Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/29/1996 03:26 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE February 29, 1996 3:26 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair Representative Con Bunde, Co-Chair Representative Gary Davis Representative Norman Rokeberg Representative Caren Robinson Representative Tom Brice MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Al Vezey COMMITTEE CALENDAR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 387 "An Act relating to minors and to offenses committed by minors, and to programs relating to minors; relating to the use of citations for offenses when the offenses are committed by minors, and authorizing disposition of those offenses by citations that require performance of community service in lieu of a court appearance; establishing a curfew for minors, and authorizing municipalities to establish curfews by ordinance; relating to the detention of minors, defining certain conduct by minors as violations, and amending the criminal jurisdiction of the district court to provide for the disposition of certain offenses involving minors; and amending Rules 3(b) and 23(d), Alaska Delinquency Rules." - PASSED CSSSHB 387 (am) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 523 "An Act expressing the state's policy with respect to sobriety." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 26 Relating to creation of the Public Inebriate Task Force. - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 515 "An Act relating to grants for residential services for certain minors for whom the state has assumed responsibility; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 451 "An Act prohibiting persons from receiving or attempting to receive duplicate assistance; directing the Department of Health and Social Services to establish a pilot project relating to identification of recipients of public assistance; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 387 SHORT TITLE: JUVENILE CODE REVISION SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLY,THERRIAULT,Rokeberg,Kohring JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/05/96 2367 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/08/96 2367 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/08/96 2368 (H) HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/19/96 2483 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED- REFERRALS 01/19/96 2484 (H) HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/19/96 2484 (H) REFERRED TO HES 01/24/96 2528 (H) COSPONSOR(S): ROKEBERG 01/26/96 2548 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING 01/30/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 01/30/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 02/22/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/22/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 02/29/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 523 SHORT TITLE: STATE'S POLICY ON SOBRIETY SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/19/96 2805 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/19/96 2805 (H) HES, JUDICIARY 02/29/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HCR 26 SHORT TITLE: PUBLIC INEBRIATE TASK FORCE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) IVAN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/09/96 2685 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/09/96 2685 (H) HES, FINANCE 02/29/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 515 SHORT TITLE: USE OF YOUTH SERVICES GRANTS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIAMS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/96 2729 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/96 2729 (H) HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 02/29/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 513 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2327 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime sponsor of HB 387 STEVEN GRUNSTEIN, Representative Guardians for Parents Rights P.O. Box 32604 Juneau, Alaska 9803 Telephone: (907) 789-7131 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of CSSSHB 387 ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General Criminal Division Department of Law P.O. Box 100300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3428 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSSHB 387 JANINE REEP, Assistant Attorney General Civil Division, Human Services Section Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3600 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSSHB 387 AL NEAR P.O. Box 80847 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: (907) 479-4090 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSSHB 387 PAUL WORMAN P.O. Box 83774 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: (907) 479-0885 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSSHB 387 PAM WORMAN P.O. Box 83774 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: (907) 47900885 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSSHB 387 CAM CARLSON P.O. Box 90234 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: Not Available POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSSHB 387 DIANE WORLEY, Director Division of Family & Youth Services Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110630 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0630 Telephone: (907) 465-3191 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSSHB 387 DANIELLA LOPER, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Brian Porter Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 118 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4930 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement on HB 523 GREG NOTHSTINE, Coordinator Alaska Federation of Natives Sobriety Movement Anchorage, Alaska Telephone: (907) 274-1775 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 523 STEVE HAMILTON, Research Analyst Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110608 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0608 Telephone: (907) 465-5114 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 523 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant Office of the Commissioner Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110601 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0601 Telephone: (907) 465-3030 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 523 and HCR 26 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan Ivan Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 503 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for HCR 26 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 128 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3424 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for HB 515 TOM LANE, Juneau Facilities Manager Division of Administrative Services Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110650 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0650 Telephone: (907) 465-3037 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 515 JACKIE DAMON, Social Service Program Officer Division of Family & Youth Services Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110630 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0630 Telephone: (907) 465-5114 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 515 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-18, SIDE A Number 001 The House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee was called to order by Co-Chair Bunde at 3:26 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde, Toohey, Brice, Rokeberg and Davis. Members absent were Representatives Robinson and Vezey. A quorum was present to conduct business. He announced the calendar was HB 387, HB 523, HCR 26, HB 515 and HB 451. HB 387 - JUVENILE CODE REVISION Number 085 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced the first order of business to come before the committee was HB 387. He asked Representative Kelly to come forward and present his bill. Number 106 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY, Sponsor, noted he had provided a committee substitute to the committee. Number 154 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY moved to adopt CSSSHB 387, Work Draft 9-LS1276\R, Chenoweth, for discussion purposes. Hearing no objection, it was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON arrived at 3:32 p.m. Number 190 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said one of the most difficult things in dealing with the juvenile crime problem, is that juveniles who are delinquent and juveniles who are in need of aid are mixed together. Committee Substitute for Sponsor Substitute for HB 387 attempts to split in law those two classes of individuals so they can start being looked at separately. He believed this would be a great asset to the Governor's Conference on Juvenile Justice that has been going on in Anchorage. He said there are some policy changes in HB 387 which give direction to the courts and to the Department of Health & Social Services on how to treat juvenile delinquents versus children in need of aid. There are some other collateral issues dealing with school boards and truancy. Number 279 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY began the sectional analysis. He referenced the Truancy Section on page 3 and said it was his intention to offer an amendment which would simplify the language and give the responsibility for procedures to the school board to develop their own truancy policies rather than having to deal with the current cumbersome statutes. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Representative Kelly if he was aware of any controversy surrounding this amendment? REPRESENTATIVE KELLY responded he didn't think there was any controversy. Number 425 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS moved to adopt Amendment R.4. Hearing no objection, the amendment was adopted. Number 449 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY referenced page 5, and said CSSSHB 387 does not establish a state curfew, it merely allows municipalities, through Title 29, to establish curfews. He pointed out that even though different municipalities are establishing curfews currently, the authority is not found in Title 29. He didn't believe there was any controversy regarding this issue, and added it was not an amendment, just a policy change. Number 467 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY directed the committee's attention to pages 8 and 9, and said Amendment R.3 which was at the request of the Department of Health & Social Services moves the delinquency policy into the new Chapter 12 in Title 47. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked for further explanation on Amendment R.3. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY referred to page 9, and said this creates new policy. Subsections (b)(2) and (3) are a derivation of the California law where the responsibility of the juvenile's crime is placed on the parents in the form of fines. Subsection (b)(3) will do that in the form of time, whereby the parent can be brought into the supervision of the child. He said that subsection (b)(2) refers to sanctions and it is a policy that will allow and give the courts and the department direction that sanctions are appropriate for delinquent behavior. Currently there is no language on sanctions for delinquent behavior. Amendment R.3 moves this section into the new chapter, where it is more appropriate. CO-CHAIR BUNDE verified there was no change to the verbiage, it was simply moving it to another chapter. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY replied the policy language before the committee would remain intact and be moved to the new Chapter 12, Delinquent Behavior, on page 27 of the Work Draft. Number 754 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE referenced Amendment R.3 and asked if it would be inserted at the end of page 27, line 23. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY replied it would be the Purpose and Policy Section for the new Chapter and would be inserted between Sec. 47.12.020, Jurisdiction, and Sec. 47.12.015, Provisions Inapplicable. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE verified that it would fall under the Jurisdiction Section; it would not be a new section, for example Sec. 012. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said that was correct. Number 825 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved to adopt Amendment R.3. Hearing no objection, Amendment R.3 was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY directed the committee's attention to page 23 of the Work Draft R and said Amendment R.5 moves Section 48, Detention of Minors, and Section 49, Youth Counselors, into the new chapter. This amendment is at the request of the Departments of Health & Social Services and Law. Number 970 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved to adopt Amendment R.5. Hearing no objection, Amendment R.5 was adopted. Number 992 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY explained that Amendment R.1 removes the language dealing with sex offenders. He had discussed this with the Department of Law and everyone agreed that it would be a cleaner bill if it was removed from this draft, but not from current statute. CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified the amendment removes the language from the committee substitute and allows the language to remain intact in the current statute. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if it deleted Section 4 on page 3. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY responded affirmatively. Also, lines 19-29, page 37, would be deleted from the committee substitute, but not from current statute. Number 1266 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved to adopt Amendment R.1. Hearing no objection, Amendment R.1 was adopted. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the committee now had a complete document before them and opened the meeting to public testimony. Number 1306 STEVEN GRUNSTEIN, Representative, Guardians for Parents Rights, testified that the current juvenile justice system is a farce; it does not work. There are kids that are willful and there is no way of controlling them. When parents do seek assistance, the fault is usually placed on the parents which gets to be very frustrating and aggravating. He referenced a Letter to the Editor which he had written and said it basically highlights all the problems that parents encounter with teen-agers. He stated this legislation is the first thing he's come across in a long time that appears to address the issue. He acknowledged that it would probably go through many changes in the legislative process, but it is supported. Number 1410 ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Law, said the department has found some technical issues that arise from trying to divide one chapter into two chapters which she would be happy to discuss with the committee or with the sponsors. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he would prefer that she just discuss the bill in a general, philosophical way with this committee and the technical issues could be addressed in the Judiciary Committee and with the sponsor. MS. CARPENETI said she didn't believe there was any objection from the Department of Law with dividing Title 47, Chapter 10, into two chapters; one dealing with child in need of aid cases and the other dealing with delinquent cases. She had some substantive issues she wanted to address before the committee. She referenced page 9, line 11, and said although the department supports the possibility of a minor's family contributing and participating in counseling and rehabilitation of the child, it was their position it should be discretionary. She wasn't sure the word "should" was discretionary and suggested inserting "if appropriate" if the sponsor wanted to leave it in the bill. In the department's judgment, there are some cases when it is simply not appropriate and it shouldn't be mandatory. MS. CARPENETI said the next substantive issue was on page 19, line 28. Present law provides that a police officer should return a child to his/her home unless the officer has reasonable cause to suspect that at the home the child is being subject to physical or sexual abuse. This legislation changes it to "reasonable cause to believe" which is a higher level of information. The Department of Law opposes that. It is their belief the police officer should be able to not return the child home if there is reasonable cause to suspect there is child abuse in the home. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Ms. Carpeneti could give a hypothetical example of the difference between believe and suspect. MS. CARPENETI was unable to give an immediate response to that question. CO-CHAIR BUNDE questioned how that would be reviewed in court. MS. CARPENETI responded that police officers apply these standards in their job all the time, so they are accustomed to applying different standards. She didn't believe that a police officer would have a problem making a distinction. She feels a suspicion is a lower level of information than a belief and it is best to allow police officers the ability to not return a child home if there is a suspicion based on reason. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Carpeneti if a reasonable suspicion is probable cause. MS. CARPENETI said no and added that probable cause to believe is a standard that police officers and prosecutors apply when they are deciding whether there is enough evidence to make an arrest. CO-CHAIR BUNDE commented that current language would be at the level of arrest rather than something less than a level (indisc.). MS. CARPENETI further explained that reasonable cause to suspect does not rise to enough information for an arrest; it is a lower amount of information. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if reasonable cause to believe rises to that level? MS. CARPENETI replied that reasonable cause to believe is closer to probable cause. Some people think that reasonable cause to believe is almost at the probable cause for an arrest level. She commented that she had researched this last year and there is not agreement among all attorneys or judges, but she thinks that reasonable cause to believe is a lot closer to probable cause to arrest. MS. CARPENETI stated the third substantive issue was on page 38, beginning on line 12, which is a new section to the code. She said present law provides the court shall consider the best interests of the child and the public. The rest of the material in this section 47.12.120 is new to existing law. She had some questions relating to paragraphs (1) and (2) under subsection (a). Subsection (b) adds considerations that are referred to in criminal law as "Cheney (ph) criteria" which is the case where the court adopted similar criteria for sentencing adults. She felt this section needed more consideration in terms of order. Also, she thought it might be conflicting when looking at the best interest of the minor and how that plays against the seriousness of the minor's delinquent act. The department had some questions regarding the substance of that section. She concluded that those were the only substantive issues the department had with this draft. CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred to the first substantive issue on page 9 and asked if there were any questions regarding the addition of "if appropriate" on page 9, line 11. Number 1790 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked for clarification of the department's recommendation. MS. CARPENETI said it is the department's position it should be discretionary rather than mandatory. She pointed out that it could read "may include" or "should include, if appropriate" to provide that discretion to a court. She reiterated her belief that it was not a good idea that it be required because there are some cases where parental counseling isn't appropriate. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY departed at 4:00 p.m. to attend another meeting. CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that "may include" sounded a little broader in its permissiveness than "should include, if appropriate." MS. CARPENETI said it's close, but the department is concerned about having that discretion available. Number 1790 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she felt strongly that if a young person has reached the point of getting in trouble with the law, the parents do need to be involved at some level of their treatment. She thought that a judge should at least recognize the importance of a young person's therapy in connection with their family. MS. CARPENETI responded that is why she felt that "should include, if appropriate" is stronger than "may include." Number 1871 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS thought that "may" is perhaps too weak and agreed with the addition of "if appropriate." "Should" implies that is the avenue that should be taken, but if there are extenuating circumstances that would make it inappropriate, then "if appropriate" gives the judge that discretion. CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred to page 19, line 28, regarding usage of "suspect" versus "believe." He explained that "believe" is a higher level of probable cause, and "suspect" is a lower level of probable cause. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Representative Kelly if he had any comments on the addition of "if appropriate." Number 1944 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said he had no objection. He added this was a policy statement. Number 1955 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved to adopt Amendment 6 which inserts "if appropriate" after the word "should" on page 9, line 11. Hearing no objection, Amendment 6 was adopted. Number 2000 CO-CHAIR BUNDE again referred to page 19, line 28, regarding the use of "suspect" versus "believe". He asked Representative Kelly if he would like to comment. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said "What we were trying to accomplish here is when the officer picks up the child, and the child knows that all he has to do is say `I'm being abused and the officer then doesn't need to take him home, and that may not be true." If the officer has reason to suspect, that is an extremely low standard. If the officer has reason to believe based on prior experiences with the family or familiarity with the child's parents, then the officer can take the child to the shelter. If on the other hand, the officer has reason to suspect, he is duty bound to report that he suspects child abuse. He asked Ms. Carpeneti if that was correct. MS. CARPENETI said she thought this subparagraph deals with what the officer does with the child. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY pointed out that in another statute, the officer, as a person of responsibility, is duty bound to report child abuse for a kid who just doesn't want to go home. That was what Representative Kelly was trying to achieve. He said AS 47.17 deals with people, such as counselors, teachers, etc., who are required to report child abuse and it is a misdemeanor if they suspect and don't report it. He added that is a low standard and it's a bit of a problem, but it still exists. The police have much more interaction and Representative Kelly wanted to raise that standard so every time they pick up a child who doesn't want to go home, they don't have to report suspected child abuse. Number 2079 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said it was his belief that teachers are required to report suspected child abuse. He asked if this change would have any impact on teachers. MS. CARPENETI replied she didn't believe so. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY asked to correct a prior statement. He said the police officer would still be required to report that he suspected child abuse, he just wouldn't necessarily have to take the child home. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if it was the standard that anyone dealing with children in an official capacity who suspects child abuse is required to report it? Number 2122 JANINE REEP, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, Human Services Section, Department of Law, said that is the reporting standard in the statute. The idea is that teachers and other people don't have to make that determination of believing it or did it really happen. She added that it is intentionally a lower standard so that the job of determining whether there really had been abuse was referred to the department. CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified the proposed change by presenting a hypothetical example of a police officer picking a child up and if he suspects child abuse, he is required by law to report it, but he is not required to take the child to the shelter unless he believes there has been child abuse. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said he thought the difference was with this low standard the police officer automatically has to take the child to the shelter when the child says "I am abused," even if the officer knows the child is not being abused. Number 2190 CO-CHAIR BUNDE inquired if a police officer is told by a child that he/she is being abused, does that constitute the legal level of "suspect" and is the officer required to report that parent? MS. CARPENETI responded in her judgment, no. It has to be a suspicion based on reason and if the child is saying things to the police officer that are not credible, she didn't believe the officer would be required to report it. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Carpeneti to take it to the level of "believe." MS. CARPENETI responded that the suspicion has to be reasonable under present law and the belief has to be reasonable under the proposed language. MS. REEP pointed out one problem the change presents is that there would be dual standards. The reporting standard would still exist - reason to suspect, and there would be a different standard for whether the child is returned. She commented that it was difficult to conceptualize, let alone put into practice. Number 2257 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG thought the amendment should be dealt with by the Judiciary Committee because it was clearly a legal definition of standard. CO-CHAIR BUNDE directed the committee's attention to page 38, line 12 and asked Ms. Carpeneti to explain the Department of Law's concern. Number 2300 MS. CARPENETI said there were a couple of concerns and added this is new language, not part of splitting the code. She commented the drafting is unusual in that it has two subsections: the court shall consider one set of considerations and then another. She explained that in the past, the tradition has been to focus on the best interests of the minor and the public. Now there are other things like the seriousness of the delinquent's act. They may actually relate to each other, but she wanted the opportunity to give it some additional thought. TAPE 96-18, SIDE B Number 001 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were other questions for the representatives from the Department of Law. Hearing none, he advised that testimony would be taken via teleconference. Number 007 AL NEAR testified from Fairbanks that he didn't have a copy of the current work draft, but he had been following the legislation and wholeheartedly supported what he believed was the primary goal of returning the offender to accountability in the juvenile justice formula. He first learned of the accountability gap when his daughter refused to come home from school because he and his wife had threatened to impose grounding sanctions in response to her cutting classes. He was informed by the school counselor that he should try to persuade her to return, but he could face serious consequences if he attempted any physical solution, such as putting her in the car and driving her home. He ended up negotiating with his daughter through the vice principal, the counselor and nurse. In the end, his daughter had her way in that she went home with a classmate for the weekend, thereby avoiding any consequences for her actions. That incident occurred in December 1994, and since then she has been in a dozen or more foster settings from which she either ran away or was asked to leave, still no consequences. His daughter has lived on the streets for up to six weeks at a time, and when she has been picked up as a runaway, she refuses to go home, so she is delivered to the local youth shelter where it's been a revolving door and she soon returns to the unsavory situation from which she had just been rescued, and still no consequences. His daughter was an attractive, intelligent and talented, 15-year-old girl who held the world in her hands before she was pulled into a negative peer group. She was destined for college and a responsible, productive future. Now he doubts that she will even finish high school and she has self-predicted that she will end up in jail, but quickly points out she will be with her friends. He asked how something like this could happen. Before it happened to their family, he would have blamed it on the family, but he and his wife have enjoyed 32 years of a loving partnership and their son is a well-liked 19-year-old college student. He remarked that their situation is not an isolated case. During the past year, there have been families from all walks of life who have similar stories. He pointed out the one continuing theme that runs through all these cases is the absence of accountability. When a child refuses to follow the standards of behavior set forth by the family and society, it seems that the legal system also refuses to uphold them, what should be expected? The earliest intervention is what is needed. He believes that if his daughter had been sent home when she first began experimenting with the system, she might have been saved. But after scores of episodes to which the system responded by rewarding these misadventures with ever greater freedoms, what are the odds that she can ever be turned around? There needs to be appropriate consequences at the beginning or even before, when the kids start talking about running away with their peers. He feels that many of those kids would never take that first step if they knew with certainty there would be appropriate and meaningful consequences. He concluded with "let's show our children that we care by revising our laws to set and maintain reasonable boundaries for them." Number 153 PAUL WORMAN testified from Fairbanks in support of HB 387. He believes that profit businesses should compete with nonprofit corporations. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he thought Mr. Worman was addressing an old version of the bill and pointed out the section relating to for profit or nonprofit organizations had been deleted from the current work draft. He advised Mr. Worman that a copy of the new version would be faxed to the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office. MR. WORMAN asked if the sections regarding sex offenders were still included in the current work draft? CO-CHAIR BUNDE responded that had been deleted from this work draft and the language would go back to where it resides in current statute. Number 268 PAM WORMAN testified via teleconference from Fairbanks and said she didn't understand what Co-Chair Bunde had said about the portion of the bill that addressed sexual offenders. CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted this current work draft does not address sexual offenders. The sexual offender language would remain where it resided in current law. Number 298 CAM CARLSON testified from Fairbanks and thanked Representative Kelly and Senator Steve Frank for this legislation. She said she had been following the issue of runaways for about 15 years, which is closely entwined with juveniles delinquents. She said her three children fortunately grew to adults without getting into these problems, but she has experienced them through friends of neighbors. She has seen perfectly good families where the government has gotten involved, destroyed parental authority and created problems that shouldn't exist. She said she had followed SB 269, CSSB 289 and CSSSHB 387 and had three points to offer: 1) It is essential to keep the family as the point of authority, not the government. The government is taking children out of families with no real proof that insurmountable problems exist and place the children in situations that are worse; 2) anonymity for juvenile delinquents has to be done away with; it's not working. The juvenile needs to know from the very beginning that he/she is going to be held responsible for their actions and no one is going to hide them; and 3) once a child crosses that line, there has to be consequences and they must be severe. Number 384 DIANE WORLEY, Director, Division of Family & Youth Services, Department of Health & Social Services, thanked Representative Kelly and his staff for working so diligently with the department and they feel this draft is much more workable than the original version. As Representative Kelly stated earlier, what is being done is separating the two codes: The child in need of aid code and the juvenile delinquent code. The department supports the effort and will assist with the Governor's Conference on Juvenile Justice as their work related to the juvenile code continues and the eventual rewrite of that code. She felt this legislation should provide a clear separation and some ease to that process. She said now that the separation has been done, she hoped the division would be given the opportunity to go through the bill line by line to ensure the separation had been done in a thoughtful way or language had been left where it shouldn't be. Number 454 CO-CHAIR BUNDE offered an anecdotal note that he had recently attended a town meeting in Anchorage on juvenile justice where there was a bright, articulate, young man about 22 years of age who had just gotten out of jail. This young man said if there had only been consequences that he believed when he was 14 or 15 years old, it would have saved him four or five years of his life. Number 508 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to pass CSSSHB 387, Version R, as amended, with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes out of the House HESS Committee. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. HB 523 - STATE'S POLICY ON SOBRIETY Number 546 DANIELLA LOPER, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Brian Porter, said HB 523 concerns expressing the state's policy with respect to sobriety. House Bill 523 changes AS 47.37.010, Declaration of Policy, regarding the treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse. She said Representative Porter believes that sobriety can be an alternative into the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse - sobriety, meaning a positive, healthy and productive way of life, free from the devastating effects of alcohol and drugs. The sobriety language established an additional solution to the policy set forth by the Uniform Alcoholism and Intoxication Treatment Act. In fact, the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has placed the definition of "sobriety" in their strategic plan "Meeting the Challenge" adopted by the division and the Governor. Also, the Governor has declared the month of March as Sobriety Month. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if this particular section, Declaration of Policy, was actually set forth in statute or was it intent or purpose language? MS. LOPER replied it was actually in statute and it is the Declaration of Policy for the Uniform Alcoholism and Intoxication Treatment Act, which is followed by the division. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if it was a fair characterization to say that previously the bill said if someone was intoxicated, it wasn't a criminal offense, but was allowing intoxication. House Bill 523 emphasizes not the intoxication, but the need for sobriety. MS. LOPER responded that was correct and added it simply says it is the policy of the state to recognize, appreciate and reinforce the examples set by citizens who believe in and support a life of sobriety. Number 686 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said above and beyond that, he thought the last sentence was very important. It's the idea of sobriety being not only a preventive measure, but a rehabilitative measure as well. Also, he mentioned the importance of breaking through the barriers of alcoholism and other addictions by learning new life skills and social skills to help and maintain sobriety. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked to clarify that it was the intention of the sponsor, the Judiciary Committee, to bring forward the concept and idea of sobriety as an articulated state policy in the state and to boost the education. MS. LOPER said that was correct in one form. She said there had been some discussion about having to rewrite policy, etc. However, according to the division and the Department of Law, that will not have to be done because in 1994 it was declared a part of their strategic plan. She reiterated this is simply a declaration in acknowledging that sobriety is a solution to the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. Number 771 GREG NOTHSTINE, Coordinator, Alaska Federation of Natives Sobriety Movement, testified as the coordinator for the Alaska Federation of Natives Sobriety Movement Council and on behalf of the Alaska Federation of Natives, in support of House Bill 523. He said it was a foregone conclusion that alcohol and drug abuse present an immediate danger to the lives, health and well-being of all Alaskans. The Alaska Federation of Natives supports the passage of House Bill 523 because it represents a positive paradigm shift in the state's policy for preventing alcohol and drug abuse in Alaska. MR. NOTHSTINE stated HB 523 speaks to the legitimate recognition by the state of Alaska for a preferred lifestyle now being practiced by thousands of Alaskans and commonly referred to as sobriety. For the Alaska Federation of Natives and 58 other local, regional and statewide organizations, sobriety is understood as a positive, healthy and productive way of life, free from the devastating effects of alcohol and drugs. What is interesting is that the history of sobriety has been a concept and lifestyle, pursued and practiced by millions of Americans, longer than Alaska has been with the Union. Indisputably, our state court system has since dealt with many alcohol and drug abuse related cases. Consequently, many criminals have been remanded to receive education and treatment services, which are regulated by statute. MR. NOTHSTINE reiterated HB 523 represents a positive paradigm shift in the state's policy for preventing alcohol and drug abuse. It favors and follows the conventional wisdom for reinforcing socially appropriate behaviors and choices that are conducive to: a) helping improve the quality of life and health for individuals, families and communities; b) helping reduce the incidence of alcohol and drug related crimes; c) helping reduce the burden on government in exhausting its resources and having to pay for the many social ills and problems caused by alcohol and drug abuse. MR. NOTHSTINE pointed out that committee members had been provided a copy of Governor Tony Knowles' second Executive Proclamation declaring the month of March 1996 as Sobriety Awareness Month. Last year, both Governor Knowles and the Alaska State Legislature, declared March 1995 as Sobriety Awareness Month. This set a precedent in not only state history, but U.S. history, because it made Alaska the first state in the nation to recognize sobriety as a lifestyle; the merits of which are deserving of support from every local, state and federal agency in the field of prevention. MR. NOTHSTINE concluded that on the eve of the second proclaimed Sobriety Awareness Month in our state's history and on behalf of the AFN Board of Directors and the AFN Sobriety Movement Council, he urged and supported the passage of HB 523. Number 934 STEVE HAMILTON, Research Analyst, Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Department of Health & Social Services, testified on behalf of the director and also represented the board members. He conveyed to the committee the support of the Advisory Board for the concept of sobriety as expressed in HB 523. They were particularly pleased that it is an inclusive measure - that it includes all Alaskans who have made the choice to live a life of sobriety rather than singling out those people who are living a life of sobriety in recovery from alcohol. He noted there were a number of pieces of legislation dealing with alcoholism and drug abuse, addressing financial aspects with legal repercussions for use. He stated the Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse applauded this because it represents a positive effort to include all Alaskans and celebrate the life of sobriety. Number 984 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Health & Social Services, testified in support of the sobriety movement. He said the department has no objection to adding this as an addition to the policy under the division's statute. Number 1015 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to pass HB 523 out of the House HESS Committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. HCR 26 - PUBLIC INEBRIATE TASK FORCE Number 1050 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan Ivan presented the sponsor statement for HCR 26. He said Representative Ivan introduced this resolution because of a growing problem in Alaska that will undoubtedly need to be addressed by future legislatures. The resolution establishes a task force to develop and recommend to the legislature a plan for treatment and services for intoxicated persons and persons incapacitated by alcohol who are affected by Title 47. As many are aware, under AS 47.37.170, local police take into protective custody a person who appears to be intoxicated and incapacitated in a public place and place that person in an approved public treatment or detention facility. A licensed physician or other qualified health practitioner must then examine the inebriate as soon as possible. If the person is found to be incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, he or she is detained for no more than 48 hours in a health facility or for no more than 12 hours in a detention facility. Treatment costs, of course, accrue to municipalities and public health facilities due to this program. However, the costs, all affected programs, and other aspects of the Title 47 equation are unknown or sketchy at best. He said that's why Representative Ivan believes it is necessary to form a task force and look into this problem from all angles. Those who are listed as participants have a vested interest in finding a resolution and Representative Ivan believes they will be instrumental in tackling this problem. Number 1137 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE referred to page 3, line 1, and noted that the task force would include a member of the Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He questioned why the Advisory Council wasn't undertaking this project instead of establishing a task force. MR. WRIGHT said he couldn't respond on behalf of the Advisory Council. He pointed out there have been a number of task forces in the past which have touched on this issue, but no one had really gotten a firm grasp on the whole problem. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if Mr. Wright was aware of any task force in the past that had specifically looked into this issue. MR. WRIGHT responded he was not aware of any. He noted the Department of Health & Social Services had requested, with the sponsor's concurrence, that an official of the department be included on the task force rather than a member of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noted the proposed task force would consist of 17 members and said she had always favored a smaller number of members. She acknowledged that the sponsor was trying to bring in all the affected parties, but it increases the cost. Her concern is the end result will be similar to a commission that was established last year whereby little or no action was taken on the commission's recommendations. She questioned why the division wasn't undertaking the task set out in the resolution. MR. WRIGHT replied the Advisory Council or division would need to speak to that issue. He said Representative Ivan was trying to include the agencies affected by this. He referred to testimony given on another bill regarding reimbursement to municipalities for public inebriate costs, and said every time one step is taken, it appears there are three or four other steps that need to be looked at. He admitted it was a large task force, but it was Representative Ivan's hope to get as much of the problem addressed as possible from all the different angles. Number 1375 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Health & Social Services, testified the department would request consideration of an amendment on page 3, lines 4 and 5, to simply specify a member from the Department of Health & Social Services rather than a member of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse within the Department of Health & Social Services. Commissioner Perdue had alluded that she may wish to participate. In any event, he assured the full cooperation of the staff from the division. Mr. Lindstrom did not believe there had ever been a task force or a working group within the department who had looked specifically at this issue, but as Mr. Wright had indicated there had been a number of task forces and commissions that have addressed one or more aspects of this issue. He believed currently there is a Municipality of Anchorage task force looking at this issue. The department had worked with them, but Mr. Lindstrom had not seen a final report or recommendations from that group. He said the issue of involuntary commitment had come to the department's attention, which ultimately resulted in legislation sponsored by Representative Ivan. Mr. Lindstrom said the department had been working with the board and the sponsor and that is the one discreet piece of the problem the department feels they would like to move forward with. However, the department is sure there will be other issues that would come forward from the proposed task force. CO-CHAIR BUNDE stated HCR 26 would be held in committee to allow time for the Department of Health & Social Services to address the amendment with the sponsor. MR. LINDSTROM addressed the concern about the size of the task force, and said it was a real concern but he knew that each and everyone of the groups did have a legitimate interest and involvement in this issue. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said reducing the size of the task force may not save a lot of money, recognizing that all these groups need to be involved. She asked if it was possible to involve them through the teleconferencing system rather than having to bring 17 people together at a specific location. Number 1647 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referenced HB 523 which just passed out of the House HESS Committee, cited the policy in the first "Whereas" in the resolution, and suggested that language be incorporated in HCR 26. HB 515 - USE OF YOUTH SERVICES GRANTS Number 1760 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS, Sponsor of HB 515, read the following sponsor statement: "House Bill 515 allows the recipient of an operating grant for residential services to use grant money to pay for the purchase of a building. Residential services are defined in statute as `24-hour care and supervision of minors in residential child care facilities that are commonly known as group homes or institutions' (AS 47.40.091). "Currently recipients of these grants may not use grant money to pay the principal of a mortgage loan. They may, however, use the money for rent and least payments. Today recipients pay rent/lease payments year after year with no chance of building equity. The residential youth home in Ketchikan has spent over $200,000 in rent over the last six years. They could own their facility today had it not been for the present statute. "By changing this statute these residential centers can, in many cases, lower monthly payments and eventually own their own facility. In the long run this will lessen their dependency on the state and allow more money for the programs that help our troubled youth. "During these times of fiscal responsibility, we need to get the most out of every dollar the state spends. I believe this legislation will give these homes flexibility toward bettering their programs. I urge you to support this legislation." CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked what prompted Representative Williams to introduce this legislation? REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said individuals who are in charge of the homes in Ketchikan brought it to his attention. He also thought it was something that needed to be looked at, especially when an agency spends that kind of money for lease/rent over a six year period. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Representative Williams knew why the statute was written as it currently exists? REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said he didn't know, but perhaps someone from the Department of Health & Social Services could respond to that question. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said this bill focuses on residential services for certain minors and asked Representative Williams if he had given any thought to including adult treatment programs, battered women's shelters and other programs available for adults. It was her belief that any nonprofit organization receiving state grants should be able to use the money to actually purchase the facility, if they could show good cause. Number 2017 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked where the assets would go if one of these homes had been in existence for 20 years, the state had paid off the mortgage on the facility, and the facility closed down after the mortgage is paid off. TAPE 96-19, SIDE A Number 039 TOM LANE, Juneau Facilities Manager, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Health & Social Services, referred to Representative Brice's question and said in any of their capital grants, normally the department would have a deed of trust or some other covenants or restrictions for a 20-year period. The department normally assumes a 20-year period as the depreciation period. After that, the property would revert to the grantee. Number 120 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked about a situation where the grantee closes down the program after 25 years. MR. LANE responded the 20-year period is somewhat arbitrary, but it is based on federal guidelines the department uses for depreciation. During the 20-year period, it is the assumption that the state does have some interest in the building and it is put in the deed of trust or covenants and restrictions, so the purpose is specifically granted for a public purpose after negotiation. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked who owns that building if the nonprofit agency that has used it for 25 years goes out of business for some reason and the state no longer has the covenant. MR. LANE replied the nonprofit agency legally would own that building after 20 years. The assumption is the building has essentially depreciated and the state no longer has any right to that building. Prior to the end of that 20-year period, the normal practice is that the state would have some right to the building. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the maintenance was paid by the nonprofit or by the state? MR. LANE responded it was paid by the grantee. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS pointed out the grantee could also utilize grant monies or state dollars for maintenance and upkeep, so in a sense the state would continually be upgrading to keep the value of the asset, so at the end of the 20 years it was possible the state still could have an asset. Number 220 JACKIE DAMON, Social Service Program Officer, Division of Family & Youth Services, Department of Health & Social Services, said she was the grants administrator for the residential facilities. She said it is true that in the grant process money is allocated to cover expenses for the building, but one of the provisions of all the grants is that at the end of a grant period, when the grantee is no longer a grantee of the department, any of the assets purchased during that time need to be distributed to another grantee providing like services or at least another social service type facility. Ms. Damon commented that she is aware of one or two buildings that had been purchased with state money over a period of 20 years or longer, and are no longer providing services to the Division of Family & Youth Services, but they are being used to provide social services to a group that is also served by the department. MS. DAMON pointed out this particular statute speaks only to the residential child care grants, but department grants speak to all of the grantees. Grant money is allowed to be used for the purchase of a building under the department grants, but it is not allowed under the residential grants. The residential grants take precedent, if there is something in the department's regulations, but not in the residential grant regulations, then the department grant regulations take precedent. In this case, it is only the residential provider grantees who cannot purchase buildings. CO-CHAIR BUNDE summarized that the property doesn't go into limbo, it remains of use to nonprofit agencies who provide social services. In other words, the property is not going to be sold, and the money will end up in someone's pocket. MS. DAMON responded no, because the grant awards specify that it must be used for like services in case of no longer being funded. Number 398 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG verified these were grants to private nonprofit corporations and asked what occurred if the funding was cut off after a period of years, but prior to the satisfaction of the note on the deed of trust. Where is the title vested? MR. LANE replied the state would have some right to that building. He said this is a general problem that works with all the state's capital grants, whatever they are. He explained that in any facility, the state doesn't necessarily own the right for perpetuity, but they try to maintain that it has a public purpose, and then if there is a problem in the future, the state would negotiate with that grantee, possibly even foreclose on the building. He added it's rarely done, but the state does have the legal right to foreclose if they have a deed of trust. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said it was his understanding there are provisions in those leases that allow the state to terminate their lease/own interest if funding is not approved by the legislature. He commented that accounts for the lease/own interest situation, but he thought it also applied to policy as to purchase (indisc.) fee about what is going to occur with that asset. If there is not a future income stream to service the debt on the promissory under the deed of trust, then there is going to be an automatic default if the funding is cut off by the legislature. He commented that when the federal government does things of this nature, they do it with cash. He said that Representative Robinson's suggestion to include adult programs sounds like a great concept, but the state could have numerous obligations to other deed of trust holders or beneficiaries if the funding was cut back. Number 585 MR. LANG remarked the state wouldn't have any obligation. The obligation would be all on the grantee. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that Mr. Lang was alluding to "some state of Alaska right here that (indisc.) law when you're depreciating this and then there's no reversionary interest in the fee afterwards. So, the state would pay for the physical asset and at the end of the satisfaction of the promissory note, then title would revert to the nonprofit organization?" MR. LANG replied it is their general practice that the title is always with the organization, but the state has a deed of trust on the title; it's basically a mortgage like a bank would do. If that property is not being used correctly or is in danger of default, the state could step in and foreclose on that property. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he would like to hold HB 515 in committee so Representative Rokeberg could work with the department and discuss the real estate implications. Number 661 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out there is a request from the Department of Health & Social Services for revision in the fiscal note. MR. LANG informed the committee that this particular statute is unique. The department has a lot of grant programs that allow the department to give capital grants, but this is the only grant program that he is aware of that has any restriction. He said this is an anomalous situation and the department is going along with it because it brings this program in line with the other grant practices. Number 784 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked these were tax exempt facilities under the current system of leasing and renting? MS. DAMON replied the nonprofits are tax exempt. She felt this issue had been raised because many of the nonprofit agencies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of time to some landlord for property, and this legislation would allow them to own the building and the money could then be used for services. She added this particular regulation went into effect in about 1983 and a lot of the nonprofits who provided residential care services to children in the department's custody, were able to get their buildings through capital projects. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he would like to hold HB 515 over until Thursday, March 7, to allow time for the department to work with the sponsor and Representative Rokeberg regarding the technical issues. MR. LANG added the department feels that rather than just limiting the change to building-related, he whole clause in question should be deleted. CO-CHAIR BUNDE suggested the department work with the sponsor on that issue. ADJOURNMENT CO-CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the meeting of the House HESS Committee at 5:14 p.m.