Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

02/16/2005 01:30 PM HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 82 CHILD PROTECTION INTERVIEW/TRANSPORT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 82(HES) Out of Committee
*+ SB 78 SENIOR CARE PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 79 MEDICAID FOR ADULT DENTAL SERVICES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 79(HES) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
           SB 82-CHILD PROTECTION INTERVIEW/TRANSPORT                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRED DYSON  announced SB 82 to be up  for consideration and                                                               
asked for a motion to adopt proposed Amendment 1.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:35:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WILKEN moved  Amendment  1 and  objected for  discussion                                                               
purposes.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
STACIE KRALY,  senior assistant  attorney general,  Department of                                                               
Law (DOL),  explained the reason  the DOL proposed  the amendment                                                               
stemmed from the  fact that "forensic interview"  was not defined                                                               
in  the  original  bill.  Amendment  1  provides  that  it  is  a                                                               
specialized  kind  of  interview  that is  employed  by  advocacy                                                               
centers to elicit information for  use in criminal or civil court                                                               
proceedings.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                            24G-1                                                               
                      A M E N D M E N T 1                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HEALTH EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     TO:  SB 82                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Page 1, line 8, following "cause":                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Insert ", as documented by the department, "                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Page 2, following line 14:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Insert the following new material:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
               "(2)  "forensic interview" means a structured                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     interview that employs objective and age-appropriate                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     questioning techniques to elicit accurate and reliable                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     facts that may be used in court proceedings;"                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Page 2, line 15:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Delete "(2)"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Insert "(3)"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON read  the proposed  change on  page 1,  line 8,  and                                                               
commented that  the wording needed  further clarification  so the                                                               
amendment would be conceptual.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:36:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  noted the objection  was withdrawn  and [conceptual]                                                               
Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  recalled a  question about  the immunity  section on                                                               
page 2, paragraph (e), and asked Ms. Kraly to comment.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS KRALY recapped saying the  discussion on Monday related to the                                                               
scope  of the  immunity provision  stated on  page 2,  lines 5-8.                                                               
After  much  discussion, the  Department  of  Law (DOL)  and  the                                                               
Office  of  Children's Services  (OCS)  decided  that the  entire                                                               
paragraph could be removed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  remarked it would  revert to the standards  in Title                                                               
9.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KRALY  agreed  that  it  reverts  to  the  general  immunity                                                               
provisions under Title 9.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:38:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  moved to remove  paragraph (e)  from page 2,  line 5                                                               
and subsequently  renumber the paragraphs. Hearing  no objection,                                                               
Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON referenced  the  amendment  concerning findings  and                                                               
noted  Senator Green's  concern is  that the  language implies  a                                                               
duty for  the state to  provide child advocacy center  (CAC) type                                                               
services.  He noted  the last  line in  the first  (a) subsection                                                               
says  that  no  child  shall  be  denied  comprehensive  services                                                               
because of inability to pay.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON recalled  several years  ago sexual  assault victims                                                               
were required to  pay for their own  investigation. Although that                                                               
issue had been addressed, he  was concerned about the possibility                                                               
of  the state  failing to  gather admissible  evidence because  a                                                               
victim wasn't  able pay for  the investigation. He  asked Senator                                                               
Green whether  she was  concerned that  the implication  was that                                                               
the state would provide CAC type services everywhere.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:40:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GREEN said she didn't want to create an entitlement.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON said  this section  of  statute isn't  the place  to                                                               
imply the use of remedial services.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MARCIA   KENNAI,  deputy   commissioner,  Office   of  Children's                                                               
Services (OCS), Department of Health  and Social Services (DHSS),                                                               
expressed agreement  and said  if the final  sentence is  read in                                                               
entirety, it appears  the intent is that the issue  be related to                                                               
the ability  to pay in  those circumstances where OCS  engages in                                                               
an investigative circumstance and not remedial services.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  asked whether  the  intent  would be  clarified  if                                                               
"forensic  services" or  "investigative  services" were  inserted                                                               
and "therapeutic" removed from the paragraph.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KRALY  said since forensic  interview is defined,  the phrase                                                               
should say:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     No  child  in  Alaska  should be  denied  access  to  a                                                                    
     forensic interview  during a child  abuse investigation                                                                    
     including a medical assessment  because of inability to                                                                    
     pay.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:43:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON recapped saying  delete, "comprehensive services" and                                                               
insert, "forensic interview" to the  phrase "during a child abuse                                                               
investigation including medical assessment".                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON said  it wouldn't  work  to strike  "comprehensive                                                               
services"  and  insert  "forensic interview"  and  also  include,                                                               
"including   medical  assessment"   because  medical   assessment                                                               
wouldn't be included in a forensic interview.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KRALY  concurred with the  interpretation. If the  purpose of                                                               
the  limitation  is to  create  a  forensic interview,  then  the                                                               
medical  assessment  is  a  separate   issue  from  the  forensic                                                               
interview as it is defined.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:44:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON asked if it should read:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
        No child in Alaska should be denied access to a                                                                         
       forensic interview and medical assessment during a                                                                       
     child abuse investigation because of inability to pay.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  asked whether he  intended to  include legislative                                                               
intent in the findings amendment.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON responded that was yet to be determined.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  KRALY said  used as  legislative intent,  she would  suggest                                                               
changing the  medical assessment  language to match  the language                                                               
in AS.47.17.064. Because "medical  assessment" isn't defined, the                                                               
phrase should read:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     No  child  in  Alaska  should be  denied  access  to  a                                                                    
     forensic  interview   or  a  medical   or  radiological                                                                    
     examination   [during  a   child  abuse   investigation                                                                    
     because of inability to pay.]                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:46:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON drew  attention to subsections (b) and  (c) and asked                                                               
Senator Green if a duty or an obligation was still inferred.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN opined it implies  a huge obligation and emphasized                                                               
the danger in being too specific with entitlements.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON acknowledged  his history is different  than hers. He                                                               
asked where she sees the entitlement language.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN replied  it's the  "No child  shall be  denied..."                                                               
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  said  that  phrase is  qualified  with  the  phrase                                                               
"because of inability to pay for an investigation."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN pointed out it's subject to the interpretation.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:47:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  said this doesn't refer  to someone with a  need; it                                                               
refers  to  a  victim of  a  crime.  He  intended  this to  be  a                                                               
narrowing to include investigation of  the crime and recording of                                                               
the evidence rather than treatment of the person.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON said  he  would  like to  assume  that a  criminal                                                               
investigation  wouldn't be  interrupted because  someone couldn't                                                               
pay  for the  interview.  Rather,  he'd like  to  think that  the                                                               
language is a restatement of  current department practices, which                                                               
is that an investigation wouldn't  stop because a victim couldn't                                                               
pay.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. KRALY  agreed with  the statement  and reminded  members that                                                               
the  advocacy center  proposed the  amendment. Nevertheless,  she                                                               
didn't believe  that criminal or  child abuse  investigations are                                                               
held at bay to determine who might pay for the service.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  moved,  as  Amendment  3, a  new  Section  1,  with                                                               
subsequent  renumbering.  He  said it's  the  legislative  intent                                                               
findings  and it  changes just  the last  sentence in  subsection                                                               
(a). It would read:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          No child  in Alaska  should be  denied access                                                                         
          to forensic  interview or  medical assessment                                                                         
          or   radiological   examination  because   of                                                                         
          inability to pay.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked whether there was objection to Amendment 3.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN objected.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  asked  whether  he  moved  the  entire  page  and                                                               
suggested  the  findings  component  be  one  amendment  and  the                                                               
language change on community partnership be a second amendment.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON acknowledged  the two  paragraphs were  separated on                                                               
his  sheet and  he  announced  the motion  to  adopt Amendment  3                                                               
included just the findings.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked for a roll call on proposed Amendment 3.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Amendment 3 failed 2-2 with  Senator Elton and Chair Dyson voting                                                               
yea and Senators Green and Wilken voting nay.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:52:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON asked for a motion to adopt the definition language.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON moved  to accept the definition language  on page 2                                                               
lines 10 - 14.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 4                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Page 2, lines 10, delete "-based program"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Add, "partnership committed to a multidisciplinary team                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
approach".                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON questioned  whether it  was worthwhile  voting on  a                                                               
definition  since  the  amendment talking  about  child  advocacy                                                               
failed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  suggested it replaces similar  language already in                                                               
the   bill  on   page  2,   subsection  (f)(1)   and  is   purely                                                               
definitional. Instead  of saying "community-based program"  as it                                                               
does  in  the  bill,  it  would  say,  "...community  partnership                                                               
committed to a multi-disciplinary team approach..."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked whether there was objection.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN objected  to discuss  the definition  further. She                                                               
asked  if the  use of  the term  "multi-disciplinary team"  might                                                               
commit the state to certain  standards and expectations regarding                                                               
the function of child advocacy centers.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON joined the committee at 1:56 PM.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENNAI said  the term is also used in  places that don't have                                                               
child  advocacy  centers.  When  child  sexual  abuse  cases  are                                                               
reported the multi-disciplinary team meets.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked if a  standard and expectation is established                                                               
that may not exist some places in the state.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENNAI  replied her understanding  is that the fields  of law                                                               
enforcement,  child  protection,   criminal  prosecution,  victim                                                               
advocacy,  and  medical  and mental  health  helped  develop  the                                                               
protocols  and  those fields  are  available  in the  communities                                                               
where child advocacy centers are in place.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  asked whether the  definition of a  child advocacy                                                               
center is in the new language.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON pointed to page 2, line 10.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN  asked  where  the   primary  reference  to  child                                                               
advocacy center resides in statute.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENNAI pointed to Section 1, lines 10-11.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked whether there  was objection to Senator Elton's                                                               
motion. Hearing none, Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN moved Amendment 5.                                                                                               
      Strike the sentence in Section 1, line 5 that begins: "No                                                                 
     child in Alaska..." and ends in "...because of an ability                                                                  
     to pay." The balance of the section would remain.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He explained he  agrees with Senator Green about  not creating an                                                               
entitlement, but he didn't want to lose the entire findings.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  clarified the proposed  amendment offers  a modified                                                               
Section 1. He asked whether there was objection to Amendment 5.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONNY  OLSON apologized  for his  late arrival  and asked                                                               
what would  happen if a  child was abused physically  or sexually                                                               
and didn't have the ability to pay.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN  replied: "I'm not  in this business, but  I can't                                                               
imagine how we  would turn someone away without saying  it in the                                                               
law."  Furthermore, he  didn't believe  a child  would be  turned                                                               
away because of an inability to pay.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:01:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON said his interpretation  is different. The sentence                                                               
doesn't turn someone away as much as it denies access.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked whether there was objection to Amendment 5.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON objected.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON summarized  the  previous  discussion for  Senator                                                               
Olson.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:04:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON  asked the  department to  comment on  the proposed                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENNAI  clarified the department  would never deny a  child a                                                               
medical exam  or an  investigation because  they weren't  able to                                                               
pay.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  added  there  is  no  impediment  in  law  and  the                                                               
department has  the authorization to  do what is needed  during a                                                               
criminal investigation.  He asked Senator Olson  if he maintained                                                               
his objection.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  replied just to  further the discussion.  He asked                                                               
about the  procedure for  getting a  child to  a facility  from a                                                               
remote area.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENNAI replied  if a disclosure happened in  a village school                                                               
and a child needed to fly  to a child advocacy center, DHSS would                                                               
fly  the  child   in  at  department  expense  as   part  of  the                                                               
investigation.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON withdrew his objection to Amendment 5.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:06:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GREEN objected to Amendment  5 and stated, "I'm not going                                                               
to support  this because I  still think this totally  changes the                                                               
focus of what this legislation is.  It's become a definition of a                                                               
child advocacy center in my mind. And for the record, I object."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked for a roll call vote.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Amendment 5  passed 4-1  with Senators  Elton, Wilken,  Olson and                                                               
Chair Dyson voting yea and Senator Green voting nay.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:07:17 PM                                                                                                                    
LINDA  WILSON, deputy  director,  Alaska  Public Defender  Agency                                                               
(APDA),  Department of  Administration reported  that the  agency                                                               
handles  the  representation  of   parent  and  child  protective                                                               
proceedings  and children  in  juvenile delinquency  proceedings.                                                               
Furthermore,  APDA has  participated  in  the Children's  Justice                                                               
Task Force  with members of  OCS and  is familiar with  the child                                                               
advocacy centers.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Although she looks forward to working toward a resolution, APDA                                                                 
wants to put their concerns on the record. The following is                                                                     
verbatim:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     I was  able to listen  in to  most of the  testimony on                                                                    
     Monday and  so while I'm  not going to  be specifically                                                                    
     addressing the  amendments that you discussed  today, I                                                                    
     did want to just share  some of our concerns about what                                                                    
     the purpose  of this bill  does and maybe look  to ways                                                                    
     that  we could  possible shore  up some  of it  so that                                                                    
     some of those concerns might go away.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I  think   what  you   have  to   start  out   with  is                                                                    
     understanding the importance of  parental rights - that                                                                    
     parents have a  right to custody of  their children and                                                                    
     to parent  their children. We  have to  understand that                                                                    
     that's a given. And I  think there was testimony Monday                                                                    
     also about our right  against unreasonable searches and                                                                    
     seizures.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     What this bill does is  grant an extraordinary power to                                                                    
     OCS that is not something  that is typically done. What                                                                    
     it's allowing OCS  to do is to seize a  child - to take                                                                    
     physical  control of  a child  and take  them somewhere                                                                    
     without notifying the parent.  And it does this without                                                                    
     any judicial  oversight at all.  The parts of  the bill                                                                    
     that do  that are in Section  1 - again I'm  looking at                                                                    
     the version  without those  recent amendments  done. So                                                                    
     it's  [subsection] (c)  and (d)  that are  going to  be                                                                    
     added to [AS] 47.17.064.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Wanting to do this  without officially taking the child                                                                    
     into  emergency -  that was  the goal  - not  requiring                                                                    
     them to  take emergency  custody but yet  to physically                                                                    
     transport children to have  either a forensic interview                                                                    
     that   may  or   may  not   include  a   very  invasive                                                                    
     gynecological exam.  This is very concerning,  I think,                                                                    
     to parents  out there  that they're not  notified about                                                                    
     this type of thing.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     What we  would like  to see  at least  in here  is some                                                                    
     judicial  oversight.  When   you  don't  take  official                                                                    
     custody  -  and  we  can call  that  emergency  custody                                                                    
     that's provided  for in [AS]  47.10.142 -  in 47.10.142                                                                    
     when you do take  official emergency custody, within 24                                                                    
     hours you have  to file something with  the courts. Let                                                                    
     the court know  if you decided during that  24 hours to                                                                    
     release the  children. You at  least have to  report to                                                                    
     the  court what  you  did, why  and  what your  reasons                                                                    
     were.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In this bill, there's no  requirement to do that. So if                                                                    
     you were to take the children  and go have them do this                                                                    
     forensic interview  - which may  or may not  include an                                                                    
     invasive  genealogical  exam  -   if  they  return  the                                                                    
     children,  there's  no  reporting,  no  accounting,  no                                                                    
     judicial  process,  no  oversight  by  the  courts  and                                                                    
     that's very concerning.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     In    criminal   cases,    if    somebody   wants    to                                                                    
     [indiscernible] or  do a glass  warrant, all  they have                                                                    
     to is  call the on-duty magistrate,  present their case                                                                    
     to them and the magistrate  gives their blessing to it.                                                                    
     Why  wouldn't  we  want  them to  be  doing  that?  Why                                                                    
     wouldn't  we  want  some  sort  of  judicial  oversight                                                                    
     before they're taking this  drastic measure? If there's                                                                    
     reasonable  cause, why  shouldn't  they  be willing  to                                                                    
     present  that to  an on-duty  magistrate? All  it would                                                                    
     take is a telephone call; it  could be done in a matter                                                                    
     of minutes.  It's not  that onerous of  a hoop  to jump                                                                    
     through.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:13:09 PM                                                                                                                    
     So those are  our concerns. We would  certainly like to                                                                    
     see some  sort of judicial oversight  component in this                                                                    
     bill for this type of drastic action.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON   asked  Ms.  Wilson   whether  she   favored  the                                                               
legislation or not.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WILSON replied  she didn't  support the  legislation without                                                               
amendment  because there  is no  judicial oversight.  Referencing                                                               
the end  of subsection (d)  she read: "Transportation of  a child                                                               
under  this section  does not  constitute the  child being  taken                                                               
into emergency custody of the state under AS 47.10.142." Without                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked whether DOL  might be available to respond to                                                               
Ms. Wilson's  testimony because  in the  previous hearing  it was                                                               
stated that troopers already have this authority.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KRALY   responded  she  and   Ms.  Wilson  had   a  detailed                                                               
conversation  earlier regarding  the fact  that "this  was not  a                                                               
vast  departure  from  current practice."  She  said  Ms.  Wilson                                                               
remained concerned and they agreed  to continue the discussion to                                                               
try and find common ground.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   ELTON  noted   Ms.   Wilson  identified   this  as   an                                                               
extraordinary step  and he  was curious  if other  states require                                                               
some   sort  of   judicial  oversight   before  removing   and/or                                                               
transporting a child.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:15:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KENNAI replied some states  do require temporary custody. The                                                               
primary  goal  here  is  to  take children  who  disclose  for  a                                                               
forensic  interview   before  they  go  home   and  get  coached.                                                               
Certainly, the parent  would be notified so that  they could meet                                                               
at  the  child advocacy  center  if  possible. Current  emergency                                                               
custody  statutes  do not  allow  it,  but current  statute  does                                                               
authorize  transport of  children  to a  hospital or  examination                                                               
without parental  permission when  there is evidence  of physical                                                               
abuse. SB 82 adds sexual abuse to statute.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  mentioned  a  phone  call  could  be  made  to  a                                                               
magistrate or judge  and he questioned whether  that would create                                                               
difficulty for either the child or the department.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENNAI replied  it has caused some  difficulty. Although they                                                               
certainly  have  the  authority  to contact  a  judge  to  obtain                                                               
emergency custody,  on many occasions permission  has been denied                                                               
based  on the  fact that  the  disclosure may  not be  sufficient                                                               
evidence.  "If  you  look  at the  research,  most  children  who                                                               
disclose  sexual abuse  are  telling the  truth.  There's a  very                                                               
small percentage that are false  allegations." If a child is sent                                                               
home  and a  parent  begins  to coach  or  intimidate, the  child                                                               
becomes afraid  to speak up by  the time they reach  the advocacy                                                               
center.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON expressed  concern  and  asked if  DHSS  or a  peace                                                               
officer is currently authorized to take custody.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. KRALY  replied the standard  for taking emergency  custody is                                                               
under AS 47.10.142. She read:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        (a) The Department of Health and Social Services                                                                        
     may take emergency custody of a child upon discovering                                                                     
     any of the following circumstances:                                                                                        
        (1) the child has been abandoned as abandonment                                                                         
     is described in AS 47.10.013;                                                                                              
        (2) the child has been neglected by the child's                                                                         
      parents or guardian, as "neglect" is described in AS                                                                      
     47.10.014,   and   the   department   determines   that                                                                    
     immediate  removal  from  the child's  surroundings  is                                                                    
     necessary  to  protect  the  child's  life  or  provide                                                                    
     immediate necessary medical attention;                                                                                     
          (3) the child has been subjected to physical harm                                                                     
     by a  person responsible  for the child's  welfare, and                                                                    
     the department  determines that immediate  removal from                                                                    
     the child's  surroundings is  necessary to  protect the                                                                    
     child's  life or  that immediate  medical attention  is                                                                    
     necessary; or                                                                                                              
          (4) the child or a sibling has been sexually                                                                          
     abused under circumstances listed in AS 47.10.011(7).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KRALY  said  the  distinction  is  that  it's  a  heightened                                                               
standard  to take  emergency custody.  As  Ms. Kennai  indicated,                                                               
mere disclosure  isn't always  sufficient to  establish discovery                                                               
to  support   an  emergency  custody.  The   standard  should  be                                                               
heightened to  be able  to remove  a child  from a  parent's home                                                               
without  notifying the  parent  or  without getting  pre-judicial                                                               
approval.  Under  the  emergency  custodies  statutes,  you  must                                                               
either file a petition or release within 24 hours.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  questioned the  reason  a  child's disclosure  of                                                               
sexual abuse wouldn't be enough to take emergency custody.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:21:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KRALY  replied it's certainly  a complicated question,  but a                                                               
disclosure  alone  might  not be  sufficient  depending  on  what                                                               
disclosure  is made,  how it  is made,  and to  whom it  is made.                                                               
"That's when  we want to  get more  information before we  make a                                                               
mistake."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON said  he was uncomfortable with that  and perhaps the                                                               
issue  ought to  be addressed  in the  Senate Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:23:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON stated his preference to  send the bill to the Senate                                                               
Judiciary  Standing Committee  then return  it to  this committee                                                               
for review.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN   moved  CSSB  82(HES)  out   of  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said the point  Ms. Wilson brought forward is cause                                                               
for concern, but  he was curious whether those  concerns had ever                                                               
been legitimized.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WILSON responded  Ms. Kraly  mentioned  they haven't  always                                                               
gotten a writ of assistance  when requested. "But I can guarantee                                                               
you that  the majority of the  time, if there are  allegations of                                                               
sexual  abuse, the  state takes  emergency custody."  She assured                                                               
members that this happens on a regular basis.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
What the bill does not  provide, she said, is judicial oversight.                                                               
Physically taking  control of  a child  is emergency  custody and                                                               
most states don't have that  extraordinary power without judicial                                                               
oversight.  What  about  the instances  of  false  findings,  she                                                               
asked. "Don't  we at least want  there to be some  judicial hoops                                                               
that they  have to jump  through at some  point in the  process -                                                               
especially if it results in no findings?"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON remarked  getting a  48-hour  hold or  a Title  47                                                               
commitment from  a magistrate in the  middle of the night  is one                                                               
of the last  things he wants to  worry about as a  doctor. On the                                                               
other hand, it's  extremely invasive for a young child  to have a                                                               
gynecological examination when it isn't justified.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:26:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  said it would seem  that the fiscal note  would be                                                               
greater than zero to reflect additional transportation expenses.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENNAI  said they would  have to do  an analysis on  that but                                                               
DHSS doesn't  see there would be  a large increase in  the number                                                               
of interviews. In  some areas of the state it  is a problem while                                                               
in other areas  they can call a judge and  get permission to take                                                               
the child for an interview.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She explained once  the child gets to the  child advocacy center,                                                               
the  physical exam  isn't conducted  without parental  consent so                                                               
some checks  and balances already  exist even though  they aren't                                                               
in statute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:29:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DYSON  asked  whether  there   was  objection  to  Senator                                                               
Wilken's motion  to move CSSB  82(HES) out of  committee. Hearing                                                               
none, the motion carried.                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects