Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

04/06/2016 03:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued from 4/5/16 Meeting --
+= HB 345 INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR CONTRACEPTIVES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 345(HSS) Out of Committee
+= HB 334 CHILD CUSTODY;DOM. VIOLENCE;CHILD ABUSE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 334(HSS) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 334-CHILD CUSTODY;DOM. VIOLENCE;CHILD ABUSE                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:47:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that the final order of business would be                                                                
HOUSE  BILL NO.  334, "An  Act relating  to visitation  and child                                                               
custody."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[Before the committee was the  proposed committee substitute (CS)                                                               
for  HB  334,  Version  29-LS1409\N,  Bruce,  4/5/16,  which  was                                                               
adopted as the working document on 4/5/16.]                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:47:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO moved  to adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  for HB 334, Version  29-LS1409\P, Bruce, 4/5/16,                                                               
as the working draft.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:48:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRYSTAL  KOENEMAN,  Staff,  Representative  Cathy  Munoz,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  on  behalf of  Representative  Munoz,  prime                                                               
sponsor of HB  334, explained that Version  P incorporated recent                                                               
committee recommendations made during  the previous discussion of                                                               
[Version N] on 4/5/16.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:48:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KOENEMAN walked  through the changes for  proposed Version P.                                                               
She directed attention to Section  1, and pointed out that intent                                                               
language had been removed.  She  moved on to Section 2, which now                                                               
included the expanded definition for  other parent, a child, or a                                                               
domestic living partner.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked for clarification that  it included children,                                                               
domestic partners, and foster children.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:50:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  BRUCE, Attorney,  Legislative  Legal Counsel,  Legislative                                                               
Legal  and Research  Services, Legislative  Affairs Agency,  said                                                               
that this language would include a foster child.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:50:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KOENEMAN clarified that the new  language was on page 2, line                                                               
2,  Version  P.   She  moved  on to  the  second  change in  this                                                               
version,  page 3,  which  changed the  language  "convicted of  a                                                               
crime   involving   domestic    violence,"   regarding   military                                                               
personnel, to "clear and convincing evidence."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:51:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KOENEMAN  moved on  to the  next change  in the  proposed CS,                                                               
page  4, which  updated  the language  to  "clear and  convincing                                                               
evidence."   She directed  attention to page  4, line  29, noting                                                               
that  there  had  previously  been  a  drafting  error  and  this                                                               
language,  "the  willingness  and   ability  of  each  parent  to                                                               
facilitate  and encourage  a  close  and continuing  relationship                                                               
between the other parent and child," had been reinserted.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:52:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KOENEMAN  relayed that the  final changes in the  proposed CS                                                               
were  on  page 5,  subsections  (m)  and (n),  whereby  "domestic                                                               
living partner" was added.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:52:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON removed  his  objection.   There  being no  further                                                               
objection,  the proposed  committee substitute  (CS) for  HB 334,                                                               
labeled 29-LS1409\P,  Bruce, 4/5/16,  was adopted as  the working                                                               
draft.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:53:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO  directed   attention  to  the  language                                                               
change on page  1, line 15, "a history  of perpetrating" domestic                                                               
violence, and asked whether this history referred to one event.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KOENEMAN replied  that, from  conversations with  the courts                                                               
and  the   judges,  it  was  understood   that  determination  of                                                               
"history" was  up to the discretion  of the judge.   She reported                                                               
that  "history"  had been  defined  in  statute as  "one  serious                                                               
incident  of domestic  violence,  or two  or  more incidences  of                                                               
domestic violence."  She pointed  out that this language had been                                                               
removed to leave discretion to the judge.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  emphasized that he had  a zero tolerance                                                               
level for violent  outbursts and he wanted to  allow for judicial                                                               
discretion, so  it was  not necessary  "to build  a long  case of                                                               
violent behavior" if a person was dangerous.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  expressed his desire  that the  legislative history                                                               
would show that this was the will of the committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:56:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON directed  attention to  a letter  to accompany  the                                                               
proposed  bill  to  members  of   the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee  which reflected  some  of the  legal  concerns of  the                                                               
House Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:57:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TANEEKA HANSEN,  Staff, Representative Paul Seaton,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  paraphrased from  the points  of concern  raised in                                                               
the letter  titled "Letter to  Judiciary on  HB 334 from  the HHS                                                               
committee," [included  in members' packets].   She explained that                                                               
there were  some questions that  included whether  the rebuttable                                                               
presumption should  be removed entirely  from the  proposed bill,                                                               
or  for the  standards to  be adjusted.   She  reported that  the                                                               
first version  of the proposed  bill had included  the rebuttable                                                               
presumption  but had  required  a conviction,  whereas Version  P                                                               
removed  the rebuttable  presumption and  changed that  burden of                                                               
proof  for the  judge to  consider  domestic violence  to a  much                                                               
lower standard of  clear and convincing evidence.   She suggested                                                               
that there could be further discussion in the next committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANSEN noted there had  also been questions around the short-                                                               
term protective  orders as  to whether  they could  be considered                                                               
during the review  of history of domestic violence,  and how easy                                                               
it was  for them to be  issued.  She reported  there was interest                                                               
in  knowing how  often the  rebuttable presumption  was requested                                                               
and how  often it was applied.   She shared the  question for the                                                               
availability  of the  batterers  intervention  program which  was                                                               
required  under current  statute.    She that  there  was also  a                                                               
question regarding  the number of supervised  visitation programs                                                               
available  to parents  who  were not  able to  find  a friend  or                                                               
family member to supervise for free.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:59:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR offered  her belief that it  was necessary to                                                               
know how often the short  term protective orders were approved or                                                               
denied.    She  asked  that domestic  living  partners,  and  the                                                               
challenges posed by "blended families" also be considered.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  said  that  she  was  struggling  with  the                                                               
proposed bill  and its implications.   She shared  that, although                                                               
it was  the mandate of  the committee  to focus on  public health                                                               
matters, she  wanted to ensure that  it was clear that  the House                                                               
Health  and Social  Services Standing  Committee deemed  domestic                                                               
violence to  be a  serious public health  issue that  warranted a                                                               
great  deal of  attention  with additional  programmatic work  to                                                               
address the  issue.  She stated  that her not attempting  to stop                                                               
the  proposed bill  was  not  an indication  of  support, as  the                                                               
proposed bill was moving beyond  the public health realm and more                                                               
toward applications of  the law, which was beyond  the purview of                                                               
this committee.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON reflected  that the committee had  done an excellent                                                               
job of refining  a proposed bill so that it  was not overly broad                                                               
with the  possibility of interpretation for  domestic violence to                                                               
not receive closer scrutiny.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.   KOENEMAN  expressed   agreement   and  understanding   that                                                               
discussions about domestic violence  are difficult and emotional.                                                               
She allowed that the laws governing  the issue were not easy, and                                                               
that  the  sponsor  wanted  the   extra  review  from  the  House                                                               
Judiciary  Standing  Committee  to address  additional  concerns.                                                               
She  asked   that  both  sides   work  together  to   craft  good                                                               
legislation "to protect victims and children."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:05:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO moved  to report  CSHB 334,  Version 29-                                                               
LS1409\P,  Bruce,  4/5/16,  out   of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  objected,  stating   a  desire  by  Representative                                                               
Vazquez to be present.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:05:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:05 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:10:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON brought the committee back to order.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:10:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON removed  his  objection.   There  being no  further                                                               
objection, CSHB  334(HSS) was  reported out  of the  House Health                                                               
and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
House HSS letter to the House Judiciary Committee-HB 334-4.10.2016.pdf HHSS 4/6/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 334