The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010||
Sponsor Statement: House Bill 170
Repeal Authority For Day Fines
“Repealing the authority for day fines.”
Posted: March 11, 2009
Status: Chapter 33 SLA 09 : 2009-06-16
House Bill 170 repeals the authority established for day fines. The legislation establishing day fines for certain misdemeanor offenses, House Bill 119, was passed into law in 1994 and became effective July 1, 1994.
One of the provisions in the legislation was for the Court System to adopt a day fine plan. As required by the bill, the Supreme Court created a committee to establish a fine schedule based on the guidelines of House Bill 119. The committee found several problems in adopting a day fine plan and requested the legislature to introduce a bill to solve those problems. Senate Bill 167 was introduced in 1995 but did not get out of the Senate. Without the changes requested by the Supreme Court, the court did not implement the provisions of House Bill 119.
According to the Court System, "some of the technical issues identified by the committee included concerns over which misdemeanors were included and excluded, significant time delays associated with judges making written findings, problems in determining defendant income, conflicts with ordering substance abuse treatment and concerns over the levels of fines imposed and the time allowed to pay them."
The committee also expressed concerns that the bill would not accomplish what the sponsor had intended. The sponsor statement stated the intent of the legislation was to improve fine collection and reduce the number of misdemeanor offenders who were sentenced to jail. The committee believed that because the misdemeanors that were excluded from the day fine provisions and because of the technical problems identified by the committee, the sponsor's goals would not be met.
Since these statutes are not in use and will not be used by the courts, I propose that we repeal the statutes that impose a day fine plan rather than keeping these statutes in the books.