Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/26/1996 08:05 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 47 - AK NAT'L GUARD YOUTH CORPS CHALLENGE PROG The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HJR 47. CHAIR JAMES called on Representative Tom Brice, sponsor of HJR 47. Number 2216 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE explained HJR 47 showed legislative support for the Alaska National Guard Youth Corps ChalleNGe Program. It was funded 100 percent by the federal government and just received a budget cut of $600,000. The cut would dramatically reduce its ability to continue to help as many youth as it had in the past. Therefore, HJR 47 asked that Congress continue the funding. He explained the ChalleNGe Program was designed for the youth at-risk, the youth that had dropped out of school, and the youth that had been identified as a criminal risk and offered them a 22 month course to allow them to develop or to complete their General Education Degree (GED). The program gave them a small stipend at the end to be used for furthering their education. He cited there was about an 85 percent success rate. In conclusion, he called HJR 47 a timely resolution; it was time to consider the actions in Washington D.C. Moreover, it was a program that addressed the problems of juvenile justice in a broad fashion. He would be happy to answer any questions of the committee members. TAPE 96-41, SIDE A Number 0013 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he was very impressed with the program. He said one of his legislative assistants had a child in the program which turned his behavior around. He said this program was a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach. He announced he would sign on as a cosponsor. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE replied, "thank you." CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness via teleconference in Anchorage, Carla Pettigrew. Number 0110 CARLA PETTIGREW explained her son was in the program, Andy Penman. She said Andy used drugs and did not stay in school. Andy agreed to enter the program. She was very proud of him today, he was a very successful human being upon leaving the program. He obtained his GED and his life skills improved tremendously. He was currently employed by a hotel in Anchorage. His self-confidence also increased as a result of the program. He turned into a leader instead of remaining a follower. She asserted without the program she strongly believed her son would have been a ward of the state at some point. She contributed the success of the program to its military structure and its ability to bring out the best of an individual. She strongly supported HJR 47. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Anchorage, Andy Penman. Number 0359 ANDY PENMAN said the Alaska National Guard Youth Corps ChallENge Program had taught him more about life compared to any other place. It also taught him initiative, self-confidence, and respect for others. The program made him think about a lot of things. He explained the first stage, hard core, was spent in the woods. The second stage was in the classroom. He participated on a drill team that won second place in a competition. Furthermore, a bond was established with the other classmates that could not be broken by anything. The awards he won meant a lot to him, but he valued what he learned more. Number 0580 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he was familiar with the program. It might not be the appropriate approach for everyone, but it was appropriate for many. It had produced singularly exceptional results. He suggested, for inspiration, to see the kids before and after the program. After the program, the kids were together, inspired and motivated. The program provided the same results as basic training; the feeling of an accomplishment in the end. Number 0679 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained he had seen the kids before and after the program. The transformation was incredible. Some even lost their addictions during the program. Number 0748 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE suggested amending the language on page 1, line 5, to read "nearly 200" based on recent information he just received from his staff. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved that on page 1, line 5, delete the language "more than 136" and insert the language "nearly 200." (Amendment 1) Hearing no objection, it was so moved. Number 0800 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved that CSHJR 47(STA) (9-LS1035/C) be adopted for consideration. Hearing no objection, it was so adopted. Number 0834 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved that CSHJR 47(STA) (9-LS1035/C) move from the committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes, as amended. Hearing no objection, it was so moved from House State Affairs Committee.