Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/20/1997 03:45 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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              
      - 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                                                                 
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) DYSON, Austerman, Ogan, Kohring,                
 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                   
 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               
 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                         
 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              
 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
 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
 Number 1408                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE objected to the motion for the purposes of                     
 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                   
 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                   
 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              
 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             
 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                  
 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               
 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               
 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               
 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                  
 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            
 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               
 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.                                           
 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.                                      

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