Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/23/1995 03:05 PM House HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
          HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                          
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                       February 23, 1995                                       
                           3:05 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Con Bunde, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Gary Davis                                                     
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Caren Robinson                                                 
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 BRIEFING:  Alaska Native Health Board                                         
 * HB 104:  "An Act relating to disclosures of information about               
            certain minors."                                                   
            HEARD AND HELD                                                     
 * HB 125:  "An Act relating to disclosures to school officials of             
            information about certain minors."                                 
            HEARD AND HELD                                                     
 (* First public hearing.)                                                     
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 ANNE WALKER, Executive Director                                               
 Alaska Native Health Board                                                    
 1345 Rudakof Circle, Suite 206                                                
 Anchorage, AK  99508                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 337-0028                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Briefed HESS Committee members on the Alaska             
                      Native Health Board                                      
 ROBERT J. CLARK, Chief Executive Officer                                      
 Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation                                           
 Alaska Native Health Board member                                             
 P.O. Box 130                                                                  
 Dillingham, AK  99576                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 842-5201                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Briefed HESS Committee members on the Alaska             
                      Native Health Board                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Room 432, State Capitol                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided sponsor statement for HB 104.                   
 ROD MOURANT, Administrative Assistant                                         
 Representative Pete Kott's Office                                             
 Room 432, State Capitol                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 104.                            
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, Staff Counsel                                              
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 303 K Street                                                                  
 Anchorage, AK  99501                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 264-8228                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information for HB 104 and HB 125.              
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant                                            
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 Alaska Office Building                                                        
 350 Main Street, Room 229                                                     
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3030                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 104 and HB 125.               
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General                                      
 Department of Law                                                             
 Court Building, Room 717                                                      
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3428                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information for HB 104 and HB 125.              
 MELINDA GRUENING, Legislative Assistant                                       
 Representative Joe Green                                                      
 Room 24, State Capitol                                                        
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HB 125.                    
 CATHY TIBBLES, Director                                                       
 Division of Family and Youth Services                                         
 Alaska Office Building                                                        
 350 Main Street, Room 404                                                     
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3191                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information for HB 125.                          
 STEVE McPHETRES, Executive Director                                           
 Alaska Council of School Administrators                                       
 364 4th Street, Suite 404                                                     
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-9702                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 125.                             
 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director                                           
 National Education Association of Alaska                                      
 114 Second Street                                                             
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3090                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 125.                           
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 104                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: DISCLOSURE OF JUVENILE RECORDS                                   
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT,Bunde,Green                                
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/20/95       101    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/20/95       101    (H)   HES, JUD                                          
 01/25/95       136    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): GREEN                               
 02/10/95       301    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS           
 02/10/95       301    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/10/95       301    (H)   HES, JUD                                          
 02/23/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 125                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN,Toohey,Bunde                              
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/26/95       143    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/26/95       143    (H)   HES, JUD                                          
 02/23/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-10, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR CYNTHIA TOOHEY called the meeting of the House Health,               
 Education and Social Services standing committee to order at 3:05             
 p.m.  Present at the call to order were Representatives Toohey,               
 Bunde, Davis, Robinson, Vezey and Rokeberg.  She announced that a             
 quorum was present and read the calendar.                                     
 HHES - 02/23/94                                                               
 BRIEFING:  ALASKA NATIVE HEALTH BOARD                                       
 Number 064                                                                    
 ANNE WALKER, Executive Director for the Alaska Native Health Board            
 (ANHB), explained that the board was a statewide organization                 
 representing the 12 regional Native health consortiums around the             
 state, providing health care services to Alaska Natives.                      
 MS. WALKER handed out a briefing booklet to the HESS Committee                
 members. She said she would not go into detail about their many               
 priorities.  She said the HESS Committee members had heard some of            
 the priorities over the years, because the ANHB presents to them on           
 an annual basis.  She began with some public policy priorities.               
 She requested that HESS Committee members, as they look at cutting            
 the budget, keep in mind the essential public health services.  She           
 requested that the programs not be destroyed without thought.  Some           
 programs have taken many years to build.                                      
 MS. WALKER provided the example of the tuberculosis (TB) program.             
 She commended Co-Chair Toohey for being instrumental in making sure           
 the current TB epidemic in Northwest and Western Alaska does not              
 get out of hand and cause the number of deaths experienced in the             
 1940s and 1950s.                                                              
 Number 175                                                                    
 MS. WALKER said at this point, there is no multi-drug resistant TB            
 in this state.  There is, however, a strain that is drug resistant            
 to one drug.  The ANHB is making sure that people who have active             
 TB are quarantined if they are not taking their medications.  The             
 SEARHC hospital in Sitka is again being used as a TB sanitarium.              
 This is inappropriate for this day and age.  Ms. Walker thanked the           
 HESS Committee members for assisting the Department of Health and             
 Social Services (DHSS) in putting forth a supplemental to get the             
 TB program running again.                                                     
 MS. WALKER said that one of the questions she asked Karen Perdue,             
 commissioner of the DHSS in their meeting on the previous day was             
 if this epidemic and response was a forerunner of what will be seen           
 in the future for all the other public diseases that were scourges            
 and killed many of the Native people in the 1950s such as polio,              
 diphtheria and the whooping cough.                                            
 MS. WALKER urged the HESS Committee members to look at the budget             
 carefully and remember that the public health programs are                    
 absolutely essential.  They impact every single member of the                 
 Alaska population.                                                            
 Number 278                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY reminded Ms. Walker of the HIV/AIDS virus.  She               
 asked Ms. Walker to please not forget that disease.                           
 MS. WALKER assured Co-Chair Toohey that she had not forgotten it,             
 and would discuss it when she spoke of health promotion and disease           
 prevention.  She also expressed great concern over the fact that              
 Co-Chair Toohey recently withdrew HB 1, which would have mandated             
 the teaching of HIV/AIDS in public schools.  She said that                    
 mandatory school education is something that the ANHB has always              
 supported.  Ms. Walker said that people must be educated at a very            
 young age about the risks that they run, particularly in the area             
 of HIV because there is no cure.  Ms. Walker was disappointed when            
 she saw that HB 1 was withdrawn.                                              
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY explained that she asked her staff to find out from           
 the Department of Education (DOE) what schools were not teaching              
 HIV/AIDS.  The DOE was not able to provide that information, so Co-           
 Chair Toohey's staff called each of the 54 school districts in the            
 state.  Her staff found out that every single school in the state             
 of Alaska is teaching HIV/AIDS.  Most people said that two years              
 ago they were told a mandate was coming, and they had better begin            
 teaching now.  There is not one school in Alaska that is not                  
 teaching HIV/AIDS.                                                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY stressed that now, it is up to the ANHB, the Native           
 community, and all communities in Alaska to make sure the schools             
 are teaching the correct things.  That is up to the community,                
 because HB 1 stipulated that the community would come up with an              
 instructional program.  That is why the bill was withdrawn.                   
 Number 416                                                                    
 MS. WALKER said she knows of schools in Alaska that are not                   
 teaching HIV/AIDS.  The ANHB has an HIV/AIDS prevention project for           
 rural Alaska.  They have been denied entrance into schools because            
 HIV/AIDS must be discussed in terms of sexuality.  There are                  
 schools in rural Alaska that refuse to discuss sexuality.                     
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that Ms. Walker needs to speak with a member             
 of Co-Chair Toohey's staff, Marveen Coggins, and give her the names           
 of the schools that are not teaching HIV/AIDS.  Co-Chair Toohey               
 said if the schools lied to her, they will end up with no children            
 in their villages because everyone will be dead from AIDS.                    
 HHES - 02/23/95                                                               
 ROBERT CLARK, Chief Executive Officer, Bristol Bay Area Health                
 Corporation (BBAHC), spoke on HB 182, which is an Act allowing a              
 dentist to delegate certain duties to a dental assistant.  Mr.                
 Clark had spoken to the Chief of Staff at the BBAHC who is tied in            
 with the dental society.  A lot of the bush hospitals work very               
 closely with the private sector in Anchorage and elsewhere.  The              
 BBAHC serves most people in that area because there is just not any           
 other place to receive health care.  Therefore, it serves both                
 Natives and non-Natives, even though the BBAHC is technically a               
 government hospital system.                                                   
 MR. CLARK said that it was good that they served everyone, and the            
 hospital association would continue to serve everyone.  The BBAHC             
 has trained a lot of assistants to perform functions that legally             
 they are not allowed to provide, and particularly, bill for.  Most            
 people, including hygienists who cannot be everywhere, especially             
 the bush, believe that this practice is safe and it prevents                  
 situations that will cost a lot of money later.  He believes the              
 HESS Committee members will be receiving letters to that effect.              
 He is excited about the bill.                                                 
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked Mr. Clark to provide some people and letters            
 to testify in favor of the bill.                                              
 Number 569                                                                    
 MS. WALKER said that she would also like to address the HESS                  
 Committee members, the House of Representatives and the Senate                
 about rural village water and sanitation facilities construction.             
 In fiscal year (FY) 1993, the legislature appropriated $24 million,           
 in FY 94 $26.5 million, in FY 95 $21.7 million.  She is hoping that           
 the level of commitment be kept as high as possible, perhaps around           
 $25 million.  The ANHB has identified a $1 billion unmet need for             
 rural sanitation.  Last year the ANHB testified for the HESS                  
 Committee members that there were four deaths from Hepatitis A in             
 rural Alaska.  This is unforgivable in this day and age.                      
 MS. WALKER said the federal government has committed to a match of            
 funds.  The Alaska congressional delegation is very supportive and            
 the delegation looks forward to a match from the state of Alaska of           
 approximately the same amount of money.                                       
 MS. WALKER added the ANHB is beginning to chip away at this                   
 sanitation problem.  There are some new technologies coming around            
 where piped water and sewer is not absolutely required.  However,             
 running water and sewer is necessary so as to decrease the handling           
 of sewage by humans.  This decreases the contact with the Hepatitis           
 A virus.                                                                      
 Number 664                                                                    
 MS. WALKER continued that one of the things she is particularly               
 concerned about is a request that the Department of Environmental             
 Conservation (DEC) did not put into their budget last year or this            
 year.  This was for $500,000 to hook up village clinics with water            
 and sewer.  Over the last several years, the ANHB has been able to            
 use funding wisely when they put in village water and sewer                   
 projects.  A small amount of money, about $20,000, is added and the           
 clinics are hooked up as well.  Over the last two years, over 20              
 clinics have been hooked up to sewer and water.  Village water and            
 sewer are still lacking in 37 of the clinics.  Currently, this                
 funding is not in the DEC's budget proposal to the legislature.               
 MS. WALKER added that $500,000 is not that much money to do so much           
 good for these villages and to eliminate many of the risks that               
 these Alaskans face.  She urged the legislature to look closely at            
 this funding when considering cost-effectiveness in safeguarding              
 the public's health.                                                          
 Number 743                                                                    
 MR. CLARK agreed with Ms. Walker and said that the rural clinics              
 are the only facilities which villagers and the public health                 
 nurses and doctors can use.  Often, the school is used as a backup            
 facility, but the school is not really set up for that purpose.  It           
 is so basic to have running water and sewer, and it is necessary to           
 have it in these areas.  They are doing their best to gather                  
 funding from many sources, but it is just not enough.  The ANHB is            
 very close in finalizing this project and it will help rural Alaska           
 MR. CLARK continued that there are often no roads to and from the             
 village clinics, and air transport is heavily relied upon.  The               
 airports are often not big enough and the lights are not bright               
 enough.  It seems like most emergencies occur at night, in bad                
 weather and on the weekends.  Twin planes are required to meet                
 codes, and these villages experience problems with the Federal                
 Aviation Administration.  The private operators are in jeopardy of            
 losing their licenses if they do not have the right type of                   
 aircraft.  In the old days, any plane would do.  Today, an air                
 ambulance must be equipped and that costs a lot of money.                     
 MR. CLARK said that an air ambulance also must have an airport.               
 Many villages do not have airports, the clinics are often far from            
 the airports and sufficient vehicles are not present.  In some                
 cases, all the right equipment is not present to make the system              
 work.  The people are good and have good intentions, however                  
 currently factors are not in place to make everything work well.              
 MR. CLARK stressed that they are trying to save money.  Existing              
 airlines and equipment are being used and reused because he                   
 realizes that new equipment is very expensive.  However, a little             
 more money spread to different areas would help open these                    
 villages, make them more healthy, and even open them up to tourism.           
 Tourism and other industries would help the villages make money and           
 make them more self-sustaining.  The villages must pay their way as           
 best they can, but a little bit of funding here and there would               
 help the villages.                                                            
 Number 899                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY noticed in the ANHB legislative priority              
 report that the board has come out in favor of raising state taxes            
 on alcohol and specifically, tobacco.  Representative Vezey said              
 the amount of money these taxes would generate are pretty trivial.            
 He asked if the ANHB has thought of any other ideas that would help           
 increase state revenues.                                                      
 MS. WALKER said that one of the major reasons the ANHB supports the           
 increase in state alcohol and tobacco taxes is not necessarily                
 because they generate the trivial amount of revenue that would go             
 into the general fund.  The state cannot have designated taxes for            
 designated programs.  The major reason they support this is because           
 it decreases the access for youth to these products.  It has been             
 found that in the majority of the child sexual abuse cases, the               
 ones who are sexually abused are introduced to alcohol at the time            
 of their abuse.                                                               
 MS. WALKER continued that the ANHB has also found it is the youth             
 that are getting addicted to tobacco.  If there is an increase in             
 the cost of tobacco, there is a decrease in youth access.  They               
 want to tax alcohol simply because the ANHB feels it is subsidizing           
 alcohol.  The prices are based on 1960s prices, and you can                   
 currently purchase vodka cheaper than you can buy a can of Coca-              
 Number 1006                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that the programs the state funds for the           
 ANHB and some of the other priorities expressed in the list                   
 represent a large amount of state dollars.  He asked if the ANHB              
 has expressed favor for anything that would increase revenues or              
 maintain revenues for the state.                                              
 MR. CLARK answered that the ANHB bills for Medicare and Medicaid,             
 because they clearly do not get enough funding from the government.           
 In Bristol Bay, one of every five dollars comes from third party              
 billing to pay and supplement.  Out of a $21 million budget, Mr.              
 Clark receives $2 million from the state.  The balance comes from             
 either third party billing or from the Indian Health Service and              
 grants.  Very little funding is received from the state in relation           
 to costs.                                                                     
 MR. CLARK continued that rural Alaska does not have many people,              
 and the cost of living is higher in the rural areas.  The costs are           
 smaller in relation, but nevertheless this is a very important                
 amount.  However, in a sense the tail is wagging the dog because of           
 the rules of the state which allow the ANHB to modify practices.              
 The ANHB believes it is important to serve everyone.                          
 Number 1072                                                                   
 MR. CLARK said that although Natives are the majority in those                
 areas, there are many different rules that must be followed if non-           
 Natives are to be served.  These rules are graciously accepted,               
 because it is important for a well-rounded program.  The ANHB tries           
 very hard, and although many people do not like any taxes, at some            
 point it is believed that taxes will be necessary.                            
 MS. WALKER said that on the previous day, they visited with DHSS              
 Commissioner Karen Perdue and they looked at capturing a greater              
 percentage of the Medicaid reimbursements through Indian Health               
 Service (IHS).  This is so Medicaid recipients and the ANHB will              
 not deal with the 50 percent state match with the 50 percent IHS              
 match.  If the person is an IHS beneficiary, the ANHB wants the               
 state to collect 100 percent rather than have the money come out of           
 the general fund.                                                             
 MS. WALKER explained that is one way the ANHB has been working on             
 decreasing the amount of dollars that come out of the general fund            
 for IHS beneficiaries who are also Medicaid beneficiaries.  Ms.               
 Walker hopes that soon the HESS Committee members will see a waiver           
 request before them to submit to the federal government.  This is             
 to be proactive to the federal welfare reform that is coming.                 
 Number 1159                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR CON BUNDE said he was glad that the ANHB separates the               
 taxing of alcohol and tobacco, because it seems like there is often           
 no price too high when it comes to alcohol.  He does not think that           
 taxes will have any impact on the consumption of alcohol.  He                 
 stressed that he is not worried about the alcohol industry, however           
 he had people in the past tell him that if alcohol was taxed, the             
 abuse would decrease.  Co-Chair Bunde felt that was shortsighted.             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE commended the ANHB for its hard work.  However, they           
 are using the government's money.  He would like to see the ANHB              
 promoting private development, perhaps taking a position on ANWR              
 and other resource development.                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE concluded by saying that concerning taxes, Ms.                 
 Walker and Mr. Clark said the amount of state money going into                
 Native Health is not large in the great scope of the government.              
 However, airport, water and sewer improvements add up to large                
 chunks of money.  When people have to start paying taxes in this              
 state, if they feel they do not have access to rural areas as                 
 recreational areas, Co-Chair Bunde did not think people would want            
 to pay taxes to provide services out there.  This is another issue            
 that Co-Chair Bunde hoped would be taken to the rural communities             
 and addressed.                                                                
 MS. WALKER said that would be done.                                           
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY announced that Representative Brice joined the                
 meeting at 3:12 p.m.                                                          
 HHES - 02/23/95                                                               
 HB 104 - DISCLOSURE OF JUVENILE RECORDS                                     
 Number 1258                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT, sponsor of HB 104, discussed and read the           
 sponsor statement:                                                            
 "The problems with juvenile crime are pervasive in modern                    
 society. Almost on a daily basis a person will see media                      
 coverage of crime committed by juveniles.  House Bill 104                     
 calls upon the Alaska Court System to identify juvenile                       
 offenders who, had they committed the same crime as an adult,                 
 would have been charged with a felony.  This a first step                     
 toward informing communities and teachers of the severity of                  
 the problems and identify the perpetrators.                                   
 "The bill is designed to protect the general public and school               
 teachers and pupils.  That is the major thrust of this bill.                  
 He speculates that if information is released, and juveniles                  
 know that the information will be released and they will be                   
 recognized by their peers and neighbors, perhaps it will have                 
 some effect on deterring juvenile crime.  Juvenile crime has                  
 become rampant and out of control."                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT understood there has been a legal opinion from            
 the Department of Law, which he will study further.                           
 Number 1418                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thanked Representative Kott for carrying this type             
 of bill.  When Co-Chair Bunde tried to introduce such a bill last             
 year he ran up against a fiscal note problem.  He wanted to discuss           
 the fiscal notes, such as the Alaska Court System's fiscal note.              
 The major area of disagreement would concern the DHSS fiscal note.            
 He asked for an update on the fiscal notes.                                   
 ROD MOURANT, Administrative Assistant for Representative Kott, said           
 that he just received the court's fiscal note about 10 minutes ago.           
 He had not seen it, although they did request it in a timely manner           
 from the courts.  He quickly read it before entering the room.                
 Basically, the contention in the court system fiscal note, which,             
 for FY 96, totals $162,800, is that there is no automated                     
 communications between the courts in the state of Alaska.  That the           
 courts have never developed a system of sharing juvenile and court            
 records with each other is fascinating to Mr. Mourant given                   
 Alaska's move toward automation.                                              
 Number 1492                                                                   
 MR. MOURANT said it appears the court system's only concern is the            
 volume and the manner by which it would share the information                 
 between the courts and gather all the information on a single                 
 individual to report to a school district and to the public.                  
 MR. MOURANT did not know how to respond to the court system's not             
 having an automated system in place.                                          
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked about the DHSS fiscal note and the difference            
 of opinion revolving around that.                                             
 MR. MOURANT said he received correspondence this morning from the             
 Department of Law that summarized all the concerns of the various             
 agencies affected by the legislation, as well as a variety of                 
 opinions on the fiscal impact on the DHSS programs concerning the             
 release of juvenile information.  Up until the previous morning,              
 Mr. Mourant knew that the DHSS in Juneau was fearful of the loss of           
 government funding, likewise Region X (ten) in Seattle shared that            
 concern with Health and Social Services.  However, he had been                
 advised, while working with other staff related to the same type of           
 legislation, that Legislative Research had been counseled by the              
 headquarters of the agency in Washington, D.C., and funding loss              
 was not the case.                                                             
 Number 1564                                                                   
 MR. MOURANT said yesterday he was advised that after Washington,              
 D.C., spoke with Region X in Seattle that maybe there is reason for           
 concern.  They have asked their general counsel to investigate that           
 concern.  General counsel will be issuing an opinion within the               
 next week to ten days.  It does not seem clear at the federal                 
 level, from those who administer the program, how the release of              
 juvenile information affects the funding.  This is specifically               
 referring to HB 104, and the example of juveniles committing a                
 crime that would be a felony if they were an adult.                           
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE asked if other states were currently                 
 implementing this type of program.  His understanding was that                
 there are other states releasing the names of juvenile offenders              
 under certain circumstances at this time.  He asked what was                  
 occurring in those other states.  He said that people like to say             
 that this type of legislation is protecting the public.  He asked             
 for specific information about how such legislation would protect             
 the public.  He also asked for the basis by which the presumptions            
 were made, that such legislation will deter juveniles from crime.             
 Number 1643                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT answered there are other states that are                  
 performing similar measures.  He is not sure of their exact                   
 statutes, but they are releasing information about juveniles who              
 have committed crimes.  He is not sure about the effects.  He                 
 surmised it would be very difficult to comprehensively compile                
 information about the effectiveness of such programs.  Most of the            
 states who have implemented similar measures have done so very                
 recently, and Representative Kott did not believe any statistics              
 would be available.                                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said that as far as protecting the public, all            
 one has to do is consider a juvenile who committed a crime against            
 a person which would have been a felony if committed by an adult.             
 If that juvenile is attending a public school, it behooves everyone           
 to be aware, especially when the police have probable cause that              
 this person committed a crime.  It is imperative that the school              
 administrators and the teachers involved with the student be aware            
 that something is going on.                                                   
 Number 1718                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if this legislation was dealing                    
 specifically with school situations.                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT answered that HB 104 does not deal directly               
 with schools, but that would be the direct correlation he can make            
 concerning the protection of the public.  Other school children and           
 teachers are part of the public.  There has been a number of cases            
 in the newspaper over the last two years regarding children who               
 have gone into schools and shot teachers.  There were problems                
 earlier, but no one knew about those problems.  Representative Kott           
 asked, would a person, in essence, treat the child differently?               
 There is a direct correlation between understanding and treatment.            
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said there is also a direct correlation                  
 between the guy who sits in the bushes with an assault rifle and              
 begins shooting at the school yard.  When the cops shoot him, there           
 is a stop as well.                                                            
 Number 1760                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE recalled that Representative Kott said that it           
 was too early to tell about the protection of the public.  Then               
 Representative Kott said there will be protection of the public.              
 This caused confusion.  Representative Brice wondered if it is too            
 early to tell in other states if these efforts have worked, how               
 can Representative Kott say that the public certainly will be                 
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if anyone in the audience knew about the                
 effects of similar measures in other states.                                  
 Number 1796                                                                   
 MR. MOURANT said that in conversations yesterday with the Alaska              
 Court System, he was informed that departmental and functional                
 organization within a governmental organizational picture affects             
 the funding and whether or not funding is lost through the release            
 of information.  Mr. Mourant observed that Chris Christensen, from            
 the Alaska Court System, was present in the audience.  He invited             
 Mr. Christensen to explain the situation in more detail.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that the funding is a very large concern.           
 But the concern that has not been addressed is that no one has been           
 able to point to a single instance across the United States where             
 similar measures have been implemented and proven successful.                 
 Number 1872                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said he was not sure he could address                     
 Representative Brice's concern completely, because he was not a               
 human behaviorist.  However, in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory,           
 there is a level which designates the need to belong to a group.              
 Peer pressure is a very strong influence and it can be heavily                
 applied by other members of a society.  If a person knows in                  
 advance, before he or she commits a crime, that he or she will be             
 seen in the newspaper and everyone will know about that crime, that           
 may be a deterrent.  Representative Kott thought that most people             
 are law abiding, and most have some respect for family.                       
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT rhetorically asked if capital punishment was a            
 deterrent.  That is a difficult question to answer.  Obviously,               
 there is something to deterrence, however, the effectiveness                  
 remains to be seen.  He submitted that legislation such as this               
 would be effective.  When a person thinks about consequences, he or           
 she may evaluate whether his or her actions are worthwhile based on           
 the consequences that may be forthcoming.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT continued that if a person were contemplating             
 committing a crime and knew that everyone would know about that               
 crime, and that person could potentially be an outcast, and not               
 well accepted within his/her peer group, he/she might not do it.              
 That is the deterrence.  But, Representative Kott said, a person              
 cannot actually say that a measure such as HB 104 will reduce                 
 juvenile crime.                                                               
 Number 1952                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE suggested that when speaking about people who            
 are committing felonies, we are not talking about people who are              
 brought to bear under the normal pressures of society.  While some            
 people might view "little hoodlums" as people who will be concerned           
 with notoriety, it could very well be that these juveniles will               
 commit crimes to get their picture in the newspaper.                          
 Representative Brice suggested that due to the seriousness of the             
 acts which result in public knowledge, the type of person                     
 committing these acts is not going to be concerned with having                
 their picture in the paper.                                                   
 Number 2007                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT did not argue that the effects of the bill will           
 be speculative.   Representative Kott now had access to information           
 on the questions asked earlier.  Twenty-four states provide for the           
 release of information about certain crimes to the general public             
 under certain circumstances.  Thirteen states provide for the                 
 release of juvenile records to school officials.  Therefore, Alaska           
 is not being used as a testing ground.                                        
 HHES - 02/23/95                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG noticed that HB 15, which was                  
 recently heard and passed out of the House HESS Committee, was very           
 similar to HB 104.  Representative Rokeberg said the differences              
 appear to lie in the methodologies.  He asked if Representative               
 Kott or any of his staff was familiar with HB 15, and if they could           
 enumerate the differences between HB 104, HB 15, and HB 125.                  
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said he was not familiar with the contents of             
 HB 15.                                                                        
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked for the name of HB 15.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG read the name of HB 15:  "An Act                      
 authorizing the disclosure for the court records of the name,                 
 address and picture of, and other information about certain minors            
 for whom a delinquency petition is filed."  Representative Rokeberg           
 noted that he was co-sponsor of HB 15, and Representative Gene                
 Therriault is the sponsor.  He noted that HB 15 and HB 104 are very           
 Number 2068                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY recalled that with HB 15, the problem lay in                  
 exactly the same area -- the legality of what would occur if the              
 information was released, and where public funding would be lost.             
 She called for information on this issue.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON said that there are three bills that            
 are very similar, HB 15, HB 104 and HB 125.  In some ways, it is a            
 shame that HB 15 has been moved already and not kept for a                    
 subcommittee in which all three bills could be studied.  In                   
 addition, Representative Robinson asked how all three bills fit               
 with Senate Bill 54 concerning the juvenile waiver.  This was                 
 passed last year.  Representative Robinson understands that the               
 departments are moving to get their regulations in line so they can           
 begin revealing this information to the school districts.  It is              
 very obvious from communication with school districts that many               
 districts don't realize what is about to occur.                               
 Number 2133                                                                   
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, General Counsel to the Judicial Branch of the              
 state of Alaska, said that as a matter of policy, the Supreme Court           
 takes no position on any pieces of legislation that do not directly           
 affect the internal administration of the Judicial Branch.  The               
 courts believe that bills such as HB 104, that do not affect their            
 internal administration, are bills which the constitution leaves to           
 the policy judgement of the legislature and it would be                       
 inappropriate for the court to comment.                                       
 MR. CHRISTENSEN continued that however, the courts do provide its             
 best estimate of what a particular piece of legislation might cost            
 the court system, as well as point out technical problems and                 
 perhaps make suggestions which could reduce the cost of a bill.               
 Number 2165                                                                   
 MR. CHRISTENSEN also noted there are a number of bills that have              
 been introduced this year that relate to the release of juvenile              
 records.  The first one the HESS Committee heard was HB 15, and HBs           
 104 and 125 are before the committee today.                                   
 MR. CHRISTENSEN asked to discuss the basic problems that exist with           
 the court system's juvenile records, as well as to speak on how               
 those problems tie in with this legislation.  Most of the bills, as           
 they were introduced, put the duty on the court system to release             
 its records as opposed to putting the duty on the Division of                 
 Family and Youth Services (DFYS) to release its records.  The one             
 exception was the original version of HB 104.  As introduced, that            
 would have the DFYS release its records to the public.                        
 Number 2192                                                                   
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that a short time ago, a sponsor substitute              
 for HB 104 was released that shifted the responsibility to the                
 courts.  Mr. Christensen spoke with the staff of the bill's prime             
 sponsor to ask why this was done.  He assumed it was done because             
 there has been a great deal of discussion around the legislature in           
 the last few weeks as to whether or not the DFYS can actually                 
 perform this function.                                                        
 MR. CHRISTENSEN was advised that the burden was shifted to the                
 courts because it was assumed that the court records were far more            
 complete and would give the public more information.  He said that            
 unlike the DFYS, which has a statewide, computerized juvenile                 
 records system, court records are all paper files.  They are not              
 computerized, and there is no statewide repository or statewide               
 index.  If a person asks for information to be released from a                
 juvenile's records, as would be the case under HB 104, essentially,           
 instead of having a clerk punch a name into a computer, receiving             
 a printout and handing it to the inquirer, a range 8 counter clerk            
 would have to look through the index of names which is usually on             
 microfilm or on hard copy.  The court system cannot let a member of           
 the public look through the index because most of the names in it             
 are secret.                                                                   
 MR. CHRISTENSEN continued that the clerk would then have to find              
 and pull the file.  Next, since a range 8 would not be qualified to           
 determine what is in the file, the file would be given to a range             
 14 legal technician.  This technician leafs through the file, page            
 by page, trying to determine what the child had been convicted of             
 or adjudicated for, whether or not it met the parameters of the               
 legislation and whether or not the information could be released.             
 Information would then be put on a form and provided to the public.           
 Number 2260                                                                   
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that obviously this is an involved process.              
 Many individuals have 2-inch thick files, unfortunately, which                
 would take a lot of time to look through.  The second problem is              
 that the court does not have a statewide records repository or                
 index.  The significance of that is if a person in Anchorage goes             
 into the courthouse and asks if his next door neighbor has a felony           
 record, the only thing the court can tell him is if the neighbor              
 was adjudicated delinquent of a felony in Anchorage.  There are 14            
 juvenile courts around the state.  If a person wanted to know if              
 the child had a record in the state, you would have to contact all            
 14 courts.                                                                    
 MR. CHRISTENSEN added that these are the underlying problems the              
 courts have with the juvenile records system.  The courts have                
 submitted a fiscal note which is based, in part, with the court's             
 experience with release of adult records and the court's experience           
 with the Victim's Rights Act.  This was passed about five years               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN explained that before the Victim's Rights Act,                
 adult records were completely open to the public.  However, this              
 Act required that certain parts of those records were to be made              
 secret.  Each year since that, the courts have had from $120,000 to           
 $150,000 in clerical overtime to implement that legislation.  This            
 overtime is unfunded.  No funding was received for that overtime              
 MR. CHRISTENSEN assured the HESS Committee members that therefore,            
 the court system is sensitive to the whole issue of making parts of           
 files open and parts secret.                                                  
 TAPE 95-10, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that based on statistics from DFYS it has been           
 determined there are roughly 250 juveniles each year that are                 
 actually adjudicated delinquent for a felony, aged 14 and above.              
 This is not very many children.  The problem is a member of the               
 public can come in and ask about any child.  Right now there are              
 about 38,000 juveniles between the ages of 14 and 18 in Alaska.  Of           
 course, there are many more people aged 18-25 that members of the             
 public might be curious about.                                                
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that the court must attempt to locate records            
 on any child, and if there is a record, leaf through it page by               
 Number 046                                                                    
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that each year the court receives about 3,500            
 written requests statewide for adult criminal records.  The courts            
 will only accept a written request if the requestor does not live             
 in a community where the court is located.  However, in Anchorage             
 alone, approximately 75 people each day come in to look at adult              
 criminal files.  Those 75 people look at a total of about 500                 
 different criminal files every day.  Most of those people represent           
 credit agencies and employment services, which is why they are                
 requesting multiple files.  These numbers add up to about 100,000             
 requests to look at adult files every year statewide.                         
 MR. CHRISTENSEN continued that with adult files, the people who do            
 the requesting do all the work.  They look into the index                     
 themselves, they tell the clerk the name.  A counter clerk walks              
 back, picks up the file, gives it to the person and the person                
 looks through the file.  The only time spent is the five minutes              
 for the retrieval and replacement of the file.                                
 Number 138                                                                    
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that in the case of the juvenile records,                
 someone from the court system is going to have to leaf through                
 every file and separate what is disclosable and what is not.  The             
 court expects a substantial number of juvenile records to be                  
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that an employer who is hiring a 22-year-old             
 right out of college may customarily send someone to see if that              
 person had an adult record.  The potential employer may also want             
 to check if he or she had a juvenile record if that was an option.            
 It may be very significant if a potential employee was adjudicated            
 a delinquent for felony theft or sexual assault of a co-worker five           
 years earlier, when he or she was 17 years old.                               
 Number 190                                                                    
 MR. CHRISTENSEN expects people to look at juvenile records if that            
 is an option.  He expects the numbers will be very substantial.               
 There is one change that does not relate to this whole issue of               
 which agency is best suited to release information.  This change              
 could bring the cost downs dramatically.                                      
 MR. CHRISTENSEN explained that currently, HB 104 is drafted so that           
 it applies to any juvenile record the courts have, regardless of              
 how far back the crime goes.  If the bill were drafted so it only             
 applied to children who were convicted of felonies after the                  
 effective date of the Act, as each child was adjudicated a                    
 delinquent, a one-page form would be prepared that could be placed            
 on the front page of the file.  This form could be prepared either            
 by the DFYS or the courts.  There could also be a public index on             
 those 250 kids each year.                                                     
 MR. CHRISTENSEN continued that the public could look through the              
 index and determine if a child was in there or not.  If the child             
 was in there, it would merely be a matter of pulling that one piece           
 of paper off the top of the file, photocopying it, and handing that           
 photocopy to the requestor.  The problem of having to leaf through            
 files page by page only arises in reference to files that are                 
 already in existence.                                                         
 Number 269                                                                    
 MR. CHRISTENSEN allowed that the big issue still remains of which             
 agency is allowed to release the information.  He has spoken with             
 the Deputy Commissioner of the Children's Bureau for the Department           
 of Health and Social Services in Washington, D.C.  He indicated               
 there would be an opinion from their general counsel in the next              
 week and a half.  The Deputy Commissioner would not tell what the             
 opinion was yet, however he indicated to Mr. Christensen that                 
 probably any state agency that received its information from the              
 DFYS would receive the same treatment regarding the release of                
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that all of the court's records are from DFYS.           
 The only knowledge the courts have on a juvenile is from DFYS.  It            
 is the understanding of Mr. Christensen that the opinion from the             
 Deputy Commissioner will be if DFYS cannot release the information,           
 the courts cannot release it either.  Mr. Christensen understands             
 that the reason the final opinion is taking so long is because the            
 research is being expanded.  There is a secondary question of                 
 whether or not the police agencies can release this information.              
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that the police agencies do not get their                
 information from DFYS.  They generate it on their own.  That is the           
 additional issue being studied currently, resulting in delays.                
 Number 347                                                                    
 MR. CHRISTENSEN continued that one alternative from having either             
 DFYS or the courts release the juvenile records might be to place             
 just the names, addresses and the crime each of the 250 children              
 each year who are adjudicated delinquent for felony were convicted            
 of in the Alaska Public Safety Information Network, (APSIN), the              
 state's adult criminal computer.  Legislation was passed last year            
 which said as of July 1, 1995, APSIN is going to available to the             
 public, resulting in current criminal information being available             
 to the public.                                                                
 MR. CHRISTENSEN explained that putting the names, addresses and               
 crimes of the 250 juvenile delinquent names into the computer would           
 be a very inexpensive way for the public to access the information.           
 However, a problem may still exist in that the APSIN system must              
 get the juvenile information from either DFYS or the courts, so the           
 system may still not be able to release that information.  Mr.                
 Christensen said that more would be known in about a week's time,             
 and he would try to answer the questions of the HESS Committee                
 Number 410                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if it would simplify matters if the                
 juvenile restriction on releasing information and special                     
 considerations for juveniles was simply done away with.  Mr.                  
 Christensen asked for clarification, and if Representative Vezey              
 was suggesting making juvenile records public, just like adult                
 MR. CHRISTENSEN answered that if those special considerations were            
 removed, someone could ask for a record and a member of the court             
 system would hand it to them.   Although, there are public policy             
 implications present in that situation that the court system would            
 not address.  Those would be under the jurisdiction of another                
 Number 447                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked what the impact would be on the court              
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that the courts would expect many requests for           
 records, just like it does for the adults.  However, currently the            
 problem lies in the fact that the courts have to do the research              
 for the public if the juvenile records are still sealed.  If the              
 records were open, a member of the court system could simply give             
 the file to the requestor, just like is done currently with adult             
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY understood from Mr. Christensen's testimony              
 that the criminal computer system is going to be open for public              
 use soon.  It appears that the courts are moving toward a system in           
 which the public does its own research.                                       
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that the computer he referred to is the                  
 Department of Public Safety's computer, The Alaska Public Safety              
 Information Network.  This is the state's criminal records computer           
 for all adults.  Juveniles are not in the system currently.  The              
 computer system has been in existence for many years, but as of               
 July 1, the public will be able to access certain adult records in            
 that computer.                                                                
 Number 520                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the current burden on the court                 
 system will be reduced when APSIN is opened to public use.  He                
 asked if the burden would be reduced further if juveniles were                
 included in that system.                                                      
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that remains to be seen.  He suspects that               
 professionals, like the credit and employment agencies, will very             
 likely ask for information from the Department of Public Safety               
 rather than go through the court system.  They will receive a                 
 printout of what the person did.  If the agencies want copies of              
 the documents such as the charge or record of conviction, which               
 they often do, they will have to come to the court system to get              
 copies of those documents.                                                    
 Number 625                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that several more people were available to               
 testify, including Melinda Gruening from Representative Joe Green's           
 office.  Ms. Gruening offered to discuss similarities and                     
 differences between House Bills 15, 104 and 125.                              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that he would like to hear testimony and                  
 discuss HB 104 completely before hearing a comparison between the             
 three bills.  In that way, the HESS Committee members will have               
 more knowledge of what they are comparing.                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that the committee will not pass HB 104 out              
 today, because there will be other testimony.  It would be best to            
 wait the two weeks for the rest of the information from Washington,           
 Number 643                                                                    
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant to Department of Health and                
 Social Services Commissioner Karen Perdue, said the Department of             
 Law (DOL) will also be testifying.  The DOL has done research in              
 this issue as well as other bills on juvenile records.                        
 MR. LINDSTROM said there has been much discussion during this and             
 other hearings about what other states do in this area.  While Mr.            
 Lindstrom does not have a complete record of the other states'                
 activities, he does have some information about some states.                  
 MR. LINDSTROM said that during the hearing on HB 15, several states           
 were cited as providing open and essentially unlimited public                 
 access to juvenile records with no apparent impact on their federal           
 funds.  Those states were called.                                             
 Number 717                                                                    
 MR. LINDSTROM explained that the DHSS spoke to a person in                    
 Colorado's Juvenile Justice Planning Department.  In 1993, a                  
 special session of the legislature made several changes in the                
 disclosure statutes.  Legislation was also enacted to meet the                
 federal mandates regarding the Safe Schools Act, which requires               
 automatic expulsion for the possession of weapons.                            
 MR. LINDSTROM said a side effect of the legislation has resulted in           
 a 160 percent increase in expulsions in their schools.  This was              
 not anticipated, and now Colorado is scrambling to assemble some              
 sort of alternative schooling for those individuals.  To have these           
 expelled students not in school and not working has created some              
 new problems to be addressed.                                                 
 MR. LINDSTROM continued that in Kansas, the entire juvenile code is           
 under revision.  Currently, open inspection of court records is               
 available for any juvenile above 14 years of age.  Staff in                   
 Illinois advised that only court records of juveniles waived to               
 adult court could be opened to the public without court order.  In            
 Rhode Island, this same policy was enacted.                                   
 Number 809                                                                    
 MR. LINDSTROM provided general information on states with                     
 legislation concerning disclosure of juvenile records to school               
 districts.   The DHSS does not have details, however there are                
 certain states with statutes concerning that area, such as                    
 California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and a number of             
 MR. LINDSTROM also said that the DHSS believes there are 28 states            
 which release the name and/or picture of juveniles under certain              
 conditions.  He is sure those conditions vary widely.  Nineteen               
 states have no statutes whatsoever in this regard, and four states            
 by statute do not allow any publicity in this regard.                         
 MR. LINDSTROM said there is very little to report concerning fiscal           
 notes.  Currently, the fiscal notes prepared for HB 104 are                   
 identical to the fiscal notes prepared by the DHSS for HB 15.                 
 Those fiscal notes anticipate the loss of federal funds, based on             
 DHSS understanding from Region X.  The DHSS will revise those                 
 fiscal notes if they receive contrary information from the federal            
 agencies.  Mr. Lindstrom said he was not an expert in the DHSS                
 juvenile records system.  It is an automated system, but the                  
 information available does not go much farther back past 1990.                
 Number 917                                                                    
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General with the Department of               
 Law, Criminal Division, said the release of juvenile information              
 was currently a problematic area.  There are four bills pending               
 which relate to the disclosure of information about juveniles.  Ms.           
 Knuth feels that the bills can be looked at as relating to two                
 different types of release of information.                                    
 MS. KNUTH said that HB 15 and part of HB 104 would like to create             
 a categorical release of information about juveniles who have                 
 either been adjudicated of a single felony or a second felony.  The           
 second area these bills are addressing is what information may be             
 released about these individuals on a case-by-case basis.  A year             
 ago in Alaska, the school districts expressed tremendous                      
 frustration because there was case-by-case information they were              
 unable to get about students attending their schools because law              
 enforcement agencies and the DHSS were saying it was not clear,               
 under existing state law, whether information could be released or            
 MS. KNUTH said that different interpretations of the law was taking           
 place around the state.  In some places, cooperation was prevalent.           
 In other places, the agencies flatly declined to release                      
 information on the fear that the agencies would incur liability.              
 Number 1025                                                                   
 MS. KNUTH continued that at the same time, there was a provision in           
 the statute that allowed the court to publish the name of a                   
 juvenile and the offense for any second felony and the                        
 adjudication.  That statute has been on the books for many years.             
 Juvenile waiver was a major theme last session.  There were a                 
 number of bills addressing this issue.  The executive branch took             
 advantage of the interest and the opportunity to put together a               
 comprehensive amendment regarding the disclosure of juvenile                  
 MS. KNUTH said that a task force met around the state for months.             
 About 25 people met each time, all concerned about clarifying the             
 law on the disclosure of juvenile records.  The task force came up            
 with legislation and asked the committees to append this                      
 legislation to the juvenile waiver bill that was passed.  For the             
 last five months, there has been a new and different law on the               
 disclosure of juvenile records.                                               
 MS. KNUTH added that one of the things that Senate Bill 54 did, was           
 it repealed the provision that allowed for the categorical release            
 of second adjudication information because of the jeopardy it                 
 brought to the Title IV federal funds.  At that point last year,              
 there did not seem to be any confusion in the federal system that,            
 in Alaska, categorical release of the identity of juveniles for               
 offenses did jeopardize the Title IV funds.                                   
 MS. KNUTH said this has to do with several things, one of which is            
 the fact that juveniles are handled out of the DHSS in Alaska,                
 rather than the Department of Corrections.  If all children were              
 passed to corrections, there would not be an intermingling of "help           
 the kids" and "punish the kids" programs.  It is the combination in           
 Alaska that has raised the concerns.                                          
 Number 1127                                                                   
 MS. KNUTH said that at this point, the federal government is                  
 revisiting the issue and they hope to have an answer within the               
 next week.  With respect to discretionary releases of information,            
 and making information available on a case-by-case, need to know              
 basis, Alaska is now as liberal as any state in the Union.  Alaska            
 gave the agency and law enforcement the explicit authority to make            
 disclosures.  The problem is that it has only been five months.               
 There are regulations being promulgated, however the process takes            
 time.  There has been a communication failure.                                
 MS. KNUTH explained that the system Senate Bill 54 brought last               
 year has not been tried yet.  Ms. Knuth thinks that all of the                
 agencies in the executive branch are sensitive to the issue and               
 want to cooperate in any way possible.  If there are gaps or                  
 problems in SB 54, the executive branch is flexible.  At this                 
 point, it seems there has been an initial education gap or failure,           
 and a lot of the school systems do not know that five months ago              
 the system changed.                                                           
 Number 1207                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY closed testimony on HB 104 and announced that the             
 bill was being held pending further information.  Representative              
 Rokeberg and Representative Davis left the meeting at 4:10 p.m.  A            
 quorum was still present.                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if the intent of the committee was to           
 put all the bills into a subcommittee in an attempt to come up with           
 an overall ruling.                                                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that decision would be made shortly.  She                
 called for further testimony and clarification.                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for clarification on the similarities and                
 differences between Hbs 15, 104 and 125.                                      
 HHES - 02/23/95                                                               
 HB 125 - JUVENILE CRIMINAL RECORDS TO SCHOOLS                               
 Number 1306                                                                   
 MELINDA GRUENING, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe                 
 Green, passed along Representative Green's regrets that he could              
 not personally testify at the HESS Committee.                                 
 MS. GRUENING said that one of the leading problems that school                
 administrators face is violence in the schools and how to deal with           
 it.  Currently, there is no requirement that a school principal be            
 given records regarding an adjudicated delinquent who is attending            
 his or her school.  Some juvenile offenders have committed very               
 serious crimes and are in schools, and school officials are left              
 out of the information loop and do not know who those students are.           
 MS. GRUENING said that HB 125 helps to address this problem.  Last            
 year the legislature passed SB 54, the Juvenile Waiver Bill, which            
 has been already discussed.  This bill requires serious juvenile              
 offenders over 16 years of age be automatically waived into adult             
 court.  However, there is no automatic waiver for juvenile                    
 offenders aged 15 and under, some of whom have committed very                 
 serious crimes.                                                               
 Number 1360                                                                   
 MS. GRUENING continued that also included in SB 54 was a section              
 that did address the disclosure of state and agency records.                  
 However, the statute that deals with juvenile disclosure created by           
 the passage of SB 54 makes such disclosure discretionary, not                 
 mandatory.  That is why Representative Green felt the issue needed            
 to be further addressed beyond what was addressed last session.               
 MS. GRUENING said the crimes covered by this mandatory disclosure             
 would include homicide, assault, reckless endangerment, kidnapping,           
 sexual offenses, robbery, extortion, offenses against property,               
 controlled substance offenses and possession or use of a deadly               
 weapon.  It is these records with which HB 125 is concerned.  HB
 125, if enacted, would require mandatory disclosure of an                     
 adjudicated juvenile's court records to school officials if the               
 offense was committed on school property or if the minor had                  
 committed offenses that, if committed by an adult, would be                   
 considered a serious felony.                                                  
 MS. GRUENING said that additionally HB 125 would require mandatory            
 disclosure by law enforcement agencies to school officials if the             
 agency had probable cause to believe that the minor had committed             
 an offense that would be a crime if committed by an adult and the             
 victim is a student or staff member of the school, or the                     
 disclosure is necessary to protect the safety of school students              
 and staff.                                                                    
 MS. GRUENING said that HB 125 places limits on further disclosures            
 by those school officials, and since schools already adhere to                
 strict confidentiality standards, the disclosure would fall under             
 their existing confidentiality policies.  The information provided            
 by mandatory disclosure would protect the victims of juvenile                 
 crime, protect students, protect teachers, and give the principal             
 information that would allow him or her to use the school's many              
 resources to provide help for the adjudicated delinquent.                     
 MS. GRUENING said that if schools are held responsible for the                
 safety of students and faculty, school officials must have the                
 necessary information about student violence to do their job                  
 MS. GRUENING pointed out that, unlike the previous bill, DHSS                 
 provided HB 125 with a zero fiscal note.  The DHSS does not feel              
 this bill would affect the Title IV funds.                                    
 Number 1465                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if Ms. Gruening has heard of the                   
 Challenge Program offered through the Alaska State National Guard.            
 MS. GRUENING said she had not.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE explained that this was a program that offers            
 at-risk youth the possibility of a boot camp-like scenario as well            
 as educational opportunities.  Individuals can receive their                  
 Graduate Equivalent Degree (GED), or maybe learn some vocational              
 skills, as well as come out of the program with a fairly                      
 substantial stipend to be put toward further education.  This                 
 program cannot access records of at-risk youth as well.                       
 Representative Brice wondered if Ms. Gruening would be willing to             
 discuss a type of amendment of HB 125 which stipulated that as long           
 as the files are kept confidential and the DHSS does not attach a             
 substantial fiscal note, the program would be able to access                  
 juvenile records.                                                             
 MS. GRUENING said she would have to speak with Representative Green           
 and do research to see if such an amendment would affect the Title            
 IV funds.  She thinks that currently, the reason HB 125 does not              
 affect those funds is because it specifically releases information            
 to school officials.  The whole emphasis of the bill is to try to             
 provide information that the administrators need.  The purpose of             
 the bill is not to have a public file.  All information would                 
 remain confidential, but the administrators would be given the                
 information they need to keep students safe and to help the person            
 who had committed the offense.                                                
 Number 1564                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if testimony should be heard again from Mr.             
 Christensen, Mr. Lindstrom and Ms. Knuth on HB 125.                           
 HHES - 02/23/95                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he would like to hear a comparison between HB
 15, 104 and 125 from Ms. Gruening.  He also called for further                
 testimony on HB 125.                                                          
 MS. GRUENING said the differences are very confusing.  There are              
 four bills that relate to the disclosure of juvenile information.             
 There are Hbs 15, 104 and 125, and SB 29.  Senate Bill 29 and HB
 125 deal specifically with disclosure to school officials.  The               
 difference between HB 125 and SB 29 is that part of SB 29 is still            
 discretionary.  Part of the disclosure, the disclosure of law                 
 enforcement, is discretionary.  HB 125 stipulates for mandatory               
 disclosure on the part of law enforcement and the court system.               
 Those are the two that are specifically school disclosure bills.              
 Number 1635                                                                   
 MS. GRUENING continued that HB 104 is a general disclosure and a              
 school disclosure in one bill.  It is a public disclosure that                
 would take place through the court system, and also disclosure                
 would take place to school officials.  The portion of HB 104 that             
 relates to school disclosure, compared to HB 125 which calls for              
 school disclosure, is that HB 104 is partially mandatory to the               
 schools, and partially discretionary.  HB 125 is completely                   
 mandatory.  That is a comparison of only those two sections of Hbs            
 104 and 125.                                                                  
 MS. GRUENING explained that HB 15, which had been already heard and           
 passed out of the HESS Committee, is a general public disclosure.             
 It does not address school issues.  Ms. Gruening said she had                 
 research done on what other states are doing.  She offered to make            
 copies for the HESS Committee members as the bills were addressed.            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY appreciated her offer and asked her for that                  
 Number 1712                                                                   
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that HB 125 causes the court system                      
 "substantially less heartburn."  This bill will not result in the             
 potential of tens of thousands of records requests every year.  He            
 estimates there might be 350 cases each year when the court system            
 has to send a document to a school official.  The costs associated            
 with this are relatively small.  As indicated previously, with the            
 Adult Victims' Rights Act, the court system is spending about                 
 $120,000 to $150,000 each year.                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that the reason the cost of HB 125 would be so           
 low is the court system has figured out a way to place 75 percent             
 of the burden on the attorney's in Alaska.  Mr. Christensen                   
 suggests that at the time of an adjudication by court rule, DFYS be           
 required to provide the courts with a document that states that               
 this is a qualifying crime and provides the name of the juvenile's            
 principal and the address of the school.  The court system will               
 simply drop that document into the mail.                                      
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that the middle man could be further                     
 eliminated by simply having DFYS drop the document into the mail.             
 Number 1761                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he is not sure why DFYS would have                  
 records that the court does not have.  He asked why a middle man is           
 used.  He wanted to know why disclosure wouldn't be required from             
 whoever originates the record.                                                
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that under his understanding, the reason HB
 125 was drafted the way it was is because people were assuming DFYS           
 could not release records, while the courts could do so.  However,            
 testimony has now been heard that suggests that the DFYS could                
 release such information to schools.  DFYS would have information             
 concerning the school principal's names.  The court system would              
 not know this information unless they asked DFYS.  All the                    
 information the court would have, it would get from DFYS and then             
 pass along.  If it is legally possible, it may be easier to have              
 DFYS release information and eliminate the court's role as a middle           
 man.  This is only if this would be legally possible.                         
 Number 1804                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked why it would not be easiest to simply              
 have the police records available for public release, and not                 
 involve any bureaucracy.  If there is an arrest, there will be a              
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said that it was his understanding that HB 125 is             
 requiring a copy of the court's adjudication order.  This is the              
 finding that the individual was guilty and had been adjudicated a             
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY thought the individual had to be charged of a            
 crime, when in fact the person must be adjudicated.                           
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said the records that the court is supposed to                
 provide is a copy of the adjudication order.  The court system                
 would generate that based on information from DFYS.  This order               
 would then be passed on.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that at this time, police are prohibited            
 from releasing information on juveniles.  He asked why that                   
 prohibition could not be repealed, and the records could be made              
 public from that avenue.                                                      
 MR. CHRISTENSEN said he was not qualified to answer such a                    
 Number 1880                                                                   
 MR. LINDSTROM said his previous remarks generally dealt with both             
 Hbs 104 and 125.  To reinforce some of Ms. Knuth's statements, Mr.            
 Lindstrom said that the DHSS believes that once the regulatory                
 scheme is put into place, and the opportunity to work with                    
 individual school districts and other local law enforcement as                
 well, the existing law will allow the courts to do what the intent            
 of the bill really is.                                                        
 MR. LINDSTROM said there is a perception that DHSS does not share             
 any information at all with school districts at this time.  That is           
 not true.  Individual probation officers from the DFYS are                    
 constantly speaking with school personnel such as counselors and              
 teachers.  Perhaps communication does not take place so much with             
 principals.  Mr. Lindstrom does not know if concern for this                  
 information is originating from teachers or administrators.  DHSS             
 believes that given time and the ability to communicate, a lot of             
 contentions can be set right.                                                 
 Number 1930                                                                   
 MR. LINDSTROM said that DHSS recognizes on a need-to-know basis               
 that the DHSS not only has the ability to share, but the DHSS ought           
 to be sharing information with school districts to protect the                
 public, students and faculty.                                                 
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if DHSS had a time frame in mind.                       
 MR. LINDSTROM answered that the DFYS is currently going through a             
 massive regulatory project.  HB 412 allowed the DHSS to rewrite all           
 licensing regulations.  There are regulations which will result               
 from SB 45, the runaway bill from last year.  Regulations are                 
 resulting from SB 54, the waiver bill.  The DHSS is doing                     
 everything at once, and this massive program is going to take                 
 longer than both the DHSS and the legislature would like.                     
 Certainly, over the next interim, all those regulatory items will             
 be moving forward from the DFYS.                                              
 Number 1986                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the DHSS becomes involved in the                
 adjudication process, perhaps shortly after an arrest.                        
 MR. LINDSTROM asked if he could have the Director of the Division             
 of Family and Youth Services testify, as she is more knowledgeable            
 in this area.                                                                 
 CATHY TIBBLES, Director of the Division of Family and Youth                   
 Services, said the division does become involved after a police               
 report.  Probation officers are participating in an investigation             
 to see whether there is sufficient evidence to go forward.  They              
 also work with the DOL concerning the charges to be filed and how             
 likely it is a case will proceed through the court process.                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the DFYS gets involved in every                 
 juvenile arrest, or just if the courts order the DFYS to do so.               
 MS. TIBBLES said the DFYS receives every police referral.  Some are           
 handled very informally, perhaps with parental meetings.  Those               
 that contain serious charges are handled with the DOL and go before           
 the court for a petition.  The court then decides what happens from           
 there.  The referral moves from the DFYS to the court, rather than            
 from the police to the court, and then to the DFYS.                           
 Number 2046                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the referral ever goes from the                 
 police to the courts without being sent to DFYS.                              
 MS. TIBBLES said it is possible for a person other than a DFYS                
 employee to petition the court on a juvenile or a child in need of            
 aid.  It is rarely done.  Generally, a division employee files a              
 petition to the court.  The court does not and cannot hear matters            
 without a petition being brought before it.                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY understood that if a person is arrested, there           
 is a period in which either bail is made or he or she is                      
 restrained.  They don't just arrest you and say, "Sign here, you              
 can go home now," unless perhaps it is a misdemeanor or a traffic             
 violation.  If you are arrested for a felony, you have lost your              
 civil rights until somehow the court is satisfied.  Representative            
 Vezey said he was not familiar enough with the system.  He wanted             
 to know if DFYS gets involved every time, how a juvenile is                   
 released from police custody, and does the court bring in a                   
 guardian of the juvenile.                                                     
 TAPE 95-11, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 MS. TIBBLES knew of instances, possibly just with misdemeanors,               
 where juveniles are not taken to a juvenile facility and booked.              
 She did not know about every single felony offense.  It seems that            
 Hbs 104 and 125 are speaking of felonies and she does not know the            
 level of seriousness of those felonies.  She did not know if all              
 arrests ends up in an overnight at a youth facility and a petition            
 to the court.  It often depends on the responsibility shown and               
 accepted by a parent, whether or not the child will be released to            
 a parent or taken to a facility.                                              
 MS. TIBBLES does not believe that the system operates exactly as an           
 adult felony arrest, although the processes are very much alike.              
 As in the adult system, the DOL would be involved in terms of what            
 charge will be brought to the court for the court to then resolve.            
 For example, is the crime a felony, would it be reduced to a                  
 misdemeanor, would there be a plea, would there be bail, etc.                 
 MS. TIBBLES said the legalities of the juvenile system are not that           
 different than the adult system.                                              
 Number 100                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said the point he was attempting to resolve is           
 what will have to be done to allow the police to release juvenile             
 MS. TIBBLES said one of the issues is a policy call, which is                 
 whether or not the legislature wants police to release the                    
 information.  It also depends on whether or not the legislature               
 wants police to release information to schools, or if the                     
 legislature wants to mandate that police release this information.            
 It depends on whether the legislature wants the police to release             
 information to schools prior to an adjudication.                              
 MS. TIBBLES said often, the initial charge does not end up being              
 the final charge.  She said it could probably be mandated that                
 police release information to schools at any desired level, however           
 the DOL could answer that question better than she.                           
 Number 180                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he has been trying to find the answer to            
 this question and cannot.                                                     
 Number 210                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said there is a very low number of intake             
 staff people at the DFYS, and that can also cause a major delay in            
 the process.                                                                  
 MS. TIBBLES said there is definitely a shortage of staff.  The                
 speed with which an investigation is completed, processed and a               
 determination is made about the final charge depends on the                   
 seriousness of the initial charge.  The DFYS responds in some                 
 fashion to every referral.  Misdemeanors and offenses such as                 
 shoplifting very often result in a letter sent to a parent saying,            
 if this happens again, a heavier penalty will occur.                          
 MS. TIBBLES continued that she does not know how fast the process             
 is.  The DFYS must set up some sort of prioritization for the                 
 juveniles and offenses that must be taken up quickly.  Some have to           
 do with the amount of time a child is detained before the DFYS can            
 proceed further.                                                              
 Number 304                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON clarified that in a misdemeanor case the              
 process may be slower than if the offense committed would be a                
 felony had it been perpetrated by an adult.  If a juvenile                    
 committed a serious felony offense, such as murder, Representative            
 Robinson finds it difficult to believe that in a community such as            
 Juneau that information would not be transmitted quickly "through             
 the grapevine" to the principals and the counselors at the youth's            
 MS. TIBBLES thought it would be difficult in Juneau for the school            
 administrators and faculty not to find out about a serious crime.             
 It is possible, however, in Anchorage.  There is a difference                 
 between what principals may know and what teachers and counselors             
 know by working day-to-day with probation staff.  That is a gap in            
 information that needs to be addressed.                                       
 Number 412                                                                    
 MS. KNUTH said the fact that DHSS is working on regulations that              
 are not yet completed does not mean that AS 47.10.90 and AS                   
 47.10.093 cannot be implemented right away.  To the extent that               
 there is a communication/information lag, steps can be immediately            
 taken to remedy that.  For example, a memorandum can be sent to               
 school districts, or calls can be made.  Given that the DHSS                  
 backlog is considerable, the DHSS does not have to be assigned that           
 MS. KNUTH continued that the DOL has a concern in all the bills               
 that requires disclosures to school principals in certain                     
 circumstances.  The law passed last year, AS 47.10.093, gives both            
 state and municipal agencies and law enforcement agencies the                 
 authority to disclose, to school officials, information regarding             
 the case as may be necessary to protect the safety of school                  
 students and staff.  There has not been an occasion under this new            
 statute where a school wanted information and it was withheld.                
 There just has not yet been any implementation of the law.                    
 Number 513                                                                    
 MS. KNUTH said that any time there is a mandatory disclosure, one             
 of the first concerns is, what effect might that have on an ongoing           
 investigation or other investigations.  Obviously, you do not want            
 to make a disclosure that may impede a very critical investigation.           
 If it is a violent offense, the thing to do is make the disclosure            
 a matter of timing.  These bills have all been amended through                
 Sponsor Substitutes (SS) or Committee Substitutes (CS) to have a              
 provision saying notwithstanding the mandatory disclosure                     
 provision, an agency is not required to notify a principal if the             
 agency determines that notice would jeopardize an ongoing                     
 MS. KNUTH felt this was a good provision, however she did not know            
 if it was an adequate provision.  It is something that may warrant            
 further study.                                                                
 MS. KNUTH addressed the wholesale opening of police records                   
 relating to juveniles.  There currently is a statute that prohibits           
 this, but that can be changed by the legislature.  The only                   
 concerns after that would be in regards to the withholding of                 
 federal funds.  Ms. Knuth is not aware of any such federal act that           
 would stipulate the withdrawal of those funds.                                
 MS. KNUTH said finally, one would have to ask, does such a                    
 disclosure violate the Alaskan or United States Constitution.  Ms.            
 Knuth is not aware of any federal constitutional provision that               
 could present a problem in this respect.  It is possible, in                  
 Alaska, for the Supreme Court to say that the right of privacy                
 requires a different treatment of juvenile records than adult                 
 records.  Our hopes for rehabilitation is greater in juveniles, and           
 more emphasis should be placed on privacy.                                    
 MS. KNUTH said the argument in either direction would be strong,              
 and she can speculate that the Alaska Supreme Court would stand               
 behind the privacy issue.  Aside from that, Ms. Knuth is not aware            
 of any other factor that would not allow the release of information           
 through the police agencies, if the policy were changed by the                
 Number 644                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked why the arrest reports cannot simply be            
 made public.                                                                  
 MS. KNUTH believes that involves the constitutional issue, of                 
 whether people who have been arrested, but either not charged or              
 not convicted, have an interest in not having that information be             
 made public, and possibly tarnishing their reputations.  Everyone             
 hears about a juvenile who has been arrested for shoplifting or a             
 more serious offense.  Very few people hear that the person was not           
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that if a person was over 18 years old,             
 there is no question that a police report is public record.                   
 MS. KNUTH said that the police report is not public record.  In               
 fact, there is an entire mass of opinion which was she authored               
 concerning the public disclosure of police records.  There is not             
 one answer.  There is a continuum concerning how long ago the                 
 offense occurred, whether the defendant was a public figure, if               
 there was a conviction, if there was a charge, and what is the                
 likelihood that the allegations are true.  All these factors must             
 be weighed in order to decide whether information is disclosable or           
 MS. KNUTH said a question always exists regarding whether a police            
 record in Alaska is public knowledge.                                         
 Number 747                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said perhaps he was using the wrong term when            
 he said "police report."  He was under the impression that all                
 arrests in a community were made public in the newspaper if the               
 person was over 18 years old.                                                 
 MS. KNUTH said Representative Vezey was referring to the "Police              
 Blotter."  There are three rules applied.  The police blotter is a            
 daily record of arrests.  That is made public, including adult                
 arrests.  The actual report of the arrest and investigation is                
 probably not public at that time.                                             
 MS. KNUTH said that regarding convictions, the United States                  
 Supreme Court said that for federal purposes, a person could go to            
 any court and find out what conviction a person has.  However, an             
 individual cannot go to one agency, such as APSIN, and ask for a              
 person's history of criminal convictions.  Essentially, that is too           
 easy, according to the Supreme Court.  An individual can search and           
 go through a tough process of individual courts, and one by one               
 look for convictions.  However, people have an expectation of                 
 privacy and personal matters, including these criminal activities             
 such that the information is available, it is just not easily                 
 MS. KNUTH said someone is going to make that suggestion, in respect           
 to the law that comes into effect on July 1 when APSIN becomes                
 Number 844                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked where it says the disclosure of juvenile           
 arrests is not permitted in the police blotter or anywhere.  This             
 issue is not being addressed in any of the statutes discussed.                
 MS. KNUTH said AS 47.10.095 concerns the arrest of a minor.  It               
 says the arrest of a minor, other than for a traffic offense, is              
 not considered an arrest for any purpose except for the purpose of            
 the disposition of a proceeding arising out of that arrest.  She              
 said that is one statute that is cited when someone purports                  
 juvenile arrests are different from adult arrests in terms of what            
 information is disclosed and what is not.  There are probably other           
 statutes as well.                                                             
 Number 911                                                                    
 STEVE McPHETRES, Executive Director of the Alaska Council of School           
 Administrators, said the council is in support of HB 125.  The                
 principals across the state of Alaska believe this is very                    
 important information to share with school officials.  For years,             
 principals and other administrators have provided much information,           
 but have rarely, if ever, been the recipient of information when it           
 comes to children with a DFYS background.                                     
 MR. McPHETRES said that agencies have come to schools asking for or           
 requiring confidential information.  When a principal asks why the            
 information is needed, the agency will say, "We can't tell you,               
 it's confidential."  This has plagued teachers and administrators.            
 If the school system is going to work with the whole child, it                
 needs all the information necessary.  If there is some information            
 that is lacking, the ability to work with that child in the best              
 way possible is impaired.                                                     
 Number 965                                                                    
 MR. McPHETRES said the schools are dealing with situations that               
 were not present 20 years ago.  Youth are creating violent acts,              
 yet the school administrators are required to provide a safe                  
 environment in which all children can learn.  If administrators do            
 not have information about youth in the schools that have been                
 convicted of felony crimes, it is not possible to properly                    
 supervise and design intervention programs for them, and provide a            
 safe environment for all students.                                            
 MR. McPHETRES believes it is time for the sharing of information to           
 become a two-way street.  The State of Georgia Division of                    
 Protection conducted seminars across the country for many years.              
 This provided training for community groups regarding protection,             
 courts, juveniles and schools.  The seminars created committees               
 that worked with juvenile issues and problems.  It has been                   
 documented that these programs have helped lower crime rates within           
 the school communities.                                                       
 MR. McPHETRES stressed that the sharing of information does help.             
 It is time that confidence is placed in each other's abilities,               
 talents, skills and expertise, so the nature of the concerns before           
 the school systems today can be addressed.                                    
 Number 1043                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he has heard varying opinions expressed.  He              
 asked if the relationship between the DFYS is cooperative or                  
 MR. McPHETRES answered that the relationship is cooperative up to             
 the point that the schools provide the information requested.  In             
 some cases there are some off-the-record comments made which help             
 administrators deal with the school's youth.  However, Mr.                    
 McPhetres does not believe the relationship is an open, two-way               
 street.  Obviously, this is because of the confidentiality which              
 exists in DFYS records, but somehow that logjam must be broken, and           
 two-way communication must be established.                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if Mr. McPhetres believes that,                 
 instead of passing another law, that maybe there could be a meeting           
 set up between himself and the DHSS and the two-way information               
 exchange could be established.  There is an existing law that                 
 starts the process immediately, perhaps another law is not needed.            
 Number 1114                                                                   
 MR. McPHETRES said the school districts are aware of this piece of            
 legislation passed last year.  In fact, he was called and asked to            
 get copies of that legislation so the administrators could take it            
 down to their local law enforcement agencies and show that there is           
 something on the books that opens the door to sharing.                        
 MR. McPHETRES said the problem lies in the fact that the                      
 legislation is very permissive.  It says "may."  Whenever pieces of           
 legislation are created that say "may," that means the sharing of             
 information is up to the discretion of the individual.  The                   
 information being requested is very important.  That factor must be           
 addressed in some way, and Mr. McPhetres does not know how it is              
 addressed in the current legislation.                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE commented on the difference between HB 125 and SB
 54.  First, not all felonies are waived to adult court, and SB 54             
 changed the burden of proof to the juvenile.  If the juvenile can             
 prove they are amenable to rehabilitation they will not be placed             
 in the adult court.  Therefore, serious crimes may be committed by            
 individuals who remain in the juvenile system.  In this case, the             
 information may not be available to the school district.                      
 Number 1197                                                                   
 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director of the National Education                 
 Association (NEA) of Alaska, echoed a comment made relative to HB
 15.  When children are disruptive, they are generally in a                    
 classroom with other children and teachers.  NEA Alaska supports HB
 125 and the concept of allowing teachers and other school staff               
 access to legally permissible information that is subject to                  
 disclosure under the proper means.  The problems are in the                   
 classroom, and he wants to know if the information would also be              
 provided to teachers so both teachers and principals will be able             
 to deal with problems in terms of a corrective approach as well as            
 an information approach.                                                      
 MR. MARSHALL thinks that in sharing concerns with Ms. Gruening, she           
 can take care of NEA's concerns in the Judiciary Committee.  It is            
 fine to give information to principals.  But he hopes the principal           
 is not paralytic to the point that he or she is trying to figure              
 out what to do with the information.                                          
 MR. MARSHALL read page 4 of HB 125, line 29 which reads "...notify            
 the principal, who shall notify the staff of the school attended by           
 a minor...."  A person in that system needs to know that                      
 information.  This is a concern of the NEA.  Mr. Marshall agrees              
 with those testifying previously, it seems like teachers and                  
 principals often do not share information.  Sometimes teachers do             
 not know the kinds of information that is critically needed for               
 them to address the problem and also be aware of the problem.                 
 MR. MARSHALL suggests a clause be added to HB 125 to insure that              
 the principal pass the information on to the staff of the school              
 relative to what is legally permissible to disclose.                          
 Number 1346                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if Mr. Marshall thought that this               
 lack of information sharing was within the school system, and if              
 legislation and mandates were necessary.  She is concerned with               
 schools, and thinks that right now, information could be exchanged            
 if people could talk.  A parent simply needs to sign a waiver and             
 all information could be exchanged.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it seems this lack of information                
 sharing is a structural problem within the school system that needs           
 to be worked on.  If the principal or the counselor gets                      
 information and is unwilling to share or does not know they should            
 share, that is a school system problem, and does not have to be               
 fixed through legislation.                                                    
 Number 1392                                                                   
 MR. MARSHALL said this is an issue that frustrated teachers one               
 year ago.  NEA participated in discussions relative to SB 54.  As             
 early as a month ago, the frustration level has not diminished.               
 The violence or disruption issue is of great concern to teachers              
 and staff members.  People in addition to teachers can be                     
 victimized by disinformation or the lack if information.  There is            
 a change in process, but there are also bills pending currently and           
 Mr. Marshall has a responsibility to convey that something is not             
 working.  Teachers in classrooms must be made aware of what is                
 going on.                                                                     
 MR. MARSHALL agrees that legislation is not necessary in all steps.           
 But this is a concern, and NEA wants to insure that information               
 reaches the classroom where it can do the most good.  This may be             
 through legislation or regulation.                                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY wanted to set up a working group after the meeting.           
 Obviously, many groups have many concerns, and she thinks that the            
 group can come up with one bill that will suffice for everyone.               
 The bill will need to keep teachers and students safe, the court              
 system happy and the funding flowing.                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON hoped that Vernon Marshall would meet with            
 the other people who testified and attempt to solve the                       
 communication problems.                                                       
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY wanted to bring all interested parties back to the            
 meeting.  She urged everyone to come up with good ideas for a bill            
 that is meaningful to communities and the juveniles.                          
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY announced that next Thursday's meeting, on March 2,           
 will begin at 2:30 p.m.  All Thursday meetings after that will                
 begin at 2:00 p.m.                                                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects