For the afternoon #akleg, we've got concurrent hearings of the S. Finance Committee on Senate President Micciche's alcohol rewrite bill:…

House Judiciary on a bill dealing with access to MJ conviction records by Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins:…
JKT on his legislation, says it would remove some records of convictions for simple marijuana possession from the public record. You'd have to have been 21+ at the time with no other crimes committed in the act to have your record sealed.

He says it matches the current times. Image
Over in Senate Finance (I'm not sure why I'm doing this to myself), Sen. Micciche says not everyone agrees with everything in his alcohol bill but says it has broad support from the industry associations.

He's been carrying it since 2015. It's been sunk by industry many times.
Brewers' Guild, CHARR (which was the main culprit in sinking previous versions of this) and Recover Alaska all testify in support of Micciche's legislation. They all say that it's a smart compromise that meets both industry and public health needs.
Glen Klinkhart, the Director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, says the board and agency support the bill, adding that he was jealous of the fine schedules and "was so impressed that we stole the fine schedule" and implemented it for marijuana businesses.
I've covered this bill a bunch while back at the News-Miner but the underlying thinking is that a wider fine schedule will allow faster and more certain enforcement of minor rules. If everything's a big fee, then some tickets might not get written and behavior is not corrected.
Sen. Wielechowski, who's a home brewer who collaborated with beekeeping Sen. Wilson on some Mead, asks about the impacts on homebrewers.

Micciche says it's aimed at licensed operators, and home brewers would not be affected.
Good news, bad news for fans of brewery and distillery tasting rooms. The legislation would extend the hours for breweries, wineries and distilleries from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

It would however set limits on # of new businesses. No one gets closed down but limits new entrants.
That's it for the S. Finance hearing on SB 9. They've got it set up for a hearing tomorrow.

The Senate is keen on getting this bill to the finish line while everyone's aligned on it. The problem, though, has been the House where some legislators have ties to the industry.
OK, back to House Judiciary where I'm on a delay.

They're doing the very Judiciary thing where they're getting wrapped around the axle on some hyper-specific hypotheticals.

Eastman wondered whether there's a gray area where a MJ conviction would hide a murder conviction.
After a lengthy back and forth the answer is, no, a MJ conviction in 1990 would NOT hide from the public a 2000 murder conviction if this bill was to pass.
Rep. Vance wonders how many of the 700-or-so people who would be affected this have had their MJ convictions impede work.

JKT says, no, just anecdotal.

Vance says she's concerned about the cost, suggesting it should be a proactive application by the individuals.
The cost is about $300K, per the fiscal note, over two years.

Whether it requires a petition or automatic doesn't affect the cost of the bill. Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins says, though, they would be welcome to any cost-cutting approaches.
Aide for Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins says there's actually closer to 8,000 cases that would be affected by this legislation.
Ah, the motto of the Judiciary Committees: "Let's say..."
Rep. Kurka doesn't like that the bill would remove records off courtview but they'd still be at the courthouse. Asks if the #akleg has EVER done this.

Meade: Yes, in 2015 with a bill requiring any case that ends in a complete acquittal be removed from courtview.

Kurka: Hmm.

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More from @mattbuxton

Jan 21
On the board testimony issues, Judge Matthews: "Both parties make arguments that are well-grounded."
He says Singer already had the chance to file testimony and supplemental affidavits for his witnesses. Singer doesn't get to call additional re-directs (additional questioning) but can file supplemental affidavits for consideration.

Plaintiffs would get opportunity for cross.
Wells apologizes for requiring Bahnke fly into Anchorage, says she will not be calling her for cross examination today
Read 33 tweets
Jan 21
The first day of the trial challenging the Alaska Redistricting Board's work is underway. Today, they'll be kicking it off with the East Anchorage plaintiffs, who are challenging the Senate pairings with the conservative Eagle River.

#akleg #akredistrict

It's going to be an unusual trial because the direct testimony has already been filed. The opening arguments, too. They'll be starting out with cross examination and then direct testimony.
First, they're taking up several objections raised by the Alaska Redistricting Board against lay testimony and expert testimony brought by East Anchorage.

Judge Matthews rejects both motions, adding that he'll take the hearsay testimony as it comes.
Read 87 tweets
Jan 20
The House Finance Committee is underway with an overview hearing on Gov. Dunleavy's budget proposal.


Presentation:… Image
Steininger explaining how the state's budget has been reduced by ~5% since Dunleavy took office with most of the cuts coming to the University of Alaska and a few other areas. Notes quite a bit of it, though, has been eaten up by more spending on public safety, corrections. Image
Rep. Foster asks why Steininger chose FY19 as the starting point, asking whether it's intended to make the budget look better.

Steininger says it's to "focus on the achievements of this administration."
Read 36 tweets
Jan 20
S. Finance is underway. They're taking a look at the revenue forecast with DoR's Chief Economist Dan Stickel. Stedman prefaces by saying investments have surpassed oil, but "that might be switching around."


Docs:… Image
Stedman says they all need to start settling into a base number for oil price. The state has started to update it more regularly, which Stedman suggests is not particularly helpful because it can make for big swings in the budget outlook.
How's the state's economy doing? "Still a ways to go," Stickel says. Image
Read 21 tweets
Jan 20
Meanwhile, the Superior Court has its final pre-trial briefing. The Alaska Redistricting Board is refusing to make members Borromeo and Bahnke available to testify on Senate pairings.

Singer: "I don't have any obligation" to provide witnesses who didn't support the plan.

Singer, board's counsel, says the depositions are fine.

It sounds like they're going to be putting up Budd Simpson, not Bethany Marcum—the member who came up with the pairings.

Judge Matthews seems to agree with Singer. "What more different information am I likely to get?"
Attorney Holly Wells, the attorney arguing the Senate pairings, says that Singer prevented Borromeo and Bahnke from speaking about executive sessions.

She says they're prejudiced, here.

Judge Matthews seems to suggest there's some merit to that argument.
Read 16 tweets
Jan 19
The Senate Finance Committee is underway. On today's agenda is a look at the state's production forecast (which plays into revenue and therefore the budget).


#akleg Image
Sen. Stedman is opening up with an introduction of committee staff as well as legislative aides. When he gets to Sen. Bishop's team, Stedman says: "His duties are whatever his boss assigns him."
Sen. Stedman on the budget process: "We will pull out of the non-reoccurring funds ... and boil it down to the base budget."

"It's very important that we have a base document to go through" instead of the Gov's budget that he claims "is balanced when it's not."
Read 23 tweets

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