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CSSB 55(STA): "An Act relating to the Alaska Pioneers' Home and the Alaska Pioneers' Homes Advisory Board; relating to admissions to, payment assistance for, and transfers from the home; relating to housing and services for veterans; and providing for an effective date."

00                       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 55(STA)                                                                    
01 "An Act relating to the Alaska Pioneers' Home and the Alaska Pioneers' Homes                                            
02 Advisory Board; relating to admissions to, payment assistance for, and transfers from                                   
03 the home; relating to housing and services for veterans; and providing for an effective                                 
04 date."                                                                                                                  
05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
06    * Section 1.  AS 44.21.120 is amended to read:                                                                   
07            Sec. 44.21.120.  Composition of the board.  (a)  The Alaska Pioneers' Homes                              
08       Advisory Board consists of                                                                                        
09                 (1)  five [SEVEN] members appointed by the governor from among                                      
10       citizens of the state; [AND]                                                                                      
11                 (2)  one member, appointed by the governor, who                                                     
12                      (A)  is a veteran of active service in the armed forces of the                                 
13            United States, including the Alaska National Guard or the Alaska                                         
14            Territorial Guard; and                                                                                   
01                      (B)  meets the age and state residency requirements under                                      
02            AS 47.55 for admission to the Alaska Pioneers' Home;                                                     
03                 (3)  one member, appointed by the governor, who is a veteran of                                     
04       active service in the armed forces of the United States, including the Alaska                                 
05       National Guard or the Alaska Territorial Guard; and                                                           
06                 (4)   one member who is the chair of the Alaska Commission on Aging                                 
07       established under AS 44.21.200.                                                                                   
08            (b)  The term of office of a member of the board appointed under (a)(1), (2), or                         
09       (3) of this section is four years.  A member of the board appointed under (a)(1), (2),                    
10       or (3) of this section may not serve more than eight consecutive years.  A chair shall                        
11       be elected by the voting members of the board.  The members of the board appointed                                
12       under (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this section serve at the pleasure of the governor.                              
13    * Sec. 2.  AS 47.55.010 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                              
14            (e)  As provided in this subsection, a certain number of beds in the Alaska                                  
15       Pioneers' Home shall be reserved for use by veterans who meet all other qualifications                            
16       for admission to the home.  The Department of Administration shall by regulation                                  
17                 (1)  specify the number of beds reserved for use by veterans under this                                 
18       subsection; the department may not specify that more than 30 percent of the beds in a                             
19       single institution, nor more than 21 percent of the beds collectively comprising the                              
20       Alaska Pioneers' Home system, are reserved for use by veterans;                                                   
21                 (2)  establish procedures that                                                                          
22                      (A)  provide for a veteran to be considered for admission to an                                    
23            unreserved, unoccupied bed in the home under admission criteria in or under                                  
24            this chapter if all beds reserved under this subsection are occupied;                                        
25                      (B)  provide for a person who is not a veteran to be considered                                    
26            for admission to an unoccupied bed reserved under this subsection if no                                      
27            veteran who is qualified for admission to a reserved bed has applied for                                     
28            admission; and                                                                                               
29                      (C)  ensure that, to the extent possible, the beds reserved for use                                
30            by veterans under this subsection are occupied by veterans.                                                  
31            (f)  In this section, "veteran" means a person with 181 days or more of active                               
01       service in the armed forces of the United States, including the Alaska National Guard                             
02       or the Alaska Territorial Guard.                                                                                  
03    * Sec. 3.  AS 47.55.020(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
04            (a)  Every person residing in the state who is 65 years of age or older, has been                            
05       a resident of the state continuously for more than one year [15 YEARS] immediately                            
06       preceding application for admission, and is in need of residence at the home because                              
07       of physical disability or other reason, is eligible for admission under conditions                                
08       prescribed in regulations of the Department of Administration.  The spouse of a person                            
09       who is eligible for admission under other provisions of this subsection is also eligible                          
10       for admission to the home under conditions prescribed by the department if the spouse                             
11       is 65 years of age or older and has been a resident of the state continuously for more                            
12       than one year [15 YEARS] immediately preceding application for admission.  In this                            
13       subsection, "physical disability or other reason" means inability to maintain a                                   
14       household without regular assistance in shopping, housekeeping, meal preparation,                                 
15       dressing, or personal hygiene because of physical or medical impairment, infirmity, or                            
16       disability.                                                                                                       
17    * Sec. 4.  AS 47.55.020(e) is amended to read:                                                                     
18            (e)  Notwithstanding AS 47.55.070 and (b) of this section, a home resident                               
19       whose income and assets are insufficient to pay the monthly rate set under                                        
20       AS 47.55.030(b) qualifies for payment assistance if the resident is otherwise in                                  
21       compliance with requirements under this chapter.  The amount of payment assistance                                
22       shall equal the amount needed, when added to other income and assets of the resident,                             
23       to pay the monthly rate set under AS 47.55.030(b).  Payment assistance received by a                              
24       home resident is a debt to the state.  In determining the amount of payment assistance                        
25       for which a home resident qualifies, the following income and assets of the [A                                
26       PIONEERS' HOME] resident shall be disregarded:                                                                    
27                 (1)  income from any source in an amount equal to at least $100 per                                     
28       month as established by regulation of the Department of Administration;                                           
29                 (2)  the following assets received under 43 U.S.C. 1601 - 1629g [43                                 
30       U.S.C. 1601 - 1629e] (Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act):                                                       
31                      (A)  cash dividends and other income equal to at least $2,000 as                                   
01            established by regulation of the Department of Administration;                                               
02                      (B)  stock;                                                                                        
03                      (C)  noncash dividends from stock; and                                                             
04                      (D)  land;                                                                                         
05                 (3)  a permanent fund dividend issued under AS 43.23;                                                   
06                 (4)  veterans' benefits paid under 38 U.S.C. 1110 [38 U.S.C. 1114];                                 
07                 (5)  compensation to volunteers under the federal retired and senior                                    
08       volunteers (42 U.S.C. 5001), foster grandparents (42 U.S.C. 5011), and senior                                     
09       companion (42 U.S.C. 5013) programs made in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 5044(f);                                    
10                 (6)  federal World War II restitution payments made under 50 U.S.C.                                 
11       App. 1989b-4 and c-5 [50 U.S.C. 1989b-4 and c-5];                                                             
12                 (7)  payments under AS 18.67 (crime victim compensation);                                               
13                 (8)  an amount determined by regulation of the Department of                                            
14       Administration sufficient for burial expenses of the resident, the resident's spouse, and                         
15       dependents of the resident;                                                                                       
16                 (9)  real property being used as the primary residence of the resident's                                
17       spouse or a dependent of the resident;                                                                            
18                 (10)  for a home resident who has no spouse or dependent and who                                    
19       has not been admitted to a permanent bed at the home, real property being used                                
20       as the resident's primary residence;                                                                          
21                 (11)  other real or personal property equal to at least a total value of                            
22       $5,000 as established by regulation of the Department of Administration.                                          
23    * Sec. 5.  AS 47.55.080 is amended to read:                                                                        
24            Sec. 47.55.080.  Enforcement against estate.  If a beneficiary under this                                  
25       chapter dies leaving an estate in the United States [STATE], the attorney general or                          
26       the Department of Administration shall file with the executor or administrator, or with                           
27       the probate court, the claim of the state against the estate, and the attorney general or                     
28       the Department of Administration shall take the steps necessary to enforce and                                
29       collect the claim.  Money collected shall be paid into the treasury of the state.                                 
30    * Sec. 6.  AS 47.55.095 is amended to read:                                                                        
31            Sec. 47.55.095.  Limitation on enforcement of claims against estate.                                       
01       Notwithstanding AS 47.55.080 [AND 47.55.090], upon the death of a pioneers' home                                  
02       resident or of a recipient of day care or respite services, a state claim for unpaid debt                         
03       owed to the pioneers' home may be satisfied only out of the decedent's estate.  The                               
04       state may not pursue a claim to the extent doing so would work undue hardship, as                                 
05       determined by regulation of the Department of Administration, on the surviving                                    
06       spouse or dependent of the decedent.  Family portraits and heirlooms of the type                                  
07       identified under AS 09.38.020(a)(3), without regard to value, may not be taken by the                             
08       state in satisfaction of a debt to the pioneers' home.                                                            
09    * Sec. 7.  AS 47.55.035, 47.55.040, and 47.55.090 are repealed.                                                    
10    * Sec. 8.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
11 read:                                                                                                                   
12       TRANSITION:  REGULATIONS.  The Department of Administration may                                                   
13 immediately proceed to adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this                                
14 Act.  The regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not                                
15 before the effective date of the statutory change.                                                                      
16    * Sec. 9.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
17 read:                                                                                                                   
18       SURVEY AND EVALUATION.  Subject to the availability of an appropriation for                                       
19 the purpose of this section, the Department of Administration shall survey and evaluate                                 
20 certain housing and care needs of veterans in this state that are not met by the Alaska                                 
21 Pioneers' Home.  The Department of Administration shall report to the governor and the                                  
22 legislature on the results of the survey and evaluation no later than the first day of the Second                       
23 Regular Session of the Twenty-Third Alaska State Legislature.                                                           
24    * Sec. 10.  Section 8 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).