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HB 11: "An Act directing the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Law, and the Department of Public Safety to establish a pilot program to coordinate investigations of sexual abuse and serious physical abuse of children."

00 HOUSE BILL NO. 11                                                                                                       
01 "An Act directing the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department                                          
02 of Law, and the Department of Public Safety to establish a pilot program to                                             
03 coordinate investigations of sexual abuse and serious physical abuse of children."                                      
04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
05    * Section 1.  CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY CENTERS.  (a)  The Department of Health and                                        
06 Social Services, the Department of Law, and the Department of Public Safety shall cooperate                             
07 in establishing or contracting to establish a children's advocacy center in each municipality                           
08 in the state where, in fiscal year 1994, more than 500 cases of suspected harm were reported                            
09 under AS 47.17.  If contracting is used to establish a center under this Act, the contractor                            
10 must be a nonprofit entity.                                                                                             
11  (b)  A children's advocacy center established under this Act shall provide for a                                       
12 comprehensive, multidisciplinary, intergovernmental, interagency, and interprofessional                                 
13 response to sexual abuse of children and serious physical abuse of children.  The purposes of                           
14 a center are to                                                                                                         
01   (1)  avoid subjecting a child to multiple interviews about alleged abuse;                                             
02   (2)  minimize the time and duplication of effort required to investigate,                                             
03 prosecute, and initiate treatment for the abused child;                                                                 
04   (3)  realize financial savings through the avoidance of agency duplication under                                      
05 (2) of this subsection;                                                                                                 
06   (4)  provide competent personnel in a coordinated setting who can obtain                                              
07 admissible information that can be used effectively in criminal and child protection                                    
08 proceedings, expedite the processing of those cases, and facilitate the provision of services and                       
09 treatment to the abused child and the child's family; and                                                               
10   (5)  enhance community understanding of sexual abuse of children.                                                     
11  (c)  The departments identified in (a) of this section shall establish, or require the                                 
12 contractor for each children's advocacy center to establish, an advisory board from the                                 
13 municipality that the center serves.  The board must include                                                            
14   (1)  a representative of every ethnic, racial, and linguistic minority that has a                                     
15 substantial population in the municipality;                                                                             
16   (2)  the municipal attorney or the attorney's designee;                                                               
17   (3)  the municipal chief of police or the chief's designee;                                                           
18   (4)  the mayor of the municipality or the mayor's designee;                                                           
19   (5)  a physician licensed to practice medicine;                                                                       
20   (6)  a licensed mental health professional;                                                                           
21   (7)  a criminal defense attorney;                                                                                     
22   (8)  a judge or designee of a judge who has jurisdiction over children's cases                                        
23 in the municipality;                                                                                                    
24   (9)  a representative from the office of the district attorney;                                                       
25   (10)  a representative from the local health department;                                                              
26   (11)  a representative of the office of public advocacy;                                                              
27   (12)  a representative of the Department of Health and Social Services;                                               
28   (13)  a representative of the Department of Public Safety; and                                                        
29   (14)  at least four residents of the municipality who are not described in (1) -                                      
30 (13) of this subsection.                                                                                                
31    * Sec. 2.  INTERAGENCY AGREEMENTS.  (a)  The state agencies and municipal                                            
01 agencies involved in the investigation of sexual abuse of children and serious physical abuse                           
02 of children in a municipality in which a children's advocacy center is established under this                           
03 Act shall enter into interagency and intergovernmental agreements that are necessary to ensure                          
04 the coordinated response intended to be achieved through the establishment of the children's                            
05 advocacy center.                                                                                                        
06  (b)  An agreement under this section does not relieve a public agency of an obligation                                 
07 or responsibility imposed on it by law except that actual and timely performance by an                                  
08 intergovernmental legal entity created to perform joint intergovernmental functions by an                               
09 agreement made under this section may be offered in satisfaction of the obligation or                                   
10 responsibility.                                                                                                         
11  (c)  A public agency entering into an agreement under this section may sell, lease,                                    
12 give, or otherwise supply tangible and intangible property to the center created under this Act                         
13 to operate the joint or intergovernmental undertaking and may provide personnel or services                             
14 for the center that are within its legal power to sell, lease, give, or supply.                                         
15    * Sec. 3.  IMMUNITY. (a)  An officer, employee, or volunteer of a nonprofit entity that                              
16 has contracted to provide a children's advocacy center under this Act is not criminally or                              
17 civilly liable for actions or omissions performed in connection with the center if the                                  
18   (1)  individual was acting in good faith and reasonably believed the actions or                                       
19 omissions were within the scope of the individual's authority; and                                                      
20   (2)  damage or injury was not caused by an intentional or knowing act or                                              
21 omission by the individual that constitutes illegal misconduct.                                                         
22  (b)  A center established under this Act, the advisory board for a center, and the                                     
23 members of the advisory board for a center are not liable for the acts or omissions of the                              
24 center's volunteers unless                                                                                              
25   (1)  the board, member, or center, as applicable, had, or reasonably should have                                      
26 had, reasonable notice of the individual's unfitness to provide services to the center under                            
27 circumstances that make the center's use of the individual grossly negligent in light of that                           
28 notice; or                                                                                                              
29   (2)  a business employer would be liable under the laws of this state if the act                                      
30 or omission were the act or omission of one of its employees.                                                           
31    * Sec. 4.  REPORT.  The Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of                                  
01 Law, and the Department of Public Safety shall jointly report annually to the legislature                               
02 concerning the operation of the centers established under this Act and the extent to which they                         
03 are achieving the purposes set out in sec. 1 of this Act.  The report must also include                                 
04 recommendations as to whether and how to expand the use of children's advocacy centers in                               
05 the state.                                                                                                              
06    * Sec. 5.  This Act is repealed June 30, 1999.