Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205


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02:04:01 PM Start
02:06:22 PM SB250
02:29:16 PM SB235
02:34:42 PM Overview: Dhss Personal Care Attendant Regulations
03:03:18 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Time Change --
Uniform Rule 23 Waived
Moved SB 250 Out of Committee
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Overview: DHSS - Personal Care Attendant TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 235 Out of Committee
        SB 250-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ASSAULT COUNCIL                                                                     
CHAIR FRED  DYSON announced  SB 250 to  be up  for consideration.                                                               
He said that SB 250 extends  the termination date for the Council                                                               
for Domestic  Violence and  Sexual Assault  (Council).   He added                                                               
that   the  Legislative   Budget  and   Audit  Committee   (LB&A)                                                               
considered the  auditor's report and suggested  making changes to                                                               
the board to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.                                                                    
2:06:22 PM                                                                                                                    
PAT  DAVIDSON, Legislative  Auditor, reported  her concern  about                                                               
the  statutory requirement  that  the Governor  consult with  one                                                               
specific  organization, the  Network  for  Domestic Violence  and                                                               
Sexual  Assault (Network),  in  appointing  the Council's  public                                                               
members. This  requirement creates the appearance  of impropriety                                                               
because the  Network is a  recipient of grants from  the Council.                                                               
Authorizing the governor  to consult with everybody  and not make                                                               
any particular  organization first  among equals is  language and                                                               
SENATOR  ELTON asked  how  much money  the  Department of  Public                                                               
Safety (DPS) receives from the Council.                                                                                         
MS. DAVIDSON replied that the  schedule of grants awarded in 2006                                                               
indicates  the  DPS  received over  $180,000  under  the  federal                                                               
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).                                                                                              
SENATOR ELTON  remarked that the  so-called conflict is  really a                                                               
potential  conflict  because the  Governor  need  not accept  the                                                               
Network's  recommendations,  but  he  sees  another  conflict  of                                                               
interest arising from the fact  that the Attorney General and the                                                               
Commissioner  of the  Department of  Public Safety  serve on  the                                                               
Council and thereby make decisions  regarding the distribution of                                                               
grant money destined  to their own departments. He  asked why the                                                               
LB&A  Committee  is  more concerned  with  the  former  potential                                                               
conflict than with the latter one.                                                                                              
MS.  DAVIDSON replied  that she  considers  the latter  potential                                                               
conflict to  be less  serious because the  VAWA grant  money gets                                                               
significant federal oversight.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  ELTON  asked  if the  LB&A  Committee  recommended  this                                                               
legislation because  it found  the conflict of  interest to  be a                                                               
factor  contributing  to  the  lack  of  oversight  over  Council                                                               
MS.  DAVIDSON answered  that her  concern is  that the  potential                                                               
conflict  may  recreate the  aforementioned  problem  at a  later                                                               
SENATOR  ELTON  asked whether  the  Governor  always follows  the                                                               
Network's advice.                                                                                                               
MS. DAVIDSON  replied that page  11 of the report  indicates that                                                               
the  Governor  recommended  just  two of  the  last  five  public                                                               
members recommended by the Network.                                                                                             
2:16:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS  ASHENBRENNER, Program  Coordinator for  Training, Network,                                                               
said that  Network director, Peggy Brown,  supported a conceptual                                                               
amendment to  institutionalize what  is now an  informal practice                                                               
of including the  Network director in the Council  meetings.  She                                                               
remarked that the Network does not support the bill as written.                                                                 
SENATOR ELTON said that he  is concerned that state employees are                                                               
over-represented  on the  Council.  He added  that his  amendment                                                               
would  preclude state  employees  from serving  on the  Council's                                                               
public seats.  He remarked  that the Mental Health Trust Advisory                                                               
Board,  the  Occupational Safety  and  Health  Review Board,  the                                                               
State Board  of Parole, the  Permanent Fund Corporation  Board of                                                               
Trustees,  the  Personnel Board,  the  Alaska  Railroad Board  of                                                               
Directors, and the Oil and  Gas Advisory Board all preclude state                                                               
workers from serving as public members on their boards.                                                                         
CHAIR DYSON disclosed  that his wife had received  funds from the                                                               
Office of  Victim's Assistance in the  past.  He said  that while                                                               
this is no longer  the case, and unlikely to ever  be the case in                                                               
the future, he wanted to mention it to the committee.                                                                           
SENATOR ELTON moved to adopt Amendment 3.                                                                                       
                      A M E N D M E N T 3                                                                                   
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                          BY SENATOR ELTON                                                                 
     TO:  SB 250                                                                                                                
Page 1, line 2:                                                                                                                 
     Delete the first occurrence of "and"                                                                                     
     Insert "relating to public members of the Council on                                                                     
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault appointed by the governor"                                                               
Page 1, line 3, following "assault":                                                                                          
     Insert "; and providing for an effective date"                                                                           
Page 1, line 7:                                                                                                                 
     Delete "persons"                                                                                                           
     Insert "public members who are not employed by the state or                                                            
a state entity and who are [PERSONS]"                                                                                       
Page 2, following line 14:                                                                                                      
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
   "*  Sec. 4.  The  uncodified law  of the  State  of Alaska  is                                                           
amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                        
     APPLICABILITY. The provisions of AS 18.66.020(a)(1), as                                                                    
amended  by sec.  1 of  this Act,  apply to  vacancies among  the                                                               
public members  of the  Council on  Domestic Violence  and Sexual                                                               
Assault that  occur on or after  the effective date of  sec. 1 of                                                               
this Act.                                                                                                                       
   * Sec. 5. Section 1 of this Act takes effect August 1, 2007."                                                              
CHAIR DYSON  called for  a roll  call vote.   Senators  Elton and                                                               
Olson voted  yea; Senators  Green, Wilken  and Chair  Dyson voted                                                               
nay. Therefore Amendment 3 failed.                                                                                              
SENATOR  ELTON  said  that  the  committee  is  making  a  fairly                                                               
substantial change  to law based on  the premise that there  is a                                                               
conflict of interest.                                                                                                           
He said that  from his standpoint the real conflict  is not about                                                               
the Network making recommendations,  which are often ignored, but                                                               
rather  that   there  are  people  who   make  funding  decisions                                                               
concerning funds destined to their own departments.                                                                             
SENATOR ELTON said protecting people  that need protection is one                                                               
of the most  important functions of state government,  and yet an                                                               
amendment  to ensure  a seat  for  a victim  has been  vigorously                                                               
opposed by the commissioners on the Council.                                                                                    
He  asserted  that  he is  greatly  concerned  that  Commissioner                                                               
Tandeske has  made the Council  his 24  priority  out of 27.   He                                                               
remarked that this is surprising  given that domestic violence is                                                               
the  leading cause  of homicide  in Alaska  and Alaska  leads all                                                               
other states in men murdering women.   He said that he hopes that                                                               
as this  bill moves through  the system it  is amended in  such a                                                               
way that  it places  the rights  of victims  above the  rights of                                                               
2:26:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DYSON  said  that  he shares  Senator  Elton's  view  that                                                               
advocacy and  protection is inordinately important.   He remarked                                                               
that  he trusts  that the  Council members  will be  professional                                                               
enough to continue  to perform their duties in  an exemplary way.                                                               
He asserted that he would like  to join Senator Elton in watching                                                               
the Committee  to see that  it maintains its  commendable service                                                               
SENATOR WILKEN moved  to report SB 250 and  attached fiscal notes                                                               
from committee  with individual  recommendations. There  being no                                                               
objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   

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