Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/02/1994 03:00 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 409 - AFDC DEMO PROJECT AND DECREASE                                      
  Number 713                                                                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY indicated that there were questions that                        
  remained unanswered from the last meeting.                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS said he was comfortable with the bill and that                 
  all of his prior concerns had been successfully addressed.                   
  REP. BRICE indicated that at the end of the meeting on March                 
  28, 1994, Rep. B. Davis had asked for figures to be worked                   
  out regarding a lower ratable reduction.  He said it was his                 
  understanding that Rep. B. Davis' concerns were going to be                  
  addressed before the bill was to be moved out of committee.                  
  He asked if there were any answers to Rep. B. Davis'                         
  CHAIR TOOHEY said, to her knowledge, they had not been                       
  answered.  She said it was her intent to pass the bill out,                  
  as the committee was unsure as to how long it would be                       
  before Rep. B. Davis returned to Juneau.  Rep. B. Davis was                  
  in Anchorage seeking medical treatment.                                      
  Number 760                                                                   
  REP. BRICE further indicated that he had submitted a list of                 
  20 questions to a subcommittee hearing and had not received                  
  a reply.                                                                     
  CHAIR TOOHEY asked if Rep. Mark Hanley had addressed the                     
  list of questions for Rep. Brice.                                            
  REP. BRICE maintained that he submitted a list to both the                   
  prime sponsor and to the Department of Health and Social                     
  Services (DHSS) and still had not received a response.                       
  REP. G. DAVIS, as chairman of the subcommittee, stated that                  
  he did not recall seeing a specific list of questions.  He                   
  said he certainly was not denying that the list was                          
  submitted.  He referred to the ratable reductions, stating                   
  that he had concerns also that perhaps there could be other                  
  avenues of funding.  He said after researching the issue                     
  further, he found no other way to generate the needed                        
  funding and indicated his acceptance to the proposal.                        
  REP. HANLEY said that he received a copy of the list and                     
  said, "I don't know how you want to respond, but some of the                 
  questions were:  What does it cost to implement the federal                  
  waivers?  What does it cost to administer a demonstration                    
  project over the life of the project...cost ratios, cost                     
  benefit study?  There isn't a cost benefit study, but the                    
  fiscal note answers about half of the questions that are on                  
  Number 800                                                                   
  REP. BRICE said there were about six or seven serious policy                 
  questions that were left unanswered.                                         
  CHAIR TOOHEY said, "Excuse me, Rep. Brice, had you checked                   
  with the sponsor before that?"                                               
  REP. BRICE said that he had been in contact with Rep.                        
  REP. HANLEY indicated that he had a copy of the questions.                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY asked Rep. Hanley if he was able to answer any                  
  of Rep. Brice's questions.                                                   
  REP. HANLEY said, "We talked to the office, but..."                          
  CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there was anyone from the DHSS in the                  
  audience.  She then asked Rep. Hanley to respond before she                  
  heard testimony from Jan Hansen.                                             
  REP. HANLEY said that he drafted an amendment that would                     
  address the aforementioned concerns.  He said the bill                       
  already establishes that if the federal government does not                  
  approve some of the waivers, it has the ability to determine                 
  whether the project should be implemented.  He further                       
  stated that the proposal states that the DHSS shall apply                    
  for and implement the waivers that relate to the parts of                    
  the project that are not substantially affected by the                       
  change in federal statutes or regulations.  He maintained                    
  that if there are changes in federal regulations, the DHSS                   
  would have the ability to discontinue the operation of the                   
  Number 845                                                                   
  REP. BRICE asked, if the project were to be discontinued,                    
  would the ratable return to the original rate?                               
  REP. HANLEY said no.                                                         
  REP. BRICE clarified that even if the demonstration is not                   
  being done, the ratable would not go back to the original                    
  REP. HANLEY said no.                                                         
  REP. BRICE made a motion to amend the amendment to reflect                   
  that if the DHSS does not do the demonstration project, that                 
  the ratable would be reimplemented to the original level.                    
  REP. BUNDE objected and offered that even with the ratable                   
  reduction, "...Alaska is the highest welfare rate in the                     
  Number 871                                                                   
  REP. NICHOLIA said, "Bettye (Rep. B. Davis) asked                            
  specifically for the department to draw up the numbers...                    
  possibly at a 7% ratable to make the program more cost                       
  neutral and less of an impact on the AFDC recipients.                        
  That's what she specifically asked for."                                     
  CHAIR TOOHEY called for the vote to amend HB 409 as amended.                 
  The motion was made to bring the ratable back to its                         
  original rate if the waiver is not implemented.  Reps.                       
  Nicholia and Brice voted Yea; Reps. Toohey, Bunde, Gary                      
  Davis, Vezey, and Olberg voted Nay.  Chair Toohey declared                   
  that the motion failed.  She then asked if the amendment                     
  proposed by Rep. Hanley had been adopted.  It had not been                   
  adopted.  She asked for a motion.                                            
  Number 903                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE made a motion to adopt the amendment for HB 409.                  
  CHAIR TOOHEY, hearing no objections, said the amendment had                  
  been adopted.                                                                
  REP. NICHOLIA referred to her earlier question as to whether                 
  Rep. Bettye Davis' concerns were going to be addressed.  She                 
  asked for an answer.                                                         
  Number 912                                                                   
  REP. HANLEY said that the DHSS would be able to figure out a                 
  ratable reduction.  He said he was unable to render those                    
  CHAIR TOOHEY asked if Rep. B. Davis' request was made during                 
  the teleconference meeting on February 28, 1994.                             
  REP. BRICE said yes, "asking for the .7 numbers...on the                     
  Number 924                                                                   
  JAN HANSEN, Director, Division of Public Assistance,                         
  Department of Health and Social Services, answered questions                 
  on HB 409.  She stated that the current percentage on the                    
  fiscal analysis was 1.7%.  She then estimated that at .9 the                 
  numbers would be about half of any of the figures listed.                    
  She said that .7 of 1.7% would be about 45% of the figures                   
  shown on the fiscal analysis.  She stated that the numbers                   
  were ball park figures.                                                      
  Number 944                                                                   
  REP. NICHOLIA stated that it was her feeling that if Rep. B.                 
  Davis requested those figures, they should have been written                 
  up instead of giving "ball park figures" for answers.                        
  CHAIR TOOHEY said, "I would move that if Rep. Davis would                    
  like that information, she can get it through Finance."  She                 
  then asked for further questions.                                            
  Number 962                                                                   
  REP. BRICE said, "Considering that there's roughly 18,600                    
  people... that are due back child support... that are also                   
  on AFDC in the state, I would kindly submit that we look at                  
  possibly including some amendments to include some of the                    
  child support enforcement legislation that we've been                        
  talking about; namely, for those employers who intentionally                 
  hide the fact that their employee is in arrears to child                     
  Number 979                                                                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY said, "Rep. Brice, you are off the subject of                   
  this.  There is a bill before us... or there was a bill..."                  
  REP. BRICE said, "Yes, but I've got an amendment that I                      
  would like to propose."                                                      
  CHAIR TOOHEY said, "I would like to know the wish of the                     
  committee -- if we want to take to another amendment or if                   
  we want to continue and pass this bill on."                                  
  REP. BUNDE made a motion to pass HB 409 out of committee.                    
  REP. BRICE said, "Out of order.  Point of order.  No.  We                    
  were not told that this bill was going to come up until just                 
  this morning.  There was no discussion as to whether it                      
  would... my understanding is... me and Irene left the room                   
  after adjournment, Monday morning, then there was a                          
  discussion.  There was no attempt to contact our offices...                  
  so where we could be in contact with the sponsor of the                      
  legislation to address certain questions that we have not                    
  been allowed access to through the subcommittee or through                   
  the past hearing."                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY interjected and said, "The subcommittee was                     
  open to the public."                                                         
  REP. BRICE said, "Not according to your very words, Madam                    
  Chair.  You said it did not concern the matters of                           
  Fairbanks, and that's why I was not chosen to sit on it."                    
  CHAIR TOOHEY said, "And Rep. Davis was, as a voting member,                  
  not as a member of the committee."                                           
  REP. BRICE said, "And, she's been sick."                                     
  CHAIR TOOHEY said, "That's right, not as a member... excuse                  
  me.  You were here at the committee meeting, and I believe                   
  you were too."  She indicated that Rep. Nicholia was in                      
  attendance also.                                                             
  REP. BRICE said, "Not when it was announced that you'd bring                 
  it back up on Wednesday."                                                    
  CHAIR TOOHEY said, "That's right..."  She then asked the                     
  pleasure of the committee.                                                   
  Number 017                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE made a motion to pass HB 409 out of committee.                    
  REP. NICHOLIA said, "Before you make any moves here, I would                 
  like to say something.  I think that this bill here is a                     
  little early, Rep. Hanley.  I think that you're going to be                  
  tying up people for five years when there's other welfare                    
  reform coming from President Clinton.  We haven't seen it.                   
  We haven't been in touch with our Congressman to see what's                  
  in that package.  And, I just think that this is just too                    
  early for us.  You said at the beginning, when you first                     
  introduced it, that it was just a proposal, and so here we                   
  are having a bill in front of us... I just think that it's                   
  not going to do us any good right now.  I think it's just                    
  too early."                                                                  
  Number 036                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE stated that he had a motion on the floor.                         
  REP. BRICE objected.                                                         
  CHAIR TOOHEY called for the vote.  Reps. Bunde, Gary Davis,                  
  Vezey, Kott, Olberg, and Toohey voted Yea and Reps. Nicholia                 
  and Brice voted Nay.  Chair Toohey declared that HB 409 was                  
  so moved.                                                                    

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