Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/17/1993 03:00 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                         March 17, 1993                                        
                            3:00 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Rep. Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair                                                
  Rep. Con Bunde, Co-Chair                                                     
  Rep. Gary Davis, Vice Chair                                                  
  Rep. Al Vezey                                                                
  Rep. Harley Olberg                                                           
  Rep. Bettye Davis                                                            
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Rep. Pete Kott                                                               
  Rep. Irene Nicholia                                                          
  Rep. Tom Brice                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  *HB 128:  "An Act relating to early acknowledgement of                       
            paternity for the child of an unmarried mother."                   
            PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS                             
  *HB 122:  "An Act eliminating a requirement that a court                     
            consider the findings and recommendations of a                     
            neutral mediator when awarding shared child                        
            PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS                             
  HB 30:    "An Act amending the definition of `municipality'                  
            for the purposes of the human services community                   
            matching grant program."                                           
            HEARD AND HELD                                                     
  (* First public hearing.)                                                    
  Confirmation Hearings of various boards and commissions:                     
  BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS                                              
       Patricia G. Connors-Allen, DC                                           
       LeRoy D. Nordstrom, DC                                                  
       Glenne M. Ralls                                                         
  BOARD OF DISPENSING OPTICIANS                                                
       Pamela L. Doerr                                                         
       Beverly J. Gilfillan                                                    
       Patricia Hedges-Gajdos                                                  
  BOARD OF EDUCATION                                                           
       Donald L. Fancher                                                       
       Judy L. Norton                                                          
  BOARD OF PHARMACY                                                            
       Charles J. Lastufka                                                     
       Pauline L. Bennett-Gannon                                               
       Arlene C. Gerety                                                        
       Cary S. Keller, MD                                                      
       Lawrence W. Seethaler, LPT                                              
  PROFESSIONAL TEACHING PRACTICES COMMISSION                                   
       Brian L. Carter                                                         
       Richard E. Clevenger                                                    
       Peggy E. Conner Jones                                                   
       Fred L. Lau                                                             
       William A. McCain                                                       
       Marsha K. Van Abel                                                      
       Tyler D. Shaw                                                           
       Robb L. Stokes, Ph.D.                                                   
  BOARD OF CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK EXAMINERS                                      
       Ken P. Fallon, Jr. MSW, ACSW                                            
       Kris Jenkins                                                            
  BOARD OF MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPY                                          
       Mercy Dennis                                                            
       Randall G. Jones                                                        
       Dennis Schlotfeldt, Ph.D.                                               
       R. Brock Shamberg, Esq.                                                 
       Elaine Stoneburner                                                      
  BOARD OF CERTIFIED DIRECT-ENTRY MIDWIVES                                     
       Peggy A. Downing, MD                                                    
       Sydney Flint                                                            
       Kaye Kanne                                                              
       Paula Korn, CNM                                                         
       Pam Weaver                                                              
  BOARD OF NURSING                                                             
       Belle L. Cunningham, LPN                                                
       Marion K. Lampman                                                       
       Betsy B. McCune, RN                                                     
  BOARD OF EXAMINERS IN OPTOMETRY                                              
       Lynn J. Coon, OD                                                        
       Steven S. Dobson, OD                                                    
       Marilyn S. Porter                                                       
  BOARD OF VETERINARY EXAMINERS                                                
       Virginia M. Johnson, DVM                                                
       James Leach, III, DVM                                                   
       Barbara J. Marcisak                                                     
  UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA BOARD OF REGENTS                                        
       R. Danforth Ogg                                                         
       Mary Jane Fate                                                          
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  AL ZANGRI, Chief                                                             
  Bureau of Vital Statistics                                                   
  Department of Health and Social Services                                     
  P.O. Box 110675                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0675                                                    
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of HB 128                          
  SHERRIE GOLL, Lobbyist                                                       
  Alaska Women's Lobby                                                         
  P.O. Box 22156                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802                                                         
  Phone:  (907) 463-6744                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of HB 128                          
  GLENDA STRAUBE                                                               
  Association of Children for Enforcement Support                              
  1318 N St.                                                                   
  Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                      
  Phone:  (907) 278-0840                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of HB 128                          
  CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, Staff Counsel                                             
  Alaska Court System                                                          
  303 K St.                                                                    
  Anchorage, Alaska, 99501                                                     
  Phone:  (907) 264-8228                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in favor of HB 122                            
  EMIL PORTSCHELLER JR.                                                        
  P.O. Box 2544                                                                
  Palmer, Alaska, 99645                                                        
  Phone:  (907) 373-0831                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified on HB 122, offering revisions                 
  VINCENT VITALE                                                               
  725 Christensen Drive, Suite 3                                               
  Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                      
  Phone:  (907) 276-7576                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified on HB 122, offering revisions                 
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HB 128                                                                
  BILL VERSION: SSHB 128                                                       
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS,Toohey                                 
  TITLE: "An Act relating to early acknowledgement of                          
  paternity for the child of an unmarried mother."                             
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  02/05/93       235    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/05/93       235    (H)   HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                          
  03/08/93       569    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE                               
  03/08/93       569    (H)   HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                          
  03/15/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/15/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  03/16/93              (H)   HES AT 03:30 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/17/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  BILL:  HB 122                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: CHILD CUSTODY PROCEDURES                                        
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY                                                        
  TITLE: "An Act eliminating a requirement that a court                        
  consider the findings an recommendations of a neutral                        
  mediator when awarding shared child custody."                                
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  02/03/93       215    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/03/93       215    (H)   HES, JUDICIARY                                   
  03/17/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  BILL:  HB  30                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: HUMAN SERVICES MATCHING GRANTS                                  
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BRICE,Sitton,Therriault,                       
  TITLE: "An Act amending the definition of `municipality' for                 
  purposes of the human services community matching grant                      
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/04/93        32    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                 
  01/11/93        32    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/11/93        32    (H)   CRA, HES, FINANCE                                
  01/15/93        92    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): DAVIES, JAMES                      
  02/09/93              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                      
  02/09/93              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                      
  02/10/93       284    (H)   CRA RPT  CS(CRA) 5DP  2NR                        
  02/10/93       284    (H)   DP: BUNDE, DAVIES,                               
  02/10/93       284    (H)   NR: SANDERS, WILLIAMS                            
  02/10/93       284    (H)   -2 ZERO FNS (DCRA, DHSS)                         
  02/22/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/15/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/15/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  03/16/93              (H)   HES AT 03:30 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/17/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-38, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY called the meeting to order at 3:08 p.m., noted                 
  members present, and announced the calendar.  She brought                    
  HB 128 to the table.                                                         
  (Rep. Brice arrived at 3:10 p.m.)                                            
  HB 128:  EARLY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PATERNITY                                  
  Number 045                                                                   
  REP. BETTYE DAVIS spoke as PRIME SPONSOR of HB 128.  She                     
  read a sponsor statement (on file in the committee room)                     
  which outlined the problems with establishing paternity for                  
  children born to unwed parents.  She said HB 128 would                       
  require the state to have unwed parents sign a form with                     
  their name and social security numbers, allowing the child                   
  access to social security, survivor and veteran benefits,                    
  worker compensation, health insurance, inheritance and other                 
  benefits.  It would make it easier for the state to collect                  
  child support payments from fathers.  It would help fathers                  
  maintain the right to see their children regardless of their                 
  marital status.                                                              
  REP. DAVIS said there were 7,199 paternity verification                      
  cases pending with the Alaska Child Support Enforcement                      
  Division in December, 1992.  She said the bill would save                    
  Alaska money, and cited the state of Virginia, which she                     
  said saved about $440 per case by establishing paternity                     
  through forms instead of court proceedings.  She said                        
  Virginia's child enforcement division has saved about                        
  $126,700 for 228 hospitals.  She noted the $12,600 fiscal                    
  note from the Department of Health and Social Services,                      
  which she said would be used to develop the necessary forms.                 
  Number 153                                                                   
  HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES (DHSS), testified in Juneau in                    
  support of HB 128, saying it would help the department                       
  accomplish what it already did.  He handed out the brochure                  
  the department gave to new parents concerning the benefits                   
  of establishing paternity.                                                   
  Number 164                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE repeated for clarification that DHSS supported                    
  the bill and that new parents are more likely to acknowledge                 
  paternity and fill out forms.                                                
  MR.  ZANGRI said up to half of single parents at some                        
  hospitals were signing affidavits of paternity.  He said the                 
  DHSS also worked with the state divisions of Child Support,                  
  Public Assistance and Family and Youth Services to get                       
  affidavits signed.                                                           
  Number 180                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE asked if DHSS had a position on section 2,                        
  paragraph 7, requiring hospitals to provide applications for                 
  public assistance.                                                           
  MR. ZANGRI said that hospitals already present such forms to                 
  unwed mothers, as it is in the hospitals' interest so that                   
  the hospital can get paid by the federal government for                      
  providing birth services.  He said DHSS had no problem with                  
  the provision.                                                               
  Number 193                                                                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY expressed her preference to change the language                 
  of the bill, requiring public assistance forms to be                         
  provided to the mother if necessary.                                         
  REP. B. DAVIS said forms would only go to those who                          
  qualified for Medicaid, and most single parents are already                  
  receiving Medicaid payments because they are receiving                       
  public assistance.  Hospital staffers would know who should                  
  get what forms, she said.  She stated hospital lobbyists                     
  told her that such paperwork is taken care of before                         
  maternity patients come into the hospital.  She said the                     
  lobbyists said they had a problem with page 2, section 2,                    
  paragraph 3, and she had no objection to deleting that                       
  section, requiring hospital staffers to explain the benefits                 
  of establishing paternity, because the paternity forms would                 
  explain such benefits.                                                       
  REP. BUNDE clarified that she was speaking of section 2,                     
  paragraph 3.                                                                 
  Number 225                                                                   
  REP. B. DAVIS moved deletion of section 2, paragraph 3.                      
  REP. VEZEY said he had a problem seeing what HB 128 would                    
  actually accomplish, or why unmarried fathers would hurry to                 
  sign paternity forms.                                                        
  CHAIR TOOHEY said there was a motion on the floor that                       
  needed to be addressed.  Hearing no objection to the motion                  
  to delete section 2, paragraph 3, she declared the amendment                 
  Number 248                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY moved deletion of all of section 2.                               
  REP. B. DAVIS objected, saying that would cut out the heart                  
  and guts of the bill.  She attempted to explain the purpose                  
  of the bill, saying that if a mother on public assistance                    
  must identify the father of her child, a process which when                  
  done by the state child support division through the state                   
  court system costs the state about $500.  The state can                      
  therefore save money if it can get parents, at the time of                   
  greatest pride and excitement about the birth of their                       
  child, to acknowledge paternity.  Hospitals cooperate with                   
  such procedures to ensure their payment from public                          
  assistance for the cost of providing birth services.  Child                  
  support agencies could also apply to have hospitals be paid                  
  for such services directly from federal funds, not state                     
  REP. DAVIS said 66 percent of money paid out through such                    
  programs in other states is paid by the federal government,                  
  with the rest coming from state child support agencies,                      
  which are reimbursed by parents through child support                        
  (Rep. Nicholia arrived at 3:21 p.m.)                                         
  Number 276                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said he did not propose deleting section 1, the                   
  provision for filling out forms, though he questioned what                   
  the bill would accomplish.  He said he had proposed deleting                 
  section 2, which he interpreted as a mandate for private                     
  health care providers to provide counseling session.                         
  REP. B. DAVIS said hospital administrators had told her that                 
  they already voluntarily provided such counseling and did                    
  not consider it onerous.  She said HB 128 would merely make                  
  uniform a common state-wide practice.  She said about 27                     
  hospitals in Alaska would be affected by the bill, and it                    
  would be helpful to provide them with at least minimum                       
  Number 303                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS said he believed deletion of section 2,                        
  paragraph 3, would take care of the counseling issue.  He                    
  said that providing pamphlets to unwed fathers was a small,                  
  low-cost step toward addressing the problem of fathers'                      
  unwillingness to assume responsibility.                                      
  Number 331                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE asked if any hospital staffers planned to                         
  REP. B. DAVIS answered no, but she had been in a                             
  teleconference with a hospital lobbyist and an administrator                 
  at Humana Hospital in Anchorage that morning and had already                 
  gotten a letter from Fairbanks supporting the bill.                          
  Number 343                                                                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY said new mothers are presented with stacks of                   
  pamphlets on infant care when they leave the hospital with                   
  their newborns, and one more form that would allow mothers                   
  to track the father for child support was a small price to                   
  pay.  She said she thought HB 128 was a good bill.                           
  REP. KOTT said he was concerned with section 2, paragraph A,                 
  line 13, of HB 128, which required a qualified hospital                      
  staffer to meet with a new mother.  He said he hoped that                    
  such a meeting was already common practice.  He expressed                    
  concern that mandating such counseling between a physician                   
  and patient might constitute invasion of privacy.  He asked                  
  whether the state did not already have paternity forms, and                  
  if so, how would the new forms be better.  He also asked                     
  whether the proposed forms would indicate that providing an                  
  address and social security number was optional.                             
  Number 370                                                                   
  MR. ZANGRI said DHSS already had paternity forms that                        
  require parents to provide their social security numbers and                 
  addresses, not as an option.  He said, in fact, that HB 128                  
  would require the currently used form to be changed only                     
  slightly to indicate that it constituted acknowledgement and                 
  proof of paternity.  The bill would primarily put into law                   
  what is already done at the direction of DHSS, he said.                      
  REP. OLBERG said he understood Rep. Kott's philosophical                     
  reservations, but said that if the state were paying for the                 
  birth, then it was entitled to ask for whatever information                  
  it wanted.  He said the state had a legitimate interest in                   
  obtaining paperwork that would allow the state to recover                    
  costs from the federal government.                                           
  Number 387                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said he did not see how HB 128 was limited to                     
  those who were receiving public assistance.                                  
  REP. OLBERG said he believed that an unwed mother was a                      
  likely candidate for public assistance.                                      
  Number 398                                                                   
  REP. B. DAVIS said the bill was an effort to help establish                  
  the paternity of a child born to unmarried parents so the                    
  state could later collect child support payments from the                    
  fathers if the mother applied for public assistance.  She                    
  said the bill was a step in the direction of the national                    
  trend relying on child support agencies to collect various                   
  government financial obligations from fathers, including                     
  child support and federal income taxes.  She referred to a                   
  March 16, 1993, newspaper article saying that provisions                     
  such as those in HB 128 would help address the difficulties                  
  in collecting child support from fathers.  She said unwed                    
  parents are more willing to acknowledge their children at                    
  the time of birth than later.                                                
  Number 420                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE asked how the bill would apply to women who did                   
  not want to acknowledge the fathers of their children.                       
  MR. ZANGRI answered that both parents had to acknowledge                     
  paternity for a father to be listed on their child's birth                   
  certificate, which was proof of his paternal                                 
  responsibilities.  If one or the other parent refused to                     
  acknowledge the other as parent of the child, then the issue                 
  would go to court, he said.                                                  
  Number 439                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS asked Rep. B. Davis about the provisions in                    
  section 2 concerning prenatal counseling by the hospital.                    
  He asked whether such counseling could not be accomplished                   
  in the context of the patient-doctor relationship, not the                   
  patient-hospital relationship.                                               
  REP. B. DAVIS said it was possible that paternity was                        
  already a topic subject to patient-doctor confidentiality.                   
  She said she knew of no mandate that such counseling had to                  
  be done by the physician.                                                    
  Number 458                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE called the question.                                              
  CHAIR TOOHEY, hearing objection to the motion, called for a                  
  roll call vote on the motion to delete section 2 of HB 128.                  
  Those voting yes were Reps. Vezey and Kott.  Those voting no                 
  were Reps. Bunde, G. Davis, Olberg, B. Davis, Nicholia,                      
  Brice and Toohey.  The motion FAILED 2-7.                                    
  Number 470                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE moved deletion of section 2, paragraph 7.  He                     
  said hospitals should not be in the social welfare or social                 
  work business, and the paragraph makes hospitals de facto                    
  state employees.                                                             
  REP. B. DAVIS said she understood the reason for the                         
  amendment, but she disagreed.  She said hospitals have                       
  social workers on staff to do just the kind of work the bill                 
  proposed.  She did not, however, object to deleting the                      
  paragraph.  She proposed amending the bill so that the staff                 
  social worker, not other hospital staffers, would offer the                  
  welfare applications to new mothers.                                         
  REP. BUNDE agreed that the amendment would not hurt the                      
  bill, but he repeated his belief that the state should not                   
  pass statutes mandating hospital staffs perform social work.                 
  He repeated earlier statements that those who qualified for                  
  Aid to Families with Dependent Children would likely already                 
  be enrolled.                                                                 
  CHAIR TOOHEY said hospitals are involved because they want                   
  to be paid, and if Medicare is not included in the process,                  
  they won't be.                                                               
  Number 499                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE said that he did not want to see hospitals                        
  drumming up welfare business to make money.                                  
  REP. G. DAVIS said hospitals don't attract patients, they                    
  treat patients, then seek to be paid for the treatment.                      
  Number 507                                                                   
  REP. B. DAVIS said she did not mind cutting the paragraph,                   
  as hospitals would see to it somehow that the patients got                   
  the forms necessary to enroll in welfare programs.  She                      
  expressed the desire to have the bill move out of committee.                 
  REP. BRICE suggested amending the paragraph to allow                         
  hospitals the option of providing the application forms or                   
  Number 515                                                                   
  REP. BUNDE questioned the need for a statutory requirement                   
  of providing the applications was already standard practice.                 
  REP. BUNDE moved deletion of section 2, paragraph 7, in                      
  HB 128 and asked for unanimous consent.                                      
  CHAIR TOOHEY asked for objections to the motion and, hearing                 
  none, declared the motion PASSED.                                            
  Number 529                                                                   
  REP. KOTT said he objected to section 2, lines 21-25.  While                 
  most of the section required staff members to perform                        
  certain duties, he said, lines 21-25 directed the DHSS to                    
  prepare and distribute a pamphlet.  He said the paragraph                    
  was poorly constructed, and he expressed a desire that it be                 
  addressed before passage from the committee.                                 
  REP. B. DAVIS asked whether it was true that DHSS would have                 
  to prepare the pamphlets.                                                    
  Number 540                                                                   
  MR. ZANGRI answered that DHSS did distribute the pamphlets,                  
  but they were produced jointly with the Department of                        
  Revenue's Child Support Enforcement Division.  He said the                   
  federal child support enforcement services also provided                     
  some funds for that purpose.                                                 
  REP. B. DAVIS said there was nothing wrong with having DHSS                  
  included in the paragraph.                                                   
  Number 546                                                                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY noted that the bill required that DHSS would                    
  only provide pamphlets, not become involved with the                         
  SHERRIE GOLL, a lobbyist for the ALASKA WOMEN'S LOBBY,                       
  testified in Juneau in support of HB 128.  She said the bill                 
  would help take advantage of the father's initial pride at                   
  the birth of a child to have him commit to assuming paternal                 
  responsibility.  She said she was surprised that fiscal                      
  notes did not reflect probable savings from establishing                     
  paternity easily and early in a child's life.                                
  MS. GOLL stated, "Child support agency is required to do                     
  child support enforcement for any person who comes, even in                  
  the state, whether or not they are on welfare.  And this                     
  will give the child the right to the father's name.  We                      
  heard Children's Caucus today how important it was to have a                 
  child who knew who his or her father was, and I think there                  
  would be real benefit to this, and certainly fiscal benefit                  
  to the state.  Thank you."                                                   
  Number 566                                                                   
  (Rep. Toohey left at 3:48 p.m.)                                              
  REP. BUNDE assumed the chair, as Rep. Toohey had to leave                    
  the meeting for another appointment.                                         
  GLENDA STRAUBE testified via teleconference from Anchorage                   
  on behalf of the ASSOCIATION OF CHILDREN FOR ENFORCEMENT                     
  SUPPORT (ACES) in support of HB 128.  She said it is good                    
  for children to know who their fathers are.  It is also good                 
  for the government to know the name and social security                      
  number of fathers, so that the fathers can take financial                    
  TAPE 93-38, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony on HB 128 and invited                    
  discussion from the committee.                                               
  Number 007                                                                   
  REP. NICHOLIA moved passage of HB 128 from the committee                     
  with individual recommendations.                                             
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections, and, hearing none,                         
  declared HB 128 passed from the committee with individual                    
  recommendations, as amended.                                                 
  CHAIR BUNDE brought HB 122 to the table.                                     
  HB 122:  CHILD CUSTODY PROCEDURES                                            
  Number 023                                                                   
  CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, STAFF COUNSEL for the ALASKA COURT                        
  SYSTEM, testified in Juneau on HB 122.  He said the bill was                 
  introduced by the House Judiciary Committee at the request                   
  of the Alaska Supreme Court.  He stated that while it should                 
  be a simple, noncontroversial bill, anything dealing with                    
  child care attracts attention.  He read from his February                    
  28, 1993, letter to the co-chairs of the House Health,                       
  Education and Social Services Committee (which is on file in                 
  the committee room).  The letter summarizes the history of                   
  the state's mediation statute.  A task force on mediation in                 
  1990 recommended the statutory change contained in HB 122.                   
  When a court considers granting shared custody of a child to                 
  divorcing parents, he said, the court had to consider                        
  factors including the child's preference and needs, the                      
  stability of the home environment, and any findings of a                     
  neutral mediator.                                                            
  MR. CHRISTENSEN said HB 122 proposes to eliminate the                        
  requirement that a court consider the findings of a neutral                  
  mediator.  The task force considered that the statute                        
  endangers the mediation process and contradicts the state                    
  Supreme Court's majority view that mediation communications                  
  should be confidential, he said.  He also said that the                      
  court did not want mediators to make recommendations about                   
  how to resolve disputes, but to guide both sides to a mutual                 
  decision.  He stated the basic problem was that the drafter                  
  of the statute confused mediation with arbitration.  He                      
  defined an arbitrator as a third party who heard disputes                    
  and recommended to a judge which side should prevail.  He                    
  defined a mediator as a facilitator who helps two sides                      
  resolve differences, if possible, but who makes no                           
  recommendations to a judge.                                                  
  Number 080                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked if the state Supreme Court often asked the                  
  legislature to repeal a law.                                                 
  MR. CHRISTENSEN answered that the constitution directs the                   
  Supreme Court to administer the judicial branch of                           
  government, and each year, the court submitted four or five                  
  bills, usually through the Judiciary Committee, which are                    
  usually technical changes to statutes directly affecting the                 
  courts.  The court did not request changes concerning public                 
  policy, as those laws are outside its purview, he said.                      
  Requests for changes in law, such as the one contained in                    
  HB 122, are usually narrowly defined changes, he said.  He                   
  noted that the bill arose from a specific legislative                        
  directive to deal with the issue.                                            
  Number 106                                                                   
  EMIL PORTSCHELLER JR. spoke via teleconference from the                      
  Mat-Su on HB 122.  He asked whether other public agencies                    
  had submitted testimony on HB 122, and said he would prefer                  
  to wait and testify after them.                                              
  Number 127                                                                   
  VINCENT VITALE, an attorney in anchorage with 20 years'                      
  experience, half of that in family law, testified via                        
  teleconference from Anchorage, commenting on HB 122.  He                     
  said he did not think a mediator's communications in a                       
  matter of family law were privileged, and that a judge could                 
  order a mediator to testify.  He said some judges have ruled                 
  that the best interests of a child in a custody case                         
  overrode the confidentiality of a relationship between a                     
  patient and a psychologist or counselor.  He said that, in                   
  the absence of a specific law, a mediator's communications                   
  would not be protected from a judge's order to testify.  He                  
  agreed with Mr. Christensen that a mediator's communication                  
  ought to be kept confidential.                                               
  MR. VITALE said he hoped HB 122 would confirm the                            
  distinction between a mediator and a guardian ad litem,                      
  under title 25.23.310, so that there was no inference drawn                  
  that advocates of children in divorce cases did not have                     
  free access to the court.  He said the definition of                         
  mediator was clear, but it might be good to include it in                    
  the legislative history.  He said if the committee wanted                    
  the statute to shield mediators from involvement in the                      
  litigation process, they should specifically state that                      
  parties entering mediation are guaranteed confidentiality.                   
  He also suggested soliciting input from three organizations:                 
  the Alaska Psychological Association, the Alaska Bar                         
  Association (ABA)'s Family Law Committee, and the Alaska                     
  Association of Family and Marital Therapists.                                
  Number 176                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Vitale if he supported HB 122 in                       
  MR. VITALE said he had no problem with the bill as written,                  
  but he was offering suggestions to expand it.                                
  CHAIR BUNDE asked him to submit his testimony in writing.                    
  Number 188                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked if Mr. Vitale and a client would talk to a                  
  mediator knowing that the mediator might be forced to                        
  testify against his client in court.                                         
  MR. VITALE answered that the lawyer was not involved in                      
  mediation.  He said he would send a client to mediation with                 
  the knowledge that a mediator could be subpoenaed.  He said                  
  he would prefer that a client could enter mediation with a                   
  guarantee that the proceedings were confidential.                            
  Number 210                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY repeated his question.                                            
  MR. VITALE answered that sometimes mediation was preferable                  
  to litigation, because litigation discouraged parties to a                   
  dispute to make mediation work.                                              
  Number 233                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked whether Mr. Vitale was testifying that                      
  HB 122 would be a disincentive to mediation.                                 
  MR. VITALE said the bill was a step in the right direction,                  
  as it took the mediator out of the loop.  He suggested again                 
  that the committee may want to talk with the ABA to consider                 
  giving mediators the confidentiality they lacked.                            
  REP. VEZEY remarked that the legislature could not override                  
  constitutionally protected privileges.                                       
  MR. VITALE said there was no recognized privilege for a                      
  mediator, and he was not suggesting creating a new kind of                   
  privilege.  He said the policy of the legislation ought to                   
  encourage mediation by granting mediators confidentiality.                   
  REP. VEZEY asked whether the legislature could determine for                 
  the judiciary what was privileged or not.                                    
  MR. VITALE said he would not recommend the committee take                    
  action without consulting with the organizations he                          
  mentioned earlier.  He again encouraged confidentiality, not                 
  a special privilege, for mediators.                                          
  Number 255                                                                   
  MR. PORTSCHELLER testified in opposition to HB 122.  He said                 
  the judiciary should keep in mind the best interests of                      
  children.  He disputed Mr. Christensen's claim that HB 122                   
  was a noncontroversial bill.  He said the judiciary should                   
  not propose laws in the legislature.  He opposed removing                    
  the requirement that a court consider a neutral mediator's                   
  findings and recommendations when awarding shared child                      
  custody.  He said such statutes protect the interests of                     
  children, but do not include precise requirements that the                   
  courts follow recommendations from mediators or arbitrators                  
  in child custody cases.  He wanted the law to require the                    
  courts to take note of such information for later reference.                 
  He said a statute that is little-used is not necessarily                     
  nonfunctional.  He said shielding mediators was not an issue                 
  in HB 122, but requiring in statute the use of mediators in                  
  child custody cases worked toward the best interests of                      
  children.  He suggested law to require judges to outline how                 
  they used information provided to make a child custody                       
  decision, including information from a mediator.  He said                    
  the bill was a political move by the judiciary.  He asked                    
  the committee not to pass HB 122, but to improve the court                   
  system's treatment of children in child custody cases.                       
  Number 335                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Portscheller if he officially                          
  represented any groups.                                                      
  MR. PORTSCHELLER said he did not officially represent any                    
  group, but he had spoken with the Alaska Family Support                      
  Group, the Area-wide Community Service Council in the                        
  Mat-Su, and people "in the legal realm."                                     
  Number 343                                                                   
  REP. NICHOLIA asked Mr. Portscheller to have those groups                    
  submit testimony for themselves.                                             
  MR. PORTSCHELLER repeated that he was not officially                         
  representing any group, but his testimony agreed with their                  
  CHAIR BUNDE invited him again to submit his testimony in                     
  Number 356                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked Mr. Portscheller his opinion of how the                     
  mediation process was supposed to work in child custody                      
  MR. PORTSCHELLER said mediation can be used long before                      
  litigation to work out many points of conflict with less                     
  aggravation to both sides.  He encouraged more employment of                 
  mediators and less interference by judges.                                   
  Number 400                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS encouraged Mr. Portscheller to provide written                 
  testimony on HB 122 to the House Judiciary Committee.  He                    
  asked if Mr. Portscheller objected to passage of the bill to                 
  the House Judiciary Committee.                                               
  Number 410                                                                   
  MR. PORTSCHELLER said he had questions about the process by                  
  which the bill was presented to the legislature.  He said he                 
  would have wished to hear more testimony from various                        
  interested organizations and individuals, and would have                     
  wished more public notice of the possibility of testifying                   
  by the public.                                                               
  Number 427                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said the House Health, Education and Social                      
  Services Committee (HESS) had met the statutory five-day                     
  notice requirement.  He said teleconferences are not done by                 
  invitation only; the public is always encouraged to                          
  participate, and he took offense at the implication that                     
  access to the HESS Committee had been restricted.  He                        
  encouraged Mr. Portscheller and others to participate in the                 
  Judiciary Committee meeting by teleconference.                               
  MR. PORTSCHELLER said those in the Mat-Su had been told the                  
  teleconference was by invitation only, which gave rise to                    
  questions as to how to best provide information.                             
  Number 447                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS said the committee was concerned with the                      
  process and was looking for ways to improve it.                              
  CHAIR BUNDE, hearing no further requests for public                          
  testimony, closed public testimony on HB 122 and invited the                 
  committee's discussion on the bill.                                          
  Number 451                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS moved passage of HB 122 from the committee                     
  with individual recommendations and asked for unanimous                      
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections and, hearing none, declared                 
  HB 122 passed from the committee with individual                             
  CHAIR BUNDE announced that the teleconferenced portion of                    
  the meeting was ended.  He brought to the table the                          
  confirmations for various boards.                                            
  Number 470                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for public testimony on the appointees to                  
  the BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS:  Patricia G. Connors-                   
  Allen, DC, of Juneau; LeRoy D. Nordstrom, DC, of Anchorage;                  
  and Glenne M. Ralls of Anchorage.  Chair Bunde said the                      
  committee members had been provided resumes for the                          
  appointees.  He asked the will of the committee.                             
  REP. VEZEY raised a point of order, asking whether it would                  
  not be more appropriate to address each individual, for the                  
  record.  He said he was running behind the chair in                          
  following the names of appointees.                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE said that was his intent.                                        
  REP. VEZEY said he would be glad to move individual names                    
  for passage.                                                                 
  CHAIR BUNDE stated, "Patricia Connors-Allen has been moved                   
  for approval by the chair.  Discussion on this individual,                   
  please."  He said the committee heard the names, then passed                 
  them to the Speaker of the House, and the full House would                   
  vote on the appointments.  He said the committee members                     
  could not retain the appointments in committee, but were                     
  merely to hear testimony and discussion on the appointments                  
  and pass them along with recommendations of do pass, no                      
  recommendation, or do not pass.                                              
  REP. VEZEY called the question.                                              
  CHAIR BUNDE said, "You're moving that Ms. Connors-Allen be                   
  passed forward with individual recommendations?"                             
  REP. VEZEY replied, "Well, that's what I tried                               
  (unintelligible).  I thought you made the motion.  Would you                 
  like me to make the motion?"                                                 
  CHAIR BUNDE said,  "I had moved for consideration and ..."                   
  Number 498                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY stated, "I will move that we pass the name of                     
  Patricia G. Connors-Allen out of the HESS Committee on to                    
  the body of the whole for approval as a member of the Board                  
  of Chiropractic Examiners."                                                  
  CHAIR BUNDE said, "With individual recommendations ..."                      
  REP. VEZEY replied, "With individual -- with no                              
  recommendations.  Without recommendations."                                  
  CHAIR BUNDE stated, "Without recommendations.  Uh, is there                  
  any objection?"                                                              
  REP. G. DAVIS said the process might go faster if the                        
  committee members would study the list of appointees, then                   
  express objections to anyone on the form, if necessary.                      
  CHAIR BUNDE said the chair would prefer to go through the                    
  list name by name, rather than by groups.  He said it might                  
  be easier for him to read the names and for members to voice                 
  any objections at that time.  He said he heard no objections                 
  to Patricia Connors-Allen, and asked whether the committee's                 
  preference was to advance her name with no recommendations.                  
  He noted that it was possible to allow recommendations.                      
  Number 508                                                                   
  CHAIR TOOHEY asked for an at-ease.                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting back to order at 4:25 p.m.,                   
  and said each member would be allowed to write a personal                    
  recommendation on each appointee if they desired.  He said                   
  he would read the names into the record.  He repeated that                   
  the committee could not prevent the advancement of any name.                 
  He said if any member wanted to persuade the committee                       
  concerning any recommendation, then they should stop him as                  
  he read the list.                                                            
  BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS                                              
       Patricia G. Connors-Allen, DC  -   Juneau                               
       LeRoy D. Nordstrom, DC         -   Anchorage                            
       Glenne M. Ralls                -   Anchorage                            
  REP. BRICE asked whether Glenne Ralls was not a                              
  CHAIR BUNDE answered that Glenne Ralls was a public                          
  appointee to the board.  Hearing no objections, he moved on                  
  to the Board of Dispensing Opticians.                                        
  Number 525                                                                   
  BOARD OF DISPENSING OPTICIANS                                                
       Pamela L. Doerr               -    Cordova                              
       Beverly J. Gilfillan          -    Anchorage                            
       Patricia Hedges-Gajdos        -    Fairbanks                            
  Number 536                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked why the committee was considering Beverly                   
  J. Gilfillan, as his information indicated that she had been                 
  appointed in 1992.                                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE answered that Ms. Gilfillan had never been                       
  REP. B. DAVIS asked why Chair Bunde had skipped the Board of                 
  Dental Examiners.  She then realized that the chair had a                    
  different list of boards than she did.                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE said the Board of Dental Examiners would be                      
  heard Monday, March 29, 1993.                                                
  BOARD OF EDUCATION                                                           
       Donald L. Fancher             -    Bethel                               
       Judy L. Norton                -    Eagle River                          
  TAPE 93-39, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  The committee members discussed the package containing                       
  resumes of the appointees to the various boards.                             
  BOARD OF PHARMACY                                                            
       Charles J. Lastufka           -    Anchorage                            
       Pauline L. Bennett-Gannon     -    Fairbanks                            
       Arlene C. Gerety              -    Anchorage                            
       Cary S. Keller, MD            -    Fairbanks                            
       Lawrence W. Seethaler, LPT    -    Anchorage                            
  PROFESSIONAL TEACHING PRACTICES COMMISSION                                   
       Brian L. Carter               -    North Pole                           
       Richard E. Clevenger          -    Ketchikan                            
       Peggy E. Conner Jones         -    Anchorage                            
       Fred L. Lau                   -    Nenana                               
       William A. McCain             -    Wasilla                              
       Marsha K. Van Abel            -    Anchorage                            
       Tyler D. Shaw                 -    Eagle River                          
       Robb L. Stokes, Ph.D.         -    Sitka                                
  BOARD OF CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK EXAMINERS                                      
       Ken P. Fallon, Jr. MSW, ACSW  -    Palmer                               
       Kris Jenkins                  -    North Pole                           
  BOARD OF MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPY                                          
       Mercy Dennis                  -    Anchorage                            
       Randall G. Jones              -    Anchorage                            
       Dennis Schlotfeldt, Ph.D.     -    Fairbanks                            
       R. Brock Shamberg, Esq.       -    Anchorage                            
       Elaine Stoneburner            -    Anchorage                            
  BOARD OF CERTIFIED DIRECT-ENTRY MIDWIVES                                     
       Peggy A. Downing, MD          -    Palmer                               
       Sydney Flint                  -    Fairbanks                            
       Kaye Kanne                    -    Juneau                               
       Paula Korn, CNM               -    Anchorage                            
       Pam Weaver                    -    Chugiak                              
  BOARD OF NURSING                                                             
       Belle L. Cunningham, LPN      -    Anchorage                            
       Marion K. Lampman             -    Anchorage                            
       Betsy B. McCune, RN           -    Eagle River                          
  BOARD OF EXAMINERS IN OPTOMETRY                                              
       Lynn J. Coon, OD              -    Wasilla                              
       Steven S. Dobson, OD          -    Anchorage                            
       Marilyn S. Porter             -    Anchorage                            
  BOARD OF VETERINARY EXAMINERS                                                
       Virginia M. Johnson, DVM      -    Anchorage                            
       James Leach, III, DVM         -    Big Lake                             
       Barbara J. Marcisak           -    Palmer                               
  CHAIR BUNDE said he knew Dr. James Leach and expressed                       
  confidence in his ability as a veterinarian and in his                       
  fitness to serve on the board.                                               
  Number 106                                                                   
  UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA BOARD OF REGENTS                                        
       R. Danforth Ogg               -    Kodiak                               
       Mary Jane Fate                -    Fairbanks                            
  REP. BRICE said Mary Jane Fate would offer valuable insight                  
  to some of the university's needs.                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE announced that the committee would transmit the                  
  appointees' names to the Speaker of the House with the                       
  committee members' individual recommendations.  He said the                  
  committee staff would provide copies of the transmittal                      
  letters to all members the next day.                                         
  There being no further business, CHAIR BUNDE ADJOURNED the                   
  meeting at 4:44 p.m.                                                         
  CHAIR BUNDE then RECONVENED the meeting at 4:45 p.m. to hear                 
  HB 30.  He brought HB 30 to the table.                                       
  HB 30:  HUMAN SERVICES MATCHING GRANTS                                       
  REP. TOM BRICE spoke as PRIME SPONSOR of HB 30.  He said the                 
  bill would allow second-class boroughs over 65,000                           
  population participate in human services community matching                  
  block grant programs, and disqualifies from such programs                    
  cities which lie within boroughs that do participate in such                 
  programs.  The effect of the bill would be to allow the                      
  Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) to get into the                          
  community matching block grant program if the borough's                      
  voters voted to assume human services responsibilities for                   
  the borough.                                                                 
  Number 161                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if Rep. Brice had received support from                    
  the city and the borough.                                                    
  REP. BRICE said the bill packets included resolutions of                     
  support from the governments of the Fairbanks North Star                     
  Borough and the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole.                          
  Number 170                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said he disagreed with Rep. Brice.  He said the                   
  citizens of the FNSB have long resisted increasing                           
  government responsibility and attendant taxes.  He called                    
  the bill an effort by the governments to use the chance for                  
  matching grant money to entice voters into accepting human                   
  services responsibilities.                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. Vezey's reaction to the resolutions                   
  of support for HB 30.                                                        
  Number 200                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY responded that the FNSB had changed its position                  
  several times on the issue over the past 10 years, and that                  
  voters have more than once declined to pay more fees for                     
  more services.  The city of North Pole was not really                        
  involved because it was not their tax base, he said.  He                     
  stated that the city of Fairbanks was probably eager to have                 
  the FNSB remove the possibility that the city might have to                  
  assume human services responsibilities.                                      
  REP. BRICE agreed that only those whose taxes paid for a                     
  service should be allowed to use it.  He said the bill made                  
  it possible for the FNSB to receive matching grant funds if                  
  it chose to accept health care responsibilities, but did not                 
  mandate the borough take such responsibilities on.  He said                  
  the bill would not raise the cost to the borough much, as                    
  the changes to the definition of the term "municipality"                     
  would allow many nonprofit corporations, when making                         
  applications to the federal government, to cite the entire                   
  borough as their service areas.                                              
  Number 252                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said he did not want to get entangled in the                     
  issue of imposition of services.  He said he would feel more                 
  comfortable by having a teleconference to gather public                      
  testimony before making a decision.  He announced his                        
  intention to hold the bill for a week so that a                              
  teleconference could be arranged.                                            
  REP. B. DAVIS asked whether the House Community and Regional                 
  Affairs Committee (CRA) had had a teleconferenced hearing on                 
  HB 30.                                                                       
  AN UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN'S VOICE answered that CRA had not had                  
  a teleconferenced hearing on HB 30.                                          
  Number 272                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE announced his intention not to hold the bill                     
  indefinitely, but until there had been time for a                            
  teleconference to be arranged.                                               
  REP. BRICE asked if the bill was held to a time certain, but                 
  he was not answered.                                                         
  CHAIR BUNDE then ADJOURNED the meeting a second time, at                     
  4:53 p.m.                                                                    

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