Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

04/17/2018 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 198 UAA LONG-ACTING CONTRACEPTION STUDY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invited/Public> --
+ SB 208 MARCH: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 208 Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invited/Public> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             SB 208-MARCH: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:00:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be SENATE BILL  NO. 208, "An Act establishing the  month of March                                                               
as Sobriety Awareness Month."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:01:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACOB  TATUM,   Staff,  Senator   Berta  Gardner,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  the  proposed   bill  and  read  from  a                                                               
prepared statement [original punctuation provided]:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     For  the  record  my  name is  Jacob  Tatum,  staff  to                                                                    
     Senator Berta Gardner.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Madame Chair,  members of  the committee,  good evening                                                                    
     and thank you for giving  me the opportunity to testify                                                                    
     before   you   on   the   importance   of   permanently                                                                    
     recognizing   March   as  Sobriety   Awareness   Month.                                                                    
     Unfortunately,  Senator  Gardner   could  not  be  here                                                                    
     today,  but the  sponsor  wanted to  be  sure to  thank                                                                    
     Chair  Spohnholz  for truly  paving  the  way for  this                                                                    
     legislation;  for sharing  her personal  story and  all                                                                    
     the work that  she has done and continues to  do in the                                                                    
     area of substance abuse treatment  and recovery. So, on                                                                    
     behalf of Senator Gardner, Chair Spohnholz, THANK YOU.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     On  a   similar  note,  there  have   been  many  other                                                                    
     individuals  and  organizations that  have  contributed                                                                    
     greatly  to  the cause  of  sobriety  in Alaska,  whom,                                                                    
     without their  efforts, this  legislation might  not be                                                                    
     possible.  Specifically,  the  sponsor  would  like  to                                                                    
     recognize  the   Alaska  Federation  of   Natives,  who                                                                    
     originally  passed a  resolution in  1989 to  start the                                                                    
     AFN  Sobriety Movement  and for,  in 1996,  encouraging                                                                    
     Alaska lawmakers to add statutory  language in the form                                                                    
     of AS 47.37.010, which reads,  "It is the policy of the                                                                    
     state  to  recognize,  appreciate,  and  reinforce  the                                                                    
     example set by  its citizens who lead,  believe in, and                                                                    
     support a life of sobriety".                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Another  individual  is  musher and  sobriety  activist                                                                    
     Mike  Williams,  who  ran the  1992  Iditarod  carrying                                                                    
     10,000  signatures pledging  sobriety,  in what  became                                                                    
     known as the  "Idita-pledge for Sobriety" and  is a key                                                                    
     reason  for  the  selection  of  the  month  of  March.                                                                    
     Another person is  former Representative Irene Nicholia                                                                    
     of Tanana  who first  passed a resolution  to recognize                                                                    
     Sobriety  Awareness Month  in 1995,  making Alaska  the                                                                    
     first state  in the  Union to  recognize sobriety  as a                                                                    
     lifestyle.  To  all  of these  folks,  THANK  YOU.  So,                                                                    
     without further ado?                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     SB 208  celebrates and calls  attention to  the efforts                                                                    
     of the  many Alaskans  who live  healthy lives  free of                                                                    
     mind  and  mood-altering   substances  by  establishing                                                                    
     March as Sobriety Awareness Month.                                                                                         
     As  you  all  know,  Alaska  experiences  some  of  the                                                                    
     highest rates  of substance abuse  in the nation,  at a                                                                    
     total economic cost to the  state of nearly $3 billion,                                                                    
     not  to  mention  the   immeasurable  cost  to  Alaskan                                                                    
     communities and  families that cannot be  captured by a                                                                    
     simple dollar amount.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:04:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     With  this  legislation, it  is  the  intention of  the                                                                    
     sponsor and  cosponsors, to  promote and  celebrate the                                                                    
     tens  of thousands  of Alaskans  who  live their  lives                                                                    
     free of mind and  mood-altering substances, in order to                                                                    
     not only  mitigate the costs associated  with substance                                                                    
     abuse,  but  perhaps  even more  importantly,  to  help                                                                    
     foster  a culture  that is  conscious  of this  State's                                                                    
     multi-faceted substance  abuse challenges and  how they                                                                    
     can ultimately be overcome.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Furthermore,  sobriety has  also been  recognized as  a                                                                    
     youth  protective factor  that  is strongly  correlated                                                                    
     with lower rates of future  substance abuse and overall                                                                    
     positive life outcomes; so, by  recognizing a month for                                                                    
     the sobriety  movement, it is  the hope that  the state                                                                    
     of  Alaska will  help establish  positive social  norms                                                                  
     and  send a  message  to young  people that,  "contrary                                                                    
     what they might  think, the majority of  their peers in                                                                    
     fact do not use alcohol and drugs."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     So, in summary:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     By  passing SB  208, permanently  recognizing March  as                                                                    
     Sobriety  Awareness Month,  the  state  of Alaska  will                                                                    
     accomplish 4 key goals.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     1.     Meeting  Alaska   policy  under   Alaska  Statue                                                                    
     47.37.010, which I referred to earlier.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     2.  Mitigate the  costs, both  economic and  otherwise,                                                                    
     associated with substance abuse.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     3.  Set  an example  for  the  younger generation,  and                                                                    
     perhaps adults  too, with  positive social  norms, that                                                                    
     communicate  that  alcohol  and  drugs are  in  no  way                                                                
     essential or necessary for enjoying life.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     4.  To celebrate  people  living  sober lifestyles  and                                                                    
     break down  the stigma around sobriety,  both for those                                                                    
     who  freely choose  to  abstain and  those  who are  in                                                                    
     long-term  recovery,  for  these people  truly  are  an                                                                    
     asset  to  the State  of  Alaska,  its communities  and                                                                    
     families.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:06:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ opened invited testimony on SB 208.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:06:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIFFANY HALL,  Executive Director, Recover Alaska,  reported that                                                               
Recover Alaska worked  to reduce excessive alcohol  use and harms                                                               
across the  state, as  alcohol was recognized  as the  number one                                                               
health issue in  Alaska.  She reported that, as  alcohol cost the                                                               
state $1.84 billion  every year, the goals of  Recover Alaska was                                                               
for prevention, treatment  and recovery, and a  change for social                                                               
norms around alcohol.  She  noted that funding for these recovery                                                               
programs was often tied to metrics,  and that it was very hard to                                                               
capture metrics about recovery.   She declared that community was                                                               
a big part of recovery,  and although there were not quantitative                                                               
numbers, there was  a lot of qualitative feedback.   She shared a                                                               
personal  anecdote about  recovery  and the  shame of  addiction.                                                               
She  reported that  78 percent  of high  schoolers did  not drink                                                               
alcohol.   She pointed  out that,  as it  was necessary  for role                                                               
models,  Recover  Alaska  highlighted Alaskans  in  sobriety  and                                                               
honored and celebrated this choice.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:11:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  opened public  testimony and  after ascertaining                                                               
no one wished to testify, closed public testimony on SB 208.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:11:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  shared that she  was a strong  personal advocate                                                               
for   sobriety  and   that  Sobriety   Awareness  Month   was  an                                                               
opportunity for celebration of the choice  for a sober life.  She                                                               
pointed  to the  importance of  shining light  on "what  recovery                                                               
looks like and what sobriety looks  like for people."  She shared                                                               
that she was in  long term recovery, had not had  a drink in more                                                               
than 16 years,  and that sobriety had made her  life "more joyful                                                               
and meaningful and  satisfying in a lot of ways."   She expressed                                                               
her hope  that more people  would recognize the  empowerment that                                                               
could come  from sobriety  and the role  models in  sobriety that                                                               
could allow celebration for the choice not to drink.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:13:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY  moved to  report  SB  208, Version  30-                                                               
LS1470\A, out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being no objection, SB 208                                                               
was  moved from  the House  Health and  Social Services  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 208 Fiscal Note 4.13.18.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 208
SB 208 Sponsor Statement 2.27.18.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 208
SB 208 Support Doc 1 2016 AFN Resolution 16-45.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 208
SB 208 Support Doc 3 AST Annual Drug Report 2016.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 208
SB 208 Support Doc 4 Economic Costs of Alchohol Abuse in AK MHTA.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 208
SB 208 Support Doc 5 Protective_Factors_for_Youth_Substance_Abuse_and_Delinquency.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 208
SB 208 Supprot Doc 2 AS 47.37.010.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 208
SB 198 Sectional Analysis.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/19/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 Fiscal Note UA-AC 4.13.18.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 Sponsor Statement.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/19/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 Supporting Documents - ACT Letter of Support 4.13.18.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 Supporting Documents - Alaska Dispatch Article May 2016 4.13.18.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 Supporting Documents - GCDSE Support Letter & White Paper 4.13.18.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 Supporting Documents - JSAT Article 4.13.18.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 Supporting Documents - NEJM Study May 2012 4.13.18.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 PPVNH_SB 198_LARC study_testimony.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/19/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 SisterSong LARCStatementofPrinciples.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/19/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198
SB 198 Guttmacher Policy Review.pdf HHSS 4/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/19/2018 3:00:00 PM
SB 198