Legislature(1997 - 1998)
03/20/1997 03:45 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 20, 1997 3:45 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Con Bunde, Chairman Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman Representative Al Vezey Representative Fred Dyson Representative J. Allen Kemplen Representative Tom Brice MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Brian Porter COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 146 "An Act relating to competency testing requirements for secondary students; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED CSHB 146(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 157 "An Act repealing statutes that condition receipt of certain occupational licenses on compliance with student loan repayment provisions and compliance with support orders or payment schedules related to support orders." - FAILED TO MOVE HB 157 OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 158 "An Act relating to attendance at a public school on a part-time basis." - HEARD AND HELD *HOUSE BILL NO. 152 "An Act regulating hospice care." - HEARD AND HELD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 146 SHORT TITLE: PUPIL COMPETENCY TESTING SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 02/18/97 381 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/18/97 381 (H) HES 02/27/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/27/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/06/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/06/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/11/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/11/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/18/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/18/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/20/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 157 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL DENIAL OF OCC LIC FOR DEBTS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 02/25/97 465 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/25/97 465 (H) HES, LABOR & COMMERCE 03/13/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/13/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/18/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/18/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/20/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 158 SHORT TITLE: RIGHT TO ATTEND SCHOOL ON PART-TIME BASIS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) DYSON, Austerman, Ogan, Kohring, Vezey JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 02/25/97 465 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/25/97 465 (H) HES, FINANCE 03/10/97 618 (H) COSPONSOR(S): AUSTERMAN 03/13/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/13/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/14/97 678 (H) COSPONSOR(S): OGAN, KOHRING, VEZEY 03/18/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/18/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/20/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 152 SHORT TITLE: REGULATION OF HOSPICE CARE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) RYAN JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 02/24/97 441 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/24/97 441 (H) HES, FINANCE 03/20/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 102 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 157 MIKE MAHER, Director Student Financial Aid Postsecondary Education Commission Department of Education 3030 Vintage Boulevard Juneau, Alaska 99801-7109 Telephone: (907) 465-6740 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 157 MACKENZIE SLATER, Student 430 Hermit Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 463-3321 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 158 PETER PARTNOU, Lawyer Anchorage school district 510 L Street, Number 500 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 278-8533 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 158 ED EARNHART 1043 West 74th Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99518 Telephone: (907) 349-1160 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 158 CAROL COMEAU, Representative Anchorage School District P.O. Box 196614 Anchorage, Alaska 99519 Telephone: (907) 269-2290 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 158 MIKE FORD, Attorney Legislative Legal and Research Services Legislative Affairs Agency 130 Seward Street, Number 409 Juneau, Alaska 99801-2105 Telephone: (907) 465-2450 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 158 SHARYLEE ZACHARY P.O. Box 1531 Petersburg, Alaska 99833 Telephone: (907) 772-3681 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 158 REPRESENTATIVE JOE RYAN Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 420 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3875 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 152 JEAN HATFIELD, Founder Hospice in Homer President of the Board of Directors, Hospice in Homer P.O. Box 4174 Homer, Alaska 99603 Telephone: (907) 235-6899 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 152 SHELBY LARSEN, Administrator Health Facilities Licensing and Certification Division of Medical Assistance Department of Health and Social Services 4730 Business Park Boulevard, Suite 18 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-7117 Telephone: (907) 561-8081 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 152 TROY CARLOCK, Researcher for Representative Ryan Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 120 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3875 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 152 CHARLES QUARRE, President Hospice in Central Peninsula HC 1, BOX 3336 Sterling, Alaska 99672 Telephone: (907) 262-2115 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 152 CAROLYN SMITH, Home Health Care Coordinator Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation P.O. Box 130 Dillingham, Alaska 99576 Telephone: (907) 842-9378 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 152 TINA KOCSIS, Director Hospice in Tanana Valley P.O. Box 82770 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: (907) 474-0311 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 152 BARBARA RICH, Board Member Hospice in Tanana Valley P.O. Box 80482 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: (907) 479-2509 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 152 KAREN LAIRD, Board Member Hospice in Tanana Valley P.O. Box 80694 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: (907) 455-6496 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 152 PAULA McCARRON Hospice of Anchorage 3305 Arctic Boulevard Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: (907) 561-5322 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 152 PATRICIA SENNER, Registered Nurse Executive Director, Alaska Nurses Association 237 East Third Avenue, Number 3 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 274-0827 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 152 MIKE SHIFFER, Board Member Hospice of Anchorage 8561 Ridgeway Anchorage, Alaska 99504 Telephone: (907) 337-8029 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 152 RITCHIE SONNER, Executive Director Hospice and Home Care of Juneau Juneau, Alaska Telephone: (907) 463-3113 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 152 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-21, SIDE A Number 0000 CHAIRMAN CON BUNDE called the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:45 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde, Green, Vezey, Porter, Dyson, Kemplen and Brice. Representative Porter was absent. This meeting was teleconferenced to Dillingham, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Homer, Kenai and Petersburg. HB 146 - PUPIL COMPETENCY TESTING Number 0034 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the first item on the agenda as HB 146, "An Act relating to competency testing requirements for secondary students; and providing for an effective date." He referred to a proposed committee substitute reflecting testimony given last week by Dr. Nancy Buell. The committee substitute changes some effective date standards. The competency test would first be given in the ninth grade and until the student passed the test, it would be given in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades. This would allow time for remediation and a different exposure to the material. These changes were suggested by the Department of Education (DOE) because of possible legal challenges to the legislation. Number 0093 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE made a motion to adopt CSHB 146(HES), version O-LSO515\E. There being no objections, CSHB 146(HES) was before the committee. Number 0160 REPRESENTATIVE J. ALLEN KEMPLEN made a motion to adopt Amendment 1 to HB 146(HES). Number 0165 CHAIRMAN BUNDE objected to the motion for purposes of discussion. Number 0170 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN said Amendment 1 would begin competency testing at an earlier time in the educational process. Competency testing would apply to secondary students as well as elementary students. Children would be tested in the fourth, eighth and eleventh grades. The examination used for the eleventh grade could be considered the final competency exam. The DOE would determine the form and content of the examinations and scores. A pupil who fails to pass one of these examinations would receive remedial instruction in the areas tested. This amendment would give additional opportunity for the educational system to identify weaknesses in the students at an earlier age and to address those weaknesses with remedial education to affect a positive change. Number 0330 CHAIRMAN BUNDE explained that there had been discussions on this idea and there was currently nothing preventing the school district from doing this testing. He referred to the California Achievement Test (CAT) as an example where students are being measured at an early age. He expressed concern about the size of the fiscal note if we included this language in the bill. He stated that we would basically pay schools twice to do what they should be doing now. He continued his opposition to Amendment 1. Number 0357 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN agreed with the chair, even though there were discussions that the younger students are tested the better. Number 0386 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE referred to testimony presented by administrators, teachers, school board associations on this subject. He thought Amendment 1 went a long way in addressing the questions raised about the finality of a single exam. The amendment recognized the need for remediation in the statute and tracking students throughout the system, to avoid having them slipping through the system. He felt the argument that districts could already do this went against the concept of the legislation. If districts could test, then why did the state have to mandate an exit exam. He concluded that when it comes down to the last semester of high school, the student should not be put into a situation of having to pass a single test in order to receive a diploma. Number 0520 CHAIRMAN BUNDE clarified that the DOE's concept of this exam would begin testing in the ninth grade. Students would be tested in the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades. Number 0540 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if the chair would accept Amendment 1 as a friendly amendment if language was added specifying ninth, tenth and twelfth grades. Number 0563 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said the elementary school component would have to be deleted from Amendment 1. It was his intention to allow the DOE to develop the test which would be taken, the first time, in the ninth grade. Students who tested out in one of the areas wouldn't take another test, those that didn't test out would then receive some remediation and take the exam again in the tenth, the eleventh and twelfth grades. The students have four attempts to pass the test, it is not a one time only test. Number 0603 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that unfortunately, the way the bill is written, it is a one time only exam. Number 0616 CHAIRMAN BUNDE disagreed because the competency exam, as he viewed it, was this series of four tests. Number 0630 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE felt this should be clarified within HB 146(HES). He suggested that Amendment 1 might not be the answer, but that the intent should be clarified that it is a series of tests given over the high school academic career of the student. The legislature can have a certain level of expectation for the DOE that they will introduce some type of program, but there is nothing that says they need to do so in HB 146(HES). He felt that if the bill was supposed to address the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades, then it should have specific language. Number 0694 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN expressed concern that if the legislature put all of those things into the bill, were they over doctoring something that legislators don't have expertise in doing. This legislation establishes that there will be a competency exam given, the school district will determine how to administer the exam and there is this added suggestion that the exam would be administered starting in the ninth grade. He felt that it was incumbent upon the legislature to see that the DOE would perform these tasks. If they don't, then you could legislate these specific functions. This was better than to insist that the legislature put their own recommendations in statute form. He felt the statutes were out of the legislature's area of expertise. Number 0770 CHAIRMAN BUNDE agreed that he wanted to leave as much flexibility for the DOE as possible. He questioned if HB 146(HES) should include intent language which spoke of a series of tests beginning in the ninth grade. Number 0781 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE suggested that the reasons why a lot of state departments go off "willy nilly" on certain issues such as resource issues, is that the legislature is not very clear. He was not sure that he would want to leave a large degree of leverage for the DOE to go off and start the process all over again. He felt the DOE had good intentions, but he has seen too many times after the legislators are gone where the DOE will go back, regardless of legislative intent, and implement some other type of program. Number 0855 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said that testing might have to change significantly. Number 0870 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE explained that the content of the test is not at issue. A much broader question is the application of the process by which the test is required. Number 0890 CHAIRMAN BUNDE referred to line 6 and suggested, "unless the pupil passes a series of competency examinations." REPRESENTATIVE BRICE agreed to that language. Number 0918 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON agreed with Representative Green that the committee began with good intentions, but is starting to micro- manage this bill. He understood the original goal was to have a way of asserting that Alaska high school graduates meet some standard of excellence and provide, within the legislation, that some flexibility for students from different social, economic, and language barriers be allowed. He would not want the legislature to dictate how each school and school district would do it. He had great confidence in the education profession and it is inevitable, if this legislation passes, that the schools are going to start moving to structure and produce students who can pass the test. The schools will figure out how to do it and figure out that the school and district are going to be rated on the percentage of students who pass. This rating will be looked at when it comes to budgets. So schools will begin coaching their students and giving them trial tests in third grade, ninth or eleventh grade. He did not feel that we had to worry about getting students to pass the test. Number 1012 CHAIRMAN BUNDE referred to line 7 and suggested, "plural examinations" and asked if this would indicate where the legislature was going. Number 1027 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY agreed with Representatives Green and Dyson. The legislature is setting up a measurement, doing more micro-managing than he would like, but he thought it had been proven that the legislature needs to do some. The legislature is giving the school districts flexibility as to how they get there, there are no restrictions on them and he did not think there should be any more than was absolutely necessary. He felt the legislative mandate should be minimal. Number 1040 A roll call vote was taken on Amendment 1. Representatives Kemplen and Brice voted yea. Representatives Green, Vezey, Dyson and Bunde voted nay. Representative Porter was absent for the vote. Amendment 1 failed to be adopted. Number 1083 CHAIRMAN BUNDE referred to page 1, line 8, and made a suggestion for a conceptual amendment, "examination the Department shall determine the form, contents of the examination and the grade levels to be tested". Number 1119 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON felt HB 146(HES) was wonderful and he disagreed with the conceptual amendment. Number 1135 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN made a motion to adopt Amendment 2 to HB 146(HES). Number 1140 CHAIRMAN BUNDE objected to the motion for purposes of discussion. Number 1145 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN said, during the testimony on this proposed legislation, the issue of standards were repeatedly brought up. It would be difficult to legally support the competency exam unless there was some sort of standardized measures of performance statewide. Otherwise someone moving from one school district to another school district in the state would be at a disadvantage. Amendment 2 seeks to address this concern. The matrix, presented by DOE and titled, "Possible Implementation Table for Exit Examination", contains a mandate to disseminate performance standards in reading, writing and mathematics related to the exit test in 1997 and 1998. Amendment 2 would put this language into the HB 146(HES). Number 1245 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked if this language was needed in addition to page 2, beginning at line 4, "the Department of Education shall report to the legislature containing the standards used to prepare the competency examination". REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN answered that, the way Section 2 is written, it only calls for the production of a report. The proposed amendment moves beyond the report to the actual implementation of standards by the DOE. Number 1284 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN referred to the language in Section 2 and questioned how the amendment would improve the language, unless Representative Kemplen felt that DOE would give a report, but not actually do it. Number 1313 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN said the wording in Section 2, basically, says that the DOE shall provide a report. It doesn't say that the standards are uniform, it doesn't say that the standards apply statewide, there is ambiguity as it is currently phrased in Section 2. The proposed amendment would clarify and outline what is to be accomplished in a more specific fashion. Number 1361 CHAIRMAN BUNDE understood the wish to put it in more solid language, but he felt that the standards developed for this statewide test would not also be implemented statewide. A roll call vote was taken on Amendment 2. Representatives Kemplen and Brice voted yea. Representatives Vezey, Dyson, Green and Bunde voted nay. Representative Porter was absent for the vote. Amendment 2 failed to be adopted. Number 1401 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN made a motion to move Amendment 3 to HB 146(HES). Number 1408 CHAIRMAN BUNDE objected to the motion for the purposes of discussion. Number 1410 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN said Amendment 3 seeks to address a concern about remediation. If an individual fails the examination they would be given an opportunity and assistance to learn in the areas they are deficient in. This amendment directs the institution, providing the competency exam, to provide a method of remediation in case of failure. Number 1464 CHAIRMAN BUNDE felt the districts would work fervently for remediation. As HB 146(HES) allows students to take the test up to three years after high school, he felt the proposed amendment would add significantly to the fiscal note. Number 1486 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said Representative Kemplen was correct, but agreed with the chair. Number 1518 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE stated that he felt the reason behind HB 146(HES) was to provide consistent measures to ensure that students are learning what they are supposed to. He felt Amendment 3 allowed for consistent application. Those students who fail once will get assistance to address their deficiencies. He said we can't predict what all districts will do. He felt Amendment 3 was a logical extension of the bill. Number 1568 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN referred to students with test taking anxiety and said if those students fail this test they might be thrown into a remediation class when it is clear that they know the material. Number 1620 A roll call vote was taken on Amendment 3. Representatives Kemplen and Brice voted yea. Representatives Green, Vezey and Bunde voted nay. Representatives Porter and Dyson were absent for the vote. Amendment 3 failed to be adopted. Number 1651 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to adopt Amendment 4. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE objected for purposes of discussion. He stated that social science, in his mind, included civics and asked if civics would be included under this title. CHAIRMAN BUNDE explained that, in discussions with DOE, this language addition would be challenging. He believed U.S. history and Alaska history would connotate the civics component. Students would certainly have to understand our democratic process if they were to understand U.S. history. He said the DOE had a hard time finding tests which would accomplish what the legislature wanted to accomplish, this is the reason for excluding social science. Number 1694 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY expressed concern about the need to know Alaska history. He cited the difficulties in students who move from out of state to Alaska. Number 1714 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that it is important for students to know about civics. He asked if it would be cumbersome to leave social sciences in the bill with the additional requirement of U.S. history and Alaska history. Number 1731 CHAIRMAN BUNDE thought civics was covered in history classes. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN felt it was a separate subject. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said civics is a study of governmental processes. Number 1748 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained that when he took civics, they had things that were not taught in U.S. or world history. It was vocational, not historical. Number 1781 CHAIRMAN BUNDE stated that he had a different view. A roll call vote was taken on Amendment 4. Representatives Dyson, Kemplen, Brice, Green and Bunde voted yea. Representatives Vezey voted nay. Representative Porter was absent for the vote. Amendment 4 was adopted. Number 1834 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to move HB 146(HES) with individual recommendations. Number 1840 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE objected in order to make an expectation that the sponsor would look into the civics question at the next committee of referral. Number 1849 CHAIRMAN BUNDE felt this was a reasonable expectation. Number 1852 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN stated that the DOE did not feel there should be a statewide test on science and social science due to the lack of consensus on standards. He asked if it was the intent of the drafters to address this concern of the DOE. Number 1880 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said it is the intent of the bill sponsor to leave science in there with the expectation that the DOE would find a basic science test with which they will feel comfortable. He added that the DOE would rather get involved in a lab situation which he didn't feel was possible. There should be some basic science information and knowledge in this competency exam. Number 1890 A roll call vote was taken on HB 146(HES). Representatives Green, Vezey, Dyson and Bunde voted yea. Representatives Kemplen and Brice voted nay. Representative Porter was absent for the vote. The committee moved HB 146(HES) from the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee with attached fiscal notes and individual recommendations. HB 157 - REPEAL DENIAL OF OCC LIC FOR DEBTS Number 1926 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the next item on the agenda was HB 157, "An Act repealing statutes that condition receipt of certain occupational licenses on compliance with student loan repayment provisions and compliance with support orders or payment schedules related to support orders." He said this is the second time the committee has heard this bill and noted that the sponsor was here. Number 1941 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, Sponsor of HB 157, referred to the committee substitute, CSHB 157(HES). She referred to testimony about the individual's case which prompted this legislation and presented new information about it. This person was given two options; to pay the $5,900 or $539 a month. The commission would not give him his occupational license until after he had made several monthly payments in a row. This person paid a total of $3,234 in a lump sum in order to get his license renewed. He owed $30,000 total, but paid $3,234 in monthly payments to get his license renewed. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated her philosophy that a deal is a deal on both sides of the issue. If a person has an obligation, they ought to pay it. If they don't pay it, they need to face the consequences. Changing the consequences after the deal has been made is what she objected to. Even before this provision regarding license renewal was entered into law, she believed that sufficient amount of tools were available for the commission to collect money. She referred to her experiences in this business and reiterated that the ability to collect this money was there. She objected to the fact that this was such an easy method to get someone's attention. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained that she did not know this person, who prompted the bill, but was told of some of his extenuating circumstances over the phone. She restated her philosophy that only people who received their student loans after the time the law was put into effect should be subject to license renewal. TAPE 97-21, SIDE B Number 0000 MIKE MAHER, Director, Student Financial Aid, Postsecondary Education Commission, Department of Education, prefaced his comments by saying that when people sign a promissory note the financial aid advisors indicate that the agency or its representatives, "may institute legal action to force repayment of the loan." This indicates to any borrowers that the commission would try to utilize any mechanism or tool that the legislature would authorize them to use. A person could default on their mortgage, their credit cards, get divorced, default on their car and truck and then turn around and ask for a $9,500 loan and receive it. The commission has no authority to withhold that loan, there is no credit assessment up-front. Essentially it is an open door policy. This up-front credit assessment is another tool which the commission is in the process of seeking from the legislature this year. Number 0100 MR. MAHER mentioned that each of these borrowers has been contacted repeatedly about their loan through automated letters and personal contacts, it has not been easy for them to default on their loans. He suggested that they have been contacted eight to ten times. The commission has tried to help the borrowers work out some resolution prior to the license renewal. There are contingency plans for a number of emergencies; medical write-offs, a variety of deferments. The commission tries to work with the borrowers. They understand that there are extenuating circumstances. When all is said and done, he felt this tool worked. The person, whose case was mentioned, did come up with some money and is now on a repayment schedule. Number 0176 MR. MAHER stated that there have been 61 individuals who have fallen into this default category, 48 of them have reached some sort of payment arrangement with the commission. The amount defaulted on, for the 61 individuals over the course of a 10 to 15 year repayment period, would be about $850,000. This amount of money would be lost in their repayment stream to the loan fund over the next 10 or 15 years, depending on the length of payment schedule. The fiscal note showed that the commission benefited from instituting the occupational licensing intervention program. Roughly $63,000 was made in payments over that one year period. Given the fact that licensing is on a two year renewal, the commission estimated that half of the people have been impacted. The other half would be impacted in the next year. The 61 person figure would be doubled. The fiscal note says $126,000 would be potentially lost yearly from the revenue stream over the next ten or fifteen years. Number 0261 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES did not agree that the money was lost, she felt it was collectable with other tools available to the commission. She referred to Chairman Bunde's previous testimony that in the past these loans were seen as a gift. She felt this new program was severe, particularly when the letter to this borrower indicated the terms and gave him an opportunity to appeal, but the only thing he was allowed to appeal was the claim that he was in default. She expressed concern that there is no appeal. She honestly believed that there were other ways to collect that money if it is aggressively pursued. Number 0366 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN suggested that if CSHB 157(HES) were to pass, the agreements reached from three-fourths of those affected would be nullified. Number 0397 MR. MAHER assumed that the commission would not be in a situation where they would refund money, but would potentially be in a situation where the payment schedule would stop for those individuals currently on a payment schedule. Number 0411 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN clarified on a 15 year note, or even on a 10 year note, the majority of outstanding debt would then be lost. Number 0430 CHAIRMAN BUNDE closed public testimony. Number 0437 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to move CSHB 157(HES) with individual recommendations. Number 0448 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN objected to the motion. A roll call vote was taken on CSHB 157(HES). Representatives Green, Vezey and Dyson voted yea. Representatives Brice, Kemplen and Bunde voted nay. Representative Porter was absent for the vote. CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced that the vote was three to three and CSHB 157(HES) did not advance. HB 158 - RIGHT TO ATTEND SCHOOL ON PART-TIME BASIS Number 0521 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the next item on agenda was HB 158,"An Act relating to attendance at a public school on a part-time basis." He stated that there were people here to testify and referred to additional letters of support included in the committee file as well as a proposed amendment. Number 0555 MACKENZIE SLATER, sixth grade student, stated she was home schooled and enrolled in the correspondence program of the Juneau school district. She attends the extended learning program, part time, at Harborview Elementary School. She enjoys going to the extended learning program because it is different from what she does at home and lets her use the resources which otherwise wouldn't be available to her. She felt that all children should be able to have access to public school resources. Her parents told her that part of their property taxes are used to run the schools. Therefore she felt that she should be able to go part-time to a public school whether or not she is enrolled in the Juneau school district. MS. SLATER stated that not only does she benefit from being able to attend a public school part-time, but she felt she contributed to the classes of which she was a part. She asked the committee to support this bill so that all children in Alaska will be guaranteed the right to access the best educational resources the state provides. Number 0623 PETER PARTNOU, Lawyer, Anchorage school district, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. He presented the most recent ruling of the Alaska Supreme Court on this subject, Sheldon Jackson College versus the state of Alaska. This ruling would make it seem almost certain that HB 158 is unconstitutional. This case involved a subsidy at the college level and clarified that the courts have greater scrutiny for grades kindergarten through twelfth because it is compulsory education. MR. PARTNOU read a portion of the case, "The court knows that the minutes of the constitutional convention show that there was an effort to delete the provision of the constitution prohibiting (Indisc.) to provide educational institution." This proposal was rejected and the court noted that by rejecting the proposal, the convention made it clear that it wished the constitution to support and protect a strong system of public schools. The court noted that one of the delegates stated that in order to keep a strong public school we should not change money over to private schools. Delegate Coghill expressed the thought that the amount of tax dollars available to support public schools might be lessened if public school funds were used to aid the great many private schools in existence. MR. PARTNOU said, specifically looking at the provision that existed at that time, the court noted the class of people who benefited from the tuition grant program consisted only of private colleges and their students. He felt this would be the same situation which would occur as a result of HB 158. Students currently enrolled full-time in the public school system would not benefit, they would not get to go to private schools tuition free. The only people that would benefit would fall under those other categories. MR. PARTNOU added that the court went on to note that public funds, expended under that program, constituted nothing less than the subsidy of the education received by the students at his or her private college. They implicated their core concern with this direct benefit provision. The program may be motivated, as was stated in the preface of the statute, by the desire to help retain qualified students in Alaska. Such a laudable purpose cannot escape the prohibition of the constitution. Ultimately the program, which was almost indistinguishable from what this current legislation proposes, was declared by the courts to be unconstitutional. He stated the school district's concern about litigation from this bill. Number 0823 ED EARNHART testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. He stated his opposition to HB 158 for the same reasons presented by Mr. Partnou, as well as other reasons. Our public schools are confused enough as they accommodate every special group and individual. He wanted to avoid the administrative confusion as well as the violation of the intent of the state constitution. We have enough to do with public schools without messing around with odds and ends. Everyone who talks about this sort of thing has had serious questions about making more complications in the public schools. Number 0916 CAROL COMEAU, Representative, Anchorage School District, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. She referred to Representative Dyson's statement, "for students who have been expelled from the public schools and are being home schooled in the interim, this option will allow them to gradually make the transition back into the public school system." She said this statement is of serious concern to them, particularly when it comes to student expulsion for weapons and firearms. The federal and state law, as well as the Anchorage school board policy, requires that a student who brings a firearm to school to be expelled for a period of up to one year, unless the superintendent chooses to mitigate that regulation or policy. Anchorage has been very consistent with this policy. The statement by Representative Dyson causes concern because they do not believe that students who have been expelled for firearm violations should be allowed to access the school's courses, even on a one or two course basis. MS. COMEAU stated there is also the issue of an administrative burden on a district the size of Anchorage when they are already having large class sizes and a difficulty having enough sections of the highest level courses. These are the courses, as well as labs and technology courses, that most home and private school students, they believed, would want to access. The district is trying to get certain class sizes down, so that students can have more hands-on experience. If three or four home or private school students or there was an influx of enrollment, it would keep driving the class size up and perhaps some of their very own students would not be able to take those courses. MS. COMEAU said the district likes the current regulation which allows a district to participate and offer classes to home and private school students, but they did not support the requirement that the district would have to provide classes for all home and private schools in the district. Number 1026 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked if it was the district's contention that if someone was expelled and began home schooling, they could come into the school through the back door and attend classes part-time even though they have been expelled from full-time enrollment. Number 1040 MS. COMEAU answered, in reading the information that Representative Dyson distributed, this is a question that the district has about the bill. The superintendent is the only person who can re-instate a student who has been expelled. She felt HB 158 would cause some difficulties in determining the intent based on the distributed information. Number 1058 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON clarified that, in discussions he had with 15 or 18 school districts around the state, they were the ones that had told him they had used the part-time status as a transition back, at their option, at their pleasure, for students expelled because of inadequate deportment. All of those school districts he talked with, except Anchorage and maybe Homer, are successfully working with part-time students. His statement related districts who use the part-time status to their advantage. Number 1093 CHAIRMAN BUNDE verified that it was not Representative Dyson's intent that a person who has been expelled and not accepted back into the school system by that district or superintendent, would be allowed to attend school part-time under this bill. Number 1110 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said, at the district's option, the school could have the student back full-time, part-time or not at all. Number 1114 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE stated that HB 158 is specific in addressing this issue. He did not feel there was a lot of ambiguity in Section B(1) where it states, "A governing body is not required to allow part-time enrollment if (1) the enrollment would be denied even if the enrollee were a full-time student". It does allow a little bit of flexibility for the governing body to use in bringing students in, but does not require it. It gives clear direction that the governing body can say no. Number 1172 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN made a motion to adopt Amendment 1. Number 1195 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON objected for purposes of discussion. Number 1204 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN referred to page 1, line 6, after "who" the amendment would delete "is also enrolled at a private school". Number 1210 CHAIRMAN BUNDE clarified that it was only his intent to include those students who are home schooled or are a correspondence student. Number 1236 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked if the intention was to allow discrimination against those students or to get the state out of the proposed constitutional binds. Number 1245 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN answered it was to avoid the constitution bind, this was a significant concern. Number 1249 MIKE FORD, Attorney, Legislative Legal and Research Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, referred to the discussion on Sheldon Jackson v. State of Alaska. This is the one case which illustrates what the court means when they say direct benefit to a private school. It is important to note that not everything the state does, which benefits a private school, is prohibited even when it is a direct benefit. The court used some examples. One of these examples was where a private school catches fire. If this happens then the fire department responds, this is a direct benefit to a private school. It is a public service. The fact that it is a direct benefit does not mean it is prohibited. It is benefit which is available to everyone in that district. MR. FORD said HB 158 is similar to the court's example in the sense that our system of public schools are open to everyone. The fact that you attend a private school does not mean that you lose your status, under our constitutional provision providing public school access to everyone. It was possible that the courts could find this to be a direct benefit, but he thought that, if you look at the criteria the court used, HB 158 would not violate the constitutional provision. Number 1317 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked for an explanation of the circumstances and the reasoning behind the court case. Number 1328 MR. FORD answered that this case is a good illustration of what a direct benefit is; money going to people in the private sector. He stated that HB 158 does not have money going to people in the private sector. Sheldon Jackson had equalized the difference between tuition at a private college and at a public college. There was an argument that because it goes to the person and not to the school, that it wasn't a direct benefit. The court disagreed with this argument; it was a direct benefit, that the person was just a conduit. This bill, HB 158, does not have money going to a private student. There may be a benefit to the private school in the sense that their programs are enhanced because they mesh with the public programs. He thought this was the kind of indirect benefit which is allowed under the constitution. Number 1364 SHARYLEE ZACHARY testified next via teleconference from Petersburg. She and her husband home school their daughters for a variety of reasons; choice of curriculum, the class size in public schools, and because of current situations facing children. Her tax dollars go to help support the public school system so her family ends up paying twice. When her family went in to use the elementary school library, they were told that it was against policy for a home schooler to check out books and that home schoolers were not even allowed to sit in the library and read the public school materials. For several years now, she has been told from other home schooling families, that classes are not allowed to be taken at the schools unless their children attend full-time. She mentioned that her children are also barred from extracurricular activities, even when they offered to pay an extra fees for them. MS. ZACHARY contacted the school district office to request a copy of the school board policies, regarding home schoolers, to find out what was officially allowed and not allowed. She was told that there are no written policies, yet the policy argument is used when they ask to do something. She referred to an example where policy was set aside in order to allow two boys to join the wrestling team. The size of the community does not allow access to certain things outside of the public schools such as chemistry labs, foreign languages or band class. She questioned why her tax dollars went to provide those things for other children, why her children couldn't use them as well. Her family is doing their part by not overloading the public school system and are trying not to make waves. Number 1508 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated that it appeared that some public schools were accommodating part-time students since the state provided public education. He asked if Mr. Ford was aware of any lawsuits brought against any of the districts for this activity. MR. FORD was not aware of any litigation over the question of public school districts allowing privately schooled students to attend part-time. It was a practice that has gone on for a number of years and is something that, under existing administrative code regulation, is up to the school district. They do allow this in Juneau. He thought Anchorage was the only district which didn't allow it. Number 1546 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked where anyone got the authority to write a regulation that prohibits a citizen of the state from going to public school. He did not feel we had a constitutional right to write such a statute. He asked where they got the right to write such an administrative code. Number 1563 MR. FORD commented that this was an interesting legal question. The regulation does not say that you can't go, it says that the district may allow you to go. It doesn't actually say that privately schooled students may not enroll part-time, it leaves it up to the districts. He assumed that Anchorage has a policy that says they do not allow them to attend. It surprised him that someone in Anchorage has not challenged this regulation. Number 1589 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN presented a scenario of a school and a small private school which operates next door. The private school does not have the resources for some major expense items and their students are sent over to the larger school in order to take advantage of the pool, the vocational lab, the physics lab and the computer multi-media center. He asked if this public school was providing a direct benefit to that smaller school. Number 1657 MR. FORD did not believe, under the constitution as interpreted by the court, that this would be a direct benefit. Number 1674 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked Mr. Partnou's interpretation. Number 1676 MR. PARTNOU disagreed with Mr. Ford's interpretation. The Sheldon Jackson case talks about some public money being spent which directly benefits a private institution such as fire protection, but what the court says, among other things, is that this direct benefit is not something which adds to the educational function. This is something where it doesn't matter whether it is your house burning down, or a factory burning down or whatever, it is available fire protection for everyone. The scenario is exactly what the Sheldon Jackson case was talking about; allowing a private institution to supplement its program by having those things which it can't afford to offer or which it doesn't have a large enough student body to offer. A private school could increase its enrollment by being able to offer those opportunities through the public schools. This is precisely what the supreme court determined, in Sheldon Jackson, to be unconstitutional. MR. PARTNOU explained that the bill creates an entanglement problem in terms of trying to figure out why particular kids are coming to the public school. Are they coming from the private school, from home schools, how do you know if they have a full-time program elsewhere and whether or not they are complying with the compulsory education law. There are a whole rack of administrative problems which would require the public schools to become directly and deeply involved in the private schools to see if those things were going on. This creates an entanglement problem and is also unconstitutional under both state and federal law. Number 1750 CHAIRMAN BUNDE did not feel this problem would be solved in this committee and it would probably take more legal minds and the courts to solve it. Number 1769 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked why the authority, to not let these students in school, was not repealed. Number 1781 MR. FORD felt it was the sponsor's intent to require governing bodies to allow part-time enrollment. If we simply annulled the regulation, then you are left with district policy which in Anchorage would not allow this. Number 1791 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that our constitution was very firm in that all persons in the state of Alaska had right to access public education. Number 1800 CHAIRMAN BUNDE felt there was a difference between going to school and education. You don't have to build a school for every two students. They do have a right to home school. Number 1808 CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified that if a portion of a bill is declared unconstitutional, that portion is deleted but the rest of the bill is alright. He referred to paragraph (a) and asked, if by chance, "enrolled at a private school" were found unconstitutional would that negate that part or this whole section. Number 1837 MR. FORD verified that Representative Green was referring is the severability clause. This clause, if the court can sever the unconstitutional portion of the legislation, will be omitted and the other provisions will be left intact. In this case, he suspected that the court could sever the private school portion. This could be found to be unconstitutional without affecting the correspondence or home school students. Number 1856 A roll call vote was taken on Amendment 1. Representatives Dyson, Kemplen, Brice and Bunde voted yea. Representatives Green and Vezey voted nay. Representative Porter was absent for the vote. Amendment 1 was adopted. Number 1886 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to move CSHB 158(HES) with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note. Number 1912 CHAIRMAN GREEN objected to the motion. He felt the change in CSHB 158(HES) took away from the intent. He questioned changing the bill because of constitutionality concerns and referred to Mr. Ford's explanation of what would happen if it was found unconstitutional. He felt this issue could be prejudiced. Number 1941 CHAIRMAN BUNDE took the chair's prerogative and held CSHB 158(HES) until Tuesday, March 25, 1997. TAPE 97-22, SIDE A HB 152 - REGULATION OF HOSPICE CARE Number 0000 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the next item on the agenda as HB 152, "An Act regulating hospice care." REPRESENTATIVE JOE RYAN, Sponsor of HB 152, said the bill provides for licensing of hospice care programs in Alaska, ensuring that terminally ill persons receive comfort, support and care consistent with hospice philosophy and concepts through a uniform level of services. There are no federal regulations or licensing requirements for hospice programs. As of January 1997, 40 states are licensing or regulating hospice programs. Of the ten states without hospice licensing, five have laws or regulations pending. The licensing of hospice programs in Alaska will assure consumers of consistent standards in the delivery of hospice services. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN continued, hospice is a unique component of the health care delivery system, one that has evolved over the past 20 years in the United States. Hospice provides care and support for people with terminal illness. The goal of hospice care is to enable patients to live an alert, pain-free life and to manage symptoms so that the last weeks and months of life may be spent in dignity and peace. One out of every three people who die of cancer or AIDS in this country is being served by a hospice program. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said the annual growth in hospice programs averaged about 8 percent in the early 1990s. In the last five years, growth has averaged 17 percent. Hospice services are provided through a variety of means; independent community-based organizations, divisions of hospitals or home-health services and government agencies. Rapid growth of hospice programs is due to increased demands for home care services, the trend towards reimbursement for home-care services. Consumers need to be aware of specific characteristics that differentiate hospice from other health care providers. Hospice offers comfort and care, not curative treatment. It addresses emotional, spiritual and social needs in addition to physical needs. It considers the patient and loved ones as the unit of care, affirms life and regards dying as a normal process, seeking neither to hasten nor postpone death. The care extends beyond a patient's death to include bereavement care for grieving family members. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN added that fear of painful suffering, of abandonment, and of losing control are primary concerns of people experiencing terminal illness. Hospice care is designed to address these concerns by providing support, care and needed services to help the terminally ill live their lives in maximum comfort and control. Passage of HB 152 will standardize hospice care and will guarantee the Alaskan public the opportunity to access quality hospice care. JEAN HATFIELD, Founder, Hospice in Homer, President, Board of Directors of Hospice in Homer, testified next via teleconference from Homer. She requested that the licensing requirement for the volunteer programs be deleted from the legislation. Due to limited funding and the size of the community, there is only one part-time director. Their concern is that services might be diminished if requirements are placed on the program which would further stretch the limited administrative resources. Her organization follows the National Hospice Organization guidelines, but are concerned that if the funding is reduced and administrative staff have to be cut, then the volunteer administrative staff would not be able to keep up with all the requirements. Since the major concern of hospice is that relief be provided for the family members, her organization wants to be sure they can provide services for those in need. MS. HATFIELD stated that she founded her organization because of positive personal experiences with hospice. Hospice is a wonderful program and she would hate to see a reduction in services because there was not enough funding or the agency couldn't meet just a few of the guidelines that were required. Number 0212 SHELBY LARSEN, Administrator, Health Facilities Licensing and Certification, Division of Medical Assistance, Department of Health and Social Services, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. He referred to Senator Kelly's bill and said his office assured him that HB 152 has the same language as the senate bill. Number 0261 TROY CARLOCK, Researcher for Representative Ryan, confirmed that the committee substitute had the same language as the senate bill. MR. LARSEN understood that this bill was being presented to preserve the hospice philosophy and to ensure quality care. It is written in a way which would meet those needs. There is no objection to this bill from the department. Number 0350 CHARLES QUARRE, President, Hospice in Central Peninsula, testified next via teleconference from Kenai. His organization has been in operation for the last ten years, has nine members and 50 volunteers who take 16 hours of training. The majority of their clients are people who cannot afford free standing hospice. His organization also provides a free loan closet which has beds, wheelchairs and other things which can be needed in a hospital room. Referrals are given from doctors, hospitals and family members. They are a member and adhere to the guidelines of the National Hospice Organization. Their organization is highly esteemed in the local area and directed the committee to speak with Representatives Davis and Hodgins to confirm this statement. Grants have been given from the Rasmussen Foundation, UNOCAL and ARCO, a main supporter is the United Way where they are required to present their operations on a yearly basis. MR. QUARRE said they have a part-time paid director, the rest of the work is done by volunteers. His organization conforms to all the requirements in Article 2. However it would place an additional burden on them in terms of time and resources. The proponents in this bill claim that they are not interested in hindering the efforts of the volunteer organizations or volunteer hospices and questioned why there was a law in this proposal. This law would require additional paperwork which might take away from efforts to take care of their clients. "We also question (Indisc.) it may be they're not our laws or regulations a way in effect that would preclude any, any, any, a problems with good hospices that are in effect now." They requested that hospice providers like his organization be deleted from this bill. Number 0536 CAROLYN SMITH, Home Health Care Coordinator, Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, testified next via teleconference from Dillingham. She spoke in favor of HB 152 because, as a community, they are trying to put together a hospice. The guidelines listed in the bill will help a lot in the planning process such as creating training guidelines. Her organization is not sure whether or not they will become a direct service provider or a volunteer group, but she liked the guidelines that were set out. Number 0584 TINA KOCSIS, Director, Hospice in Tanana Valley, testified next via teleconference from Fairbanks. Her organization is a volunteer hospice which served 16 terminally ill patients and over 700 bereavement clients last year. All of the proposed regulations in HB 152 are already being adhered to in her organization. In theory, hospice is in favor of this type of criteria. The problem, that many of the board members see with HB 152, is that a small hospice has a limited budget, they don't get any enumeration for any services and so fund-raising and limited time is a big factor. The board is concerned that any kind of regulation, although it might help with quality control and protecting consumers, might also create hardships. They would urge, at the very least, that the licensing process be kept simple, inexpensive and would take into consideration the volunteer status. If these things can't be done, her organization would have serious concerns about including volunteer hospices in this bill. Volunteer hospices and certified hospices are quite different from each other. Number 0709 BARBARA RICH, Board Member, Hospice in Tanana Valley, testified next via teleconference from Fairbanks. She stated that she was speaking for herself and not as a board member. She would like to see HB 152 passed because she felt it was something that was necessary. Currently her hospice program performs all the issues that the bill addresses, in fact the requirements they have are more strict and require more hours of training in addition to everything else. Some members of the board were hesitant to support HB 152 for fear that it will be expensive and hard for the hospice to pay for the license as well as maintaining the records for the regulation. The organization might have to hire someone just to do this. She hoped the legislature would instruct the Department of Health and Social Services to make the reports for volunteer hospices simple to produce in order to alleviate this problem. MS. RICH feared that her hospice had clients who were very vulnerable. Her hospice deals with clients who are ill and families who are under a lot of stress. It is an area which can be easily exploited. She would like to see that someone doesn't take patients into their home and call it a hospice, which they can now. It hasn't happened, but it certainly could. Number 0789 KAREN LAIRD, Board Member, Hospice in Tanana Valley, testified next via teleconference from Fairbanks. She stated her support for HB 152 for the reasons given by Ms. Rich. PAULA McCARRON, Hospice of Anchorage, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. Until recently the hospice where she works operated in a similar fashion to a volunteer hospice so she shares some of the concerns expressed. She shared comments from a network of hospices across the country which addressed the concerns from the Commonwealth of Virginia who enacted hospice licensure in 1989. This licensure limited the definition of hospice so greatly that it prohibited a volunteer hospice organization to operate in Virginia. Now Virginia is trying to go backwards, to try and find a way to get a mechanism that legitimizes the work which a volunteer hospice performs. She hoped that volunteer hospices could see this bill as a protection, so there is a standardization of services for consumers and a way for the state of Alaska to insure that there is compassion and care for people being sent home who do not have adequate support services in their communities. Number 0900 PATRICIA SENNER, Registered Nurse, Executive Director, Alaska Nurses Association, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. Her organization voiced their support for this bill, the committee substitute. They feel it is important to regulate both those hospices who receive prior reimbursements and those that are volunteer so there is consumer protection. Her organization is happy with the emphasis placed in the bill and the role played by registered nurses. She said she would fax any further comments to the committee. Number 0939 MIKE SHIFFER, Board Member, Hospice of Anchorage, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. He was one of the people who first approached Senator Kelly about proposing this legislation. He was in full support of HB 152 and hoped that the amendments that have been added, as the bill works its way through the system, will support the volunteer hospices as well. Number 0966 RITCHIE SONNER, Executive Director, Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, said she was in support of HB 152. Although she recognized and understood the concerns that were voiced by the other voluntary hospices, she did not agree with them. She felt these standards were minimum, clean, straightforward and the very least that we can expect of anybody that calls themselves a hospice in the state of Alaska. This bill would protect the consumers and the people who would wish to utilize the services. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN BUNDE adjourned the meeting of the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee at 5:30 p.m.