Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

04/09/2019 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 32 CRIMES; SENTENCING;MENT. ILLNESS;EVIDENCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 92 PFD CONTRIBUTIONS TO GENERAL FUND TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 92(STA) Out of Committee
*+ SB 10 EXTEND SUICIDE PREVENTION COUNCIL TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 10 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            SB  10-EXTEND SUICIDE PREVENTION COUNCIL                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:52:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SHOWER  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration  of  SENATE  BILL  NO. 10  "An  Act  extending  the                                                               
termination  date of  the Statewide  Suicide Prevention  Council;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:53:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SCOTT  KAWASAKI, bill sponsor, Alaska  State Legislature,                                                               
Juneau, said SB 10 extends  the termination date of the Statewide                                                               
Suicide Prevention Council. Members  of the National Alliance for                                                               
the  Mentally  Ill (NAMI)  have  been  in  the capitol  the  last                                                               
several weeks  to talk about  suicide and highlighting  that talk                                                               
is  an important  aspect of  prevention.  In the  U.S. there  are                                                               
about 12 suicides  per 100,000 people whereas the  Alaska rate is                                                               
roughly double that number. For  Alaska Native males there are 52                                                               
suicides  per  100,000  and  someone  who  serves  in  the  armed                                                               
services is twice  as likely to die by suicide  as a civilian. He                                                               
continued the  introduction of  SB 10  speaking to  the following                                                               
sponsor statement:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Senate  Bill 10  would extend  the termination  date of                                                                    
     the  Statewide  Suicide  Prevention  Council  to  2027,                                                                    
     ensuring  another eight  years of  support for  suicide                                                                    
     prevention  efforts   in  Alaska.  The   Council  would                                                                    
     otherwise be terminated on June 30, 2019.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     According  to  the  Alaska  Department  of  Health  and                                                                    
     Social  Services Section  of Epidemiology,  the suicide                                                                    
     rate  in Alaska  increased by  13 percent  between 2012                                                                    
     and  2017, making  suicide the  leading cause  of death                                                                    
     for  Alaskans between  the  ages  of 10  and  64. As  a                                                                    
     matter   of   public   health,    the   state   has   a                                                                    
     responsibility  to address  this  disturbing trend  and                                                                    
     must actively continue to  pursue strategies to prevent                                                                    
     suicide in Alaska.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  Statewide Suicide  Prevention Council  was created                                                                    
     in 2001 and consists of  14 public and private members,                                                                    
     including four  state legislators. Under  AS 44.39.350,                                                                    
     the Council is statutorily responsible for:                                                                                
          ? Advising legislators and the Governor on ways                                                                       
          to improve Alaskans' health and wellness by                                                                           
          reducing suicide;                                                                                                     
          ? Improving public awareness of suicide and risk                                                                      
          factors;                                                                                                              
          ? Enhancing suicide prevention efforts;                                                                               
              Working   with    partners   and   faith-based                                                                    
          organizations to develop healthier communities;                                                                       
          ? Creating a statewide suicide prevention plan                                                                        
          and putting it in action; and                                                                                         
          ? Building and strengthening partnerships to                                                                          
          prevent suicide.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The Council  holds public meetings, publishes  a 5-Year                                                                    
     State Suicide  Prevention Plan, and works  with schools                                                                    
     and community groups to  provide resources that educate                                                                    
     Alaskans on how to prevent suicide.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Last  year,  the  Council  partnered  with  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Community  Foundation and  Alaska  Children's Trust  to                                                                    
     continue  the  GCI  Suicide Prevention  Grant  Program.                                                                    
     Nine  grants  were funded  in  2017  across the  state,                                                                    
     totaling  $100,000.  The  Council  also  helped  secure                                                                    
     funding for a 5-year  grant from the National Institute                                                                    
     of   Mental  Health   to  create   the  Alaska   Native                                                                    
     Collaborative Hub  for Resilience Research,  which will                                                                    
     help Alaska  Native communities share  knowledge, guide                                                                    
     research,  and   identify  culturally-relevant  suicide                                                                    
     prevention strategies  in rural Alaska. [He  noted this                                                                    
     is one reason for the large fiscal note.]                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Terminating  the Statewide  Suicide Prevention  Council                                                                    
     would  jeopardize  the  state's efforts  at  addressing                                                                    
     this heartbreaking, but preventable, issue.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     I  respectfully ask  for  your support  of  SB 10  this                                                                    
     year.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:56:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  disclosed  that  he   serves  as  one  of  the                                                               
legislative representatives  on the Statewide  Suicide Prevention                                                               
Council. He said  there is no question that  the council supports                                                               
this extension  because suicide  is a very  serious issue  in the                                                               
state. He said there is a lot of work to do to reduce the rate.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER  commented  on   the  heartbreaking  statistics  of                                                               
suicide  among  active duty  and  veteran  members of  the  armed                                                               
services. He stated wholehearted support for SB 10.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He asked Ms. Curtis to go through the audit.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:59:09 PM                                                                                                                    
KRIS  CURTIS, Legislative  Auditor,  Legislative Audit  Division,                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature, Juneau,  explained the purpose  of the                                                               
sunset audit  was to  determine whether  this council  is serving                                                               
the public  interest and  should be  extended. Overall  the audit                                                               
found the  council operated  in the  public interest  by actively                                                               
broadening awareness  of suicide prevention and  coordinating the                                                               
efforts of  other suicide prevention entities.  Additionally, the                                                               
council  fulfilled its  statutory duty  by issuing  the 2018-2022                                                               
Suicide Prevention Plan and is  working closely with stakeholders                                                               
to refine  the plan's strategies, resources,  and indicators. The                                                               
division recommends  an 8-year extension  for the  council, which                                                               
is the maximum allowed in statute.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She directed  attention to  Exhibit 2  on page  4 that  shows the                                                               
council is  completely funded by general  fund appropriations. In                                                               
FY 18,  the council  expended just under  $600,000. Exhibit  5 on                                                               
pages  9-10  has a  detailed  list  of the  council's  activities                                                               
during  the audit  period.  It  shows that  the  council is  very                                                               
active.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.   CURTIS    said   the   audit   made    two   administrative                                                               
recommendations  for improvement,  beginning  on page  12 of  the                                                               
audit.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Recommendation No. 1:  The council's executive director                                                                    
     should  develop  and  implement  procedures  to  ensure                                                                    
     public notices  for meetings  are published  timely and                                                                    
     accurately.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The audit  found five  of 18 meetings  between July  2014 through                                                               
March  2018  were  not  public  noticed  or  not  public  noticed                                                               
properly. This was caused by a lack of written procedures.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Recommendation No. 2: The  council chair should develop                                                                    
     and implement written  procedures to ensure performance                                                                    
     evaluations  are completed  annually for  the council's                                                                    
     executive director.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Statutes require  annual evaluations.  The audit found  that just                                                               
two  of  four audits  were  completed.  It  was unclear  why  the                                                               
evaluations did not take place.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURTIS  said the  responses to  the audit  start on  page 23.                                                               
Both  the  Department  of  Health   and  Social  Services  (DHSS)                                                               
commissioner   and    the   council   chair   agree    with   the                                                               
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:01:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL asked  if the evaluations were  done properly but                                                               
not timely.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURTIS said that's correct.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL asked if there  were extenuating circumstances to                                                               
the lapse in public notice.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURTIS replied it was just an oversight by staff.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   SHOWER    noted   the    positive   responses    to   the                                                               
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:02:32 PM                                                                                                                    
BEVERLY SCHOONOVER, Acting  Executive Director, Statewide Suicide                                                               
Prevention Council,  Juneau, reported that the  Statewide Suicide                                                               
Prevention  Council was  established by  the legislature  in 2001                                                               
and  serves  as  an  advisory  council  to  the  legislature  and                                                               
governor  regarding  awareness  and   prevention.  There  are  13                                                               
volunteer members  of the council  appointed by the  governor and                                                               
four ex  officio members appointed  by the legislature.  There is                                                               
one staff member.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
She said  most of the council's  activities involve collaboration                                                               
among  stakeholders, supporting  outreach  and educational  plans                                                               
through the  Suicide Awareness  Prevention and  Postvention grant                                                               
program, advocating for federal  and local funding, and providing                                                               
technical  assistance.  One  example  of  statewide  coordination                                                               
efforts was  the completion of  the five year  suicide prevention                                                               
plan  titled "Recasting  the Net.  Promoting Wellness  to Prevent                                                               
Suicides  in  Alaska."  Hundreds   of  Alaskans  participated  in                                                               
creating the  plan. The number  one goal is that  Alaskans accept                                                               
the  responsibility  for  preventing suicide.  All  Alaskans  are                                                               
responsible for  working together  to prevent suicide  and reduce                                                               
the risk  of suicide statewide.  She summarized that  the council                                                               
brings   people  together   to  talk   about  suicide,   evaluate                                                               
prevention efforts,   and to  advise agencies, the  governor, and                                                               
the legislature  on ways to  promote wellness and  reduce suicide                                                               
in Alaska.  She highlighted that  no other  organization performs                                                               
the statewide  coordinator function.  She asked the  committee to                                                               
support SB 10 to extend the council.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER said he would add his name as a cosponsor.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:05:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER opened public testimony on SB 10.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:05:57 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBEN  DAS, Board  Member, National  Alliance  on Mental  Illness                                                               
(NAMI)-Fairbanks, Fairbanks,  stated that  his wife  has suffered                                                               
from  mental  illness  for  about   40  years  and  he  has  been                                                               
volunteering at NAMI-Fairbanks to help  her, to help himself, and                                                               
to help  others who are  in a similar  situation. He said  he has                                                               
experienced the close link between  mental illness and suicide in                                                               
his  family.   The  Statewide   Suicide  Prevention   Council  is                                                               
particularly  helpful in  improving  the health  and wellness  of                                                               
Alaskans, enhancing  public awareness  of suicide,  and providing                                                               
guidance. He stated  support for SB 10 as a  board member of NAMI                                                               
Fairbanks.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:08:49 PM                                                                                                                    
JANE ANDRENE,  Alaska Public  Health Association  (APHA), Juneau,                                                               
stated  that  APHA is  a  150  member statewide  organization  of                                                               
public   and  behavioral   health  professionals   that  strongly                                                               
supports  SB  10  to  extend  the  Statewide  Suicide  Prevention                                                               
Council. She  said it is vitally  important for Alaska to  have a                                                               
central council  that coordinates and collaborates  on the issues                                                               
associated with suicide.  She also voiced support  for the fiscal                                                               
note, particularly the research project.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:09:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SAM  TRIVETTE,  Juneau   Suicide  Prevention  Coalition,  Juneau,                                                               
stated  that he  has been  involved  with the  coalition and  the                                                               
Statewide Suicide Prevention  Council for about 11  years. He and                                                               
his wife have participated in  statewide conferences and regional                                                               
trainings  with the  council. The  council has  linked them  with                                                               
very valuable national experts and  resources that they would not                                                               
have known about  otherwise. He said suicide will  always be here                                                               
but we  need to  continue to  work to reduce  the numbers.  He is                                                               
pleased to  report that  the council  is fulfilling  its mission.                                                               
When  he   testified  the  first   time  the   audit  recommended                                                               
abolishment. He  recounted the  problems the  council had  in the                                                               
past and highlighted the positive  signs. He said he is heartened                                                               
that the number  of people calling the statewide  crisis line has                                                               
quadrupled  in  recent years.  That  tells  you that  people  are                                                               
starting  to   open  up  and   reach  out  for  help,   he  said.                                                               
Furthermore,  the  council  has  developed  a  model  to  improve                                                               
suicide  awareness  and prevention  programs  in  the schools  in                                                               
Alaska.  "I think  they're doing  a  better job  than we've  ever                                                               
done," he said.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER agreed that the need will continue to be there.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:13:37 PM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA  FRANKS,  Chair,  Statewide Suicide  Prevention  Council,                                                               
Ninilchik, stated  that she  is or has  been associated  with the                                                               
National  Suicide Prevention  Lifeline, the  NAMI Board,  and the                                                               
Alaska  Psychiatric Institute  (API)  Board but  she is  removing                                                               
those hats to speak as the mother  of a child who died by suicide                                                               
and whose  husband died of  cancer two  days later. At  that time                                                               
there were no  800 numbers to call, websites to  access, or books                                                               
that  talked about  what  to do  if someone  in  your family  had                                                               
thoughts  of  suicide.  She  said  the  fact  that  the  previous                                                               
speakers are  from different entities is  evidence of cooperative                                                               
work  to  follow  the national  strategic  plan.  She  encouraged                                                               
continued outreach and support for SB 10.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:16:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SHARON FISHEL, Education Specialist,  Department of Education and                                                               
Early Development  (DEED), Juneau, stated  that she is  the staff                                                               
that oversees  the school-based suicide prevention  services. She                                                               
was available to answer questions.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:17:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MONIQUE  ANDREWS, representing  self,  Eagle  River, stated  that                                                               
while  she  is  a  member of  the  Statewide  Suicide  Prevention                                                               
Council,  she is  testifying  as a  mother and  a  member of  the                                                               
Alaska  Army  National  Guard. She  talked  about  the  council's                                                               
collaborative efforts  to focus on  youth as the  most vulnerable                                                               
population.  She stressed  that the  efforts of  the council  are                                                               
instrumental in ensuring that prevention  services continue to be                                                               
available  for  youth.  She  said we  want  children  to  develop                                                               
resiliency skills. Some  of these children may  join the military                                                               
when they grow up,  she said, and we want them  to be as equipped                                                               
as possible  to take  on that huge  responsibility. That  is only                                                               
done through efforts that start  early. She said she supports the                                                               
council as a mother whose  child needs to learn resiliency skills                                                               
from all sides. At  home and at school we all  need to be talking                                                               
the same language, she said.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:20:14 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  BIELA,  Lead  Field   Advocate,  American  Foundation  for                                                               
Suicide Prevention  (AFSP) - Alaska Chapter,  Newtok, stated that                                                               
AFSP  and the  Statewide  Suicide Prevention  Council (SSPC)  are                                                               
aligned  with the  national strategy  for  suicide prevention  as                                                               
well as  the American Indian  and Alaska Native  National Suicide                                                               
Prevention Strategy Plan.  SSPC is also aligned with  the goal of                                                               
AFSP to  reduce suicide at least  20 percent by 2025.  He said he                                                               
has worked  with the SSPC  since the  Alaska Chapter of  AFSP was                                                               
formed in 2010. He cited  statistics of suicide rates nationally,                                                               
in Alaska,  and the  military. He reported  that the  council has                                                               
helped  him  in  his  work  with elders  and  youths  on  suicide                                                               
prevention  and healing  and to  increase  participation in  AFSP                                                               
International  Survivor Suicide  Loss  Day. He  stated that  AFSP                                                               
strongly supports  SB 10  and the  continuation of  the Statewide                                                               
Suicide Prevention Council.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:22:46 PM                                                                                                                    
BRENDA  MOORE,   Chair,  Alaska   Mental  Health   Board,  Alaska                                                               
Department  of  Health  and Social  Services  (DHSS),  Anchorage,                                                               
stated  that  she is  also  a  member  of the  Statewide  Suicide                                                               
Prevention  Council. She  described how  the council  has changed                                                               
over the  years to the  point where  it now "has  some momentum."                                                               
When she started with the  council suicide prevention wasn't well                                                               
understood, particularly  with tribal organization.  This changed                                                               
through partnering with the Alaska  Federation of Natives to hold                                                               
local and statewide summits. These  summits resulted in an active                                                               
regional suicide  prevention coalition. The  council collaborates                                                               
and  coordinates   with  the  coalition   and  the   Division  of                                                               
Behavioral  Health  prevention  grantees.   She  noted  that  the                                                               
council  now  has  a  member who  represents  the  military.  She                                                               
emphasized  the  importance  of  the work  the  council  does  to                                                               
coordinate the  efforts of  the various  entities. She  urged the                                                               
committee to support SB 10.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:26:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER closed public testimony on SB 10.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:26:25 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:26:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER reconvened the meeting and solicited a motion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:26:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL moved to report  SB 10, version A, from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER found  no objection and SB 10 moved  from the Senate                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SSTA OFFICIAL AGENDA MEMO.pdf SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
agenda
SB 92 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
CS for SB 92 - Ver. M.pdf SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
SB 92 - Explanation of Changes V.A to V.M.pdf SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
SB 10 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/24/2019 9:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB0010A.PDF SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 Supporting Document 2018 Leg Audit Report ASPC.pdf SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB10 Support Letters.pdf SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 - Fiscal Note - DHSS.pdf SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 32 Transmittal Letter.pdf SFIN 4/24/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/9/2019 1:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/18/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB32 - Version A.pdf SJUD 2/6/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/8/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/9/2019 1:00:00 PM
SSTA 3/5/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - Classification and Sentencing Highilghts.pdf SJUD 2/6/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 3/5/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/18/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - Classification and Sentencing Sectional.pdf SFIN 4/24/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/8/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/9/2019 1:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 32
SB91-GOA Bills Matrix 2-22-19 - DRAFT STA CS.pdf SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/18/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - FN#1 - DPS.pdf SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - FN#2 - DOL.pdf SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - FN#5 - DHSS.pdf SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - FN#6 - DOC.pdf SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - FN - DOA - Public Advocacy.pdf SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - FN - Court System.pdf SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 32
SB 32 - FN - DOA - Public Defender Agency.pdf SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/9/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/15/2019 6:00:00 PM
SSTA 4/16/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 32