)  was before  the                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL asked his staff to review the bill.                                                                             
2:04:46 PM                                                                                                                    
JORDAN  SHILLING,  Staff,  Senator  John  Coghill,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented an  overview of  SB 43  on behalf  of the                                                               
sponsor. He  said Alaska has  a fire department  immunity statute                                                               
that  applies to  staff  of  fire departments,  but  it does  not                                                               
provide protection to contract fire  departments. There are seven                                                               
departments that fall under this  situation and SB 43 extends the                                                               
protection to those fire departments.                                                                                           
CHAIR MCGUIRE asked  Senator Wielechowski if he  has any concerns                                                               
about changes in the bill.                                                                                                      
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said  he discussed it with  Mr. Shilling and                                                               
plans to support the bill.                                                                                                      
SENATOR COGHILL  noted in  his area  almost all  firefighters are                                                               
2:07:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  asked if  contract  fire  fighters receive  state                                                               
system benefits.                                                                                                                
MR. SHILLING replied he did not think so.                                                                                       
CHAIR MCGUIRE opined that all  fire departments should be treated                                                               
MITCH FLYNN,  Chief, Steese Volunteer  Fire Department,  said his                                                               
volunteer  department has  similar benefits  but not  through the                                                               
CHAIR MCGUIRE voiced support for equal treatment.                                                                               
2:09:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked if there  has been any opposition  to the                                                               
MR. SHILLING answered no.                                                                                                       
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked if there  has been litigation  related to                                                               
this issue that this bill could have clarified.                                                                                 
MR.  SHILLING  replied  he  was  aware  of  one  lawsuit  in  the                                                               
Fairbanks  North Star  Borough  that the  immunity statute  would                                                               
have prevented.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  found no  further  testifiers  and closed  public                                                               
2:10:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL motioned to report CS for SB 43 from committee                                                                  
with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.                                                                  
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced that without objection CSSB 43(JUD) is                                                                  
reported from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                          
2:11:16 PM                                                                                                                    
There being nothing further to come before the committee, Chair                                                                 
McGuire adjourned the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee at                                                                    
2:11 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects