Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/19/1996 02:09 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 March 19, 1996 2:09 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 All members present COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 465 "An Act relating to employment of teachers and school administrators and to public school collective bargaining." - MOVED CSHB 465 (HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 26 Relating to creation of the Public Inebriate Task Force. - MOVED CSHCR 26 (HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 512 "An Act establishing English as the common language and related to the use of English in public records and at public meetings of state agencies." - MOVED CSHB 512 (HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 529 "An Act giving notice of and approving the entry into, and the issuance of certificates of participation in, a lease-purchase agreement for a centralized public health laboratory." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 540 "An Act relating to health care data and registration of births." - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 12 Supporting the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Alaska and the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers. - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 535 "An Act relating to postsecondary education." - BILL POSTPONED 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 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 30 Relating to rights of public school students. - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 465 SHORT TITLE: TEACHER EMPLOYMENT/PUB SCHL BARGAINING SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) IVAN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/02/96 2606 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/02/96 2606 (H) HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES 02/13/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/13/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/12/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/14/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 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 02/29/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/14/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 512 SHORT TITLE: ENGLISH AS THE COMMON LANGUAGE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT,Barnes,Green,Kohring JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/96 2728 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/96 2729 (H) HES, JUDICIARY 02/27/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/27/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/05/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/05/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/08/96 3042 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 03/12/96 3101 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING 03/12/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/14/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 529 SHORT TITLE: APPROVE CENTRALIZED PUBLIC HEALTH LAB SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/28/96 2912 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/28/96 2912 (H) HES, FINANCE 03/14/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/21/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 540 SHORT TITLE: HEALTH CARE DATA; BIRTH REGISTRATIONS SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/11/96 3061 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/11/96 3061 (H) HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HR 12 SHORT TITLE: UNIV. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIAMS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/96 2721 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/96 2721 (H) HES, LABOR & COMMERCE 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/21/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 535 SHORT TITLE: POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/29/96 2962 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/29/96 2962 (H) HES 03/05/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/05/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/07/96 (H) HES AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 106 03/14/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 451 SHORT TITLE: PROHIBIT DUPLICATE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MULDER JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/26/96 2541 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/26/96 2541 (H) HES, FINANCE 02/29/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/29/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/05/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/05/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/12/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/14/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HCR 30 SHORT TITLE: STUDENT RIGHTS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/96 2722 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/96 2722 (H) HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/21/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 WITNESS REGISTER VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director NEA-Alaska, Incorporated 114 Second Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-3090 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSHB 465(HES) REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 503 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of CSHB 465 (HES) and CSHCR 26 (HES) TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Aide to Representative Ivan Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 503 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSHB 465 (HES) and CSHCR 26 (HES) CARL ROSE, Executive Director Association of Alaska School Boards 316 West 11th Street Juneau, Alaska 99801-1510 Telephone: (907) 586-1083 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSHB 465 DON DAPCEVICH, Executive Director Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction P.O. Box 110608 Juneau, Alaska 99801-0607 Telephone: (907) 465-8920 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified CSHCR 26 (HES) JULIE KRAFT, Director Member Service Alaska Municipal League 217 Second Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-1325 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HCR 26 (HES) NELSON PAGE, Chair Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority 810 N Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 276-6100 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HCR 26 ROGER POPPE, Legislative Aide to Representative Kott Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-6882 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 512 IRMA MIRELES P.O. Box 34326 Juneau, Alaska 99803 Telephone: (907) 780-4475 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 512 KAREN PERDUE, Commissioner Office of the Commissioner Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110601 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0601 Telephone: (907) 465-3030 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 529 GREGORY V. HAYES, DrPH, Chief Laboratories Division of Public Health Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110613 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0613 Telephone: (907) 465-3019 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 529 JOHN MIDDAUGH, MD, Chief Division of Public Health Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 240249 Anchorage, Alaska 99524-0249 Telephone: (907) 561-4406 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 529 and HB 540 TOM LANE, Facilities Manager Division of Public Health Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110613 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0613 Telephone: (907) 465-3019 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 529 GREG HERREFORD, Manager Juneau Laboratory Division of Public Health Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110613 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0613 Telephone: (907) 465-3019 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 529 NOLAN WATSON, Senior Vice-President McLellan and Copenhagen, Incorporated 1402 3rd Avenue, Suite 900 Seattle, Washington 98101 Telephone: (206) 624-5300 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 529 AL ZANGRI, Chief Vital Statistics Division of Public Health Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110675 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0675 Telephone: (907) 465-3392 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 540 GARREY PESKA, Lobbyist Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association P.O. Box 240285 Douglas, Alaska 99824 Telephone: (907) 364-2244 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 540 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 128 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3793 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HR 12 RALPH McGRATH, President Alaska Community Colleges Federation of Teachers 2533 Providence Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99508 Telephone: (907) 562-2660 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12 BILL JERMAIN, Attorney Jermain, Dunnagan, and Owens Representing ACCFT 3000 A Street, Suite 300 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: (907) 563-8844 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-29, SIDE A Number 001 The House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee was called to order by Co-Chair Bunde. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde, Toohey, G. Davis, Rokeberg, Robinson and Brice. A quorum was present. CO-CHAIR CON BUNDE announced that the agenda was HB 465, HCR 26, HB 512, HB 451, HB 529, HB 540, HR 12 and HR 30. HB 465 - TEACHER EMPLOYMENT/PUB SCHL BARGAINING Number 0154 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that HB 465 would be discussed, an act relating to employment of teachers and school administrators and to public school collective bargaining. Number 190 CO-CHAIR CYNTHIA TOOHEY made a motion to adopt CSHB 465 ( ), version 9-LS1586\O, Cramer, dated March 18, 1996, as the working document. Number 0233 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE objected for purposes of discussion and said there had been many proposed amendments to HB 465. Number 0285 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said CSHB 465, version O, adopts amendments 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. He said Amendment 4, on page four, line two, deletes "shall" and inserts "may" to make the language more permissive and deals with the administrator's evaluation. Amendment 5, page three, line nine, after "community members," deletes "peers" and inserts "teachers". He said Amendment 7, page three, line seven, after "dismissal", inserts "under AS 14.20.170(a);" to add a statutory reference. Amendment 8, page eight, line eight, inserts "a teacher who has acquired tenure who is dismissed or non-retained may waive the post-termination procedures set out in Section C and within 60 days after receipt of notice of dismissal or non- retention file an action in the superior court", allowing direct access to the superior court, rather than going through the procedure. Number 0473 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Aide to Representative Ivan, said Amendment 8 was modified by the sponsor, Representative Ivan, but retains the same meaning. Number 0487 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the intent of Amendment 8 is that a non- retained or a dismissed teacher can go directly to superior court if they chose to do so. He said Amendment 9, on page three, line 22, after "last", delete "no more than one year" and more clearly define the year by inserting "no less than nine months, no more than 12 months". Number 0541 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE clarified that Amendment 9 involved the plan for improvement. He then withdrew his objection to the motion to adopt CSHB 465 (HES), version O, as the working document. Hearing no other objection, CSHB 465 (HES), version O, was adopted as the working draft by the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 0566 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director, NEA-Alaska, Incorporated, expressed his concerns regarding CSHB 465. He said on page five, line 13, regarding the stipulation, that failure to receive an acceptable performance in the teacher evaluation system after the implementation of a plan of improvement, would serve as a reason to non-retain a tenured teacher. He said this particular clause stipulates a process. He said it is important to refer to the established standards, especially in the evaluation section, as being the professional performance standards adopted by the Department of Education (DOE). He said those standards, or criteria, by which individuals who are teaching in the classroom, are measured in accordance with the word incompetence. MR. MARSHALL said his organization does not have a problem with the utilization of the evaluation procedure or a system to prove incompetence by showing that an individual is not performing at an adequate level relative to the professional performance standards adopted by the DOE. He said a failure to execute a plan of improvement or not receiving an acceptable evaluation could be applied to any number of principals in the state. He said, "theoretically you could have, a person saying while I assume good performance is 100 percent accountability 100 percent of the time." He said there should be an acknowledged measure or criteria by which teachers are judged. He added that plans of improvement should be developed in accordance with these standards. Number 0758 CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified that he was referring to standards that the DOE developed and he then asked Mr. Marshall if that should be used as a baseline. Number 0770 MR. MARSHALL said either the DOE standards could be used, or the deleted language of HB 465 which involves incompetency. He said competency will either be shown or not shown, reflected in the evaluation system or the plan of improvement. He said the plan of improvement should deal with the issue of incompetency. He said language could be added on line 18, tying the incompetency standard to the evaluation and plan of improvement. He said his organization would like to see people removed for incompetency and to do this the classroom must be monitored and evaluations must be done. Number 0820 MR. MARSHALL said the other section of concern was the reduction in force, on page five, line 27. He said some work was done on this same issue in HB 217 which had more specific requirement before a reduction in force was allowed to happen. He said HB 217 required a 1 percent reduction in basic need. Number 0867 MR. MARSHALL said on line 31 and 32, page five, the reduction of the work force requirement in CSHB 465 is a demonstrated significant reduction in per pupil expenditure, from one year to the next. He said this language is broader and more general than the language in HB 217. Number 0896 MR. MARSHALL said HB 217 established that non-tenured teachers would be laid off, or non-retained first, followed by tenured teachers. He said CSHB 465, on page six, line six, a notice of non-retention to all non-tenured teachers has to be given and does not say that you non-retain non-tenured teachers. He said HB 217 referred to the primary and secondary program and tried to reduce staff at those points. Number 0962 MR. MARSHALL referred to page six, line two, and said the layoff plan must identify academic or other programs which the district intends to maintain. He presented a scenario where the instrumental music program would be eliminated under the provisions of CSHB 465. He said there is no notification requirement that, two years or one year prior to the elimination of the program, teachers are notified and encouraged to get additional schooling so that they can obtain an extra endorsement. He said the notification process is a humane way to retain competent teachers, even though it might not be the intent of CSHB 465. He said there should at least be the opportunity for individuals to have an opportunity to stay in the system. Number 1041 MR. MARSHALL complicated the scenario, referring to the instrumental teacher who has received his additional endorsement allowing him to teach math. He said CSHB 465 requires that the teacher show experience in the subject area in secondary and elementary programs, but added that there is an "or" inclusion in line 18. He said he would hope that if teachers showed themselves capable to teach one subject, they would be allowed to teach another subject. Number 1085 MR. MARSHALL referred to Section D, line 10 to line 23, and said it appears that CSHB 465 eliminates seniority. He said there is an elementary, middle school and a secondary set of teachers who can be listed according to program or academic areas. He said if a school district moves to lay off staff, there is nothing in CSHB 465 to protect any tenured teacher from possible layoff. He said to subject all staff from possible layoff seems excessive, especially when you can limit the layoff based on a seniority list. He said there is no requirement that non-tenured teachers be laid off first, CSHB 465 exposes everyone to possible layoff. Number 1158 MR. MARSHALL referred to another scenario where good teachers, who the school district would want to retain if there were better economic circumstances, left the state of Alaska to teach in other states. He said the language in page six, line 32, would not allow those teachers to be on the recall list. He said he did know the intent of CSHB 465, but felt that the term "state" on line 32 should be eliminated. Number 1240 MR. MARSHALL said the concerns his organization had regarding the opportunity to appeal directly to the superior court have been eliminated in language on page seven and on page eight. He said, in conclusion, districts might want to use the grievance process to adjudicate a dismissal or a non-retention through binding arbitration. He said that this scenario would not prevent lawyers from being present on both sides, but it does give the option to districts that might want to utilize arbitration. He said the use of arbitration could result in a quicker and less expensive way to deal with a grievance issue. MR. MARSHALL said the provisions of HB 217 should be included in CSHB 465, as the language is clearer and provides a larger degree of security to those tenured teachers and does not expose them to the possibility of layoff. Number 1354 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that makes two people who would wish to discuss arbitration. He added that utilizing arbitration would result in the lost ability to strike in those districts. MR. MARSHALL said CSHB 465 is relative only to employment. CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony. He asked Representative Ivan and his staff, Tom Wright to join the committee in reviewing the amendments. He asked the committee members, in the future, to submit amendments in writing to avoid confusion. Number 1414 CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred to page five, line 15, and said there was some confusion regarding the definition of "acceptable" and "least acceptable" performance and added Mr. Marshall's reference to HB 217. He asked Representative Ivan to address that concern. Number 1435 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said as a result of discussions with Mr. Marshall he is submitting amendments; Amendments 10, 11 and 12. He said, in regards to this particular section, Amendment 12 would modify the language in CSHB 465 to address this concern. Number 1459 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if everyone had received Amendment 12. Number 1473 MR. WRIGHT said the language in Amendment 12 is similar, but not the same as the language proposed by Mr. Marshall and Ms. Douglas. Number 1486 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON requested that Mr. Marshall be asked for his comments regarding the amendment. Mr. Marshall joined Representative Ivan and Mr. Wright at the witness table. Number 1515 MR. MARSHALL said his organization had wanted professional performance standards to be set up in local school district evaluation procedures. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if Amendment 12 was acceptable. Number 1538 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether these performance standards would be more stringent in regards to regulations and asked if the standards would be in conflict with the provision located on page two, lines 25 and 26. Number 1567 MR. WRIGHT said two proposed amendments, which are based in (b)(1), are based on professional performance standards adopted by the Department of Regulations. He said the local school board has to use that as a basis for any adopted standards. He said it is a decision of the local school board or if they want to exceed or adopt the same standard as developed by the Department of Regulations. He said the language incorporated in CSHB 465 was requested by the local school districts. Number 1587 CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified that the state standard is the minimum standard, and the local school board can opt to make it more stringent but cannot decrease the standard. He said the state standard is addressed in regulations. MR. WRIGHT said the regulation is in Alaska Administrative Code 04.200. Number 1613 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to Section 3, regarding performance standards and asked if performance objectives were defined in the plan of improvement included in this section. Number 1630 MR. WRIGHT said Section 14.20.149 outlines the evaluation procedures, known as the professional department standards, and mentions the plan of improvement. He said, instead of reciting one specific portion or one subsection, it was left broad and all encompassing. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG clarified that it is universal (indiscernible) to that section. Number 1665 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 12 to CSHB 465. Number 1671 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a point of order and said the committee needed to address Amendments 1,2,3 in that order first. After committee discussion regarding the point of order, Representative Brice contended that these first proposed amendments would have bearing on Amendment 12. Number 1691 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG withdrew his motion to adopt Amendment 12 to CSHB 465. Number 1699 CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred to page five, line 27, regarding the reduction in force, and said it wasn't a specific line reference, but it addressed the whole notion of the reduction in force. He referred to the inclusion in HB 217 of a 1 percent reduction rather then a significant and demonstrated reduction. He asked Representative Ivan to comment on this concern. Number 1732 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said at this time he could not agree to the proposed layoff language and said he preferred the language in CSHB 465. He said quality standards must be included in the layoff and rehire procedure. Number 1762 CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred to page six, line six, and questioned the intent of this language. He asked whether all teachers should be notified about possible non-retention. Number 1788 MR. WRIGHT said the intent is that before a tenured teacher be placed on layoff status a notice of non-retention has to be provided to non-tenured teachers, except when utilizing the quality standards to evoke non-retention. Number 1809 MR. MARSHALL said the language in HB 217 states, "after the district has non-retained all non-tenured teachers," and added that this language is very clear. Number 1819 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the language in CSHB 465 only refers to giving notice of non-retention and does not say that the district non- retain them before you go on to the tenured teacher. He asked the intent of the sponsor, whether it was to provide notice or non- retain the teachers. He said this question does not have to be answered now, but could be addressed at a later date. Number 1843 CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred to page six, line 32, where someone in the state receives an option of being recalled while maintaining their recall status, while they are currently working another job which prevents them from breaking their current contract. He restated Mr. Marshall's concern that if the teacher is currently working in another state, where they would have to break their contract to come back to the state, if the language in CSHB 465 could incorporate these people as well. Number 1880 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said the intent is to give everyone the full opportunity to regain their former position. He said the geographic logistics were not included, but said he would concur that if someone was on layoff status they should not be limited by geography. Number 1896 CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified that even if laid off teachers were in another state, they could still retain recall status. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said new language could be added so that it could read another part of the state or another district. Number 1906 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said this geographic language change would be listed as Amendment 13. Number 1925 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the committee would go through the amendment process now that the questions had been addressed. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a motion to adopt Amendment 1 to CSHB 465. Number 1937 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY objected to the proposed Amendment 1. Number 1942 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said Amendment 1 reinserts the incompetency standards that had previously existed within the statutes. He said the state has legally defined standards and he believed that Amendment 1 incorporated the language of proposed Amendment 12 with the inclusion of the incompetency standards. Number 1987 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he was against the proposed Amendment 1 because of the reversion to the original language. He said this language leaves the definition open and vague, and subject to litigation. He said the costs of associated court cases is what CSHB 465 is seeking to avoid. Number 2012 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said, as it is an issue of people's livelihoods, standards should be met. He said the application of a plan of improvement should be subject to a just cause test and the plan of improvement should also meet this requirement. Number 2034 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it was important to note that the proposed Amendment 1 incorporates both the language in CSHB 465 and the language regarding a failure, after implementation of a plan of improvement, to receive an evaluation of least acceptable performance under teacher evaluations. She said Amendment 1 allows two ways to improve a teacher's performance. She asked for Mr. Rose's input as the language in the proposed Amendment 1 is a standard which has been followed and it is wording that most people understand. She believed that the proposed Amendment 1 made the language of CSHB 465 stronger. Number 2070 CARL ROSE, Executive Director, Association of Alaska School Boards, said attempts have been made to remove the standard of incompetence, for a long time. He said this standard is too low and that the definition of incompetence is listed in Alaska case law to such a stringent degree. He said a teacher who ranks a two on a scale of ten, with ten being excellence and a one being incompetent, would still be regarded as competent. He said CSHB 465 addresses standards and acceptable performance. He said the issue of incompetence is so stringent that many administrators are unable to use it to prove the competency or incompetency of individuals in the classroom. He said the standards, adopted by the Department's regulations, allow the local districts the opportunity to examine a criteria based evaluation "in concert" with their community. He said this would establish what teachers are expected to teach and what parents can expect in the classroom. Number 2138 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said the proposed Amendment 1 makes the language stronger because it gives the school district both options, either under the provision of incompetency or failure to meet the criteria set up in the plan of improvement, and asked what the objection was to providing this option in CSHB 465. Number 2161 MR. ROSE said the school districts are trying to move to a criteria based evaluation process in order to provide progressive education and also to address the quality of education instruction in the classroom. He said school districts are trying to focus on performance and quality, but that they are dealing with protectionism. He said this is a difficult transition to make if the state is more concerned with the consequences than the efforts to improve the quality of education. He said the employees should be protected, but lowering the education standards to protect those employees causes concern. Number 2184 A roll call vote was taken on proposed Amendment 1 to CSHB 465. Representatives Brice and Robinson voted yea. Representatives G. Davis, Rokeberg, Co-Chair Toohey and Co-Chair Bunde voted nay. Amendment 1 failed to be adopted to in the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 2222 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a motion to adopt Amendment 2 to CSHB 465. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY objected to the proposed Amendment 2. Number 2277 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the proposed Amendment 2 changes the language from an acceptable level to a satisfactory level, or less than acceptable level to an incompetent level. He said it re- defines the definition of incompetence as the inability or the unintentional or intentional failure to perform the teachers' customary duties in a satisfactory manner. He said the proposed Amendment 2 adds clarity to the concerns that were just raised regarding incompetence. CO-CHAIR BUNDE mentioned the discussion concerning incompetency. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said proposed Amendment 2 is a redefinition of that standard. A roll call vote was taken on proposed Amendment 2 to CSHB 465. Representatives Brice and Robinson voted yea. Representatives G. Davis, Rokeberg, Co-Chair Toohey and Co-Chair Bunde voted nay. Amendment 2 failed to be adopted to in the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 2293 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a motion to adopt Amendment 3 to CSHB 465. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY objected to the proposed Amendment 3. Number 2302 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the proposed Amendment 3 states that the evaluating administrator consult with the tenured teacher in setting clear, specific performance expectations to be included in the plan of improvement. He said a concern was raised that there was no specific language of what these plans of improvement will include. He added that specific language must be included in statute to prevent situations where unobtainable standards were established. He said the proposed Amendment 3 would allow for a working relationship between the administrators and employees to occur. Number 2347 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he found it difficult to imagine that a plan of improvement would occur without including the teacher. TAPE 96-29, SIDE B Number 0000 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said Section 3 includes a requirement that observations and the establishment of criteria be found. He added that it appeared the intent was to include the teacher in developing the plan of improvement. He asked the sponsor whether the language of CSHB 465 needed to be clarified. Number 0073 MR. WRIGHT said his reading of the proposed Amendment 3 is that it would require the administration to consult with each tenured teacher within that school district or within that specific school to set up these specific expectations which would be included in the plan of improvement. Number 0086 CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified that the language of proposed Amendment 3 states "with the" and would mean that if a plan of improvement were needed, a specific teacher would be notified. MR. WRIGHT said the issue of how a plan of improvement is going to be implemented can be addressed at a local level. He said there was language in CSHB 465 which addressees ways in which the tenured and non-tenured teachers performance can be improved. Number 0105 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said CSHB 465 clearly states "that's what will happen." Number 0110 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked the sponsor to point out specific language where teachers are included in the plan of improvement. Number 0115 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked the sponsor whether the intent of the plan of improvement would include the teacher, whether it would be a "give and take" situation. He said the principal could ask for specific changes and the teacher could respond to those changes. Number 0141 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG requested that the sponsor address his question. Number 0150 MR. WRIGHT said the plan of improvement under page three, line 20, must address ways in which the tenured teacher's performance can be improved. He said the language in CSHB 465 does not specifically provide language such as that offered in the proposed Amendment 3. He reiterated that this issue can be addressed at the local level and concluded that setting clear, specific performance expectations would be the question asked. Number 0171 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said CSHB 465 changes the whole standard for non-retaining a teacher and added that the teacher should be placed on notice regarding the establishment of a plan of improvement and what those expectations are. He said the language of the proposed Amendment 3 might not be exactly right, but there is nothing in CSHB 465 that sets these goals. Number 0205 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the issue is, in constructing the plan of improvement, whether or not the teacher is a part of that process. He said a good management tool is to include someone in the discussion in order to get them to improve their performance. Number 0214 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said CSHB 465 incorporates broad and specific language and added that he supported the proposed Amendment 3. Number 0225 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS said he supported flexibility at the local level. He referred to page two, line 14, which gives some strong participation by the school board and therefore gives anyone who participates in the system the opportunity to help develop the plan of improvement. He said, at the school board level, there is the opportunity to develop the plan of improvement which should be detailed in regards to the criteria that will be evaluated. Number 2136 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the proposed Amendment 3 says that as the principal develops the plan, they will do it in consultation with the person who will ultimately implement the plan, the teacher. Number 0271 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he believed that there were going to be fundamental, minimal standards in the objectives set up, as criteria, by the school board. He assumed that each plan would be modified to match the individual failings of a particular teacher and this individual plan of improvement would not be mentioned in the basic criteria. Number 0303 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said his reservation regards the fiscal note which might be required by the proposed Amendment 3. He said to meet this criteria might require traveling between villages. He said he agreed that people, who are going to be put on a plan of improvement, should be consulted. Number 0334 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that if a plan of improvement is going to be developed, the teacher should know about it and there is nothing currently in CSHB 465 which specifies this requirement. He said the travel concerns could be avoided by using the telephone or other methods than person-to-person consultation. Number 0357 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY withdrew her objection to Amendment 3. Hearing no further objection, Amendment 3 was incorporated into CSHB 465 by the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 2031 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON made a motion to adopt Amendment 6 to CSHB 465. Number 0402 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY objected to the proposed Amendment 6. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said her concern had to do with the absence of language in CSHB 465. She referred to Section 10, regarding procedures upon notice of dismissal or non-retention. She then pointed out that, in some original language, it states that before a teacher is dismissed or before a tenured teacher is non-retained. She said the language regarding non-retained teachers is completely absent from CSHB 465. She also expressed concern over the absence of language that the teacher must be given both oral and written notification. She asked the sponsor why the language, in both cases, was eliminated. Number 0448 MR. WRIGHT said that Section 10, (a) refers to dismissals. He referred to subsection (b) and said it referred to non-retention. He said some of the concern regards whether an impartial party would review the teachers case which could be uncomfortable if it was reviewed by the school board. He said as a result of this concern, language was inserted on page eight, line nine, to let the teacher go directly to superior court. He said, during discussions with various parties, instead of having an oral notification it was felt that written notification be given to avoid hearsay. He said it was felt that having the tapes of the meetings available would be sufficient and avoid unnecessary expense. He said a transcript could then be done. Number 0505 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON withdrew Amendment 6 to CSHB 465. Number 0529 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 10 to CSHB 465, which clarified the one year period. Hearing no objection Amendment 10 was adopted to CSHB 465 by the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 0551 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 11, page three, line 22, to CSHB 465. Hearing no objection Amendment 11 was adopted to CSHB 465 by the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 0564 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 12, page three, line 22, to CSHB 465. Number 0570 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE objected to the proposed Amendment 12 and said it referred to the standards as being those standards established under (b)(1) of the section. He asked if "(b)(1)" should be added to the proposed Amendment 12 to avoid confusion. Number 0594 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said, in his question to the sponsor of CSHB 465, he was told that it was a universal reference to the whole section. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE withdrew his objection. Hearing no further objection Amendment 12 was adopted to CSHB 465 by the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 0599 CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred back to Amendment 13 on page six, lines 31 and 32, and said it should read, "provide professional service to another private or public educational program" deleting "in the state". REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 13 to CSHB 465. Hearing no objection Amendment 13 was adopted to CSHB 465 by the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 0657 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said procedures upon notice of dismissal, found in Section 10, there is a pre-termination hearing and that it must comport with the minimum requirements of due process. He asked if the time between notification and pre-termination would be immediate. He mentioned a scenario where notification was given 30 minutes before the pre-termination meeting. Number 0688 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said this scenario would not be his interpretation of CSHB 465. Number 0696 MR. WRIGHT said, under those circumstances, the people involved would go to court and that the court would most likely rule the case in favor of the teacher in that it did not fit the requirements listed in CSHB 465. Number 0704 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE clarified that there is the understanding, given the minimum requirements of due process, of the requirement that a certain amount of preparation time be given. Number 0718 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to page three, line eight, and asked the appropriateness of having students in this process. He expressed concern over this provision and said he would be willing to move Amendment 14. Number 0748 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said, regarding proposed Amendment 14, that the student involvement in the process might only want to be limited to secondary students as most elementary students love their teacher. He shared the concern over the possibility of popularity contests. Number 0762 MR. WRIGHT said there was no strong feeling regarding this issue, either for or against. He then mentioned that there are students who sit on local school boards. Number 0782 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said "they're community members too, I would assume. One of the reasons I wanted to bring this up was that I think this particular word is being used as an axe against the whole bill." He made a motion to adopt Amendment 14 to CSHB 465. Number 0799 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS objected to the proposed Amendment 14. He said CSHB 465 provides an opportunity, the extent of which can be left to the local school districts, to allow those students to be part of the process. He questioned, if this language was excluded from CSHB 465, whether it would eliminate students from the process. Number 0823 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the inclusion of "student" might prevent the passage of CSHB 465. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said students should be included in the process. Number 0851 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she had no problem with the inclusion of students in the process, but added that through community members and through parents most young people would get an opportunity to be included in the process. A roll call vote was taken on Amendment 14. Representatives Rokeberg, Brice and Bunde voted yea. Representatives Robinson, G. Davis and Toohey voted nay. Amendment 14 failed to be adopted to in the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 0892 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY made a motion to move CSHB 465 as amended, with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note. Hearing no objection CSHB 465 was moved from the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. HCR - 26 PUBLIC INEBRIATE TASK FORCE Number 0954 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the next item on the agenda was HCR 26, relating to creation of the Public Inebriate Task Force. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said changes were made to HCR 26. He said on page one, line six of the CSHCR 26, language was added that mirrors that of HB 523: State Policy on Sobriety. He said the additional language comes after the word "treatment" and states, "that can introduce them to, and help them learn new life skills and social skills that would be useful to them in attaining and maintaining normal lives as productive members of society." REPRESENTATIVE IVAN referred to page two, line 28 and line 30, and said CSHCR deletes one member from the Senate and one member from the House of Representatives. He referred to page two, line 31, and said instead of 13 members to be appointed by the Speaker of the House and the president of the Senate, the number of appointees will now total nine members. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN referred to page three, line two, and said a member from the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse was deleted and a member from the Deparment of Health and Social Services was added at the request of the department. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said on page three, to bring the task force membership to 11 members, in addition to the reduction to two legislators, four at large members were eliminated including one member of the Alaska Federation of Natives, one member of the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police, one village public safety officer and one member representing practicing physicians. Number 1054 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY made a motion to adopt CSHCR 26, version 9- LS1666\C, dated March 12, 1996. Hearing no objections CSHCR 26 was now before the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 1076 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if there was only one fiscal note from the Department of Public Safety. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said there is another fiscal note from LAA Services for $62,700. Number 1097 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said the fiscal note from Administrative Services was for support staff. Number 1107 MR. WRIGHT said the fiscal note reflects support staff as well as travel expenses. He said the fiscal note would be decreased as a result of the reduction of task force members. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked that language regarding the use of teleconference be included in CSHCR 26. MR. WRIGHT said it was in CSHCR 26. Number 1120 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if the intent was to hire one staff person. Number 1126 MR. WRIGHT said he could not say for sure, it would be up to Representative Ivan and the Speaker of the House. Number 1139 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she believed that existing staff should be able to perform those duties and mentioned that there was travel money in CSHCR 26. Number 1168 DON DAPCEVICH, Executive Director, Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, said he supported CSHCR 26 and that the advisory board wants to take part in this task force. He said the board recognizes the extent of the process, in regards to community needs, other agencies and departments. He said the advisory board is one small part of this process, but an important one. Number 1221 MR. DAPCEVICH said the debilitating effect that the public inebriate has had on communities across the state is being felt more. He said it is becoming more of a crisis as less money is available for municipalities to deal with this problem. He said communities are having to allocate their scarce resources to deal with this problem. He said the Public Inebriate Task Force is not going to develop expensive solutions, but may rethink the way in which the state does business with many of the involved agencies. He said CSHCR 26 is a way in which the legislature can get the involved agencies together to work in a collaborative manner to solve these problems. Number 1261 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked the reason why $15,000 is being spent on travel when the state has the ability to utilize the teleconference system. MR. DAPCEVICH said he could foresee some travel expense to gather input from across the state, but said that he could not list specific details related to that. Number 1295 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she could understand the need for gathering input, but pointed out that three of the meetings are scheduled in Anchorage where the teleconference system can be used. She then referred to the $42,700 for a legislative administrative assistant, Range 19A, and asked if there was someone in the department who could provide that assistance, as the assistant would only be needed for those three meetings. MR. DAPCEVICH said he could not speak for the department and added that the advisory board only has two staff. Number 1313 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Co-Chair Toohey wanted to rewrite a fiscal note to which she replied in the affirmative. Number 1074 JULIE KRAFT, Director, Member Service, Alaska Municipal League, was next to testify. She read from a sponsor statement, "The Alaska Municipal League supports passage of HCR 26. Many communities lack the financial resources to deal with the problem of public inebriates. Communities are required to detain these people with extremely limited financial assistance, while faced with ever increasing costs. The public inebriate problem is a public safety problem, a medical care problem, and a drug alcohol treatment problem. This issue will not be resolved from any one single entity, but everyone must take responsibility to develop a solution. A comprehensive plan needs to be developed by those people who have to deal directly with the issue of treatment and services for intoxicated persons. HCR 26 will provide the mechanism to do just that." Number 1372 NELSON PAGE, Chair, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, was next to testify. He said he is in support of the proposed task group as this is an important one for the beneficiaries of the trust as well as the communities that serve those beneficiaries. He concluded by stating his support of the resolution. Number 1424 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY made a motion to move CSHCR 26 (HES) with an amended fiscal note of $15,000 and individual recommendations. Number 1449 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON objected to the motion. She agreed that the fiscal note seemed large, but suggested that the finance committee be the committee to address the fiscal note. Number 1469 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said it was a committee's prerogative to write a fiscal note. Number 1530 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said the finance committee could choose to put the old fiscal note back into CSHCR 26. A discussion ensued regarding whether or not the committee should vote on amending the fiscal note, when it was decided not to take a roll call vote on this issue, Representative Robinson withdrew her objection to the motion. Hearing no further objection CSHCR 26 (HES) was moved from the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. HB 512 - ENGLISH AS THE COMMON LANGUAGE CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that the next item on the agenda was HB 512, an act establishing English as the common language and related to the use of English in public records and at public meetings of state agencies. Number 1591 ROGER POPPE, Legislative Aide to Representative Kott, said changes were made to HB 512 and are now incorporated in CSHB 512, version 9-LS1700\G. He believed that once the CSHB 512 version was incorporated into the Basis System, it would remove concerns from the rural areas of the state regarding this legislation. He referred to page three, line nine, and said that language was deleted to avoid confusion surrounding a native corporation. The inserted new language was "of the state". MR. POPPE said, when drafting HB 512, Representative Kott operated under the assumption that there wasn't any activity at the local level that was conducted in other languages. He said upon receiving new information that there are some rural areas conducting all or part of their meetings in native language, the CSHB 512 was changed so that it does not try to force them to change that practice. He said this substantive change of CSHB 512 is located on page two, lines 11 through 13, Section B, "where it says a municipality may by ordinance or resolution elect not to be subject to (a) of this section. In other words a municipal school district or regional educational attendance area may, by vote of the school board, elect not to be subject to (a) of this section, which in essence is "the whole bill." Number 1733 IRMA MIRELES read from a statement, "I'm fourth generation American of Mexican descent, bilingual in English and Spanish. As a member of the Hispanic community and a member of the state advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, I appreciate the opportunity to submit this statement strongly opposing the proposed HB 512 `an act establishing English as the official language...' We, Hispanics, have a long history of patriotism and honor being in this country and proudly serving in many capacities including the military, since before the Civil War, in spite of years of racism inflicted on us. Hispanic names are well engraved in Alaska's history and geography, and, in Alaska, Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language next to Yupik. We are one of the fastest growing population and in Juneau, we number about 1,500 and contribute with sweat of our brow, taxes and votes. We have strong family values and encourage our children to learn English and be valuable citizens by being bilingual. An English only law can lead to a stigma, embarrassing our children into believing they are second-class citizens when speaking Spanish. This bill claims that bilingual education would be protected. Did you know that U.S. English, the real sponsors of this bill, in their action program state, `Restriction of government funding for bilingual education to short-term program only'? We have a little bit of protection here since Alaska statute does protect it under Article 6. In 1926, Alaska passed a literacy law as a requirement for voting. The intent of this law was to keep Alaska Natives from voting. Today, you have HB 512. Again, U.S. English in their action program state, `Repeal laws mandating multilingual ballots and voting materials.' This bill would open the door for similar laws and would be a proponent of racism. Two of Alaska's biggest industries are tourism and trade with foreign countries like Russia and Japan. For the Alaska Visitor Statistics Program, tourist spent over $685.4 million in goods and services, of this approximately $400 million are from foreign visitors. It makes no sense to pass this law declaring foreign languages unwelcome in Alaska. In fact, this proposed law would amount to the state of Alaska sanctioning bigotry. The National Education Association (NEA) has stated, `An English only law would make it more difficult for schools to prepare students for America's jobs of the future.' Remember, during this information era, technology and economic opportunity does not stop within U.S. borders. We must prepare our children for tomorrow, a world of diversity. Per 1990 census, English is spoken by 97 percent of the American people and is universally recognized as `America's Language', yet, at no time in American history has the U.S. had an official national language. Research shows that todays immigrants are learning English faster than previous generations. According to Juneau Adult Basic Education monthly statistics, they have approximately 30 students taking English as a second language on a monthly basis. Also, more than 99.9 percent of federal documents are in English according to General Accounting Office (GOA). You need to take in consideration that such a law leaves the state open for extensive, expensive, divisive and frivolous litigation. There have been several court cases from other states, who have passed an English only laws, and all of those states have been expensive not only for the states but for some of the businesses. And all of those cases have been found unconstitutional. We are a country composed of many cultures and languages. Language diversity is to be celebrated not castigated. Does this proposed bill make me angry? A strong resounding `yes.' It makes me angry and thousands of citizens. This bill not only implies racism but denial of our fifth and fourteenth Amendment freedoms and does not ensure procedural and substantive due process. The U.S. is a country that prides itself in our freedom and this bill would trample on one of our basic rights and that is speech, no matter in what language we choose to express that freedom. English is not an endangered language. We, the people, understand and accept the economic importance of knowing English and do not need a law to force us to learn it. Further, this bill would not unite us, it would only serve to divide us and has the potential of bringing about a great deal of prejudice and you, members of this committee, have it in your power to defeat this racist bill right here. And as the National Association for Bilingual Education states, `American ideals of freedom, democracy and tolerance, not language, have been and will continue to be the bonds that hold America together.' I would like to conclude with a quote from Mexico's first Native American President, Benito Juarez, who said, `El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.' Respect for others rights is peace." Number 2158 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG confirmed that Ms. Mireles was on the U.S. Commission for Civil Rights, state advisory committee. He asked, if he voted for HB 512, whether she would consider him a racist. Number 2166 MS. MIRELES said she hoped he was not a racist, but said that it has been proven by the other bills, passed in other states regarding English as the official language, that it is, in fact, racist legislation. Number 2158 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he took exception to the testimony by Ms. Mireles. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Co-Chair Bunde to read a letter from Nora Marks Dauenhauer, principal researcher, Language and Cultural Studies, Sealaska Heritage Foundation, into the record. CO-CHAIR BUNDE read from the letter, "I oppose HB 512, an act to make English the official language of Alaska. The law is unnecessary and redundant. English is already the common language of communication of Alaska. This bill seems to have its origins in the insecurity and prejudice of some segments of the white community. It seems to come from fears that are absolutely unfounded . Mexican novelist, Carlos Fuentes, suggested to journalist Bill Moyer in an interview that, `When you get a proposition in California to vote the English language as the official language of the state of California, it only means one thing that English is no longer the official language of the state of California.' This is not the case in Alaska. There is no threat to English or any other language. In fact, most Alaska Native languages are in danger of extinction. Native languages have suffered discrimination and persecution under the `English-only' policies of the past, and many schools still, are still reluctant to include Alaska Native language and cultural instruction in the curriculum. This bill is certainly an affront to the dignity and status of Alaska Native languages. The bill also looks like a new threat to the survival of Alaska Native languages. The bill serves no practical purpose. It is symbolic and divisive. I fear that it may generate or support anti-Native language emotion and activity in the future, and that it may become the legal basis or precedents for laws or policies against Alaska Native languages in the future. We need the support of the Alaska State Legislature to protect the rights and ethnic heritage of all citizens, and not pass discriminatory..." TAPE 96-30, SIDE A Number 0000 CO-CHAIR BUNDE continued reading from the letter, "...legislation directed against Alaska Native people and their heritage." REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON made a motion to adopt Amendment 1 to HB 512. She said Amendment 1 inserts, "and the languages of Natives peoples indigenous to the state." She developed Amendment 1 based on a Hawaiian model where English and Hawaiian are official languages of the state. She said she was going to name each Native language, but was advised by the drafters that adding the language of Native people was the correct use of language for the amendment. She wanted to clarify that the languages include; Aleutian, Eskimo, Tsimshiann, Tlingit, Haida, Yupik and Anthabaskan languages. The rest of Amendment 1 brings unity within the language of HB 512. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the title of HB 512 would read, "Establish English and the languages of Native people indigenous to this state as the official language and relating to the use of English then in public records and at public meetings." He clarified that the official languages are English and Native languages, but English would remain as the official written language. Number 0167 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the second part of the proposed Amendment 1, page one, line two, "English" is deleted, and "the common languages" is inserted. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if this is a challenge where we have languages that are oral and not written. He then asked if Yupik were a written language. Number 0198 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON confirmed that Yupik is a written language. She said Amendment 1 brings in the Native languages and allows them to be used. Number 0211 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY referred back to Ms. Mireles testimony and said the reason for HB 512 is to say that the official paperwork of the state of Alaska will be in English. The bill does not say that Spanish, Gaelic or Yupik cannot be taught. She referred to the proposed Amendment 1 and said this language would cause meetings to be recorded in English and Yupik. Number 0289 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said Amendment 1 only states that English and Native languages are the official languages. Number 0289 CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified that the proposed Amendment 1 does not address Spanish, German or the dialects of Filipino. Number 0317 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON referred to another bill, regarding the pioneers of Alaska and said that this bill was modified to recognize Natives and pioneers, as the bill drafters recognized that Native people were here before white settlers. She said Amendment 1 recognizes that Native languages were the existing languages. She said the pioneers of Alaska did have the foresight of the Hawaiians to put the acknowledgement of Natives into the constitution. Number 0358 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON referred to a resolution from AFN which states that they are against HB 512 and added that Amendment 1 might disperse some of their concerns. Number 0384 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS asked for clarification about the use of other languages in documents and written materials. Number 0407 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said the written materials could be in either of the languages, that they did not have to be in all of the languages. Number 0422 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY commented that the proposed Amendment 1 would leave out languages such as Spanish. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated that she did not support HB 512, just that she was proposing this change to the bill. Number 0439 MR. POPPE said that as a result of the proposed Amendment 1, it would end up requiring, potentially, all documents in Alaska to be interpreted and published in 28 languages. He said, because of this fact, he believed the sponsor would be opposed to the proposed Amendment 1. He said HB 512 does try to take into consideration that Native languages did exist in Alaska first and the bill attempts to incorporate, in the language, accommodations to current practices among Native people. Number 0557 MR. POPPE said, in regards to the opposition of HB 512 by AFN in their October 1995 resolution, the AFN is currently reconsidering this whole issue due information they have received regarding this bill. He referred to the two national organizations that are supporting language activity of this type, U.S. English and English First. He said U.S. English takes a moderate approach and tries to preserve all bilingual activity. English First, as part of their legislation and official approach, is trying to eliminate all bilingual programs at the national and local level as well as intruding into the private sector to have English as the only language. He said English First is more conservative and extreme in its approach than is the sponsor of HB 512. A roll call vote was taken on Amendment 1. Representatives Brice, Robinson voted yea. Representatives G. Davis, Rokeberg, Toohey and Bunde voted nay. Amendment 1 failed to be adopted to HB 512 in the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 0622 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move CSHB 512, version G, out of the committee. Number 0714 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE objected to the motion. He said his view of CSHB 512 was tainted, not so much based on the bill's merits, although the merits are frivolous, but by this organization, U.S. English. He questioned the ethics of some of their lobbying efforts and said he resented the misinformation U.S. English presented to this committee and to him personally. He said he could not support HB 512 because it is supported by such an unscrupulous group. Number 0707 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked for specific facts. Number 0714 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said U.S. English told him that Hawaii was one of the states that had English as the official language. He said he was also told, by U.S. English in their presentation to this committee, that you are not required to know English to gain citizenship. He said, upon checking with Immigration and Naturalization Services, he was told that this was not true. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that the representative from U.S. English told him that AFN had not taken a stand, and then he found the resolution against HB 512 in the committee packet. He said if the committee is to make decisions on information provided by this organization, he said the committee needed to make sure that they were receiving the proper information. Number 0808 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he would be willing to support an amendment, similar to Amendment 1, if it clarified the uses and applications of the languages to a greater degree. Number 0862 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said no one has convinced her that there is any problem in the state of Alaska that requires this piece of legislation. She said HB 512 has been divisive and has caused the Native constituents in her district to feel that their Native languages are rejected. She said AFN might change their position, but added that the only resolution currently is that AFN opposes HB 512. She wanted to recognize that all of us are racist, and to recognize that fact, allows for healing. She said the people who try not to be a racist, find themselves being racist. She said it is a constant education process that we have to work on and understand when and where we cross that barrier. Number 0940 CO-CHAIR BUNDE suggested that the word, "ethnocentric" be used, rather than the word, "racist." He said we are, to varying degrees, ethnocentric. He said, as someone who studied psycholinguistics, the common language is the one thing that has kept this nation from fragmenting. He said we need a common language, but questioned what was "broken" in Alaska. He said he would have less hesitation to support HB 512 if there had not been the history of suppressing other languages in the education system. He said we are more enlightened now, and reiterated that we need a common language. A roll call vote was taken on CSHB 512, version G. Representatives G. Davis, Rokeberg and Toohey voted yea. Representatives Brice, Robinson and Bunde voted nay. CSHB 512 failed to be moved from the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. HB 529 - APPROVE CENTRALIZED PUBLIC HEALTH LAB Number 1041 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that the next item on the agenda was HB 529, an act giving notice of and approving the entry into, and the issuance of certificates of participation in, a lease-purchase agreement for a centralized public health laboratory. KAREN PERDUE, Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Health and Social Services, supported HB 529 because it resolves the serious problem regarding the public health laboratory system. She said public health laboratories are an essential component of any state system which promotes public health. She said every state in the nation promotes public health and has a public health laboratory system. Number 1216 COMMISSIONER PERDUE said a strong public health system to (indiscernible), detect outbreaks of disease and controls public health threats. She said the state currently has three public laboratories that were established as regional laboratories prior to statehood. She said they were developed when transportation linkages and technology was less sophisticated. She said these three laboratories specialize in services and they are no longer regional laboratories. She said samples travel from all over the state to a certain laboratory, based on the function of that laboratory. COMMISSIONER PERDUE said as air travel and global connections occur with more frequency today, protecting the public health becomes more difficult. She said Alaska is often the place where people are traveling in and out. She said a strong public health system must be in place to protect the state from biohazards and other emerging diseases. COMMISSIONER PERDUE said the public health laboratories are in lease facilities. She said the Anchorage and Juneau facilities have been in their locations for a long time. She said Anchorage established their lab location in 1962, and the Juneau lab was established in 1971. She said the Juneau and Anchorage laboratories do not meet health and safety codes. She said the laboratories present risks to staff and, potentially, to the public. She said the Fairbanks facility is adequate for the near term and functions as a very fine laboratory. COMMISSIONER PERDUE said HB 529 would incorporate a state medical examiner which is a strong piece of the state's public health effort. She said the state medical examiner is currently housed in a crime lab where space is limited. COMMISSIONER PERDUE said there are very few responsibilities she has in the state constitution or in the statutes. She said that one of her responsibilities is to protect public health and added that was the first responsibility that the territory of Alaska incorporated for their department. She said the Executive Branch and the Legislature share this responsibility and it is a core function of government. She said, as the Commissioner of Public Health, she is responsible for making sure that the public health system is strong, that the employees work in safe places and that she does not knowingly ignore risks. She said as public servants, we cannot ignore conditions created by state government operations that present health and safety risk to the public. Number 1239 COMMISSIONER PERDUE said it would be irresponsible if the state did not act on this issue. She stated that this has been an issue of concern for over a decade. She said she did not want to minimize that it is a difficult regional issue and said that because it has been difficult issue nothing has occurred. She said 14 separate studies have concluded that the state must act on this issue. She said a centralized laboratory function will provide the most economical, permanent solution to the state's critical facility problems. Number 1266 COMMISSIONER PERDUE said a system is needed that is accessible to health providers statewide, can achieve efficiencies and can enable the state to improve services and reduce operating costs. She said it is for this reason that she is asking support for HB 529. Number 1280 COMMISSIONER PERDUE said it was difficult to propose this solution as it adversely affects the economies, the lives, and the jobs of some of the state employees in Juneau and in Fairbanks. She said, in the year 2000, those employees would be asked to move to Anchorage under HB 529. She stated her belief in regional government and did not think that everything should be housed in Anchorage. She believed that the imparity of the public health system outweighed those concerns, at this point. She said there is an unsafe situation in Juneau and in Anchorage and that the state must act. COMMISSIONER PERDUE said there is another bill in the legislature, which would close the Juneau laboratory precipitously. She said this bill is unwise, impacts the lives of the employees and jeopardizes the current situation. She said the department wants a planned transfer not a precipitous one. Number 1343 COMMISSIONER PERDUE said she respects the differences that people have regarding this issue, but said she felt responsible for addressing this issue. Number 1369 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked the witnesses to summarize their points as there were time constraints. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON expressed that this issue is important to the community of Juneau and Fairbanks and asked that there be an opportunity to bring all the relevant information forward. GREGORY V. HAYES, DrPH, Chief, Laboratories, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services, was next to testify. He said, as compared to private health laboratory, the state public health laboratory is directed towards the prevention and control of disease in the community. He said the public health laboratory provides an assessment, develops policy and plays an assurance role. He said the testing that no longer meets this role is given back to the private sector to perform. He said he could provide examples of where this is the case. He said the public labs do not perform routine clinical chemistry testing, but focused on communicable disease testing. DR. HAYES said the core functions of a public health laboratory include disease control and prevention programs, maternal, child, family health programs and epidemiological programs. The lab supports surveillance activities, outbreak investigations and monitors for the emergence of new infectious agents or the re- emergence of infectious agents of public health importance. He said the lab also focuses on the development of methods for testing and then assists with the transfer of the new technology to the private sector. The lab performs diagnostic product evaluations, collects data, performs high quality testing at a reasonable cost, and provides training, laboratory expertise and reference services to the private laboratory community in the laboratory diagnosis of diseases of public health significance. Number 1487 DR. HAYES said he had been with the state of Alaska for two years. He said, under his role of chief, it is his function to use the available resources such as personnel, instrumentation and finances. He said he uses these resources in the most effective, productive and cost effective manner possible and does it in a manner which protects the health and safety of staff. He said it has been extremely difficult to do this under the current structure. Number 1500 DR. HAYES said he has a staff of 41 in four different locations which include the chief's office, a lab in Juneau, a lab in Fairbanks, and a lab in Anchorage which performs 60 percent of the total testing. He said the labs are specialized. The Juneau lab performs primarily Mycology and Water Bacteriology while Anchorage lab specializes in Tuberculosis (TB) testing, the Fairbanks lab performs almost exclusively Virology testing. DR. HAYES said the staff is dedicated and professional and have to meet very stringent federal regulations. He said he would not go into detail regarding these regulations, but said it makes staff recruitment difficult. Number 1572 DR. HAYES said the major issue regarding the labs is their urgent need of repair. He said there are mechanical and structural inadequacies which makes it difficult to conduct testing. Two of the labs were constructed as office space and have major problems. He said the Fairbanks lab was constructed as a laboratory in 1967, so it is somewhat dated. All three of the laboratories have poor facility layouts and space limitations for future growth. DR. HAYES said the state public health labs are licensed by the federal government under the clinical laboratory improvement amendments. He said, during the last survey, the state labs were found to be out of compliance and forced to stop doing TB testing in the Juneau lab. The samples were then sent out of state, until "band-aid" renovations could be done on the Anchorage facility. He said the surveyors will be coming back in August and will be looking at how the state is addressing the long range plan to solve both the health and safety problems of the public health laboratories. DR. HAYES said efficient transportation, reliable communications, and advances in laboratory technology now enable the state to reconsider the need for having three separate laboratories. He said, currently, in many instances specimens received in one laboratory must be split, and sent to one or both of the other laboratories which dramatically increases turn-around-time. Number 1625 DR. HAYES said the new technology, that the department is looking to bring into the laboratory, tests at the molecular level and includes DNA probes and Polymerase Chain Reaction. He said these are very expensive technologies which have very specific space requirements. He said the technology can be used if the organism is a bacterium or a virus. He said it doesn't make sense to establish this technology in two or three different locations. He said it also makes little sense today to have three sets of similar equipment: autoclaves, microscopes, specialized ventilation systems, biological safety cabinets, isolation rooms and triplicate supply orders. DR. HAYES said that the laboratory, with its varied disciplines, must work together as a team and also work as a team with the state's epidemiologist. He said this teamwork would be greatly enhanced if all the laboratories were physically located together. DR. HAYES said that when an outbreak occurs of unknown origin, it would be extremely helpful, to have all of the laboratory professionals with their expertise together. He cited an example of a food borne outbreak where the cause could be bacterium, viral, or parasitic. He said, currently, the samples would have to be sent to two or three different labs for analysis which dramatically slows the resolution of the outbreak. Number 1679 DR. HAYES said, in conclusion, the state has identified the problems the laboratories face, the state knows how to solve them, the state has engaged in long-range planning and has developed a comprehensive workable solution. He said centralization of the state's public health laboratories in a new facility maintains an essential public health service more cheaply, more effectively and more efficiently. He said this centralization solves health and safety problems and provides for future growth. Number 1698 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the Fairbanks laboratories are old, but said the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently certified the laboratory for Biohazard 3. Number 1720 DR. HAYES said the facilities are dated and the layout of the facilities is not optimal. He said the laboratories are on several different floors with supplies located at a great distance from where they are utilized. He said the director's office is several halls away from the labs. Number 1744 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE clarified that the layout presented no danger to the people that are working at the Fairbanks location. He then asked if the level and type of equipment needed was really at the level that Dr. Hayes had listed. He referred to a report written by the "Strategic Health Plan" and said that apart from a small reduction in clerical staff most of the scientific staff would remain. He said the staff was going to need all their individual equipment such as microscopes. Number 1800 JOHN MIDDAUGH, MD, Chief, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services, thanked the legislators for their assistance in helping the state public health laboratory monitor for TB. He said the laboratory has helped keep TB under control by accepting and analyzing the sputum specimens which has helped the state detect people infected with TB. He said the reason for the original TB outbreak was that part of public health infrastructure "broke." He said the department's section of labs are "broke" in terms of facilities and the ability to maintain, over the next decades, the capacity to provide an essential function of state government. He said there is no question that state public health labs are different than private labs and that the types of expertise they contain are different. He said the staff are qualified professionals, who have done incredible work. He said the state needs to maintain facilities which enable staff to apply emerging technology of both equipment and collegial interaction in order to maintain an ability to detect and diagnosis epidemics efficiently, accurately and enable the state to know how to respond. Number 1879 DR. MIDDAUGH said teams have just come back from St. Lawrence Island with 600 sputum samples that "we dropped on the lab" in a day in Anchorage doing smears, looking under the microscope as well as to doing a culture from those specimens. He said the staff has done thousands of those specimens since the department requested the assistance from the legislature last year. He referred to the epidemic from last summer at Burwash Landing, where hundreds of tourists were getting sick, including the elderly. He said the public health laboratory had no understanding, initially, of the cause of the outbreak and the lab had to get many specimens. He said it, turned out the etiology, was a Norwalk virus which is difficult to detect or control. He said the superb lab work from the state lab personnel, under trying conditions, was able to detect the outbreak and were able to control it. He said this type of outbreak, from contaminated water, is almost impossible to contain. He said many options were discussed including shutting down the tour bus operations, between Haines and Fairbanks, in the middle of the tourist season. Number 1912 DR. MIDDAUGH said that during this outbreak there was some new publicity about Hanta virus, which came out of some surveys of voles in the Yukon. He said this information created some sensationalistic media coverage which tended to imply that this virus might be a threat to the tourists in Alaska. He said superb work, done by Don Ritter over many decades, gave the state information about the long presence of this Hanta strain in mice, but no evidence of infection in humans. Number 1931 DR. MIDDAUGH said, in summary, the expertise that the state public health laboratory has must be supported by adequate facilities. He said, when he came to Alaska, huge problems existed in shipping specimens from point A to point B, especially when specimens went from one region to another. He said, today, specimen shipment usually comes into the Anchorage area and the ability to rapidly interface multiple biological specimens in a lab is an important component of the response. DR. MIDDAUGH said to get a group of physicians to agree on anything is difficult and mentioned that while a consensus did not exist, the state medical association fully endorsed and supported the department's efforts to develop a central, single laboratory facility. He said this decision to build a central facility was not done lightly. He said his close friends, who he worked with for 20 years in Fairbanks, Juneau and Anchorage, are near and dear to his heart. He added that, scientifically, it is not sound to maintain, in the long-term, separate facilities. He urged the committee to help build a public health facility for the future that will maintain the state's ability to protect the public health for several decades to come. Number 1983 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said it was the intent to hold HB 529 over to another meeting, but wanted to give the committee members the option to ask the witnesses questions. Number 1992 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE referred to the comment about "scientifically sound to keep them separated" and asked if information of how the state has been unscientifically sound since statehood. Number 2007 DR. HAYES said the new technology that the public lab is using, Polymerase Chain Reaction, does not look at a virus or a parasite, it looks at something on a molecular level. He said it is this type of testing that the state needs to bring into the public health laboratory. He said it does not make sense to set this type of technology up in three separate places as it is expensive. He said the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction technology will allow the lab to identify something in a matter of hours as opposed to putting the specimen into a viral culture which would take a week or weeks to identify. He said the cirologic assay is another example of how the technology would best utilized in a central facility. Number 2035 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG received information that the central facility would be 47,000 square feet. Number 2054 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS clarified that the three labs perform specific, specialized functions. Number 2067 DR. HAYES said the labs have specialized themselves over the years. He said in Juneau the primary specialization is Water Bacteriology and Mycology as well as other routine bacteriology. He said the Anchorage lab does routine bacteriology and specializes in TB testing. He said there was a big effort by the federal government, who is funding the state TB program, to centralize the TB program as the state can achieve better statistical analysis of the specimens. He said the Fairbanks specialization is virology. Number 2090 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG cited a personal experience with food poisoning and cited the excellent work that the state public health laboratory did. Number 2109 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said that the Anchorage and the Juneau laboratories were in need of maintenance work. She asked if this centralization process were being driven more by finances rather than being the best policy. She said the state obtained three labs initially and asked for information regarding why three labs were developed. She asked if the state went to one lab, would the state would eventually revert back to three labs. She also asked for information regarding the timeliness of getting specimens under one centralized facility. Number 2155 DR. HAYES said, under the territorial days when these labs were set up, transportation was very poor and it made sense to have three labs spread out in a state the size of Alaska. He said each lab provided the same, whole range of testing. He said, currently, there are not the same transportation problems. He said Anchorage is the hub of the transportation system in the state of Alaska. DR. HAYES said he, currently, has problems with virology specimens being sent from Bethel that don't make it there because they are frozen or die before they make it to the Fairbanks lab. He said putting the lab in Anchorage is the best location to receive those samples in a timely manner and to give the best turn around time. He said, in checking with the airlines regarding communities such as Petersburg, Tok and Kenai, factors have been worked out as part of the long range plan. Number 2197 DR. MIDDAUGH said that when he came to Alaska as a commissioned officer, he was met by Frank Pauls, who founded the Juneau lab, and said that Frank told him that it would be valuable for the state to move toward a single lab in Anchorage. He said, here we are, trying to do that again. DR. MIDDAUGH said the state did not build the lab in Fairbanks, it was built by the federal government as part of a huge research operation in the 1950s and 1960s. He said we are still benefitting from the work done by Dr. Rausch and his colleagues. He said that facility was built, at the time, with state-of-the-art work and that is why the rabies and virology work is done there. He said, when he arrived in Alaska, the Fairbanks lab did microbiology and all of the specimens would be flown to Fairbanks and then the plane would come to Anchorage. He said, 10 to 15 years ago, those planes started to fly to Anchorage and then the specimen would be shipped back up to Fairbanks to be analyzed. DR. MIDDAUGH said, one of the problems, is that usually the etiology of the disease is not known at first so diagnostic specimens need to be taken and analyzed for both viruses and bacteria. He said as technology grew and merged together, there is no justification for one lab doing virology and one lab doing microbiology and bacteriology. He said these specializations are coming together because of the technology. DR. MIDDAUGH said the department is looking to maintain the best science and the ability for the lab to function within the next several decades. He said this plan is not necessarily the best message for politics or for his close colleagues, but added that professionally, these staff are in accordance that science dictates a central facility. Number 2297 TOM LANE, Facilities Manager, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services, said the centralized facility would have a 55 year life. Number 2306 GREG HERREFORD, Manager, Juneau Laboratory, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services, said he was in favor of a consolidated facility. He said he has lived in Juneau for ten years and that he likes living here, but that for the good of the state and the good of the people in the state of Alaska, there needs to be a high quality, high resource laboratory. He said the current situation, with the three laboratories, is untenable. He said he supports the building of a combined facility. MR. HERREFORD said, because of the financial situation, the state cannot support three state-of-the-art laboratories and that the state of Alaska deserves a state-of-the-art laboratory. Number 2346 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said everyone will need to know what will be done to the personnel in the laboratories. Number 2355 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said there has been some discussions in the budgetary process to eliminate the Juneau lab immediately, she asked what would happen if this were to occur. MR. HERREFORD said, if the Juneau lab were to move immediately, the biggest problem would be that the Anchorage facility is very stressed now with the specimen load and the space constraints. TAPE 30, SIDE B Number 0000 MR. HERREFORD said, "...add additional testing and testing areas that move, say from Juneau to Anchorage, I've honestly don't know where they would find the place to put some of the testing that we have to do." He mentioned that the Mycology testing required a biological safety cabinet and its own enclosed room. He said anything like outbreak protection is not needed but, he said to do this type of testing, you want to minimize the amount of foot traffic. He said an immediate move would have a negative impact. Number 0062 DR. HAYES said he was working on this issue right now. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the committee would take that answer as a "no." Number 0066 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked what Southeast will lose as a result of losing the Juneau laboratory if a consolidated facility is built or the Juneau laboratory is closed. Number 0075 MR. HERREFORD said that if a consolidated, state-of-the-art facility is built and if various clinics are told what services are going to be offering then he did not think that Southeast will lose much. He said the turn around time will be increased, but there are ways to mitigate that impact such as instituting a Goldstreak or a courier pick-up. He said, if there is a precipitous closure of the Southeast lab, this area will lose quite a bit. He said the turn around time will be much longer than the doctors and clinics in this area will find acceptable and they might stop utilizing the state laboratory. He said this will result in a loss of baseline data which is needed to detect outbreaks before they infect hundreds of people. Number 0118 NOLAN WATSON, said he has been involved with the public health laboratories in the state of Alaska since 1993. He said he conducted one of the studies referred to by Commissioner Perdue. He said this study was an assessment of the public laboratory facility. He said he was a consultant to the Anchorage lab and was responsible for "band-aiding" the facility, especially the TB lab. He said the laboratories in the state of Alaska are among the worst that he has been. He referred to his experience in the states of Washington, Arizona, Hawaii and California. He said he wrote a book which will be distributed by the CDC on the design of public health laboratory facilities. He said for the safety of the personnel and for the specimens that come through, assessment is a big issue. Number 0208 MR. WATSON said the protocols and the high quality of the technical people, minimize the risks in the Anchorage laboratory and in all the laboratories. He said trying to do high quality biological safety Level 3 facility in a wooden office building is very difficult. He said he could only commend the people who work in the facility. He concluded by saying that he supported HB 529. Number 0208 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said HB 529 would be held over for testimony on Thursday, March 21, 1996. Number 0214 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if Mr. Watson was involved with the financial side of the studies or whether he was involved with the design side. Number 0232 MR. WATSON said his background was in facilities and before joining the architectural practice his background was as a laboratory scientist. He said he is involved in the scientific aspects, not the financial side. HB 540 - HEALTH CARE DATA; BIRTH REGISTRATIONS CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that the next item on the agenda was HB 540, an act relating to health care data and registration of births. Number 0265 JOHN MIDDAUGH, MD, Chief, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services, said HB 540 is a housekeeping bill but also has important significance. He said, after 20 years of effort, his department was successful in obtaining a federal grant, as a result of legislation passed by Congress, to establish a new statewide cancer registry. He said his department has successfully moved towards implementation of the registry and promulgated regulations in order to do so. Representative Vezey joined the committee meeting at 4:45 p.m. MR. MIDDAUGH said the federal legislation requires certain components which could not be incorporated into state regulations. He said, in order to maintain eligibility under this program, which includes federal funding of $420,000 per year for a five year project period, the state needs to include three provisions: protection from civil liability for providers who report under state law; provisions that assure access to the medical records which would establish characteristics of the diseases that are required to be reported; and provisions to provide for appropriate protection of data and access to data for research. He said these provisions have been endorsed by the Alaska State Medical Association, who support this effort. MR. MIDDAUGH said there is another component to HB 540 which relates to birth records and said Mr. Zangri will discuss this section. Number 0322 AL ZANGRI, Chief, Vital Statistics, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services, was next to testify. He said HB 540 is a housekeeping bill for his department. He said the primary objective of HB 540 is to bring the Alaska statute into line regarding the way the state of Alaska registers births that occur in foreign air space or international waters and land in Alaska. He said these changes are made as a result of strong suggestions from the National Center for Health Statistics. He said the primary objective of HB 540 is to fully implement the state's electronic birth system. He said this system would allow the state to register births from hospitals by electronic means rather than the records being shipped to the department, via floppy disks. He said the state needs the ability to eliminate the individual signature on every birth certificate and allow an electronic registration method so that these births can be recorded over modems. He concluded that HB 540 will allow the state to do this. GARREY PESKA, Lobbyist, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, said he supported HB 540. Number 0407 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON made a motion to move HB 540 with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note. A roll call vote was taken on HB 540. Representatives Vezey, G. Davis, Rokeberg, Robinson, Toohey and Bunde voted yea. Representative Brice voted nay. HB 540 was moved from the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. HB 512 - ENGLISH AS THE COMMON LANGUAGE Number 0435 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to rescind the committee's action on "HB 512." Number 0450 A roll call vote was taken on whether to rescind the action of the committee on "HB 512." Representatives G. Davis, Rokeberg, Vezey, Toohey and Bunde voted yea. Representatives Brice and Robinson voted nay. The committee action on HB 512 was rescinded by the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. Number 0500 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move "HB 512 with attached fiscal notes and individual recommendations." A roll call vote was taken on "HB 512." Representatives Rokeberg, G. Davis, Vezey and Toohey voted yea. Representatives Brice, Robinson and Bunde voted nay. "HB 512" was moved from the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services. HR 12 - UNIV. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACT Number 0510 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that HR 12, supporting the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Alaska and the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers, was next on the agenda. REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS, sponsor of HR 12, read from a sponsor statement, " I introduced HR 12 on behalf of the Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers (ACCFT). It is my understanding that on May 8, 1992, the University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a collective bargaining agreement between the University of Alaska and the ACCFT. In June of 1993, through a change in university policy, the collective bargaining agreement was compromised. An April 1995 arbitration decision ruled the original collective bargaining agreement should be fulfilled. I am asking that the legislature support the ruling of the arbitrator." Number 0520 RALPH McGRATH, Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers, said ACCFT represents the full-time staff who teach in vocational, technical, adult basic education, continuing education, the extended sites of the University of Alaska and are the faculty who are responsible for the 100 and 200 introductory courses. He said ACCFT has been a faculty organization for over 20 years representing the interests of the community college component of the University of Alaska. He said, he believed, that many of the committee members had received support letters from faculty around the state expressing hope and interest that the legislature would support HR 12. Number 0622 MR. McGRATH said the issue involved, is different from many of the other collective bargaining agreements, because it is an existing contract. He said this contract was negotiated and approved by the Board of Regents in 1992. He said the regent's policy, adopted as part of the contract, was to compensate faculty for work performed. He said in 1994, the Board of Regents suspended that policy. He said ACCFT took the matter to arbitration and received the arbitrator's award last April which upheld the validity of the contract and that the terms agreed upon must be met. Number 0654 MR. McGRATH said the issue of appropriation to meet this contract came before the legislature. He said, during the last legislative session, no formal action was taken by the legislature to reject the contracts. He said ACCFT is familiar with the legal counsel for the legislature, and knows the significance when no action is taken on an issue. He said this is a problem that was created by the University of Alaska and that they should have met the terms of the contract. He said the Board of Regents determined the policy, knew the terms of the policy, knew that the contract terms deemed arbitration boards as final and binding. He said that when the arbitration board says the university shall pay that is what it means. Number 0659 MR. McGRATH said, because the university still refuses to pay, ACCFT is asking the legislature to support the legal opinion of last year and perhaps to provide a signal to the university, that when they fail to meet the terms of contract, they should be disciplined and they should not blame the legislature for rejecting their contracts. He said the university should meet the demands of the contract for the 285 people it represents. Number 0759 BILL JERMAIN, Attorney, ACCFT, said he was the Deputy Commissioner of Labor for the state of Alaska and drafted the first bills on PERA. He said there are several things that are obvious in PERA. He said the purpose of PERA is to encourage collective bargaining and to clearly have a separation of powers. He said the Executive Branch negotiates the contracts while the Legislative Branch appropriates money. He said from the history of the legislation there must be an affirmative rejection. If a agreement is negotiated and the legislature appropriates general funds for a purpose, those funds go to that purpose. He said this statement is compatible with the opinion given by Legislative Counsel, Kramer, and one which ACCFT agrees with. He said if you fail to this, you discourage the collective bargaining process. He said until you have legislation agreeing to this process, you have a law that states you must meet the terms of your agreement. He said you would have a situation where you would pay non-representatives out of general appropriation which would create immediate disparity and unfairness. Number 0869 MR. McGRATH said the problem is complicated by the fact that in collective bargaining agreements, you have a give and take. He said, in the state of Alaska, there are circumstances where you have established cost savings which could not have been accomplished any other way except by collective bargaining. He said the fair labor standards provisions were accomplished through the collective bargaining process, saving the state billions of dollars. He said the disadvantage is that the state does not fund the financial obligation that was the give and take in that arrangement. He said it is the Executive Branch position, that unless you specifically appropriate additional monies for that collective bargaining agreement, the state will not pay their obligations. He said if this occurs, then the legislature will always be the "bad guy." Number 0889 MR. McGRATH said the university will negotiate an agreement and then not honor its obligations, looking at the legislature for appropriations. He said, no matter how much money the legislature gives the university, they are not going to meet their obligation unless the legislature gives them additional money. He said this practice does not lead to one of fiscal responsibility. Number 0904 MR. McGRATH said there is litigation dealing with the failure of the university to honor its 1995 obligations. He said the university received appropriations from the legislature for 1995, but it has never been given to the community college group. He said a specific bill was passed stating that the sum of $507,000 was appropriated to the University of Alaska for a three year percent salary adjustment to satisfy those monetary terms of a collective bargaining agreement entered into with ACCFT for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995. He said, even though the legislature expressly appropriated money, the money has not been paid. He said this legislature has spoken eloquently to fiscal responsibility and added that this situation is not fiscally responsible by the Executive Branch of government. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Standing Committee on Health, Education and Social Services, Co-Chair Bunde adjourned the meeting at 5:02 p.m.