A MOVE TO ALLOW FELONY DUI CONVICTIONS TO NOT MATTER AFTER 10 YEARS
Monday is Day 112 in the Alaska Legislature; the constitutional deadline for sine die is next Wednesday. Not much of interest is on the calendar today, as most negotiations are going on in fits and starts behind the scenes.
But one item caught the attention of Must Read Alaska. It’s the “LeDoux Hour of Power,” House Rules Committee on Monday at 9:30 am.
The bill comes from the governor and makes some changes to background checks for the Department of Health and Social Services. It’s a normal cleanup bill, with this title:
An Act relating to criminal and civil history record checks and requirements; relating to licenses, certifications, appeals, and authorizations by the Department of Health and Social Services; relating to child protection information; and providing for an effective date
But now it’s in LeDoux’s hands. Rather than add her amendments in the Judiciary Committee, where the changes are supposed to take place and be debated under Chairman Matt Claman, LeDoux has saved her changes for her own committee, the last stop before the House floor.
What does she want to do to SB 81?
She wants to remove driving restrictions for people who have been convicted of multiple felony DUIs.
In her own words, “The House Rules Committee substitute (CS) for SB81 (version U) would affect persons who have had their driver’s license permanently revoked for a felony DUI conviction and who also had a post-revocation driving-related criminal offense. Under current law there is no pathway for anyone with this set of convictions to ever have their driver’s license restored unless they were to reoffend. The House Rules CS would allow for persons who did not kill or seriously injure another person in connection with the felony DUI conviction or in any subsequent driving-related criminal offense(s) to have their driver’s license restored if 10 years have elapsed since their last driving-related criminal offense.”
There appears to be something wrong with the committee substitute, however: “Under current law there is no pathway for anyone with this set of convictions to ever have their driver’s license restored unless they were to reoffend.” It does not make sense.
But more to the point, this amendment has nothing to do with the purpose and intent of the bill. Why LeDoux is making major, substantive changes in the last-stop committee, a place where she has been known to squelch other amendments or discussion, is curious.
Politicos have offered two theories:
1. She is doing a favor for a donor to her Gabby’s Tuesday PAC. A scan of her donors might reveal that information.
2. She is trying to kill the bill for some unknown reason, because even if it passes the House, when it gets back to the Senate, they’re likely to take a dim view of it due to the “single subject rule.”
It’s not the first time LeDoux has made bills into Franken-bills as they came through the Rules Committee. Last year, she bruised up a simple resolution for Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and provided drama for viewers on 360North.org.