Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/25/2014 08:30 AM FINANCE

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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 25, 2014                                                                                            
                         8:33 a.m.                                                                                              
8:33:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 8:33 a.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Representative  Charisse   Millet,  Sponsor;  Representative                                                                    
Shelley   Hughes,   Sponsor;    Ginger   Blaisdell,   Staff,                                                                    
Representative  Shelly  Hughes; Vasilios  Gialopsos,  Staff,                                                                    
Representative    Charisse     Millet;    Michael    Hanley,                                                                    
Commissioner,    Department   of    Education   and    Early                                                                    
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Steve  Colligan,  Alaska  President   of  Academy  of  Model                                                                    
Aeronautics;  Ro  Bailey,  University of  Alaska  Fairbanks;                                                                    
John  Binder,   Department  of  Transportation   and  Public                                                                    
Facilities,  Anchorage;  Clayton  Holland,  Kenai  Peninsula                                                                    
Rural  School  District,  Soldotna;  Jeanne  Gerhardt-Cyrus,                                                                    
Self,  Kiana;  Ivory  Gerhardt-Cyrus,  Kiana;  Eugene  Avey,                                                                    
Superintendent   of   Annette    Island   School   District,                                                                    
Metlakatla;  Ron Cowan,  Disability  Law  Center of  Alaska,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Ashley   Dunks,  Self,  Mat-Su;   Cassie  Wells,                                                                    
President of  the Alaska Case,  Barrow; Kendra  Stea, Crisis                                                                    
Prevention Institute, Chicago  Illinois; Christie Reinhardt,                                                                    
Governor's  Council on  Disabilities and  Special Education;                                                                    
Lucy  Hope,  Special Education  Director,  Matanuska-Susitna                                                                    
Borough School District.                                                                                                        
HB 210    STUDENT RESTRAINT, SECLUSION, PSYC DRUGS                                                                              
          HB 210 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
HB 278    EDUCATION: FUNDING/TAX CREDITS/PROGRAMS                                                                               
          HB 278 was POSTPONED                                                                                                  
HCR 15    TASK FORCE ON UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS                                                                               
          HCR 15 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 15                                                                                            
     Relating to the continuation of the Task Force on                                                                          
     Unmanned Aircraft Systems.                                                                                                 
8:33:57 AM                                                                                                                    
GINGER  BLAISDELL,  STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE  SHELLY  HUGHES,                                                                    
reported that HCR 15 extended  the Unmanned Aircraft Systems                                                                    
(UAS)  for   an  additional   three  years.   The  extension                                                                    
coincided  with the  University  of  Alaska Fairbanks  (UAF)                                                                    
campus  selected  as a  UAS  test  site. She  described  the                                                                    
composition of the task force.  The task force was comprised                                                                    
of seven  members; state employees, legislators,  one member                                                                    
from the  Aviation Advisory Board,  and one member  form the                                                                    
Academy of Model Aeronautics  [Alaska Chapter]. She detailed                                                                    
that  the sponsor  added the  commissioner [or  designee] of                                                                    
the  Department of  Transportation    and Public  Facilities                                                                    
(DOT)  because  of  the  departments  role  as  the  liaison                                                                    
between the  state and  the Federal  Aviation Administration                                                                    
(FAA),  and one  additional public  member. In  addition, an                                                                    
amendment that was  adopted in the House  Labor and Commerce                                                                    
Committee  added  three  seats; two  industry  professionals                                                                    
from  unmanned aircraft  systems,  and  the commissioner  or                                                                    
designee   from  Department   of  Commerce,   Community  and                                                                    
Economic Development.                                                                                                           
Ms. Blaisdell  elaborated that the legislation  expanded the                                                                    
duties   of  the   task  force   to  include   investigating                                                                    
complaints  and  concerns  regarding unmanned  aircraft  and                                                                    
identification  of potential  privacy problems.  She relayed                                                                    
that safeguarding Alaskans  privacy was a main  focus of the                                                                    
task  force. Public  education  regarding unmanned  aircraft                                                                    
was another expanded role hoped  to allay the public's fears                                                                    
of the  new technology. Part  of the university's role  as a                                                                    
test site would be to  hold public hearings as per agreement                                                                    
with the federal government. The  task force previously held                                                                    
meetings two that included public testimony.                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  expressed concern that the  two additional                                                                    
industry members  were considered public members.  He wanted                                                                    
to  avoid  public  misperception  about their  role  in  the                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY  HUGHES, SPONSOR, agreed.  She voiced                                                                    
that the amendment was made  in the House Labor and Commerce                                                                    
Committee.   She  suggested   that  one   member  could   be                                                                    
designated as a public member  and the other member could be                                                                    
chosen from industry.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair Austerman  revealed that  he flew  model airplanes.                                                                    
He asked how  the legislation would affect  the public's use                                                                    
of model aircraft.                                                                                                              
Representative Hughes answered  that different rules applied                                                                    
to the  flying of model  aircraft which fly under  400 feet.                                                                    
The  task  force  was  concerned  with  the  integration  of                                                                    
unmanned aircraft  allowed into  national airspace  by 2016.                                                                    
She noted that  an unmanned aircraft can also  fly under 400                                                                    
feet but  would be  differentiated for public  or commercial                                                                    
purposes where  model aircraft was  considered recreational.                                                                    
The same UAS technology could be used by hobbyist.                                                                              
Co-Chair  Austerman expressed  additional concern  about the                                                                    
legislation affecting recreational users.                                                                                       
Representative  Hughes  stated  that  the  legislative  task                                                                    
force would have no jurisdiction over hobby aircraft.                                                                           
Representative  Costello asked  about the  fiscal note,  FN1                                                                    
(LEG).  She   cited  the   analysis  that   listed  numerous                                                                    
commission meetings  and public hearings in  addition to new                                                                    
members. She wondered whether  the fiscal note appropriation                                                                    
was sufficient to cover expenses and member's travel.                                                                           
Representative Hughes  replied that  last year's  task force                                                                    
costs were absorbed  by the members. She  mentioned that her                                                                    
legislative  account covered  the refreshments.  The members                                                                    
of  the task  force were  willing to  continue to  serve and                                                                    
absorb the costs.                                                                                                               
Ms. Blaisdell stated that the  only costs incurred last year                                                                    
were two  mileage tickets used for  staff participation. The                                                                    
current  legislation costs  were  calculated  based on  last                                                                    
year and  additional funds were  added for a  potential bush                                                                    
or Fairbanks  member. Most members  were from  the Anchorage                                                                    
area. The sponsor anticipated holding  only two or three in-                                                                    
person meetings, which involved travel.                                                                                         
Representative  Costello expressed  additional concern.  She                                                                    
wondered  whether  new  public  members would  be  aware  of                                                                    
accepting the  financial costs of  travel and  expenses. She                                                                    
thought  that  the  fiscal  note   was  inadequate  for  the                                                                    
potential costs of  the task force expansion  and the public                                                                    
hearing. She wished to further  address the costs and fiscal                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  applauded the  task force for  cutting the                                                                    
corners and saving money.                                                                                                       
Representative   Hughes   stated    that   last   year   she                                                                    
intentionally kept costs low.                                                                                                   
8:45:13 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze OPENED public testimony.                                                                                       
STEVE  COLLIGAN,  ALASKA  PRESIDENT   OF  ACADEMY  OF  MODEL                                                                    
AERONAUTICS    (via     teleconference),    supported    the                                                                    
legislation.  He stated  that he  was a  member of  the task                                                                    
force. The academy was in  existence for 78 years and guided                                                                    
self-regulation of recreational  model aeronautics. Over the                                                                    
years  many  technological  changes  had  taken  place.  His                                                                    
mission was to separate  recreational and commercial use and                                                                    
protect model  aeronautics. The  academy fostered  youth and                                                                    
student interest in technology,  science, and math. He noted                                                                    
that  little   distinguished  a  model  from   a  commercial                                                                    
unmanned  aerial. The  intent or  operation of  the unmanned                                                                    
aircraft  typically   differentiated  recreational  unmanned                                                                    
aircraft. He  related that unmanned autonomous  systems were                                                                    
once  very  expensive  but  currently  could  be  built  for                                                                    
several thousand  dollars. The academy  was on a  mission to                                                                    
provide  the  instruction  and self-regulation  of  unmanned                                                                    
aircraft.   The  academy   wanted  to   ensure  that   "best                                                                    
practices" were  being followed responsibly by  the user. He                                                                    
noted  that the  organization was  proactive in  helping the                                                                    
recreational  operator  know  the  airspace  rules  and  FCC                                                                    
Mr. Colligan voiced that last  year the task force addressed                                                                    
public  safety  and privacy.  The  task  force examined  the                                                                    
state's  laws  related  to privacy  concerns  over  unmanned                                                                    
aircraft and  felt the laws  were adequate except for  a few                                                                    
minor administrative issues. He  qualified that the unmanned                                                                    
aircraft  technology would  continue to  evolve. He  saw the                                                                    
task  force  as  a  common  sense  approach  to  filter  new                                                                    
information   and   coordinate   the   activities   at   the                                                                    
university. He  discussed that  new small  unmanned aircraft                                                                    
were  used  to develop  three  dimensional  models used  for                                                                    
surveying and  mapping and augmented aerial  photography and                                                                    
satellite imagery.  The use of unmanned  aircraft in mapping                                                                    
was cost effective but was  currently illegal for profit. He                                                                    
mentioned  the  use  of   unmanned  aircraft  equipped  with                                                                    
cameras  for  commercial film  or  sports  use. The  academy                                                                    
established  rules  for  personal  use  of  unmanned  aerial                                                                    
cameras within a  controlled line of sight.  He thought that                                                                    
the  task  force  would   monitor  evolving  technology  and                                                                    
develop  parameters  in the  same  way  as the  academy.  He                                                                    
reported that  the technology had  evolved beyond  the point                                                                    
that the  FAA could  keep pace.  Adding industry  members to                                                                    
the   task  force   that  had   current  experience   was  a                                                                    
responsible  approach. He  reported  that he  had a  mapping                                                                    
company  and was  also performing  testing and  research and                                                                    
development  and   hoped  he   was  operation   under  legal                                                                    
parameters. He  felt that as  the technology evolved  it was                                                                    
important  to   have  a  forum   like  the  task   force  to                                                                    
"communicate and address" privacy and public safety issues.                                                                     
Mr. Colligan replied, in response  to a question by Co-Chair                                                                    
Stoltze, that  the FAA was  concerned with  regulating 7,500                                                                    
large unmanned drones in the  airspace. He expressed concern                                                                    
about  the safety  of general  aviation.  He also  expressed                                                                    
concern  regarding  the  large   number  of  small  unmanned                                                                    
aircraft from  one vendor  that was  selling 15,000  UAS per                                                                    
month in  the United States (US)  market at a cost  of $450.                                                                    
He  anticipated rapid  growth in  the number  of UAS  coming                                                                    
into private use.                                                                                                               
Co-Chair Austerman agreed with  the privacy issues involved.                                                                    
He wished to avoid overregulation for recreational use.                                                                         
8:55:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Colligan agreed. He explained  that under new rules, the                                                                    
academy was preparing to receive  certification from the FAA                                                                    
through  a  provision  called community  based  organization                                                                    
(CBO) for the self-regulation of recreational use.                                                                              
Representative   Edgmon   appreciated  the   testimony.   He                                                                    
supported  the bill.  He  thought that  the  task force  was                                                                    
needed in the  formative stages of unmanned  aircraft use to                                                                    
sift  through  the  issues   and  make  recommendations.  He                                                                    
wondered how  a person  with questions on  unmanned aircraft                                                                    
use would get answers.                                                                                                          
Mr. Colligan replied that the  issue was not clear and rules                                                                    
needed  to  be  outlined.  The task  force  first  addressed                                                                    
public use and  required each state agency  involved to find                                                                    
a lead contact  to field public inquiry.  The university was                                                                    
becoming a  resource for UAS  operational standards.  He was                                                                    
not sure that the issue was fully defined.                                                                                      
RO  BAILEY,  ALASKA  CENTER FOR  UNMANNED  AIRCRAFT  SYSTEMS                                                                    
INTEGRATION,   UNIVERSITY    OF   ALASKA    FAIRBANKS   (via                                                                    
teleconference), expressed support  for the legislation. She                                                                    
reported  that she  was  a  member of  the  task force.  She                                                                    
relayed the importance  of the formation of  the task force.                                                                    
She related that  the public appreciated the  task force for                                                                    
sharing  citizens' concerns.  The tasks  force's ability  to                                                                    
resolve  concerns  and   complaints  presented  a  "valuable                                                                    
bridging" to  a future where unmanned  aircraft systems were                                                                    
understood,   properly  managed,   and  controlled   through                                                                    
regulation.  She noted  that the  task force's  outreach was                                                                    
appreciated  by  the  public  and  organizations  that  fear                                                                    
government overreach.  She recalled an article  stating that                                                                    
Alaska had the most progressive  laws in the country for UAS                                                                    
use. She stated that as  the industry grew the potential for                                                                    
complaints  grew.  She  noted  much  interest  from  outside                                                                    
companies and agencies  who want to test  systems in Alaska.                                                                    
A   growing  group   of  inexperienced   people  were   also                                                                    
purchasing   drones  that   were  unaware   of  the   rules.                                                                    
Separating   inappropriate    behavior   from   responsible,                                                                    
professional operation  was the key to  establishing "common                                                                    
sense" rules. She supported the  expansion of the task force                                                                    
to  include   members  of  the  public,   industry  and  the                                                                    
commissioner of DCCED.                                                                                                          
JOHN    BINDER,   DEPUTY    COMMISSIONER,   DEPARTMENT    OF                                                                    
TRANSPORTATION   AND  PUBLIC   FACILITIES,  ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support  of the  legislation                                                                    
and the  expansion of the  task force. He remarked  that the                                                                    
task  force  was  primarily  focused   on  privacy  and  law                                                                    
enforcement  concerns  but  that   the  matter  was  rapidly                                                                    
expanding beyond  those concerns. He reminded  the committee                                                                    
that  DOT only  dealt with  the ground  aspects of  unmanned                                                                    
vehicles but  was the primary  liaison between  the agencies                                                                    
and  the   FAA,  who  was   responsible  for   the  airspace                                                                    
coordination.  The   department  was  concerned   about  the                                                                    
growing use  of UAS  and how they  interact with  the public                                                                    
and  general aviation  around airports.  The department  was                                                                    
"very   interested"   in   developing  an   integrated   and                                                                    
collaborative  role in  the task  force as  UAS capabilities                                                                    
expanded.  He  applauded  the  efforts  of  the  task  force                                                                    
especially as more issues would  impact the public and state                                                                    
owned airports.                                                                                                                 
Representative Holmes  asked whether the travel  costs would                                                                    
be absorbed by the department.                                                                                                  
Mr. Binder  replied in the affirmative.  Most meetings would                                                                    
take place in Anchorage and costs would be minimal.                                                                             
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
Representative Hughes  responded to  Representative Edgmon's                                                                    
prior  question. She  stated that  the  task force  meetings                                                                    
were publicly noticed  and her office was acting  as a point                                                                    
of contact.  She expressed  the need for  the task  force to                                                                    
become a central  point of contact. She noted  that the next                                                                    
issue  the taskforce  would address  was the  integration of                                                                    
commercial UAS users related to  first amendment rights. She                                                                    
thanked  her staff  and the  members of  the task  force for                                                                    
their  efficiency   and  achievement  in   establishing  the                                                                    
legislation  related  to law  enforcement  and  HCR 15.  She                                                                    
remarked that  the state's approach to  UAS regulation fixed                                                                    
a  problem as  it arose.  The  industry viewed  Alaska as  a                                                                    
place  to "set  up shop"  which was  a reason  for the  task                                                                    
force to continue to address new issues as they arise.                                                                          
9:07:38 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze  recently  heard  about a  Board  of  Game                                                                    
regulatory  process regarding  UAS. He  requested additional                                                                    
Representative  Hughes replied  that the  Board of  Game had                                                                    
added the following proposed regulations to exclude:                                                                            
     " any devise that has been airborne controlled                                                                             
     remotely and used to spot or locate game with the use                                                                      
     of a camera or a video deviseā€¦"                                                                                            
Representative Hughes  reported that the Department  of Fish                                                                    
and Game  (DFG) was aware of  use of a drone  during a moose                                                                    
hunt  in 2012  and wanted  to prevent  a reoccurrence.   She                                                                    
added  that if  the  prohibition was  not  specified in  the                                                                    
regulations the practice would be allowed.                                                                                      
Representative  Gara mentioned  another  aspect of  unmanned                                                                    
aircraft. Sometimes  the planes crash and  injure people. He                                                                    
wished  to  address  the  need  for  public  safety  in  the                                                                    
Representative  Hughes replied  that the  FAA addressed  the                                                                    
safety aspects of UAS and the  issue was outside of the task                                                                    
force's purview.                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  requested language that the  task force                                                                    
could address minimizing public safety risks.                                                                                   
Representative Hughes  replied that the task  force reviewed                                                                    
FAA regulations  as part  of its  duties and  would continue                                                                    
the practice.                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Stoltze wanted  to change  the language  regarding                                                                    
public  members  to  include  their  role  in  industry.  He                                                                    
stressed the  importance of  accuracy when  communicating to                                                                    
the public.                                                                                                                     
HCR  15  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
9:13:57 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:15:20 AM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 210                                                                                                            
     "An Act  relating to the administration  of psychiatric                                                                    
     medication   to   a   student;   relating   to   crisis                                                                    
     intervention   training  for   school  personnel;   and                                                                    
     relating  to   restraint,  escort,  and   seclusion  of                                                                    
     students in public and private schools."                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  CHARISSE  MILLET,   SPONSOR,  presented  the                                                                    
bill. She related  that she was appointed  to the governor's                                                                    
Council  on Special  Education and  Disabilities and  HB 210                                                                    
was  one of  the council's  three priority  bills. The  bill                                                                    
dealt with  seclusion and restraint  in schools.  Alaska was                                                                    
one  of  ten  states   with  "vague"  regulations  regarding                                                                    
seclusion and restraint in schools.  There were currently no                                                                    
requirements to  report or notify  parents when a  child was                                                                    
secluded or restrained  in school. The issue  was brought to                                                                    
the public's attention last year  when a case in the Iliamna                                                                    
School in  Anchorage received media attention;  although the                                                                    
issue  had been  ongoing  for  some time.  The  goal was  to                                                                    
ensure  that the  schools  were not  causing  more harm  and                                                                    
increasing  liability. The  bill laid  out guidelines  about                                                                    
how,  when,  and  where  a   student  could  be  restrained,                                                                    
reporting  to   the  Department   of  Education   and  Early                                                                    
Development  (DEED),   and  notification   requirements  for                                                                    
parents. The provisions  enabled the state to  track the use                                                                    
of seclusion or restraint to  gauge whether the practice was                                                                    
overused  or   misused.  Parent  notification   alerted  the                                                                    
parents  and  allowed  them to  prepare  for  the  resulting                                                                    
consequences in  the child's  behavior. If  a parent  had an                                                                    
autistic child  and was not  notified that a child  had been                                                                    
restrained they  could have no  idea why a  child's behavior                                                                    
had  changed  drastically  from  earlier  in  the  day.  She                                                                    
believed  that the  bill offered  a better  process for  the                                                                    
state and  for those  that are "most  vulnerable." Seclusion                                                                    
and restraint  should be an  action of last resort.  She had                                                                    
worked  with  the  Council, DEED,  and  the  Disability  Law                                                                    
Center to craft the legislation.  She mentioned that the $14                                                                    
thousand fiscal  note FN1 (EED) was  appropriated for school                                                                    
district  training in  the proper  application of  seclusion                                                                    
and  restraint.  Students  with   intensive  needs  or  with                                                                    
Independent Educational Programs (IEP)  were the majority of                                                                    
recipients of the practice.                                                                                                     
VASILIOS GIALOPSOS,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  CHARISSE MILLET,                                                                    
provided a  sectional analysis. He  detailed that  Section 1                                                                    
required   that   the   a  school   districts   safety   and                                                                    
disciplinary  plan   included  standards  for  the   use  of                                                                    
restraint  and seclusion  required  under Section  3 of  the                                                                    
bill and  were made available  to students, parents  and the                                                                    
public.  Section 2  required a  24 hour  notification period                                                                    
for  a restraint  or  seclusion incident  to  the parent  or                                                                    
guardian. He  offered that Section  3 was the "core"  of the                                                                    
bill. The section described  the specific terms, conditions,                                                                    
and  prohibitions  for use  of  restraint  and seclusion  in                                                                    
public  schools.  The  provision   included  the  follow  up                                                                    
requirements for  school personnel and  parent notification.                                                                    
The section required that DEED  approve the school districts                                                                    
training programs  for the safe,  last resort  use seclusion                                                                    
and  restraint  and   de-escalation  techniques.  Section  3                                                                    
required  that school  districts report  yearly to  the DEED                                                                    
the number and details of  the incidents in order to analyze                                                                    
the effectiveness of the program.  Reporting must ensure the                                                                    
students privacy.  He noted that Section  4 cross-referenced                                                                    
an  exemption in  Section  5 for  private  schools from  the                                                                    
provisions of the bill. He  explained that the exemption was                                                                    
provided  because no  mechanism allowed  for enforcement  in                                                                    
private schools. He believed that  the majority of instances                                                                    
happened in  the most vulnerable populations  (students with                                                                    
IEP's) in public schools.                                                                                                       
MICHAEL  HANLEY, COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION AND                                                                    
EARLY  DEVELOPMENT, supported  the legislation.  He reported                                                                    
that he  worked diligently  with the sponsor.  He recognized                                                                    
the   need  for   protection  of   Alaska's  student's.   He                                                                    
reiterated   that   the   bill   clarified   current   vague                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze  noted that  he  had  not heard  from  the                                                                    
school districts.                                                                                                               
Representative  Millet   replied  that  most   major  school                                                                    
districts  enacted  policies   and  procedures  without  the                                                                    
requirement to  report to the department.  The bill required                                                                    
the extra step  of reporting to the  department. She thought                                                                    
that  most schools  supported the  legislation and  welcomed                                                                    
the de-escalation  techniques and parameters  established in                                                                    
the  legislation. She  stated there  was no  opposition from                                                                    
school districts.                                                                                                               
9:26:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson cited page  2, line 23 which specified                                                                    
the 24 hour  time period for parent  notification. She asked                                                                    
for  a  rationale for  a  24  hour notification  requirement                                                                    
instead of  a much shorter  time period to help  prepare the                                                                    
parent  for the  student's post  incident arrival  home from                                                                    
Mr. Gialopsos replied  that the decision to adopt  a 24 hour                                                                    
notification  period was  made  in  consultation with  legal                                                                    
services  and  after  assessing the  laws  passed  in  other                                                                    
states.  He   relayed  that  some  states   chose  immediate                                                                    
notification but  noted that "immediate"  was a  vague term.                                                                    
He  declared that  if the  bill were  to pass,  the 24  hour                                                                    
notification  period would  be the  most restrictive  in the                                                                    
country. The  legislation did not restrict  a local district                                                                    
to require an even  shorter notification period. He believed                                                                    
in many  instances school's provided  immediate notification                                                                    
but  "exigent" circumstances  took place  that could  not be                                                                    
accommodated  for   therefore,  the  drafters   choose  less                                                                    
restrictive language.                                                                                                           
Representative  Wilson  voiced  that same  day  notification                                                                    
could be inserted  in the bill. She believed  that there was                                                                    
"absolutely  no  reason"  why   the  parents  could  not  be                                                                    
notified of an  occurrence in the same day.  She referred to                                                                    
page 3, lines 29 through 31 and read:                                                                                           
     "(d)  School  personnel  who   restrain  or  seclude  a                                                                    
     student shall provide a written  report of the incident                                                                    
     to the  school administrator. A school  shall provide a                                                                    
     copy of  the report to  the student's parents  or legal                                                                    
     guardians on request."                                                                                                     
Representative   Wilson    wanted   the    incident   report                                                                    
mandatorily provided  to the parents or  legal guardian. She                                                                    
stressed  that  restraint  or seclusion  occurred  with  any                                                                    
student,  not only  those designated  as special  needs. She                                                                    
expressed  concerns over  the delay  in notification  due to                                                                    
the the 24  hour time period and the  repercussions it would                                                                    
cause parents and  the child and over the  lack of mandatory                                                                    
reporting to  the parents.  She wondered  what the  costs to                                                                    
smaller school districts were.                                                                                                  
Representative  Costello  appreciated the  legislation.  She                                                                    
thought that the legislation was  balanced and necessary for                                                                    
the  protection  of  all students.  She  asked  whether  the                                                                    
sponsors discussed incorporating trauma informed care.                                                                          
Mr. Gialopsos cited page 5, lines  15 through 25 of the bill                                                                    
which  delineated  the   crisis  intervention  training.  He                                                                    
ascertained that  trauma informed care would  be involved in                                                                    
the  training.  He  stated  that   one  of  the  institutes'                                                                    
representatives  that   offered  the  training   was  better                                                                    
qualified to answer the question.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Stoltze OPENED public testimony.                                                                                       
CLAYTON  HOLLAND, DIRECTOR  PUPIL SERVICES,  KENAI PENINSULA                                                                    
RURAL  SCHOOL   DISTRICT,  SOLDOTNA   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
supported the legislation. The  bill provided the safeguards                                                                    
necessary  to protect  all students  in  Alaska. His  school                                                                    
district  employed the  MANDT system.  Two paraprofessionals                                                                    
were  utilized  as  trainers  in  the  district.  The  Kenai                                                                    
district  was  large  and  diverse   in  school  sizes.  The                                                                    
district required  that staff  was trained  in de-escalation                                                                    
and restraint. In  the current year, the  district trained a                                                                    
total of  140 staff members at  a cost of $164.  per person.                                                                    
The district discovered that the  costs was "well worth" the                                                                    
results and  valued the  de-escalation techniques.  He noted                                                                    
that actual  restrains were  now a  rare occurrence  and the                                                                    
training  helped the  overall  culture of  the district  and                                                                    
performance of  the schools. He  reported that  his district                                                                    
already   required    reporting   and   same    day   parent                                                                    
notification. He  supported the 24 hour  notification period                                                                    
which  offered  the  district flexibility  in  case  parents                                                                    
can't be reached  but felt that same day  notification was a                                                                    
"best practice."                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  asked about school  reporting. He                                                                    
wondered if  the incident reports  travel with the  child to                                                                    
another school.                                                                                                                 
Mr. Holland  stated that the  form remained in  the district                                                                    
office  but a  district  wide system  for student  reporting                                                                    
that   included   any   type  of   intervention,   IEP,   or                                                                    
disciplinary action was transferred.                                                                                            
Representative  Thompson assumed  that  the report  followed                                                                    
the student within the district.  He wondered if a student's                                                                    
records transferred to a new district.                                                                                          
Mr. Holland replied that the  IEP plan was indicative of the                                                                    
student's history and transferred to  a new district. All of                                                                    
the restraints in his district  happened to students with an                                                                    
IEP.  The  district   experienced  approximately  one  dozen                                                                    
restraints last year out of 9000 students.                                                                                      
9:38:24 AM                                                                                                                    
JEANNE  GERHARDT-CYRUS,  SELF, KIANA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  herself  and  on  behalf  of  her  daughter.  She                                                                    
related  that her  child was  inappropriately restrained  in                                                                    
grades one through eight multiple  times beginning at age 6.                                                                    
Her daughter  was exposed to  prenatal alcohol.  Her husband                                                                    
witnessed her  daughter being inappropriately  restrained in                                                                    
school.  She believed  restraint  was a  form  of abuse  and                                                                    
unnecessary. She  explained that her daughter  suffered from                                                                    
high anxiety  and self-accommodated  by hiding under  a desk                                                                    
or  removing herself  from visual  or  verbal overload.  Her                                                                    
teacher  viewed  the  behavior   as  non-compliant  and  the                                                                    
situation  would  escalate.  Her daughter  was  subsequently                                                                    
diagnosed  with  post-traumatic  stress  disorder  from  the                                                                    
repeated  inappropriate  response  and restraints  that  she                                                                    
experienced  at  school. She  stated  that  she removed  her                                                                    
child from  school multiple times. She  recalled an incident                                                                    
where  the  school   staff  went  to  the   clinic  after  a                                                                    
restraint, but  her child  who was  bruised and  injured was                                                                    
not taken  for medial assessment.  She felt that  the school                                                                    
only  wanted  to expel  her  child.  She mentioned  that  in                                                                    
village attending  school was the  ultimate and  only social                                                                    
experience  for children.  Her daughter  missed  all of  her                                                                    
middle  school  years.  She shared  that  her  daughter  was                                                                    
presently  on the  honor  roll  in ninth  grade  due to  new                                                                    
trained  staff   at  school  who   understood  de-escalation                                                                    
skills.  The family  was guided  under the  complex behavior                                                                    
collaborative for teachers  and with the support  of the new                                                                    
principle  the   school  allowed   the  daughter   to  self-                                                                    
accommodate and  her anxiety is  much reduced.  The daughter                                                                    
now excelled  in school. She  strongly  advocated  for staff                                                                    
Ms.   Gerhardt-Cyrus  proceeded   to   read  her   daughters                                                                    
IVORY    GERHARDT-CYRUS,    THROUGH    HER    MOTHER    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  supported the  legislation. She  testified                                                                    
about  her experience.  She  related that  due  to her  past                                                                    
history of repeated  restraints she had no  friends. She was                                                                    
performing much  better in school  this year with  the right                                                                    
services and  without restraint or seclusion  incidents. She                                                                    
was allowed to go for a  walk to calm down. She thought back                                                                    
on her elementary school years as traumatic.                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze appreciated  the  personal  nature of  the                                                                    
EUGENE  AVEY,   SUPERINTENDENT  OF  ANNETTE   ISLAND  SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT,  METLAKATLA  (via  teleconference),  testified  in                                                                    
support  of  the   legislation.  He  specifically  supported                                                                    
Section 3 of the bill  that dealt with restraint. He pointed                                                                    
out  that his  school district  had an  increase of  special                                                                    
needs students and at times  restraint was necessary for the                                                                    
safety  of students  and staff  in  certain situations.  The                                                                    
district   implemented  the   MANDT   training  along   with                                                                    
principles  of  positive behavior  to  minimize  the use  of                                                                    
force. The district believed that  teachers should treat the                                                                    
students with  respect and dignity  and minimize the  use of                                                                    
restraint use in order  to increase productive instructional                                                                    
time. The  district chose  a staff member  to attend  a five                                                                    
day training  in order to  become the staff trainer  for the                                                                    
district.   He   noted   that  before   the   training   the                                                                    
oppositional defiant children were  difficult for the staff.                                                                    
Since the  staff trainings, restraints were  much diminished                                                                    
and  the severely  disruptive behavior  was reduced  with no                                                                    
incidents in  the last  two months.  The district  felt that                                                                    
the training  funding was  well spent,  and the  benefit was                                                                    
readily seen.  He remarked  that the  reporting requirements                                                                    
were not burdensome.                                                                                                            
9:51:00 AM                                                                                                                    
RON COWAN,  DISABILITY LAW CENTER OF  ALASKA, ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  the legislation.                                                                    
He  reported  that he  was  the  primary abuse  and  neglect                                                                    
investigator for  the center.  A number  of cases  of injury                                                                    
and death  were due to  the use of restraint  and seclusion.                                                                    
Studies  revealed   the  inappropriate  use  or   misuse  of                                                                    
restraint  and seclusion  methods  in  schools. The  federal                                                                    
government  and  some  states were  developing  or  adopting                                                                    
regulations delineating the conditions  of use. He noted the                                                                    
frequent use  of inappropriate and unsafe  seclusion methods                                                                    
in  school districts  in Alaska.  Frequently a  staff member                                                                    
was  present during  an  inappropriate seclusion  therefore,                                                                    
the parents weren't notified nor  were any reporting, follow                                                                    
up, or  assessment performed that  could be used  to develop                                                                    
interventions  or positive  behavioral  supports to  prevent                                                                    
future  unsafe behavior.  The  legislation  would allow  for                                                                    
consistent  policies and  practices  across  the state.  The                                                                    
bill offered protection to students  who may be subjected to                                                                    
restraint  or  seclusion; a  large  number  of whom  have  a                                                                    
disability.  He  listed  the   safeguards  included  in  the                                                                    
legislation: parental  notification, reporting requirements,                                                                    
mandating use  of restraint and seclusion  only in emergency                                                                    
circumstances  as   a  last   resort,  termination   of  the                                                                    
restraints  or  seclusion as  soon  as  the unsafe  behavior                                                                    
subsided,  staff   training,  continuous  monitoring   of  a                                                                    
secluded  student,  review  of  the analysis  of  plans  and                                                                    
assessments following  use of  restraint and  seclusion, and                                                                    
annual reporting  to the state.  He voiced that the  "use of                                                                    
restraint and  seclusion was indicative of  failure of other                                                                    
therapeutic  interventions" and  should only  be used  under                                                                    
rare  circumstances.  The  use of  restraint  and  seclusion                                                                    
should  only be  used when  a  child was  engaged in  unsafe                                                                    
behaviors for  themselves or others  and never  employed for                                                                    
convenience, compliance,  or punishment. Assessment  and re-                                                                    
evaluation  of the  students plan  with recommended  changes                                                                    
should  be carried  out immediately  after an  incident. The                                                                    
use  of restraint  and  seclusion can  lead  to a  traumatic                                                                    
experience  for a  child whose  behavior stemmed  from other                                                                    
traumatic  experience  or   a  disability.  The  legislation                                                                    
ensured   added   protection   to  students   and   parental                                                                    
notification  provided an  opportunity  for  the parents  to                                                                    
work  with  school  staff   to  develop  interventions  that                                                                    
enhanced student learning.                                                                                                      
9:56:27 AM                                                                                                                    
ASHLEY DUNKS,  SELF, MAT-SU (via  teleconference), supported                                                                    
the legislation.  She explained that  she was the  parent of                                                                    
an autistic  child. Her  son developed  progressive behavior                                                                    
problems at  the age of  five. The  school placed him  on an                                                                    
IEP. She reported  that her child returned  home from school                                                                    
bruised. He  was secluded and  strapped down to a  chair and                                                                    
placed in a  room with the lights off for  hours. He did not                                                                    
want to attend school. She  was unaware of the treatment her                                                                    
child  received at  school. Her  son's behavior  and anxiety                                                                    
worsened.  His psychiatrist  admitted  that  the actions  at                                                                    
school  led to  his  anxiety and  the necessary  medication.                                                                    
Since moving  to the Mat-Su  school district her son  is off                                                                    
medication  and loves  school.  The  school participated  in                                                                    
MANDT training.  The techniques  contributed to  his success                                                                    
at  school.  He  will  be  placed  in  a  general  education                                                                    
classroom when entering third grade.                                                                                            
CASSIE   WELLS,  PRESIDENT   OF   THE   ALASKA  COUNCIL   OF                                                                    
ADMINISTRATORS   OF    SPECIAL   EDUCATION,    BARROW   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  supported  the  bill.  She  believed  that                                                                    
crisis intervention  training for schools  and de-escalation                                                                    
and was  a major  preemptive step to  minimize the  need for                                                                    
restraint   or  seclusion.   She   supported  the   parental                                                                    
notification requirement.                                                                                                       
KENDRA STEA,  CRISIS PREVENTION INSTITUTE,  CHICAGO ILLINOIS                                                                    
(via   teleconference),   testified   in  support   of   the                                                                    
legislation.   She   echoed   the  sentiments   from   prior                                                                    
testifiers.  She   discussed  the  fiscal   implications  of                                                                    
providing training  for school districts. A  large number of                                                                    
school  districts have  already engaged  in training  in the                                                                    
various  systems   available  such  as,   Crisis  Prevention                                                                    
Institute's  (CPI) Non-Violent  Crisis  Intervention or  the                                                                    
MANDT System.  Most district's employ the  train the trainer                                                                    
model  as the  most cost  effective approach.  She suggested                                                                    
that  any   school  district   concerned  with   the  fiscal                                                                    
implications for  training examine the  workman compensation                                                                    
claims associated with instances  of restraint and seclusion                                                                    
in school  districts. She mentioned  that the  Syracuse, New                                                                    
York district  reduced the  worker's compensation  claims by                                                                    
$500  thousand  when  implementing the  training.  The  cost                                                                    
savings   balanced   against    the   training   costs   was                                                                    
significant. District's  also reduced litigation.  The costs                                                                    
associated   with   districts  employing   evidence   based,                                                                    
nationally recognized  training was  worth the  expense. She                                                                    
added that the other  cost associated with training involved                                                                    
the time  commitment. She recommended programs  that offered                                                                    
a  blended  learning  option  with  "front-loaded'  teaching                                                                    
options along with the in-class  component to reduce the in-                                                                    
class time, which reduced the cost.                                                                                             
Representative  Costello asked  whether she  supported a  24                                                                    
hour parental notification period.  She stated instances why                                                                    
the notification period might be too long.                                                                                      
Ms. Stea  replied that she  supported same  day notification                                                                    
but  understood  that   a  24  hour  period   was  the  most                                                                    
restrictive. The institute felt  that any student restrained                                                                    
or secluded should  be monitored for side effects  over a 24                                                                    
hour period.  If the parents  were unaware of  the situation                                                                    
they cannot  properly monitor the child.  She reiterated the                                                                    
institutes support  for same day notification  but qualified                                                                    
that the provision was "rarely written into policy."                                                                            
Representative  Wilson asked  whether the  Council advocated                                                                    
for same day or 24 hour parental notification.                                                                                  
CHRISTIE REINHARDT,  GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON  DISABILITIES AND                                                                    
SPECIAL  EDUCATION (via  teleconference), replied  that same                                                                    
day notice  was appropriate.  Data showed that  parents were                                                                    
not notified 70 percent of  the time. The largest portion of                                                                    
students  that   experienced  restraint  or   seclusion  had                                                                    
"significant    disabilities   often    with   communication                                                                    
disorders."  The students  weren't  able or  believed to  be                                                                    
credible  enough to  communicate  the  incident. She  stated                                                                    
that the  council chose the  24 hour  period as a  low level                                                                    
option in  order to set  a definitive time frame.  The other                                                                    
reason for  a 24 hours timeframe  was that a child  might be                                                                    
removed from  a classroom  multiple times. The  necessity of                                                                    
notifying  a  parent  multiple   times  was  a  burden.  She                                                                    
supported  making  the   requirement  "more  beneficial  for                                                                    
parents and more protective for children."                                                                                      
Co-Chair Stoltze  deduced that the committee  supported same                                                                    
day notification.                                                                                                               
Representative  Wilson  believed  that  if  the  school  was                                                                    
restraining a  child multiple  times in  one day  the parent                                                                    
should be notified. The same  day notification was essential                                                                    
and might  make things  better for the  child if  the parent                                                                    
was aware of the incident.  She reiterated that seclusion or                                                                    
restraint was not exclusive to special needs students.                                                                          
Representative  Guttenberg   expressed  concern   about  the                                                                    
therapeutic impact  of seclusion or restraint  incidents. He                                                                    
asked   whether   not    notifying   parents   could   prove                                                                    
"detrimental to everyone."                                                                                                      
Ms.  Reinhardt replied  in  the  affirmative. She  explained                                                                    
that  especially in  situations  where  the children  return                                                                    
home to non-family care givers.                                                                                                 
LUCY  HOPE,  SPECIAL EDUCATION  DIRECTOR,  MATANUSKA-SUSITNA                                                                    
BOROUGH SCHOOL  DISTRICT (via teleconference),  testified in                                                                    
support of the legislation.  She concurred with the previous                                                                    
testimony. The legislation mirrored  the policies the school                                                                    
district  already adopted.  In  addition a  school nurse  or                                                                    
designee  monitored   the  student  during  and   after  any                                                                    
incident. The district policy was  24 hour notification, but                                                                    
in practice  the parent  was notified on  the same  day. The                                                                    
district  employed  a   part-time  certified  MANDT  Systems                                                                    
trainer  and  trained  350  staff  members  each  year.  The                                                                    
district  participated in  training  other school  districts                                                                    
and would  continue to do  so. She elaborated that  the most                                                                    
effective way  to change a  child's disruptive  or dangerous                                                                    
behavior   was    through   relationships.    The   district                                                                    
implemented  a  positive   behavior  support  model  between                                                                    
students, staff,  and parents and was  the preferred method.                                                                    
The district chose the MANDT  System because of its emphasis                                                                    
on relationships.                                                                                                               
Co-Chair Stoltze asked  whether the Matanuska-Susitna school                                                                    
district favored  the 24  hour parental  notification period                                                                    
over the same day option.                                                                                                       
Ms. Hope  replied that she  believed that it was  not always                                                                    
practicable to reach the parents  within the same day of the                                                                    
incident.  She  believed  the intent  of  any  staff  member                                                                    
should be same day notification.                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
Representative  Millet stated  she would  accept a  friendly                                                                    
amendment  relating  to  Section  B,  page  3  of  the  bill                                                                    
changing the language to "same  day notification if possible                                                                    
but no later than 24 hours after the incident."                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Stoltze  replied  that  he  preferred  making  the                                                                    
change as  a committee  substitute instead of  an amendment.                                                                    
He alluded to reviewing the overall cost of the program.                                                                        
Representative Wilson cited page 3, lines 30 through 31:                                                                        
     A school shall provide a copy of the report to the                                                                         
     student's parents or legal guardians on request.                                                                           
Representative Wilson requested that  the words "on request"                                                                    
should be deleted.  She asserted that parents  had the right                                                                    
to receive the report without requesting a copy.                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze    clarified   that    parents   included                                                                    
caregivers.  A child's  parent may  have forgone  rights and                                                                    
including "caregiver" might be more relevant.                                                                                   
Representative Millet  replied that the  legislation already                                                                    
included "legal guardian."                                                                                                      
Co-Chair Stoltze wanted to ensure that the language                                                                             
reflected the intent of any changes to the bill.                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  asked whether the  language regarding                                                                    
the crisis  intervention training  in HB 210  was sufficient                                                                    
to allow  the department to  address the disparity  in rural                                                                    
Commissioner Hanley replied in the affirmative.                                                                                 
HB 210 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                              
10:20:17 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 a.m.                                                                                         

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