Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

04/11/2006 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved HCS SB 250(STA) Out of Committee
Scheduled But Not Heard
Moved HCS CSSB 12(STA) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SB 250-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ASSAULT COUNCIL                                                                               
8:08:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON announced  that  the first  order  of business  was                                                               
SENATE BILL  NO. 250, "An  Act extending the termination  date of                                                               
the  Council  on  Domestic  Violence   and  Sexual  Assault;  and                                                               
eliminating  statutory  references  to the  network  on  domestic                                                               
violence and sexual assault."                                                                                                   
8:08:43 AM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA MASON,  Executive Director, Council on  Domestic Violence                                                               
and Sexual Assault, Department of  Public Safety, stated that she                                                               
welcomes  the  opportunity  to inform  the  committee  about  the                                                               
council,  because she  has  discovered  that there  is  a lot  of                                                               
misinformation  about it.   She  said the  committee packets  now                                                               
include the  council's last year's  minutes and agendas,  as well                                                               
as  an  account of  five  year's  missions  and measures.    Also                                                               
included in  the committee  packet, she noted,  is a  response to                                                               
"recommendation one of the sunset audit."                                                                                       
8:09:40 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON stated:                                                                                                               
     The  mission of  the Council  on Domestic  Violence and                                                                    
     Sexual Assault  is to implement  a statewide  system of                                                                    
     services   for  the   protection  of   individuals  and                                                                    
     families  affected  by  domestic  violence  and  sexual                                                                    
MS. MASON noted  that she had distributed a  fact sheet [included                                                               
in  the  committee  packet],  which  describes  the  council  and                                                               
provides contact information.   She relayed that  the council has                                                               
two  main   functions:    to  coordinate   with  the  departments                                                               
[represented in council  seats], as well as with  other state and                                                               
community  groups  dealing  with  domestic  violence  and  sexual                                                               
assault; and  to serve  as a funding  source, which  differs from                                                               
most  of   the  other  advisory-only   councils  listed   on  the                                                               
governor's  boards and  commissions.   She  said  the council  is                                                               
comprised  of   seven  members,   with  four  members   from  the                                                               
Departments   of  Public   Safety,  Law,   Education  and   Early                                                               
Development,  and Health  & Social  Services,  and three  members                                                               
appointed  by  the  governor.    She  directed  attention  to  an                                                               
organizational chart that shows who  sits in those seats, as well                                                               
as the makeup  of the council's staff [included  in the committee                                                               
MS. MASON stated that  it is the job of her  staff and herself to                                                               
move forward  the work  of the  council.  One  task is  to manage                                                               
funds  received   by  the  State   of  Alaska  and   the  federal                                                               
government.    In  response  to  a  request  from  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg prior to today's meeting,  she said she has included "a                                                               
breakout of our budget between  what is dispersed to the programs                                                               
and what  is used by  CDVSA for administrative costs,"  which Ms.                                                               
Mason noted can  be found in the handout  entitled, "CDVSA Fiscal                                                               
Year 2006 Budget."   She said the budget shows  that less than 10                                                               
percent of the funds are  used for administrative costs.  Program                                                               
funds, she  said, are dispersed  through a request  for proposals                                                               
(RFP) process on a two-year cycle;  the last cycle in which funds                                                               
were dispersed occurred in June  (2005).  If the council receives                                                               
extra funds, it will conduct  another RFP process in June (2006).                                                               
Ms. Mason said the council  oversees and audits the programs that                                                               
have been funded, thus acting as a monitoring agency.                                                                           
MS. MASON  revealed that  she and her  staff also  administer the                                                               
state  certified batterer  intervention  programs.   She  offered                                                               
further details.   She  said she uses  a proprietary  database to                                                               
capture  information  from  funded  CDVSA programs  in  order  to                                                               
comply  with data  requirements from  the funding  sources.   She                                                               
said the  council meets  on a quarterly  basis; however,  in 2005                                                               
there was  a fifth meeting  to review proposals and  award grants                                                               
for the  valid discretionary  funds.   She added,  "This actually                                                               
usually happens,  so, we usually  have five meetings in  a year."                                                               
She noted  the length of  a meeting may  last more than  one day,                                                               
depending  on the  purpose of  the  meeting.   At each  quarterly                                                               
meeting, she  said, the  council reviews the  reports sent  in by                                                               
the  programs   and  notes  concerns   raised  relevant   to  the                                                               
departments it  represents in order  to address the issues.   She                                                               
offered an example.  She said  the minutes show that the meetings                                                               
are well attended and are important  to the community and all the                                                               
8:12:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MASON said  people  often  ask her  what  the difference  is                                                               
between  the council  and the  network.   She explained  that the                                                               
council is  a government  entity that  manages state  and federal                                                               
funds,  while the  network is  a private,  nonprofit entity  that                                                               
represents the  programs that receive  the funds.  A  common goal                                                               
between the two is to provide  for the safety and intervention of                                                               
for those affected by domestic  violence and sexual assault.  Ms.                                                               
Mason concluded:                                                                                                                
     I believe the council,  as did the legislative auditor,                                                                    
     provides a  much-needed public need  and operates  in a                                                                    
     public interest.   The  council supports  SB 250  as it                                                                    
8:13:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked Ms. Mason  for a summary of  what the                                                               
problem is and what's being done about it.                                                                                      
8:15:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MASON responded  that domestic  violence and  sexual assault                                                               
affects the  community and is  an issue  addressed by all  of the                                                               
aforementioned  departments  represented  on the  council.    She                                                               
offered examples.  She said the  focus on the problem begins with                                                               
addressing the issues.   Safety is the first issue  that is dealt                                                               
with, for  example.  Shelters  are built to  get people out  of a                                                               
crisis situation.   The next step is maintenance  - helping those                                                               
people plan what steps to take in the future to stay safe.                                                                      
8:17:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON,  in  response to  Representative  Gatto,  directed                                                               
attention to the aforementioned budget handout.                                                                                 
8:18:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  prefaced his  questions by  telling Ms.  Mason that                                                               
the  committee identifies  [the  issue of  domestic violence  and                                                               
sexual  assault]  as  an  "extremely   important  problem."    He                                                               
explained that the  reason he had requested that  Ms. Mason bring                                                               
forth the large quantity of  information that is in the committee                                                               
packet is because the sunset extension  proposed by the bill is a                                                               
long one, and he wants to  ensure there is a plan being developed                                                               
by  the  council   that  will  "get  the   topic  addressed  most                                                               
8:20:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON noted  that the  audit identified  that one  of the                                                               
major  problems has  been a  turnover in  the areas  of executive                                                               
director  and program  associates in  the  last four  years.   He                                                               
indicated that  he doesn't want  Ms. Mason  to feel she  is being                                                               
attacked.   He said,  "When you  have a  turnover like  that it's                                                               
extremely  difficult  to  have  a  program  fully  developed  and                                                               
8:20:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MASON  directed  attention  to  a  single  sheet,  entitled,                                                               
"Council  on Domestic  Violence  and Sexual  Assault 2005  Sunset                                                               
Audit  Response"  [included  in   the  committee  packet].    She                                                               
paraphrased from a  portion of the handout,  which read [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     In  response  to   the  Sunset  Audit  recommendations,                                                                    
     Barbara  Mason,  Executive   Director  of  the  Council                                                                    
     contacted the  Council members  from the  Department of                                                                    
     Education  (DEED)  and  the Department  of  Health  and                                                                    
     Social Services  (DHSS) in order to  begin developing a                                                                    
     plan  to address  the  concerns  raised by  Legislative                                                                    
     Audit.  Barbara Thompson  from DEED indicated that DEED                                                                    
     is  currently developing  training  modules on  various                                                                    
     subjects   including   domestic  violence   for   their                                                                    
     professional   development   requirements  for   school                                                                    
     district staff.   Work on the  domestic violence module                                                                    
     starts   in  April   and  Barbara   Mason  will   be  a                                                                    
     participant  in the  development of  that module.   The                                                                    
     next  step is  to assess  what curricula  are currently                                                                    
     being used in the schools and in what district.                                                                            
     Barbara Mason  has also met  with Bill Hogan  from DHSS                                                                    
     and they have  determined that the best  place to start                                                                    
     is to  have Barbara  present at the  Division Directors                                                                    
     meeting on the Councils  legislative mandate.  Bill and                                                                    
     Barbara  will  then  focus   on  those  Divisions  most                                                                    
     concerned,  Health, Behavioral  Health,  and Office  of                                                                    
     Children Services.                                                                                                         
MS. MASON said  one of the focuses is to  find out what questions                                                               
are being  asked.  For  example, in health clinics,  when someone                                                               
comes in  with an injury  that is  not consistent with  the story                                                               
being  given, the  health care  provider needs  to be  asking the                                                               
right questions, and  to be asking them to  the person separately                                                               
from his/her  partner.   Ms. Mason  said she  will be  meeting on                                                               
April 17  with division heads within  DHSS to focus on  the three                                                               
top [entities]:   the Division of Health, the  Office of Children                                                               
Services,  and the  Division of  Behavioral Health  - the  latter                                                               
particularly   in  regard   to   how  to   address  victims   and                                                               
perpetrators  of violence  who may  need help  in terms  of going                                                               
through  trauma.    She said  most  victims  have  post-traumatic                                                               
stress syndrome (PTSD), which can be a mental health issue.                                                                     
8:23:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON said, "We want to  make sure that these are not just                                                               
your daily contacts  with people."  He asked, "Is  this the track                                                               
of developing a strategic plan to get those things done?"                                                                       
8:23:58 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON  replied that  she has spoken  with the  people putting                                                               
together the module  and will be meeting with  the division heads                                                               
when she  attends the division head  meeting out of DHSS  so that                                                               
she  can  make   the  contacts  and  "start   working  with  them                                                               
individually" and work through the system.                                                                                      
8:24:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON clarified  that  he would  like to  see  a plan  or                                                               
development   strategy  on   paper  related   to  the   statutory                                                               
requirements  that need  to  be met.   He  indicated  that he  is                                                               
talking about  "how we are  going to proceed with  the Department                                                               
of Education [and  Early Childhood Development] and not  do it on                                                               
an  ad  hoc basis."    He  said  he  wants something  to  measure                                                               
against, so that the legislature  knows where [the council] is in                                                               
relation to the plan.                                                                                                           
8:25:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  observed that there are  approximately 14                                                               
duties of the council.  She said  she is trying to both listen to                                                               
the testimony  and read the  information in the  committee packet                                                               
"with an  eye to measuring  how they fit  with the duties  of the                                                               
council."  She  said from what the committee has  heard thus far,                                                               
there  are  elements  of  the  council  duty  that  haven't  been                                                               
discussed.   She  asked Chair  Seaton if  the committee  would be                                                               
coming back to the bill another day.                                                                                            
8:26:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  asked that  the  committee  wait  to see  how  the                                                               
present meeting fares.                                                                                                          
8:26:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER noted  that one duty of the  council is to                                                               
develop and  implement a standardized  data collection  system on                                                               
domestic  violence and  sexual  assault  crisis intervention  and                                                               
prevention.   She said  she would be  interested in  "seeing what                                                               
that looks like."   Representative Gardner explained  that she is                                                               
uncomfortable extending the  sunset date for as long  as the bill                                                               
proposes when  she doesn't  feel like  she has  a sense  that the                                                               
duties of the council currently are being met.                                                                                  
8:27:27 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON  expressed pride in  the council's database.   She said                                                               
this is  the first year  that the  council has been  dealing with                                                               
the new  system, and  it is  meeting all  its requirements.   She                                                               
offered further examples regarding the use of the database.                                                                     
8:28:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  directed attention to  [a five-page handout  in the                                                               
committee  packet entitled,  "Council  on  Domestic Violence  and                                                               
Sexual Assault  Results Delivery  Unit."]  After  some discussion                                                               
between Representative  Gruenberg and Ms. Mason  to determine how                                                               
up-to-date the  report is when  it read "12/27/04" and  "FY 2006"                                                               
at  the bottom  of the  first  page, Chair  Seaton surmised  that                                                               
there  may be  a lag  time in  data preparation  or when  data is                                                               
available.   He said, "Hopefully  we'll have this 2005  data that                                                               
we can  add on  to the bottom,  because right now  on page  2 ...                                                               
you'll see that the most ... recent data we have is 2004."                                                                      
8:32:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON indicated  the headings  on page  1 of  the report,                                                               
which  read:   "End  Results," "Strategies  to Achieve  Results,"                                                               
"End  Results,"  "Strategies  to  Achieve  Results,"  and  "Major                                                               
Activities to  Advance Strategies."   He said the  legislature is                                                               
concerned with these  categories, and he asked Ms.  Mason to lead                                                               
the committee  through them.   In particular, he  asked questions                                                               
regarding   the  list   under   "Major   Activities  to   Advance                                                               
Strategies,"   which  read   as  follows   [original  punctuation                                                               
provided with some formatting changed]:                                                                                         
       Conduct state RFP process, allocate funds, support                                                                       
     legislative efforts, write federal RFP                                                                                     
        Conduct onsite audits, hold telephonic meetings,                                                                        
     provide written materials                                                                                                  
     Maintain database, conduct data audits, provide query                                                                      
         Participate in the planning, coordinating, and                                                                         
     implementation of workshops                                                                                                
      Conduct needs assessments, evaluate effectiveness of                                                                      
     Analyze data reports                                                                                                       
8:33:49 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON confirmed that onsite  audits have been conducted.  She                                                               
explained that  the audits are  done on a two-year  cycle, unless                                                               
there are  issues that  require an  audit to  be conducted  on an                                                               
annual basis.   Regarding workshops, Ms. Mason  said tribal state                                                               
forums  have been  conducted.   Those  forums  were supported  by                                                               
[Grants to  Encourage Arrest (GTEA)].   Ms. Mason said  she hopes                                                               
those monies will be received again.                                                                                            
8:35:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  said it  is problematic  that there  are activities                                                               
and advanced  strategies, but no delineation  within the missions                                                               
and measures showing how they  were accomplished.  Referring back                                                               
to  page 1  of the  report, he  asked if  the council  does needs                                                               
assessments  or if  they are  done by  "the folks  that come  and                                                               
apply for grants."                                                                                                              
8:36:34 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON  replied that  she doesn't  know of  one that  has been                                                               
done recently that is a formalized needs assessment.                                                                            
8:37:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON directed  attention to page 2  of the aforementioned                                                               
handout pertaining  to the  results delivery  unit.   He observed                                                               
that under "Performance  Measure Detail," the target  is for "10%                                                               
increase  in  shelter/support  services to  victims  of  domestic                                                               
violence,  sexual assault,  or other  violent  crimes."   Further                                                               
down the  page, he noted, it  shows the total count  of incidents                                                               
decreasing from  fiscal year 2001  (FY 01) to  FY 04.   He asked,                                                               
"If our  goal is a ten  percent increase in shelter  services and                                                               
we're getting  less days  in shelters,  ... it  seems to  me that                                                               
that's saying we're  failing in our goal.  Or  is this supposedly                                                               
the  case that  ...  there isn't  the  requirement for  sheltered                                                               
8:38:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON  responded that this  is one  of the measures  that she                                                               
doesn't much care for, because  there are fluctuations in shelter                                                               
usage.  She offered examples.                                                                                                   
8:38:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  said  he  understands that  but  is  still  having                                                               
trouble interpreting the numbers.                                                                                               
8:39:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked if the numbers  in question could                                                               
be reflective of reduced funding.                                                                                               
MS. MASON said it  could be, but she noted that  it also could be                                                               
reflective  of how  data is  being gathered.   In  response to  a                                                               
follow-up question  from Representative  Gruenberg, she  said the                                                               
funding has  fluctuated over the  years.  She  directed attention                                                               
to page  15 of  the audit  report, [which  shows the  schedule of                                                               
operating expenditure and funding sources of the council].                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG remarked that  [the numbers] do not seem                                                               
to indicate [a drop in resources].                                                                                              
8:42:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON referred back to  page 2 of the previously discussed                                                               
report  and  noted   that  second  target  is   "5%  increase  in                                                               
coordinated training/educational  workshops."  He noted  that the                                                               
table  showing  the  statewide training  functions  dropped  from                                                               
2,390 in FY 01 to 1,723 in FY  04, which he calculated as a 20-25                                                               
percent decrease.   He stated,  "I guess  I'm having a  hard time                                                               
figuring out  if we're  accomplishing these  missions, or  if ...                                                               
the data  is showing  that we're  not accomplishing  the missions                                                               
and we're  going the  wrong way."   He explained  that is  why he                                                               
would like to see a strategic plan to clarify these numbers.                                                                    
8:43:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MASON said  she will  look into  this issue.   She  said, "I                                                               
notice this  ... says by ...  CDVSA grantees, but I  would assume                                                               
that we  would also want to  include the training with  the forum                                                               
that we  did."  She  added, "And I'm  not sure how  these numbers                                                               
were combined, either."                                                                                                         
8:43:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  directed attention to  page 3 of the  report, which                                                               
shows  the result:   "Work  toward longer-term  solutions to  the                                                               
root  causes  of  domestic violence,  sexual  assault,  or  other                                                               
violent  crimes."    He  noted  that  the  target  shown  is  "5%                                                               
reduction  in  domestic  violence,   sexual  assault,  and  other                                                               
violent crimes," but  the number of incidents shown  in the chart                                                               
are 25,787  in FY 00, rising  to 27,540 in  FY 03.  He  said that                                                               
looks  like  the  numbers  are   going  the  wrong  way,  and  he                                                               
reiterated his need to see a strategic plan.                                                                                    
8:45:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER suggested that  the increased number could                                                               
indicate,  for example,  that although  the  amount of  incidents                                                               
have remained the same, the amount of reporting has gone up.                                                                    
8:45:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON remarked  that Ms. Mason is in  a difficult position                                                               
in  front of  the  committee, trying  to  answer tough  questions                                                               
based on  the available data.   He suggested the  committee would                                                               
benefit from listening to a council member.                                                                                     
8:46:05 AM                                                                                                                    
BILL HOGAN, Deputy Commissioner,  Department of Health and Social                                                               
Services (DHSS),  said he  cannot shed  much light  regarding the                                                               
council,  thus,  he  suggested the  committee  ask  questions  of                                                               
Commissioner Tandeske.                                                                                                          
8:47:09 AM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM  TANDESKE,  Commissioner,  Department of  Public  Safety,                                                               
stated  his appreciation  of  Representative Gardner's  comments.                                                               
He  said  the  numbers  being  discussed  by  the  committee  are                                                               
difficult to  "weave into  something meaningful."   He  said when                                                               
there is more reporting [of  domestic violence and sexual assault                                                               
incidents],  that  means that  the  programs  "out there  in  the                                                               
field" are  having a positive  impact.   Regarding Representative                                                               
Gruenberg's  question  about  funding,  he  said  he  thinks  the                                                               
funding  streams have  suffered  from "flat  funding," a  problem                                                               
that  erodes the  budget.   He  noted that  there  has been  some                                                               
fluctuation  in  funding  sources.   He  offered  some  examples.                                                               
Commissioner Tandeske  said that in spite  of those fluctuations,                                                               
the support of what the  network and council does remains strong.                                                               
He stated that  the entire issue of domestic  violence and sexual                                                               
assault  is  all  encompassing;   it  involves  law  enforcement,                                                               
prosecution, and the Department of  Health & Social Services.  He                                                               
     Having been involved  in it as a police officer  - as a                                                                    
     trooper - starting in 1973, I  can tell you that we are                                                                    
     so far ahead  - and continue to make progress  - ... of                                                                    
     where  we  were  back  in   those  days,  in  terms  of                                                                    
     statutory authority and support  for programs.  I think                                                                    
     that stability  is the  key that  we're looking  for; I                                                                    
     think it's very  hard for us to do our  jobs in working                                                                    
     with the  network programs in an  unstable environment.                                                                    
     Strategies  require long-term  planning, and  long-term                                                                    
     planning  is  difficult  when you're  really  operating                                                                    
     year to year.                                                                                                              
8:51:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  proffered  that  when  he  looks  at  the                                                               
figures showing [the  total count of incidents and  the number of                                                               
incidents  reported to  law enforcement],  he  sees the  increase                                                               
being  a  sign  that  the  services  provided  and  the  outreach                                                               
programs have improved  to the point that there  is more response                                                               
to  the program,  as  opposed to  there being  a  failure in  the                                                               
COMMISSIONER  TANDESKE   responded  that  that  is   certainly  a                                                               
possibility.  He said also  as the state's population grows, more                                                               
incidents of  all sorts of crime  can be expected.   He added, "I                                                               
think as law enforcement expands  and is better trained, you also                                                               
see those  numbers go up."   He said  he has confidence  that the                                                               
result of the outreach being done will be improved reporting.                                                                   
8:52:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON pointed  to the previously noted chart  on the third                                                               
page  of  the  report  that  shows the  target  of  a  5  percent                                                               
reduction, but  increased numbers, and  he stated, "If  we're not                                                               
using  this data  to identify  some  reasons for  ... this,  then                                                               
there's no use having a measure of it."                                                                                         
8:53:48 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  TANDESKE responded  that he  is  not a  big fan  of                                                               
missions and measures "for this very  reason."  He said he thinks                                                               
numbers can  and need to be  interpreted over the long  haul.  He                                                               
     A great crime for this  kind of example is sexual abuse                                                                    
     of  a minor  - again,  terribly  underreported.   Folks                                                                    
     might raise  their eyebrows  when I say  I want  to see                                                                    
     those  numbers go  up, but  I do,  because I  know it's                                                                    
     going on  [and] I  want it  reported.   And so,  yes, I                                                                    
     agree  with you  that  those numbers  are difficult  to                                                                    
     interpret, but it  doesn't change the fact  that it's a                                                                    
     terribly  underreported crime  and we  need to  work on                                                                    
     getting more of it reported.                                                                                               
     ... Personally, as I look  at missions and measures for                                                                    
     my whole  department, I  really try  to stay  away from                                                                    
     [stating], "Well,  I'm going to reduce  homicides by 10                                                                    
     percent."   ... I'd love to  do that, but I'm  not sure                                                                    
     that that's totally going to  be within my ... reach to                                                                    
     do that.                                                                                                                   
8:55:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON drew  attention to  the fifth  page of  the results                                                               
delivery unit handout,  which outlines that the  core services of                                                               
a batterers'  intervention program would be  to develop, oversee,                                                               
and  audit all  state-approved batterers'  intervention programs.                                                               
He noted  that zero part-time  and full-time personnel  have been                                                               
allotted to  the program, and he  asked, "Has that fallen  off of                                                               
the list for the council, or  was that being addressed some other                                                               
8:55:59 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  TANDESKE suggested  Ms. Mason  could better  answer                                                               
that question.                                                                                                                  
8:56:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO,  regarding the previous  discussion related                                                               
to the meaning  behind the statistics, said  he doesn't interpret                                                               
numbers, he  merely looks at  them and  decides whether or  not a                                                               
goal has  been met.   He  said if  a 5  percent reduction  is the                                                               
goal, but an  increase is shown, then it is  essential to have an                                                               
explanation or  justification.  He  emphasized his  reluctance to                                                               
grant the enormous extension of time  proposed in SB 250 when the                                                               
goals are not being met.                                                                                                        
8:58:04 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  TANDESKE responded  that  collectively the  council                                                               
and the network are doing a great  job.  He stated that there are                                                               
certainly  things  to be  improved  upon,  as with  any  program;                                                               
however,  there are  so many  factors that  explain the  numbers.                                                               
For example,  he said  sometimes job situations  may be  bad, and                                                               
victims may have fewer options.   He said he heard that last year                                                               
shelters were  "having longer stays"  because battered  women had                                                               
fewer options available to them.                                                                                                
8:59:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON said  that is  one  of the  problems the  committee                                                               
members  are having  with  the  bill -  trying  to interpret  the                                                               
numbers before them.                                                                                                            
8:59:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  referred to  a sentence  on page  14 of                                                               
the audit report, which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                   
      In fact, the community-based batterers intervention                                                                       
       programs had their budget reduced from $320,000 to                                                                       
     $200,000 in FY 04.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG directed  attention to  page 15  of the                                                               
audit  report  and  "Exhibit  1," which  shows  the  schedule  of                                                               
operating  expenditure  and  funding  sources.    He  highlighted                                                               
several of  them, and then  observed that the numbers  are wildly                                                               
fluctuating,  and  he asked  Commissioner  Tandeske  if he  could                                                               
offer an explanation.                                                                                                           
9:01:34 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER TANDESKE  answered no.   He explained  that although                                                               
the council  resides in  his department, he  does not  handle the                                                               
day-to-day operational and budget issues it faces.                                                                              
9:01:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG repeated his question to Ms. Mason.                                                                    
9:02:04 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON said travel is a big  part of what the council funds in                                                               
order  to get  out to  the programs  and to  travel for  mandated                                                               
training.  She  said she cannot offer an answer  more specific to                                                               
the fluctuations for  each year without checking  with the person                                                               
in charge of funding.                                                                                                           
9:02:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  pointed  out that  general  fund  allocations  and                                                               
"those receipt  authorities" are  the purview of  the legislature                                                               
and are affected by the legislature's priorities.                                                                               
9:03:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said it  sounds  like  the council  is                                                               
receiving  significantly less  support from  legislative funding.                                                               
He asked Commissioner Tandeske if it appears that is true.                                                                      
9:03:34 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER TANDESKE  said he  doesn't think  that is  the case.                                                               
He stated  his belief that  there is strong  legislative support.                                                               
He said there  was "drop off" in other funding  sources last year                                                               
and the  legislature added  $1.4 million  from the  general fund.                                                               
Although the support is there, he  said he thinks it is difficult                                                               
without  consistent  funding  -  particularly  for  the  programs                                                               
funded through  the council - to  work out a five-year  plan when                                                               
trying to pay heating bills month  to month.  He stated, "... The                                                               
sources are all over the board."                                                                                                
9:05:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  said the committee  is less inclined to  review the                                                               
individual programs,  because it  thinks the  council has  done a                                                               
good  job with  statutory requirements  related to  funding.   He                                                               
said the  committee is trying to  find out if there  currently is                                                               
enough  information on  a strategic  plan for  accomplishing "the                                                               
other statutorily required portions of  the council," in order to                                                               
decide whether to extend the date  to 2014, as is requested in SB                                                               
250.   He  expressed  his agreement  with Representative  Gatto's                                                               
view that  the committee has  not seen enough strategic  plans to                                                               
grant that request.                                                                                                             
9:06:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  when   the  extra  million  was                                                               
9:06:49 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER TANDESKE answered 2006.                                                                                            
9:07:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  concluded,   "So,   it  wouldn't   be                                                               
reflected on the figures we have here."                                                                                         
9:07:11 AM                                                                                                                    
PAT  DAVIDSON, Legislative  Auditor, Legislative  Audit Division,                                                               
Legislative Agencies and Offices, in  response to a question from                                                               
Chair  Seaton,  outlined that  the  sunset  process, to  a  large                                                               
extent,  is defined  in  Title  34.66.   She  explained that  the                                                               
legislation  would establish  the  criteria on  which boards  and                                                               
commissions  should be  evaluated.   She  indicated  that in  the                                                               
analysis  of  the  public  need  portion  of  the  audit  report,                                                               
statutory  criteria  is  identified.     Those  criteria  include                                                               
determining:   the  public's best  interest and  whether anything                                                               
may impede the work of the organization.                                                                                        
9:08:36 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DAVIDSON, in  response to  a follow-up  question from  Chair                                                               
Seaton  regarding  timing, stated,  "Initially  the  way that  it                                                               
worked  prior to  the change  last year,  boards and  commissions                                                               
were to be extended for a period  not to exceed four years."  She                                                               
added that if the boards have  a termination date, they are given                                                               
one year to  conclude their administrative actions.   She offered                                                               
an  example.   She said,  "During the  last legislative  session,                                                               
that  'not-to-exceed' period  changed  from four  years to  eight                                                               
years."   She said  while there are  approximately 20  boards and                                                               
commissions that are under sunset,  most of them are occupational                                                               
in  nature   and  less  than   a  dozen  are   more  programmatic                                                               
evaluations.     She  concluded,  "It   is  totally  up   to  the                                                               
legislature as to whether they want  to extend it eight years, or                                                               
feel comfortable in something less, or even in something more."                                                                 
9:10:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  asked when a  pre-expiration audit takes  place and                                                               
whether or not it needs to be requested.                                                                                        
9:10:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DAVIDSON replied  that by  statutory  requirement, an  audit                                                               
must be  presented to the  legislature in the January  before the                                                               
termination date.                                                                                                               
CHAIR  SEATON  directed  attention  to language  that  was  being                                                               
deleted [the bold and bracketed  portion of Section 1, subsection                                                               
(a), paragraph (1), which read as follows:]                                                                                     
     *Section 1. AS 18.66.020(a) is amended to read:                                                                          
               (a) The council consists of                                                                                      
                    (1) three persons appointed by the                                                                          
     governor  [AFTER  CONSULTATION   WITH  THE  NETWORK  ON                                                                    
     DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE  AND  SEXUAL  ASSAULT,  A  NONPROFIT                                                                    
     CORPORATION;  THE  NETWORK  ON  DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE  AND                                                                    
     SEXUAL ASSAULT SHALL  SUBMIT A LIST TO  THE GOVERNOR OF                                                                    
     PERSONS RECOMMENDED FOR APPOINTMENT];                                                                                      
9:12:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. DAVIDSON, in response to  remarks by Chair Seaton, noted that                                                               
initially  the  network  was  not   a  grantee  of  the  council.                                                               
However,  more recently,  not  only does  the  network get  funds                                                               
through   certain  federal   grants,   it   also  receives   some                                                               
discretionary money.  She continued:                                                                                            
     The concern  is that if  you are the  organization that                                                                    
     is    established    in    statute   to    be    making                                                                    
     recommendations, and  ... the governor, by  statute, is                                                                    
     to  consider ...  [those] recommendations,  ... members                                                                    
     that   are  appointed   to  the   council  -   possibly                                                                    
     recommended by ... the network  - might carry or appear                                                                    
     to  carry an  interest  of the  network,  ... when  the                                                                    
     network  is  competing for  funds  with  all the  other                                                                    
     ...  We  are  not  trying  to  tie  the  hands  of  the                                                                    
     governor,   but   having   one   particular   nonprofit                                                                    
     identified in  statute at that  level didn't  appear to                                                                    
     be necessary.  Anybody  can make recommendations to the                                                                    
     governor; the  governor can  consider anybody  he wants                                                                    
     to  place  on  the  council.    It's  just  taking  one                                                                    
     organization and  establishing it in statute.   There's                                                                    
     not a firm  conflict of interest, but  it didn't appear                                                                    
     to  be necessary  to appoint  members  to the  council.                                                                    
     And  in  that  vein  we just  recommended  that  it  be                                                                    
9:14:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  which statute  sets  forth  the                                                               
expiration date for various boards such as licensing.                                                                           
9:15:18 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. DAVIDSON responded that the  statute relating to occupational                                                               
boards is found in AS 08.01 or 08.03.                                                                                           
9:16:01 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER mentioned  the possibility  of having  at                                                               
least one  council member who is  related to or is  him/herself a                                                               
victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.                                                                                  
9:16:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DAVIDSON  responded  that  from  an  audit  standpoint,  the                                                               
division has  not had any  concerns regarding the  composition of                                                               
the board;  however, she said  that would be  a choice up  to the                                                               
9:17:14 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON, in  response to the same issue, said  she thinks there                                                               
have been  victims represented  on the  board; however,  she said                                                               
she thinks not all people who  have been victims of violent crime                                                               
or sexual assault want to identify  themselves as such.  She said                                                               
she doesn't think  any board members object to  having members on                                                               
the board who have been victims or  have a family member who is a                                                               
victim.  Furthermore,  she stated that considering  the number of                                                               
violent  crimes and  domestic violence,  she thinks  it would  be                                                               
hard to  avoid knowing someone who  has been a victim.   She said                                                               
she wouldn't  mind showing an  interest [in having  board members                                                               
who have  been victims or  know victims]; however,  she suggested                                                               
that making  that a  requirement may  be setting  a limit  on the                                                               
makeup of the board.                                                                                                            
9:18:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  asked Ms.  Mason  to  get  back to  the  committee                                                               
regarding missions and measures for 2005.                                                                                       
9:19:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO moved Amendment 1, as follows:                                                                             
     On page 2, line 14:                                                                                                        
          Delete "2014"                                                                                                     
          Insert "2008"                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  indicated  that  Amendment  1  would  also                                                               
include "an accompanying letter dealing  with a strategic plan to                                                               
accomplish the goals set in statute."                                                                                           
9:20:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS objected.   He stated that he  sees no need                                                               
for Amendment 1.    He said looking at  [the council's] record is                                                               
like looking  at a glass and  deciding whether it's half  full or                                                               
half empty.   He said when  he views the statistics,  he sees the                                                               
glass as  half full, and  he has  no problem supporting  the bill                                                               
with the 2014 date.                                                                                                             
9:22:07 AM                                                                                                                    
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Gardner, Gruenberg,                                                               
Gatto,  Lynn,  and   Seaton  voted  in  favor   of  Amendment  1.                                                               
Representatives Ramras  and Elkins voted against  it.  Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 5-2.                                                                                       
9:22:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON reminded the committee  that Amendment 1 included an                                                               
accompanying  letter requesting  strategic plans  to address  the                                                               
goals set  in statute, and he  said that letter would  be sent to                                                               
the council.                                                                                                                    
9:23:06 AM                                                                                                                    
PEGGY  BROWN,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Network  on  Domestic                                                               
Violence and  Sexual Assault, distributed two  handouts [included                                                               
in  the  committee  packet],  entitled,  "The  Challenge:  Victim                                                               
Safety  in  Alaska,"  and  "ANDVSA  Alaska  Network  on  Domestic                                                               
Violence &  Sexual Assault 2005  annual report."  She  noted that                                                               
the challenge  sheet shows a snapshot  of what has been  going on                                                               
in Alaska related to domestic  violence and sexual assault in the                                                               
last few  years.   Regarding funding,  she said,  "We've had  a 4                                                               
percent increase and over 43 percent request in services."                                                                      
MS. BROWN  said the network would  like "to remain in  statute as                                                               
recommending names to  the governor."  A small  percentage of the                                                               
network's budget comes from a  federal grant and is discretionary                                                               
money, as Ms. Mason said.  Much  of what the money is used for is                                                               
continuing legal  education of legal advocates  across the state.                                                               
Ms. Brown  said the council has  been in existence for  25 years,                                                               
while the  network has existed  for almost 26 years.   Initially,                                                               
she  explained, the  network  helped set  up  the council,  which                                                               
became a model  protocol, she said, because it  was housed within                                                               
the Department of Public Safety.   Ms. Brown noted that there has                                                               
been a lot  of turnover in the council, while  there has not been                                                               
so much turnover in ANDVSA.                                                                                                     
9:26:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROWN revealed that she  has a good working relationship with                                                               
Ms. Mason and they both have  plans to get things done "that have                                                               
been remiss in the last  few years," including training, funding,                                                               
and technical assistance.   She told the  committee that domestic                                                               
violence  and sexual  assault is  not  as private  and hidden  an                                                               
issue  as  it once  was.    She  said  federal money  doesn't  go                                                               
directly to the programs to keep  the doors open; "that's kind of                                                               
what the state has been tasked to do."                                                                                          
MS.  BROWN admitted  that  everyone could  work  towards doing  a                                                               
better job.   She said there is a new,  passionate director and a                                                               
well-informed council.   She stated, "We believe  that the public                                                               
members  should represent  the public."   She  said she  has been                                                               
with  the  network  for  10  years, and  she  offered  to  answer                                                               
questions from the committee.                                                                                                   
9:27:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  returned  again to  [Section  1,  subsection  (a),                                                               
paragraph (1)  - text provided  previously], and asked  Ms. Brown                                                               
if she  sees that as  an impairment  to her ability  to recommend                                                               
names to  the governor.  He  indicated that two of  the last five                                                               
were  selected from  the  list  provided by  [the  network].   He                                                               
asked, "Would you continue to nominate people to the list?"                                                                     
9:28:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROWN said  that's a good question.   She said it  is quite a                                                               
process to find  somebody to nominate who is willing  to serve as                                                               
a public member  who also has knowledge of  domestic violence and                                                               
sexual assault.   She stated, "I honestly don't know  if we would                                                               
continue; I  would think that  that would probably fall  upon the                                                               
council to do  that, or some other agency.   We would, of course,                                                               
maybe make recommendations every now and then."                                                                                 
9:29:23 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON said he understands  that if the network is required                                                               
to make  the nominations in  statute, that  is work that  will be                                                               
done, but without the requirement in statute, it may not happen.                                                                
MS.  BROWN credited  Janna  Stewart, chair  of  CDVSA, as  having                                                               
said, "The expertise  and knowledge of the  network far outweighs                                                               
any potential  or theoretical conflict."   Ms. Brown  stated, "In                                                               
some  ways we're  trying to  fix what's  not broken.   This  is a                                                               
relationship that has  worked, that has never been  a conflict of                                                               
interest.  It is an adherence, potentially."                                                                                    
9:30:22 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said the legislature  knows how important an                                                               
issue domestic  violence and sexual  assault is and it  won't let                                                               
[the  council] disappear.   However,  he said  it's important  to                                                               
question whether  the council is  pursuing the goals  in statute.                                                               
Asking the council to check in  with the legislature in two years                                                               
is an  important way  for the legislature  to address  any faults                                                               
that it finds.   He noted that in two years'  time many new faces                                                               
will be around and the focus  can change to different issues as a                                                               
9:33:30 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROWN  said she appreciates  Representative Gatto's  point of                                                               
view.  She continued:                                                                                                           
     I  fully recognize  that  sometimes  it's necessary  to                                                                    
     create a space  to get people to move into  in order to                                                                    
     improve  things  and  tweak things,  and  I  appreciate                                                                    
     everyone's  passion,  ...  devotion, and  knowledge  on                                                                    
     domestic  violence and  sexual assault.   You  know, 10                                                                    
     years ago,  I'd have  to be knocking  on doors  just to                                                                    
     try and get the issue discussed.                                                                                           
9:34:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
9:34:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt Amendment 2, as follows:                                                                
     Beginning on page 1, line 5, through page 2, line 11:                                                                      
          Delete Sections 1 and 2                                                                                               
     On page 1, lines 2-3:                                                                                                      
          After "Assault"                                                                                                     
          Delete "; and eliminating statutory references to                                                                   
     the network on domestic violence and sexual assault"                                                                     
9:36:06 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO objected.                                                                                                  
9:36:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON clarified  that if  Amendment 2  were adopted,  the                                                               
network would remain  in the system for  recommending persons for                                                               
appointment by the governor.                                                                                                    
9:36:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG spoke to Amendment  2.  He described the                                                               
network  as important,  knowledgeable,  involved,  and having  "a                                                               
broad  base of  membership and  representation across  the Alaska                                                               
domestic violence  community."  He  said the governor  can select                                                               
whomever he/she  wishes, but leaving  the network in  the process                                                               
provides additional input.  He continued:                                                                                       
     I realize  that this does mention  a specific nonprofit                                                                    
     corporation, which is  a little unusual, but  this is a                                                                    
     unique  organization.    I can't  think  of  any  other                                                                    
     organization like it in other spheres ....                                                                                 
     Again, nobody has said there is a problem with the way                                                                     
       the system is working.  If anything, I think that                                                                        
     having the network involved strengthens the system.                                                                        
9:38:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER stated  her  support of  Amendment 2  for                                                               
many of the reasons that the  sponsor has stated.  She added that                                                               
the network has  been in existence for [almost 26  years] and the                                                               
governor  is  in  no  way   obligated  to  accept  the  network's                                                               
recommendations.  Given all that, she  said she sees no reason to                                                               
dismantle   something  that   seems  to   be  working   well  and                                                               
representing the entire state.                                                                                                  
9:39:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  recalled the previous testimony  that revealed that                                                               
if the network were not  required to [recommend nominees], it may                                                               
not choose  to do the  work without that requirement.   Regarding                                                               
the previous discussion about conflict  of interest, Chair Seaton                                                               
said he doesn't think "that conflict  rises to the level that ...                                                               
we  should risk  losing the  mandate  of the  network to  forward                                                               
names to the governor."                                                                                                         
9:40:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON,  in response to  a remark by  Representative Gatto,                                                               
clarified again what Amendment 2 would do.                                                                                      
9:40:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO removed his objection to Amendment 2.                                                                      
9:40:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS objected to Amendment 2.                                                                                  
9:40:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  pointed  out that  the  administration                                                               
itself  has not  come before  the legislature  to say  it doesn't                                                               
want  to   continue  consulting  with  the   network;  therefore,                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg  said  he   cannot  conclude  that  the                                                               
administration specifically wants to eliminate the network.                                                                     
9:41:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  said he  wants to know  the opinion  of both                                                               
the council and the network regarding Amendment 2.                                                                              
9:41:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  recalled that Ms.  Brown had said that  the network                                                               
would like to  continue to make recommendations  to the governor.                                                               
He asked  Ms. Mason  to reiterate what  the council's  opinion is                                                               
related to this issue.                                                                                                          
9:42:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MASON restated  that  the  council supports  SB  250 "as  it                                                               
9:42:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON asked,  "So, ...  has  the council  taken a  policy                                                               
decision  that  it  does  not  want  the  recommendation  of  the                                                               
9:42:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON  answered, "No, basically  what our stance has  been is                                                               
that either way the network  can continue to make recommendations                                                               
as  they  do  now,  whether  they are  in  the  statute  or  not.                                                               
Currently,  the governor  can  or can  not --  to  us it  doesn't                                                               
change anything."                                                                                                               
9:42:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON asked,  "Are you talking about you  as the executive                                                               
director,  or are  you  talking  about the  council  has taken  a                                                               
policy  position  that  they want  to  eliminate  the  nomination                                                               
process as is currently in this bill?"                                                                                          
9:43:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON  said she spoke  with all  of the council  members, and                                                               
each  one told  her  that the  network  can make  recommendations                                                               
regardless  of  whether or  not  that  is specified  in  statute.                                                               
Furthermore,  she said  the governor  can or  can not  accept the                                                               
recommendations   of   the   network   whether   or   not   those                                                               
recommendations  are  required by  statute.    She concluded,  "I                                                               
wouldn't say  it was a  policy statement,  because I did  that by                                                               
contacting each of the members.   I don't think they would object                                                               
either way."                                                                                                                    
9:43:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. DAVIDSON stated:                                                                                                            
     Actually the recommendation  with regard to eliminating                                                                    
     the  network was  a  current status  of  a prior  audit                                                                    
     recommendation.    The last  time  we  did the  council                                                                    
     sunset review in  2001, we had some  problems with some                                                                    
     of  the grants  going  to  the network.    Some of  the                                                                    
     things that  we saw happening  is that the  network had                                                                    
     modified  their  final  grant prohibiting  the  council                                                                    
     from reviewing the records - that  was in 2001.  In the                                                                    
     year  2000,  requests   from  reimbursements  from  the                                                                    
     network were not  supported by sufficient documentation                                                                    
     of expenditures.                                                                                                           
     In 2001  and 2000,  the network  was excluded  from the                                                                    
     monitoring  schedule of  the council,  and  as we  were                                                                    
     following   up   on   those   recommendations,   that's                                                                    
     originally where  that recommendation to  eliminate the                                                                    
     network came from.   ... In that council  as opposed to                                                                    
     the  current  council, more  of  the  members had  been                                                                    
     recommended by  the network.   ...  It's a  conflict of                                                                    
     interest  [in] appearance  only.   When  we saw  issues                                                                    
     like  that   where  the  network,  ...   excluded  from                                                                    
     monitoring, was  changing their grant  agreements, none                                                                    
     of  the other  grantees were  doing this.   That's  the                                                                    
     genesis of the recommendation that had been made.                                                                          
MS. DAVIDSON  said that the  audit report that the  committee has                                                               
shows  the current  status of  the recommendation,  but does  not                                                               
bring all that history with it.                                                                                                 
9:45:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked if it would  be fair to say that the                                                               
problems identified in the 2001  audit, relating to the network's                                                               
participation,  were resolved  by  the time  of  the most  recent                                                               
9:46:10 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. DAVIDSON answered yes.                                                                                                      
9:47:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   told  Ms.  Mason  he   thinks  it  is                                                               
incorrect  to say  that there  would  be no  change, because  the                                                               
current law  requires the governor  to consult with  the network,                                                               
and if  the law were  amended, that requirement would  not longer                                                               
exist.    He asked  Ms.  Mason  if  the  members of  the  council                                                               
"understood that would be a change."                                                                                            
9:48:24 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MASON responded that the  council members understand that the                                                               
requirement of  the governor  would change.   She  clarified that                                                               
the council is  stating that the actual effect  would not change;                                                               
the  network could  still make  recommendations and  the governor                                                               
could still accept them.                                                                                                        
The committee took an at-ease from 9:49:04 AM to 9:51:08 AM.                                                                
9:51:15 AM                                                                                                                    
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Gardner, Gruenberg,                                                               
Gatto,  Lynn,  and   Seaton  voted  in  favor   of  Amendment  2.                                                               
Representatives Elkins  and Ramras voted against  it.  Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 2 was adopted by a vote of 5-2.                                                                                       
9:51:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  moved to  report SB 250,  [as amended],                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
accompanying fiscal  notes.   There being  no objections,  HCS SB                                                               
250(STA) was  reported out  of the  House State  Affairs Standing                                                               
9:53:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  recalled that Representative  Gatto was                                                               
contemplating  offering a  letter of  intent.   He  said that  if                                                               
that's still the case, he may  have an amendment to the letter of                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  specified,  "It  was  to  come  back  with                                                               
recommendations  as  to  how  they  can  implement  a  plan  that                                                               
satisfies  the   statutes."     In  response   to  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg,  Representative  Gatto  indicated that  it's  probably                                                               
appropriate to specify a date.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG suggested  that the  date be  the first                                                               
day of the next legislative session.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO noted his agreement.                                                                                       
CHAIR SEATON  reviewed, "Okay, so we  have a motion for  a letter                                                               
of intent  that will set  forward a strategic plan  to accomplish                                                               
the requirements of the statute and  to report back to the [House                                                               
State  Affairs  Standing Committee]  by  the  first day  of  next                                                               
session,  and  that's  by Vice  Chair  Gatto  and  Representative                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  suggested that  the report  be provided                                                               
to both  the House and  the Senate [and  thus could refer  to the                                                               
9:54:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  noted his  agreement to  the aforementioned                                                               
CHAIR SEATON  asked if there was  any objection to the  letter of                                                               
intent  [as amended].    Chair  Seaton noted  that  there was  no                                                               
objection.   [The  letter of  intent was  again addressed  at the                                                               
4/18/06 House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting.]                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects