Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/29/1993 08:35 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         March 29, 1993                                        
                            8:35 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 93-78, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 93-78, Side 2, #000 - 483.                                          
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson called the House  Finance Committee to order                 
  at 8:35 a.m.                                                                 
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson             Representative Hoffman                           
  Co-Chair MacLean            Representative Martin                            
  Vice-Chair Hanley           Representative Navarre                           
  Representative Brown        Representative Parnell                           
  Representative Foster       Representative Therriault                        
  Representative Grussendorf                                                   
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Dave Williams, Division of Medical Assistance, Department of                 
  Health and Social Services; Ritchie Sonner, Hospice and Home                 
  Care  of Juneau;  Myra  Howe,  Director, Special  Education,                 
  Department  of  Education; Willie  Anderson, NEA-Alaska;Doug                 
  Wooliver,  Staff  Attorney,   Representative  Barnes;   C.E.                 
  Swackhammer, Deputy Director, Department of Public Safety                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 69     "An   Act   relating   to   registration  of   and                 
            information  about  sex  offenders   and  amending                 
            Alaska  Rules  of  Criminal  Procedure  11(c)  and                 
            32(b)."                                                            
                                                                               
            CSHB 69 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a                 
            "do pass" recommendation and with four zero fiscal                 
            notes by  the  Department  of  Corrections,  dated                 
            2/8/93; Department of  Law, dated 2/8/93; and  two                 
            by  the Department  of Administration  and  with a                 
            fiscal impact  note  by the  Department of  Public                 
            Safety, dated 3/25/93.                                             
                                                                               
  HB 171    "An Act providing coverage  for hospice care under                 
            the  Medicaid  program; reordering  the priorities                 
            given  to  optional  services  under the  Medicaid                 
            program; and providing for an effective date."                     
                                                                               
            CSHB 171 (FIN) was reported  out of Committee with                 
                                                                               
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            a  "do pass"  recommendation  and  with  a  fiscal                 
            impact note by the Department of Health and Social                 
            Services, dated 3/22/93.                                           
  HB 178    "An Act adding  children under the  age of 21  who                 
            are eligible  for adoption  assistance because  of                 
            special  needs to  the optional  Medicaid coverage                 
            list and revising  the order of priority  in which                 
            groups eligible for optional Medicaid coverage are                 
            eliminated; and providing for an effective date."                  
                                                                               
            HB 78  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                 
            pass"  recommendation and  with two  fiscal impact                 
            notes by  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                 
            Services, dated 3/22/93.                                           
                                                                               
  HB 235    "An  Act  relating  to  educational  programs  and                 
            services for children with disabilities and  other                 
            exceptional  children   and  to  persons   with  a                 
            handicap; and providing for an effective date."                    
                                                                               
            CSHB 235 was  reported out  of Committee with  "no                 
            recommendation" and with a zero fiscal note by the                 
            Department of Education, dated 3/24/93.                            
  HOUSE BILL NO. 69                                                            
                                                                               
       "An Act  relating to  registration  of and  information                 
       about  sex  offenders  and  amending  Alaska  Rules  of                 
       Criminal Procedure 11(c) and 32(b)."                                    
                                                                               
  Members  were  provided with  a  Work  Draft for  HB  69, 8-                 
  LS0395\U, dated 3/25/93 (Attachment 1).  HB 69 was held in a                 
  subcommittee  consisting of  Chair  Therriault with  members                 
  Representatives Brown and Martin.                                            
                                                                               
  Representative   Therriault   explained   changes   by   the                 
  Subcommittee.  References to DNA  blood typing were deleted.                 
  First time  sex offenders  are required  to register  for 15                 
  years.  Sex  offenders who have  been convicted two or  more                 
  times  must register for  life.  Sexual abuse  of a minor in                 
  fourth  degree  has  been  eliminated   at  the  request  of                 
  Representative Barnes.  He explained  that language to allow                 
  dispute  of  file  information was  added.    The Department                 
  "shall"  correct  or  supplement  inaccurate  or  incomplete                 
  information.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault note that  by law the registration                 
  fee cannot be punitive in nature.   The Subcommittee set the                 
  fee at $5.00 dollars.                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault MOVED  to ADOPT Work Draft  for HB
  69, 8-LS0395\U, dated 3/25/93.  There being NO OBJECTION, it                 
                                                                               
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  was so ordered.   Representative Therriault MOVED  to Amend,                 
  CSHB 69  (FIN), delete  page 3,  line 28,  "11.40.130".   He                 
  explained that  offenders can  be convicted  under 11.40.130                 
  for supplying alcohol to minors.  There being NO  OBJECTION,                 
  it was so ordered.                                                           
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean asked  if VPSO's  would substitute for  the                 
  Chief of Police in rural areas.  She asked if the                            
  Department of Corrections could register sex offenders prior                 
  to release.                                                                  
                                                                               
  C.E.  SWACKHAMMER,  DEPUTY  DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC                 
  SAFETY  clarified  that  VPSO's  would  not be  required  to                 
  perform the registrations.   He added that the Alaska  State                 
  Troopers   will  aid   rural   areas   with   sex   offender                 
  registration.    Village  Public  Safety  Officers would  be                 
  informed of  registered sex offenders  in their  areas.   He                 
  explained  that  the  Department  of  Corrections  would not                 
  register offenders since offenders future place of residence                 
  and employment would be unknown.                                             
                                                                               
  Representative   Therriault   noted   that    sex   offender                 
  registration for  first  offenders will  be retroactive  ten                 
  years to 1984.   Representative Navarre  asked if the a  ten                 
  retroactive  period  would  be   subject  to  discrimination                 
  challenges.   Representative Therriault did not  think there                 
  would be a basis for legal challenges.                                       
                                                                               
  DOUG WOOLIVER, STAFF ATTORNEY, REPRESENTATIVE BARNES assured                 
  members that the ten year retroactive period would be upheld                 
  in court.   He cited the  difficulty in collecting  accurate                 
  data  past ten  years.   Mr.  Wooliver  explained the  legal                 
  rational supporting a ten year  retroactive period.  Members                 
  discussed the retroactive registration period.                               
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre  asked if  other state  law has  been                 
  tested in regards  to the  right to privacy.   Mr.  Wooliver                 
  stated that Washington  state has a constitutional  right to                 
  privacy.  The Washington State Supreme Court has up held the                 
  retroactive period.   He clarified that  offenders convicted                 
  of two or more offenses must register regardless of the time                 
  of conviction.                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault relayed  that  supporters of  the                 
  legislation feel that  sex offenders have a  high recidivism                 
  rate because  they do not  think they will  be caught.   The                 
  legislation is designed to be a deterrent.                                   
                                                                               
  Mr.  Wooliver  explained,  in response  to  a  question from                 
  Representative Foster, that a regulatory action would not be                 
  considered  as a  "expos  facto".   A  punishment cannot  be                 
  increased retroactively.  Laws that are regulatory in nature                 
                                                                               
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  are not designed to punish.                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault MOVED to report  CSHB 69 (FIN) out                 
  of Committee  with individual recommendations  and with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CSHB 69 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass"                 
  recommendation  "do pass" recommendation  and with four zero                 
  fiscal notes by the Department of Corrections, dated 2/8/93;                 
  Department of  Law, dated 2/8/93;  two by the  Department of                 
  Administration  and  with  a  fiscal   impact  note  by  the                 
  Department of Public Safety, dated 3/25/93.                                  
  hb#171                                                                       
  HOUSE BILL NO. 171                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act providing  coverage for hospice care  under the                 
       Medicaid  program; reordering  the priorities  given to                 
       optional  services  under  the  Medicaid  program;  and                 
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  RITCHIE SONNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HOSPICE AND HOME CARE OF                 
  JUNEAU  spoke  in support  of HB  171.   She  explained that                 
  hospice care  supports the terminally  ill to allow  them to                 
  remain in their home.  She emphasized that home care is cost                 
  effective.  She stressed that the terminally ill are allowed                 
  to remain  with  their  loved  ones.    She  explained  that                 
  terminally  ill  is defined  as those  that  have 6  or less                 
  months to live.   An inter disciplinary  team of counselors,                 
  physicians, nurses, therapist,  clergy and volunteers assist                 
  the  terminally ill.  The  goal of hospice  care is to allow                 
  terminally  ill to  spend  their final  days  pain free  and                 
  alert,  at peace  with themselves  and their  loved ones  in                 
  their own home.   Hospice care is endorsed and  supported by                 
  Medicare.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  pointed  out  that  there   are  no                 
  Medicare  certified hospice  organizations  in  Alaska.   He                 
  asked  if the bill  will impact  certification.   Ms. Sonner                 
  stated that in  lieu of hospice certification  Medicare will                 
  certify home  care providers.  She felt that the legislation                 
  would encourage hospice certification.                                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson asked  how the  effective date would  affect                 
  the Department of Health and Social Services.                                
                                                                               
  DAVE WILLIAMS, DIVISION OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT OF                 
  HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES replied that the Department would                 
  like the effective  date to be  delayed until January  1994.                 
  He  explained  that  the  Department  of Health  and  Social                 
  Services needs time to institute  the program.  He explained                 
  that the fiscal  note will  cover the cost  of changing  the                 
                                                                               
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  claims payment system.                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED  to Amend the effective  date to                 
  insert "January 1, 1994."  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean MOVED  to report  HB 171  out of  Committee                 
  with individual  recommendations and  with the  accompanying                 
  fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                   
                                                                               
  CSHB 171  (FIN) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                 
  pass"  recommendation and with  a fiscal impact  note by the                 
  Department of Health and Social Services, dated 3/22/93.                     
  HOUSE BILL NO. 178                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act adding  children under  the age of  21 who  are                 
       eligible  for adoption  assistance  because of  special                 
       needs  to  the  optional  Medicaid  coverage  list  and                 
       revising the order of priority in which groups eligible                 
       for  optional  Medicaid  coverage are  eliminated;  and                 
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley clarified that  children under the age                 
  of 21 who are eligible for adoption assistance will be given                 
  priority in Medicaid coverage.                                               
                                                                               
  Mr.  Williams explained, in response  to a question from Co-                 
  Chair MacLean, the fiscal  notes.  He stated that  the State                 
  will continue the  cost of  medical care for  hard to  place                 
  adoptive children.  There will be a 50 percent federal match                 
  if the legislation is passed.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative  Martin  MOVED  to  report   HB  178  out  of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
  HOUSE BILL NO. 235                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to educational programs  and services                 
       for  children with  disabilities and  other exceptional                 
       children and to persons with  a handicap; and providing                 
       for an effective date."                                                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson  noted that  members had  received a  letter                 
  from Marc Grober, Attorney  addressing concerns regarding HB
  235 (Attachment 2).                                                          
                                                                               
  MYRA  HOWE,  DIRECTOR,  SPECIAL  EDUCATION,  DEPARTMENT   OF                 
  EDUCATION presented the  members with a written  response to                 
  Mr. Grober's concerns  (Attachment 3).   She explained  that                 
                                                                               
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  the State is  required to submit  an annual plan  describing                 
  how Alaska will  serve exceptional children.   The State has                 
  received conditional  approval  of their  FY 92  - 94  plan.                 
  Statutory and  regulatory changes  are needed  to bring  the                 
  state into compliance with federal law.  The State will lose                 
  $8.3 million federal dollars if compliance is not met.                       
                                                                               
  Ms.  Howe  referred  to  section  8.   She  noted  that  the                 
  Department must allow  for a parent hearing upon  denial for                 
  placement of a child in special education services.                          
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-78, Side 2)                                             
                                                                               
  Ms.  Howe reviewed HB  235.  She  noted that in  section 21,                 
  rehabilitation  services  is  added  to  the  definition  of                 
  related services.   Section 23  adds two  new categories  of                 
  autism  and  traumatic  brain  injury.   The  definition  of                 
  education records  has been  expanded.   Other changes  have                 
  clarify  language   to  assure  clearer  authority   of  the                 
  Department of Education.                                                     
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson provided  members with  Amendment 1:   "Each                 
  school district  shall develop  an individualized  education                 
  program for every exceptional child" (Attachment 4).                         
                                                                               
  Ms. Howe clarified, in response to a question  from Co-Chair                 
  MacLean,  that there is  no federal requirement  for a three                 
  year reevaluation of students.  The Department has opted for                 
  a three year review to reestablish  eligibility.  If a child                 
  upon  reevaluation is found  to no longer  meet the criteria                 
  they will be allowed to finish their current program.                        
                                                                               
  Representative  Martin  noted   the  costs  associated  with                 
  keeping exceptional children at a high  level.  He asked how                 
  the cost of evaluation compares to the cost of the programs.                 
  Ms.  Howe could  not answer.    She noted  that there  is an                 
  annual evaluation requirement.                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Grussendorf questioned the use of "shall" vs.                 
  "may"  in  Amendment  1.    Ms.  Howe  replied  that  school                 
  districts could create a criteria so high as to not have any                 
  "gifted" students.                                                           
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  reiterated   Representative  Grussendorf's                 
  question  regarding the use  of "shall".   Ms. Howe stressed                 
  that regulation  already requires that  each school district                 
  have a program for exceptional children.                                     
                                                                               
  Ms.  Howe   explained,  in   response  to   a  question   by                 
  Representative  Parnell, that  the  school districts  submit                 
  plans for  their programs  to the  Department of  Education.                 
  The general standard is for IQ's of 130 and above.                           
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf expressed  the  opinion that  IQ                 
  tests are culturally biased.                                                 
                                                                               
  WILLY ANDERSON, NEA-ALASKA expressed support for HB 235.  He                 
  stressed that  the State will  lose $8.3 million  dollars in                 
  federal funds if HB 235 is not adopted.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Martin complained that "exceptional" children                 
  programs can be misused by school districts.                                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson noted that the only opposition to HB 235 was                 
  based on the  fear that gifted  and talented programs  which                 
  are provided  for in  regulation may  be  discontinued.   He                 
  explained that Amendment 1 would guarantee that programs are                 
  continued.   Co-Chair Larson  MOVED to  ADOPT, Amendment  1.                 
  Representative  Martin   questioned  the   use  of   "every"                 
  exceptional child.  He felt that  there would be an increase                 
  cost to the State.                                                           
                                                                               
  Ms. Howe clarified that Amendment 1 would not change current                 
  practice.  She  noted that "gifted  children" is defined  by                 
  each school  district.   Representative  Martin  noted  that                 
  "gifted" and "talented" are defined in HB 235.                               
                                                                               
  Representative Martin OBJECTED to Amendment 1.  A  roll call                 
  vote was taken on the motion.                                                
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Navarre, Parnell, Foster, Larson, MacLean                          
  OPPOSED:  Martin, Grussendorf, Hanley                                        
                                                                               
  Representatives Therriault,  Brown and  Hoffman were  absent                 
  from the vote.                                                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (5-3).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative  Hanley noted that  the definition of "gifted                 
  and talented"  children does  not include  all the  previous                 
  categories.    Ms. Howe  explained  that the  Department was                 
  advised  by  the  Department  of  Law  to  not  include each                 
  specific category in statute.  The Department of Law advised                 
  that it  would be  better to  address specific  requirements                 
  through regulations.                                                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf  expressed concern  that parents                 
  "brow beat" school  districts to allow their children in the                 
  gifted and talented programs.  Representative Martin agreed.                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  MOVED to  report  CSHB 235  (FIN)  out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal note.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CSHB   235   was  reported   out   of  Committee   with  "no                 
  recommendation"  and  with   a  zero  fiscal  note   by  the                 
  Department of Education, dated 3/24/93.                                      
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 9:50 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
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