Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/14/1993 03:00 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE April 14, 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. Pete Kott Rep. Harley Olberg Rep. Bettye Davis Rep. Irene Nicholia Rep. Tom Brice MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HJR 36: Urging the federal Department of Health and Human Services to repeal the "100-hour rule" relating to employment of certain persons receiving AFDC and to replace it with a regulation that will serve as an incentive for AFDC recipients to accept part-time employment. PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS HB 106: "An Act establishing the Alaska education technology program; and providing for an effective date." PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS HCR 17: Relating to a health insurance pool established for residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS, AS AMENDED Confirmation Hearing - Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners (* First public hearing.) WITNESS REGISTER JAN HENSEN, Director Division of Public Assistance Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110640 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0640 (907) 465-2680 Position statement: Testified in support of HJR 36 KAREN CRANE, Director Archives, Libraries, Museum Department of Education P.O. Box 110571 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0571 Phone: (907) 465-2910 Position statement: Testified in support of HB 106 KEN SYKES, Insurance Analyst Division of Insurance Department of Commerce and Economic Development P.O. Box 110805 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0805 Phone: (907) 465-2564 Position statement: Raised questions on HB 106 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 36 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL 100 HOUR RULE FOR AFDC PROGRAM BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BRICE,Navarre,B.Davis, Finkelstein,Brown,Nordlund,James,Menard TITLE: Urging the federal Department of Health and Human Services to repeal the "100-hour rule" relating to employment of certain persons receiving AFDC and to replace it with a regulation that will serve as an incentive for AFDC recipients to accept part-time employment. JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/26/93 793 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/26/93 793 (H) HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES 04/07/93 1094 (H) COSPONSOR(S): MENARD 04/14/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 106 SHORT TITLE: EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BROWN,Ulmer,Davidson, Bunde,B.Davis,Carney,Nordlund,Brice,Nicholia,Davies,Willis TITLE: "An Act establishing the Alaska education technology program; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/29/93 180 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/29/93 180 (H) HES, FINANCE 03/10/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/10/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/14/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HCR 17 SHORT TITLE: KENAI PENINSULA INSURANCE POOL BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) G.DAVIS TITLE: Relating to a health insurance pool established for residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/24/93 760 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/24/93 760 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE, HES, FINANCE 04/06/93 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 04/06/93 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 04/07/93 1057 (H) L&C RPT 6DP 04/07/93 1057 (H) DP: PORTER, MACKIE, MULDER, WILLIAMS 04/07/93 1057 (H) DP: GREEN, HUDSON 04/07/93 1057 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE(H.L&C/ALL DEPTS)4/7/93 04/13/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/13/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/14/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-65, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting to order at 3:08 p.m., noted members present, and announced the calendar. He called HJR 36 to the table. HJR 36: REPEAL 100-HOUR RULE FOR AFDC CHAIR BUNDE noted that Rep. Brice had a committee substitute (CS) for HJR 36 with amendments suggested by the Department of Education. He invited Rep. Brice to present his CS, after which the committee would take public testimony. REP. BRICE MOVED the committee adopt CSHJR 36 (LSO911\k) as a working document. CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections, and heard none. He invited Rep. Brice to speak to his CS. Number 052 REP. BRICE said he had a position paper from the Department of Health and Social Services, and said the CS addressed the department's concerns. He noted the sponsor statement outlining the need for the resolution and encouraging the administration to support it. He offered to answer questions. Number 067 JAN HENSEN, DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, testified in Juneau in support of HJR 36. She said that the department had been considering seeking some kind of waiver of the 100- hour rule when it was considering welfare reform earlier in the year. She said her division had given a position paper to Gov. Walter Hickel, who had transferred it to President Clinton, which outlined six or seven areas in which the state hoped to see changes in welfare, including repeal of the 100-hour rule. She said that because Alaska had high pay standards, residents were discouraged from accepting full-time employment. She said encouraging the federal government to change its regulations would cost the state much less than having to go through a waiver process. (Rep. B. Davis arrived at 3:13 p.m.) REP. VEZEY asked for an explanation of the changes in the CS. REP. BRICE said that the change came on page 2, lines 9-10, asking the federal government to adopt regulations to encourage AFDC recipients to accept employment regardless of the number of hours they work, remaining eligible for benefits as long as they earned no more than the state standard of need. MS. HENSEN said that the key change was that the original bill referred to part-time employment which was already allowed. She said the most significant change permitted the state to allow AFDC recipients to accept full-time work of more than 100 hours. Number 125 REP. VEZEY said the only change seemed to be on lines 9-11, and that he did not see a big change. He asked if there were other changes. MS. HENSEN said there were changes on lines 3 and 4 that would allow AFDC recipients to accept work of more than 100 hours per month as an incentive. REP. VEZEY said he did not see that the change was necessary, but thanked Ms. Hensen anyway. Number 141 REP. G. DAVIS said the change sounded like a good idea. He asked if other states had successfully gotten such waivers. MS. HENSEN said no state had succeeded in getting the federal government to change the regulation. However, she said she believed there was a strong consensus among states for a repeal of the federal 100-hour rule. She said it did not matter to some states that pay very little, and in some Southern states where pay is low, people working 100 hours a week (month) would not qualify for welfare. It is more of an issue in states with more moderate payment standards. She said the pressure from a variety of forces and states seeking repeal of the rule could persuade the federal government to drop it, she said. Number 161 CHAIR BUNDE asked what the resolution would actually accomplish. MS. HENSEN said that if the resolution did not work, the state would next seek a waiver of the rule. She said the state strategy was to influence the federal government, as the 100-hour rule was not in statute, but in regulation. She said Alaska, other states, and some advocacy think-tanks believed that the Clinton administration could make the change. She said efforts to influence the rule were not a futile exercise. Number 174 REP. VEZEY asked the minimum wage a person could accept in a full-time job and justify getting off public assistance. MS. HENSEN asked if the question was how much income would put a person over the needs standard. Number 182 REP. VEZEY said no, but no one would have the economic incentive to leave welfare rolls and work for the minimum wage, as it would be a cut in income. He asked how much a full-time job would have to pay to induce a person to leave public assistance. MS. HENSEN said she did not have that figure, but could get it for him. She said she could calculate the break-even point, and said a department study on welfare's impact on self-sufficiency showed what welfare recipients said they needed to get off public assistance. Number 198 REP. BRICE noted that an article reporting the welfare and dependency study was present in the bill packets for HJR 36. MS. HENSEN said that, as reported on page 14 of the article, 11 percent of clients said a monthly salary of up to $1,100 would be enough to make them drop welfare; 14 percent said from $1,100 and $1,300; 21 percent said $1,300 to $1,500; and 21 percent said they required at least $2,000 per month before they would give up welfare benefits. CHAIR BUNDE said that 21 percent of the clients responding could leave welfare to work for the legislature. Number 216 REP. VEZEY added that he would divide the monthly pay levels by 173 hours to arrive at an hourly wage. REP. OLBERG said that $1,100 per month equalled about $6 per hour. Number 226 CHAIR BUNDE asked for any other questions or testimony on the measure, then asked the pleasure of the committee. REP. B. DAVIS MOVED PASSAGE OF CSHJR 36 FROM THE COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS. CHAIR BUNDE called for objections and, hearing none, declared CSHJR 36 PASSED FROM THE COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS. He then brought HB 106 to the table. HB 106: EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM CHAIR BUNDE noted that it was the second time the bill had been before the committee. He invited Rep. Kay Brown to speak to the bill. Number 244 REP. KAY BROWN, PRIME SPONSOR, gave a brief presentation on the provisions of HB 106. (Rep. Brown gave a detailed presentation on HB 106 on March 10, 1993. The records of that meeting are on file.) She said HB 106 would establish an Education Technology Program in the Department of Education. She gave the program's highlights: technological assistance to school districts and libraries; training for teachers; a plan for computer networks; a departmental directive to coordinate existing resources; establishment of a fund requiring matching funds (though HB 106 did not deposit money into the fund). She said another bill in the committee, HB 107, provided for capitalization of the fund. She said HB 106 also established eligibility pre-requisites for libraries or districts for grants. CHAIR BUNDE observed that the local match formula in HB 106 was based on the formula contained in HB 82, and that HB 82 had been amended to include a five percent minimum match and to exclude a sliding scale. Number 274 REP. BROWN said she had asked Rep. MacLean, chair of the House Finance Committee, whether she anticipated more changes to the matching formula in HB 82, and was answered that such changes were likely. Rep. Brown said she was willing to adjust her matching formula with the formula in HB 82 as amended. She said that if the bill passed in its current form, she would move a conforming amendment in the House Finance Committee. CHAIR BUNDE said he would prefer the matching formula in HB 106 coincide with the formula in the committee substitute for HB 82 as amended by the HESS Committee. REP. BROWN also said HB 106 would provide for an education technology committee to develop funding distribution guidelines; would amend the school report card to include reporting on technology; and would require a survey of public school and library technology resources. Number 306 REP. BROWN noted that there were two fiscal notes from the Department of Education, and that the third fiscal note, from the Department of Revenue's treasury division, would not apply until the fund was capitalized. She claimed broad support from educators for her bill. She said the Alaska Association of School Boards liked the bill and was concerned about technology as an important element of education that was absent in the Alaska 2000 reform effort. She said passing HB 106 was important, even before the Education Technology Fund was capitalized. Number 327 CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. Brown how she would define an equitable distribution of funds. Number 330 REP. BROWN said one measure would be per-capita basis. She said other criteria would be the current level of technology in a particular school; the size of classes; the number of teachers; and the location of the school. She said it was probably better not to legislate a specific formula. She said it would be easier to allocate money after knowing how much money was available to allocate. Number 360 KAREN CRANE, DIRECTOR OF ARCHIVES, LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, testified in Juneau to reiterate the support of the commissioner and the department for HB 106. She noted that the commissioner felt that the bill, and technology, should play a strong role in the Alaska 2000 effort. She noted that the bill also had the support of the Alaska Library Association, as the bill also addressed library needs. Number 375 CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. Brown if she would consider as a friendly amendment a change to HB 106 calling for the matching formula would be the same as that in CSHB 82(HES). (Rep. Toohey arrived at 3:32 p.m.) REP. BROWN responded she would consider that a friendly amendment. She noted that the language was on page 6 starting with line 5. She added that the HESS Committee had not adopted the proposed committee substitute, which she identified as being drafted by Ford and dated 2/16/93. She said the CS made minor changes relating to libraries, upon which she had worked with Ms. Crane. Number 402 CHAIR BUNDE asked if Rep. Brown was referring to the CS of HB 106. REP. BROWN answered yes, and pointed out the location of the amendment on page 6 of the CS. She asked if CSHB 82(HES) included a phase-in period. CHAIR BUNDE answered that it did not. Number 406 REP. BROWN noted that page 9 of her proposed CS did have a phase-in provision, modeled after that in the governor's original version of HB 82, but which had been cut from HB 82 by the HESS Committee. She said, "The committee might wish to adopt a conceptual amendment and direct the drafters to make this language conform to the earlier - that's what I did in requesting this draft, was asking them to make it conform to HB 82." CHAIR BUNDE said the HESS Committee wanted the language in the CSHB 106 to conform to the HESS committee version of HB 82 instead of the governor's original version. (Rep. Toohey arrived at 3:32 p.m.) Number 415 CHAIR BUNDE said that he needed a motion to adopt the CS version of HB 106 in order to proceed procedurally. (Rep. Kott arrived at 3:35 p.m.) REP. BRICE MOVED the committee adopt CSHB 106 as a working draft of the bill. Number 420 CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections and heard none. He said the amendment before the committee was the conceptual amendment that he and Rep. Brown had been discussing, which would amend the matching grant provisions in CSHB 106 to match the provisions in CSHB 82(HES). REP. BRICE MOVED the conceptual amendment suggested by Chair Bunde. Number 425 CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections and heard none. He declared that the committee was now considering CSHB 106 as amended. He asked for further discussion. REP. B. DAVIS asked if there were other people wanting to testify on the bill. CHAIR BUNDE said he had heard none. He then closed public testimony and asked the pleasure of the committee. Number 438 REP. B. DAVIS MOVED PASSAGE OF CSHB 106 FROM THE COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS and asked for unanimous consent. REP. OLBERG OBJECTED. CHAIR BUNDE invited Rep. Olberg to speak to his objection. REP. OLBERG declined. CHAIR BUNDE called for a roll call vote on the motion. Those voting yes were: Reps. Toohey, Bunde, G. Davis, Kott, B. Davis and Brice. Those voting no were: Reps. Vezey and Olberg. The motion PASSED 6-2. Chair Bunde declared CSHB 106 as amended by the Hess Committee had PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS. He then brought HCR 17 to the table. HCR 17: KENAI PENINSULA INSURANCE POOL Number 455 REP. G. DAVIS said that the CS for HCR 17 addressed the concerns raised by the committee during the previous day's discussion of the resolution. He said that the change on page 1, line 4, changed the language to "a significant number of residents" instead of nearly 90,000 residents. He said page 3, lines 9-12, changed the language to reflect more generic language instead of the detailed aspects of the Kenai Peninsula Borough's (KPB) proposed plan. He said there had been concern expressed the day before over the zero fiscal note which included a request for financial support. He said that language on page 3, line 14, of the original resolution had been changed to request the governor and commissioner of Health and Social Services to offer support and assistance to the Kenai council, instead of financial support. However, he said he hoped that such support might include some degree of financial support. He said the Division of Insurance had raised questions concerning the resolution, but he said they were not relevant to the insurance investigation. He said it was up to the council to make sure they met state statutes in working on the program. Number 493 (Rep. Brice departed at 3:42 p.m.) KEN SYKES, INSURANCE ANALYST FOR THE DIVISION OF INSURANCE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, asked Rep. G. Davis what was meant on page 3, line 17, of CSHCR 17 which mentioned a "modified Health Maintenance Organization" (HMO). REP. G. DAVIS answered that the Kenai Peninsula Borough Task Force (KPBTF) was proposing an organization that they did not feel was a true HMO and so coined the term "modified HMO" to describe an element of its proposal. Number 511 REP. TOOHEY thanked Rep. G. Davis for making elements of HCR 17 less precise, and said she did not believe the state should be held to anything in the resolution. She said she believed the KPBTF health plan was imperfect, as were others. She said for the record that HCR 17 merely encouraged the KPB, upon a vote by the people, to try out a system. She asserted that the resolution created no obligation on anyone. REP. G. DAVIS agreed with Rep. Toohey. He said it had been overlooked during the prior day's discussion that page 3, line 9, of the resolution included a "resolved" clause that made the plan subject to a referendum vote by borough residents. REP. TOOHEY said she appreciated that, and she wished the residents of the KPB great luck with the plan. Number 528 CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony on the resolution, but continued committee discussion of the resolution. REP. KOTT said he could not recall spending so much time on a simple concurrent resolution. However, he said that he would be more comfortable with the original language which was replaced by the words "significant number of residents" on page 1, line 4. However, he said his discomfort would not force him to vote against the resolution. Number 541 CHAIR BUNDE said that significant was a statistical measure, meaning enough so that it mattered. REP. KOTT said that it must therefore be necessary to address the confidence level of the statistical analysis. CHAIR BUNDE indicated that he was duly impressed and one- upped by the statistical knowledge demonstrated by his colleague. Number 548 REP. OLBERG commented, "If this resolution was a horse, we'd all be in jail for animal abuse. Unless someone else wants to beat this thing to death, I would be prepared to make a motion if the chair would be so inclined." CHAIR BUNDE invited him to do so. REP. OLBERG MOVED PASSAGE OF CSHCR 17 WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS. REP. B. DAVIS asked if the committee had yet adopted the CS. REP. OLBERG amended his motion to include adopting the CS. Number 553 CHAIR BUNDE repeated the motion to adopt the CS to HCR 17, and to pass it from the committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objections, he declared CSHCR 17(HES) PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS. CHAIR BUNDE then brought to the table the confirmation hearings for two appointees to the Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners. CONFIRMATION HEARING - BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGIST AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATE EXAMINERS Number 560 CHAIR BUNDE called for public testimony on the confirmation of Bruno M. Kappes, Ph.D. to the Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners and, hearing none, closed public testimony. He asked the pleasure of the committee. REP. TOOHEY MOVED the committee pass the appointment on to the floor of the House. REP. KOTT asked if any member knew of any reason why the appointment should not be passed along. CHAIR BUNDE said that if there were, he would have noted it. Number 571 CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections to the motion, and hearing none, DECLARED THAT THE APPOINTEE'S NAME WOULD BE ADVANCED TO THE HOUSE. He noted that the members should sign the regular form indicating that they had studied his record, but was making no representations as to how they would vote on the final confirmation on the floor. CHAIR BUNDE announced that the committee would hold a brief meeting the following day. He then ADJOURNED the meeting at 4:50 p.m.