Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/22/1993 03:00 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  Number 563                                                                   
  REP. B. DAVIS asked whether, in light of the urgency, Chair                  
  Bunde would be willing to delete the sections of HB 235 that                 
  were not required to continue receiving federal special                      
  education funds.  She said some of the other elements could                  
  be dealt with through other bills.  She said some had                        
  already been introduced, and some were in HB 85.  She said                   
  she saw no need to deal with the bill so fast.                               
  CHAIR BUNDE said there was no assurance that HB 85, a very                   
  complex bill, would pass anytime soon.  He said he would not                 
  want elements of HB 235 contingent on HB 85.                                 
  Number 567                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS said he was involved in TAG programs, and knew                 
  that parents of such children were more involved than normal                 
  with education.  He said Rep. B. Davis's points were valid,                  
  and that he would look forward to the input from the                         
  governor's council, which would help address the concerns of                 
  parents, students and the administration.  He pointed out                    
  that HB 235 addressed points other than just those necessary                 
  to secure federal special education funding.  He expressed                   
  hope for an opportunity to address the other points later.                   
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that, due to technical problems, Klawock                   
  could not transmit testimony, but only listen in.                            
  Number 588                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked whether the loss of the federal funds                      
  would be permanent if the state failed to make the necessary                 
  changes in its special education laws by a certain deadline.                 
  Number 600                                                                   
  MS. HOWE stated that conversations that day with a federal                   
  official indicated that the date was July 1, 1993.  "It is                   
  conceivable that a person could go beyond that, but the                      
  problem is that the federal money has a certain statute of                   
  limitations, so if we go beyond the date, then the money is                  
  gone.  So, and that's the situation New York is finding                      
  itself in right now.  We've had a conditional essentially                    
  for two years.  Under our state plan we have a new one                       
  that's due for FY95, and so we can't go beyond, you know, we                 
  had promised them actually last July that we would have this                 
  all signed and delivered for them."                                          
  TAPE 93-41, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE moved amending section 17, line 13, of HB 235,                   
  adding so that it would read, "requires a school district to                 
  provide special education, gifted, and related services                      
  available ..." etc.  He asked for objections.                                
  Number 024                                                                   
  MS. HOWE suggested an alternative wording, amending line 10                  
  by striking the words "of an exceptional child" and                          
  inserting "a child with exceptionalities" or "an exceptional                 
  child," both of which were commonly used terms that would                    
  encompass both gifted and disabled children.  She said the                   
  term special education in Alaska was already construed to                    
  mean both gifted and disabled students.                                      
  Number 030                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked whether she meant use the word                             
  "exceptionalities" instead of the word "disabilities" on                     
  line 11.                                                                     
  MS. HOWE answered yes.                                                       
  Number 035                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked whether the term was politically correct.                  
  Number 037                                                                   
  MS. HOWE answered yes, in Alaska.                                            
  Number 040                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if the DOE would prefer such wording.                      
  MS. HOWE said it would be clearer usage and more consistent                  
  with the section.                                                            
  Number 044                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE withdrew his earlier motion, and moved instead                   
  an amendment to use the word "exceptionalities."                             
  Number 046                                                                   
  Grober) asked if the chair would entertain additional public                 
  Number 050                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said no, that public testimony had closed.  He                   
  then restated the motion and asked for discussion or                         
  objections to it.                                                            
  Number 061                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG asked Chair Bunde to repeat his motion.                          
  CHAIR BUNDE repeated his motion.                                             
  REP. OLBERG objected to the motion.                                          
  CHAIR BUNDE invited him to speak to the motion.                              
  REP. OLBERG declined.                                                        
  CHAIR BUNDE called for a voice vote on the motion, and heard                 
  no nays.                                                                     
  REP. OLBERG noted that a roll call vote was more usual.                      
  CHAIR BUNDE agreed to a roll call vote, but none was taken.                  
  Number 086                                                                   
  REP. B. DAVIS asked if the term "exceptionalities" were                      
  defined in statute, and said the objection might change if                   
  the term were defined.                                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Howe for a definition of the term                      
  Number 097                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG asked if the motion meant that the legislature                   
  was mandating home instructional opportunities for any                       
  exceptional child, whether disabled, gifted or whatever.                     
  CHAIR BUNDE said he understood that was a proper reading; it                 
  currently applied to all special education children, and the                 
  motion would allow the inclusion of gifted children.  He                     
  said he understood Rep. Olberg's reservation.                                
  Number 111                                                                   
  MS. HOWE read a definition of the term "exceptional                          
  children" found on page 6, line 6, paragraph (3).  She                       
  suggested that the motion be amended to follow the wording                   
  in that paragraph.                                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE agreed that "exceptionalities" was an obtuse                     
  word.  He asked Rep. Olberg if the change clarified his                      
  REP. OLBERG stated, "It clarifies without satisfying,                        
  whatever that means."                                                        
  CHAIR BUNDE commented that it sounded like a new product.                    
  Number 137                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG said the committee was creating a new                            
  educational product that would stretch the education budget                  
  yet again.                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE disagreed, saying that the provision already                     
  existed in state statute.  He said the DOE wanted to take                    
  gifted education out of the special education program, an                    
  effort that would be dealt with in the discussion of HB 85,                  
  scheduled for the following week.                                            
  Number 145                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG asked whether the particular statute did or did                  
  not address gifted children at that time.                                    
  CHAIR BUNDE said that gifted student programs were, at that                  
  time, funded through special education programs.                             
  Number 150                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG asked whether HB 235 was an effort to limit home                 
  instruction to children with disabilities.                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE responded, "To exceptional children."                            
  REP. OLBERG clarified, "No, I mean, no, it reads                             
  CHAIR BUNDE said, "As it was originally worded it would not                  
  include gifted children.  My understanding of the statute,                   
  as it was being crafted, it was to include gifted children.                  
  As you may have noticed, there's a good bit of concern about                 
  separating gifted children out from special ed."                             
  Number 159                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG stated, "I think we've gone full circle here, so                 
  let me try one more time.  If this did not exist, would                      
  gifted children be entitled to home instruction?"                            
  CHAIR BUNDE replied, "Yes."                                                  
  REP. OLBERG said, "This then came along and eliminated the                   
  gifted children and limited it to disabled children."                        
  CHAIR BUNDE responded, "That's correct."                                     
  REP. OLBERG stated, "And we're going to go back to where we                  
  started from, even though that might not have been a good                    
  place to be."                                                                
  Number 165                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said, "Yes, we will discuss that issue in more                   
  detail in HB 85."                                                            
  REP. OLBERG stated, "Thank you."                                             
  Number 173                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)                    
  did not deal with gifted people, but with disabled people.                   
  He said he was having difficulty reconciling a bill that                     
  dealt with gifted students with the ADA.  He said the                        
  purpose of the statute, supposedly, was to remain in                         
  compliance with federal law, which he said it might do, but                  
  only after going through a lot of extraneous information.                    
  CHAIR BUNDE said he had asked that the bill be written to                    
  reflect current state policies, and later, when the                          
  committee got to HB 85, it could then separate funding for                   
  special education students and gifted students, which would                  
  then establish a new state policy to supercede the current                   
  state policy.                                                                
  Number 191                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY commented that the motivation behind HB 235 was                   
  the ADA.                                                                     
  CHAIR BUNDE disagreed, saying HB 235 dealt only with federal                 
  funding of special education, not with the ADA.                              
  Number 197                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said he thought that the purpose behind HB 235                    
  was to have the state remain in compliance with the ADA.  He                 
  said it was possible they were talking about two different                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said that was correct; they were speaking of two                 
  different acts.                                                              
  REP. OLBERG said that the federal law with which the state                   
  was attempting to remain in compliance with through HB 235                   
  was the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  He                     
  commented that, "We're trying to slice our interest groups                   
  into ever smaller pieces."                                                   
  Number 206                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said he wanted to try again to achieve the                       
  amendment to page 10, line 5, which would read:  "If a                       
  parent with an exceptional child enrolls the child ...";                     
  striking the words "with" and "disabilities."                                
  REP. TOOHEY contested the wording.                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE explained that she had forgotten an earlier                      
  REP. TOOHEY said she stood corrected.                                        
  REP. OLBERG objected to the motion.                                          
  CHAIR BUNDE invited him to speak to his objection.                           
  REP. OLBERG declined.                                                        
  CHAIR BUNDE called for a roll call vote on the amendment to                  
  amend line 10 to read, "If a parent of an exceptional child                  
  enrolls the child ... "  The amendment deleted the words                     
  "with disabilities," he said.  Those voting yea were Reps.                   
  G. Davis, Vezey, B. Davis, Toohey and Bunde.  Those voting                   
  nay were Reps. Kott and Olberg.  The MOTION PASSED 5-2.                      
  Number 243                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE moved passage of HB 235 with individual                          
  REP. B. DAVIS objected, saying she supported the changes                     
  necessary for the DOE to come into compliance with federal                   
  laws, but she believed the House Finance Committee would not                 
  have the time to address the issues that should have been                    
  addressed in the HESS Committee.  She said it was not a                      
  money issue.  She opposed passage from the committee, saying                 
  that the bill could have had at least one additional hearing                 
  before the HESS Committee to address some elements of the                    
  bill to make it even better and more acceptable to parents                   
  as well as administrators.                                                   
  Number 256                                                                   
  REP. KOTT objected, saying his reasons were similar to those                 
  of Rep. B. Davis.  He said much of the testimony represented                 
  disagreement on several issues, and it would be prudent to                   
  hold the bill over for a day or so to resolve some of the                    
  CHAIR BUNDE called for a brief at-ease before the vote, at                   
  4:09 p.m.  He called the meeting back to order at 4:11 p.m.                  
  and repeated the motion to pass HB 235 from the HESS                         
  Committee with individual recommendations.  Those voting yea                 
  were Reps. Vezey, Kott, Brice, Toohey, Bunde and G. Davis.                   
  Those voting nay were Reps. Olberg and B. Davis.  The MOTION                 
  PASSED 6-2.                                                                  
  CHAIR BUNDE then brought HB 210 to the table.                                

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