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Senate Majority Night Note: Highlights and Previews - March 28, 2014

Here is what happened in the Alaska State Senate Friday, March 28, 2014:

(S) Floor Session – Legislation considered:

SB 108 passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 1. SB 108, sponsored by Senator Dyson, seeks to strengthen privacy and liberty interests of persons by designating confidential (defined in Administrative Rule of Court 37.5) certain court records associated with dismissed and acquitted charges.

SB 170 passed the Senate by a vote of 19 to 0. SB 170 relates to a defense to the crime of prostitution for victims of sex trafficking.

SB 173 passed the Senate by a vote of 19 to 0. SB 173, sponsored by Senator Meyer, prohibits the offer, display, marketing, advertising for sale, or sale of illicit synthetic drugs.

SB 175 passed the Senate by a vote of 19 to 0. SB 175, sponsored by Senator Huggins, designates the official state bolt-action rifle.

SB 183 passed the Senate by a vote of 19 to 0. SB 183, sponsored by Senator McGuire, extends the termination date of the emerging energy technology fund and grant program.  

HB 211 passed the Senate by a vote of 19 to 0. HB 211 makes Alaska an Employment First State for individuals with disabilities.

SCR 20 passed the Senate by a vote of 17 to 0. SCR 20 proclaims April 2014 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Legislation introduced:

SB 216, which relates to sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention efforts in public schools; establishing a task force in the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, was referred to the Education and Finance Committees.

HB 217, which establishes November 14 each year as Dr. Walter Soboleff Day, was referred to the State Affairs Committee.

HB 366, sponsored by Representative Pruitt, which relates to reporting an involuntary mental health commitment to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

HB 75, sponsored by Representative Seaton, which allows greater participation in the Pick.Click.Give program by small non-profits that meet all of the eligibility requirements for the program, but do not participate due to the cost prohibitive audit requirement, was referred to the State Affairs and Finance Committees.

HB 369, sponsored by Representative Pruitt, which relates to restrictions on the criminal prosecution for certain offenses for a person who seeks medical assistance for a person experiencing a drug overdose, was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

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(S) Finance Committee – Members considered:  

SB 168, sponsored by Senator Kelly, which establishes the petroleum engineering research for hydrocarbon optimization grant program and fund in the University of Alaska. SB 168 was heard & held.

HB 266, submitted by Governor Parnell, which makes appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government and for certain programs, capitalizing funds, and makes reappropriations. HB 266 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Rules Committee.

HB 267, submitted by Governor Parnell, which makes appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program. HB 267 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Rules Committee.

Lunch & Learn – There was a lunch & learn on “Honoring Guest Speaker Erin Merryn,” sponsored by Senator McGuire and Representative Tarr.

(J) Veterans Caucus Committee – There was a “Welcome Home Ceremony for Juneau Veterans who served in the Vietnam War Era.”

Lunch & Learn – There was a lunch & learn on the Alaska North Slope conventional and unconventional oil and gas, sponsored by Senator Kelly and Representative Saddler.

(S) Judiciary Committee – Members considered:  

HB 47, sponsored by Representatives Feige and Chenault, which requires a party seeking a restraining order, preliminary injunction, or order vacating or staying the operation of certain permits affecting an industrial operation to give security in the amount the court considers proper for costs incurred and damages suffered if the industrial operation is wrongfully enjoined or restrained. HB 47 was heard & held.

HB 218, sponsored by Representatives Chenault and Millett, which relates to the aggravating factor at felony sentencing of multiple prior misdemeanors when a prior misdemeanor involves an assault on a correctional employee, provides that deportation is not a proper factor for referral of a case to a three-judge panel for sentencing for a felony. HB 218 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Rules Committee.

SB 201, sponsored by Senator Stedman, which removes the requirement that private property be posted in order for criminal trespass laws to be enforced. SB 201 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Rules Committee.

(S) Resources Committee – There was an overview of salmon stocks and management plans in the Upper Cook Inlet.

(J) Legislative Budget & Audit Committee – Members conducted an executive session on the state of Alaska single audit for FY 2013 final release. 

Here is the preview for tomorrow, Saturday, March 29, 2014:

9:00 a.m. – (J) Judiciary Committee – House Finance 519 – Members will conduct a hearing on an act to legalize Marijuana.

1:30 p.m. – (J) Judiciary Committee – House Finance 519 – Members will conduct a hearing on an act to increase the minimum wage to $8.75 per hour.

Here is the preview for Monday, March 31, 2014:

8:00 a.m. – (S) Education Committee – Beltz 105 – Members will consider:

HB 162, sponsored by T. Wilson, which increases the time required for teachers to be awarded tenure.

Members will also consider bills previously heard/scheduled.

9:00 a.m. – (S) Finance Committee – Senate Finance 532 – Members will consider:

SJR 21, sponsored by Senator Kelly, which proposes amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska to increase the number of members on the judicial council and relates to the initial terms of new members appointed to the judicial council. 

SJR 23, sponsored by Senator Fairclough, which proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to contracting state debt for postsecondary student loans.

SB 104, sponsored by Senator Dyson, which relates to appropriations from the dividend fund; creating the criminal fund.

SB 140, sponsored by Senator McGuire, which creates the Arctic infrastructure development program and fund in the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

HB 199, sponsored by Representative Edgmon, which establishes the legislature’s intent that Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs) be allowed to carry firearms.

Members will also consider bills previously heard/scheduled.

1:30 p.m. – (S) Judiciary Committee – Beltz 105 – Members will consider:

HB 284, sponsored by Representative Keller, which proposes an interstate compact to amend the Constitution of the United States with a Balanced Budget Amendment via the Constitution’s Article V process.

Members will also consider bills previously heard/scheduled.

3:30 p.m. – (S) Resources Committee – Butrovich 205 – There will be an information hearing on “Opportunities for Resource Development to Address Economic Challenges in Rural Alaska.”

Members will also consider bills previously heard/scheduled.

For updates throughout the day, please bookmark the Senate Majority’s Website www.alaskasenate.org  which features Senate news, information, photos, social media, member information and more.

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