Legislature(1999 - 2000)

02/29/2000 03:46 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL                                                                               
                   SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                        February 29, 2000                                                                                       
                            3:46 p.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fred Dyson, Chairman                                                                                             
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
Representative Joe Green                                                                                                        
Representative Carl Morgan                                                                                                      
Representative Tom Brice                                                                                                        
Representative Allen Kemplen                                                                                                    
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 98                                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to contracts for  the provision of  state public                                                              
assistance  to  certain recipients  in  the state;  providing  for                                                              
regional  public  assistance  plans  and programs  in  the  state;                                                              
relating to grants  for Alaska tribal family  assistance programs;                                                              
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 98(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 392                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to continuances  for temporary placement hearings                                                              
that follow  emergency custody of  a minor; and amending  Rule 10,                                                              
Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 392(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 269                                                                                                              
"An Act  related to  the videotaping  of interviews with  children                                                              
who are alleged to have been abused or neglected."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD; ASSIGNED TO SUBCOMMITTEE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 12                                                                                             
Relating to declaring March 2000 as Sobriety Awareness Month.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SCR 12 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 256                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to reports of suspected child  abuse or neglect,                                                              
and requiring  that, as part of  the investigation of  the reports                                                              
of suspected child abuse or neglect,  all official interviews with                                                              
children  who are  alleged to  have  been abused  or neglected  be                                                              
recorded."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 98                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: PUB.ASSISTANCE:PROGRAMS/GRANTS/CONTRACTS                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/19/99       253     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 2/19/99       253     (H)  CRA, HES, FIN                                                                                       
 2/19/99       254     (H)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS)                                                                             
 2/19/99       254     (H)  GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                       
 3/09/99               (H)  CRA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                         
 3/09/99               (H)  <BILL POSTPONED TO 3/16>                                                                            
 3/16/99               (H)  CRA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                         
 3/16/99               (H)  MOVED CSHB 98(CRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                 
 3/16/99               (H)  MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                         
 3/16/99       469     (H)  CRA RPT  CS(CRA) NT  6DP                                                                            
 3/16/99       470     (H)  DP: JOULE, HALCRO, HARRIS, MORGAN,                                                                  
 3/16/99       470     (H)  KOOKESH, DYSON                                                                                      
 3/16/99       470     (H)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS) 2/19/99                                                                     
 3/27/99               (H)  HES AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
 3/27/99               (H)  <BILL CANCELED>                                                                                     
 2/17/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
 2/17/00               (H)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 2/17/00               (H)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 2/29/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 392                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONTINUANCES OF CINA HEARINGS                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/16/00      2216     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/16/00      2216     (H)  HES, JUD                                                                                            
 2/29/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 269                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: VIDEOTAPING OF INTERVIEWS WITH CHILDREN                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 1/10/00      1890     (H)  PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/00                                                                             
 1/10/00      1890     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 1/10/00      1890     (H)  HES, JUD, FIN                                                                                       
 1/10/00      1890     (H)  REFERRED TO HES                                                                                     
 2/25/00      2315     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): JAMES                                                                                 
 2/29/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SCR 12                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 1/28/00      2108     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 1/28/00      2109     (S)  HES                                                                                                 
 1/31/00      2129     (S)  COSPONSOR(S): TAYLOR                                                                                
 2/09/00               (S)  HES AT  1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                       
 2/09/00               (S)  Moved Out of Committee                                                                              
 2/09/00               (S)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 2/10/00               (S)  RLS AT 11:45 AM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                      
 2/10/00               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                         
 2/10/00      2256     (S)  HES RPT 4DP                                                                                         
 2/10/00      2256     (S)  DP: MILLER, WILKEN, PEARCE, PETE                                                                    
                            KELLY                                                                                               
 2/10/00      2256     (S)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (S.HES)                                                                            
 2/15/00      2302     (S)  RLS TO CALENDAR  02/15/00                                                                           
 2/15/00      2306     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                                
 2/15/00      2306     (S)  PASSED Y11 N- E7 A2     SCR12                                                                       
 2/15/00      2308     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                  
 2/18/00      2232     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/18/00      2232     (H)  HES                                                                                                 
 2/29/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT CALDER                                                                                                                    
PO Box 75011                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska 99707                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 98 and on HB 269.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DIANE WENDLANDT, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                     
Collections and Support                                                                                                         
Civil Division (Anchorage)                                                                                                      
Department of Law                                                                                                               
1031 West Fourth Avenue, Suite 200                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified briefly on HB 98.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA MIKLOS, Director                                                                                                        
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Child Support Enforcement Division                                                                                              
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 310                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 98 and answered                                                                 
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JIM NORDLUND, Director                                                                                                          
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Public Assistance                                                                                                   
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110640                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 98 and answered                                                                 
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KRISTEN BOMENGEN, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                    
Human Services Section                                                                                                          
Civil Division (Juneau)                                                                                                         
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 98.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JODI OLMSTEAD                                                                                                                   
PO Box 56853                                                                                                                    
North Pole, Alaska  99705                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 98 and HB 269.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
LORI BACKES, Staff                                                                                                              
   for Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 13                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained changes in CSHB 392.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
GLADYS LANGDON, Children Services Manager                                                                                       
Southcentral Region                                                                                                             
Family Services                                                                                                                 
Division of Family & Youth Services (DFYS)                                                                                      
Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                   
550 West 8th Avenue, Suite 304                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 392 and on HB
269.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant                                                                                              
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110601                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 392.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DOUG WOOLIVER, Administrative Attorney                                                                                          
Administrative Staff                                                                                                            
Office of the Administrative Director                                                                                           
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
820 West Fourth Avenue                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 392.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MARCI SCHMIDT                                                                                                                   
2040 Fishhook                                                                                                                   
Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 392 and on HB
269.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CLYDE LORENZ                                                                                                                    
PO Box 73114                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska  99707                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 392 and on HB
269.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SARAH SHORT                                                                                                                     
5535 North Street                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska  99518                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 392 and HB 269.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BLAIR McCUNE, Deputy Director                                                                                                   
Public Defender Agency                                                                                                          
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
900 West Fifth Avenue, Suite 200                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 392.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 511                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 269.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS STOCKARD, Captain                                                                                                         
Division of Alaska State Troopers                                                                                               
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
PO Box 111200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 269.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JERRY WARD                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 423                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented SCR 12.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PAM WATTS, Director                                                                                                             
Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse                                                                            
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110608                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SCR 12.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[The minutes for the portion of the  hearing on the Association of                                                              
Alaska School  Boards are found in  the 3:06 p.m. cover  sheet for                                                              
the same date.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-24, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  FRED DYSON reconvened  the House  Health, Education  and                                                              
Social Services Standing  Committee at 3:46 p.m.   Members present                                                              
were Representatives  Dyson, Whitaker, Morgan, Brice,  Kemplen and                                                              
Coghill.  Representative Green arrived later.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 98 - PUB.ASSISTANCE:PROGRAMS/GRANTS/CONTRACTS                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0019                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next  order of business as House Bill                                                              
No. 98, "An Act  relating to contracts for the  provision of state                                                              
public assistance  to certain recipients  in the  state; providing                                                              
for regional  public assistance plans  and programs in  the state;                                                              
relating to grants  for Alaska tribal family  assistance programs;                                                              
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON   announced  the   committee  would   hear  public                                                              
testimony on HB 98.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0159                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  CALDER testified  via teleconference  from  Fairbanks.   He                                                              
said this bill is  a good idea because it increases  the local and                                                              
regional control and administration  of a program.  He still isn't                                                              
clear on some  questions from the last hearing  on dual assistance                                                              
in rural/urban setting.  He expressed support for HB 98.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0254                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DIANE  WENDLANDT,  Assistant  Attorney  General,  Collections  and                                                              
Support, Civil Division (Anchorage),  Department of Law, testified                                                              
via  teleconference  from Anchorage.    She represents  the  Child                                                              
Support Enforcement Division (CSED)  and understands CSED supports                                                              
this  bill.   She was  available for  any questions  on any  legal                                                              
issues relating to child support.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0300                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA   MIKLOS,   Director,  Central   Office,   Child   Support                                                              
Enforcement  Division,   Department  of  Revenue,   testified  via                                                              
teleconference  from Anchorage.   She  supports this  bill and  is                                                              
available for questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0383                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JIM  NORDLUND,  Director,  Central   Office,  Division  of  Public                                                              
Assistance, Department  of Health  & Social Services  (DHSS), came                                                              
forward  to  testify.   He  mentioned  that  there is  a  proposed                                                              
committee  substitute  (CS) that  adopts  the long  child  support                                                              
amendment into the bill.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked if  there was  any objection to  withdrawing                                                              
the amendments from the last hearing  and adopting the proposed CS                                                              
for  HB 98,  version 1-GH1011\G,  Lauterbach, 2/18/00,  as a  work                                                              
draft.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE objected  for  purposes of  discussion.   He                                                              
asked for a rundown  of the differences between version  G and the                                                              
last version.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0383                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND responded  that basically version G  incorporates the                                                              
lengthy child support amendment into the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Ms. Miklos to  explain what the amendments do                                                              
for HB 98.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MIKLOS explained the CSED collects  child support on behalf of                                                              
public assistance  cases.   Under the  regional Native  assistance                                                              
program,  the  regional  corporations  will  be  providing  public                                                              
assistance  services.  The  amendments explain  what CSED  will do                                                              
with the  child support.   Prior to the  amendments, that  was not                                                              
addressed in the legislation.  The  CSED has been working with the                                                              
Division of Public  Assistance to get language that  would make it                                                              
clear.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MIKLOS explained that the CSED  will collect the child support                                                              
on behalf  of the  Native corporations;  while  someone is  on the                                                              
regional Native assistance program,  the CSED will give that child                                                              
support  money to  the regional  corporation.   These changes  are                                                              
addressed  beginning  on  page  2, Section  2,  lines  27-28,  and                                                              
elsewhere through the proposed CS,  where the words, "or an Alaska                                                              
Native family assistance program"  were added.  Adding that phrase                                                              
gives the CSED the ability to give  the money to the Native family                                                              
assistance  program.   She  pointed out  each  section where  that                                                              
phrase occurs.   She also noted  come clarifying language  on page                                                              
5, Section 13.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND  noted  additional   language  was  changed  in  the                                                              
proposed CS not related to child  support on page 13, line 21.  He                                                              
asked Kristen Bomengen to speak to that change.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0920                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KRISTEN  BOMENGEN,  Assistant  Attorney  General,  Human  Services                                                              
Section,  Civil   Division  (Juneau),  Department   of  Law,  came                                                              
forward.   She  said  the language  on  page 13,  line  21 of  the                                                              
proposed  CS, clarifies  that  the purpose  of  Sec. 47.27.072  is                                                              
strictly to apply to AS 47.27.005(b).   The previous language that                                                              
introduced it  may have  been too broad,  perhaps extending  it to                                                              
other parts of the chapter that were not intended.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND  pointed  out the title  was changed  to reflect  the                                                              
additions to the bill dealing with child support.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1020                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  wondered which choice was made  for use of                                                              
the phrase "fair and equitable,"  which was raised in a memorandum                                                              
from Terri Lauterbach [the bill drafter].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND answered that the choice  was to leave the bill as it                                                              
came to the  committee.  The  issue is that the  entire assignment                                                              
of the child support will go to the  Native corporation.  When the                                                              
division makes grants  to the Native corporations,  it will reduce                                                              
the grant  amount by  what has  been approximated  as the  state's                                                              
share of its  collection.  He still feels that  the language "fair                                                              
and  equitable" gives  enough  flexibility to  address  that.   He                                                              
emphasized  that  they  have every  intention  of  recovering  the                                                              
state's share of  the child support collections  by an appropriate                                                              
reduction in the grant amount.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked Mr. Nordlund  what he meant by  the "state's                                                              
share."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1127                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND explained  that the  way  child support  collections                                                              
interplayed with public  assistance payments in the  past was that                                                              
half was paid by  the federal government and half  was paid by the                                                              
state.   The person  signing up  for public  assistance agreed  to                                                              
assign any  child support  collections made  on his/her  behalf to                                                              
pay back  the state and federal  government for "advancing  them a                                                              
public assistance  payment."  That payback is  calculated based on                                                              
the  share   of  the  funding   between  the  state   and  federal                                                              
government.   The  amount  of money  has  changed  over time,  but                                                              
essentially 50 percent of the money  would go to the state, and 50                                                              
percent  would  go to  the  federal  government.   In  this  case,                                                              
however, the  federal government  is not asking  for its  share of                                                              
the  child  support  collections;  the  Native  organizations  are                                                              
allowed to retain  the federal share.  The state  will recover its                                                              
share through a reduction in the grant amount.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON  asked why  the  money  should  go to  the  Native                                                              
corporation and not the state.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND  said he believes  it was  the intent of  the federal                                                              
government  to  allow  those  child   support  collections  to  be                                                              
retained by the Native organization,  and the state will accede to                                                              
that desire.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked  if the Native organization is  going to make                                                              
money.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1280                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JODI OLMSTEAD  testified  via teleconference  from North  Pole and                                                              
said she had the answer to that question.   She was looking at the                                                              
"Federal  Incentives  Earned  on Collections  from  Child  Support                                                              
Enforcement" and using the 1993 figure;  the AFDC [Aid to Families                                                              
with Dependent  Children] amount collected  was $15 million.   The                                                              
incentive  earned  was $1.18  million.    The "non-AFDC,"  at  115                                                              
percent,  times  the AFDC  incentive  earned was  $1.171  million,                                                              
which was a $2.190 million bonus  or incentive for the collections                                                              
done - for some but not all.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1335                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND said  the answer  to Chairman  Dyson's question  was                                                              
there is a change  in the approach that the  federal government is                                                              
taking towards the administration  of a Native-run TANF [Temporary                                                              
Assistance to Needy Families] in  that the federal government does                                                              
not  consider  a   participant  in  a  Native-run   program  as  a                                                              
participant in the  TANF program.  Therefore,  all the attachments                                                              
regarding child support  don't attach to the participants  in that                                                              
program;  therefore, the  federal government  doesn't really  care                                                              
what  happens  to  the child  support  collections.    He  further                                                              
explained that traditionally those  funds have gone to the federal                                                              
government.    One  of the  benefits  of  encouraging  the  Native                                                              
organizations to run  this program would be for them  to keep this                                                              
relatively small amount of money  (compared to the overall cost of                                                              
the program) that is collected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked  if he can infer that the state  is not going                                                              
to get reimbursed  from obligor parents  for much of the  state or                                                              
federal money given to the Native families.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND  indicated that the  state will be reimbursed  by the                                                              
Native  organization  by  reducing  a  fair  and  equitable  grant                                                              
amount.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1420                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked if  the state would  only be reimbursed  for                                                              
half of the CSED collection.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND  said that  is  correct,  which is  essentially  the                                                              
amount of money returned to the state  presently by those clients,                                                              
which is not a great deal of money.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON referred  to previous discussion  and asked  about                                                              
the  language in  the  new bill  [Version G]  that  still has  the                                                              
amount vary by region.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1474                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND  agreed  that  Chairman  Dyson  did  point  out  two                                                              
inconsistencies   in  the   bill,  and   an  amendment  would   be                                                              
appropriate.   In  Version G,  the differences  are found  between                                                              
page 2, line 3, and page 7, line 12.  He suggested an amendment:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 4, strike "social and economic" and insert                                                                    
       "varying," so it would read "accurately reflect the                                                                      
     varying conditions of that region;"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND explained that it would  make the language consistent                                                              
between the two  pages.  One additional provision  of this bill is                                                              
it allows the state to run slightly  varying programs in different                                                              
regions.   That  is a good  idea because  it gives  the state  the                                                              
flexibility to do demonstration programs.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND explained  another reason is if a  Native program was                                                              
operating  and then  ceased  to exist,  the  state  might want  to                                                              
retain certain parts of the Native-run  program that are different                                                              
from the  state program.  He  added that there are  constraints in                                                              
statute  as  to how  much  variation  there  could be  within  the                                                              
region.  It would allow the state  to vary within the statute, but                                                              
through regulations to have a slightly  different program from one                                                              
region to  another.   The programs  couldn't be wildly  different,                                                              
however.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN   DYSON  indicated   that  is   so  the  state   couldn't                                                              
discriminate and treat one region far better than another.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND agreed  that the  state  couldn't provide  different                                                              
benefit levels because those levels are stated in statute.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1673                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE withdrew his  objection to adopting Version G                                                              
as the work draft;  therefore, the proposed CS for  HB 98, version                                                              
1-GH1011\G, Lauterbach, 2/18/00, was before the committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1678                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked  the committee if there was  any objection to                                                              
striking the words  "social and economic" and  inserting "varying"                                                              
on page 2, line 4.  There was no  objection;  therefore, Amendment                                                              
1 was adopted.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND  suggested that the  word "economic" on page  7, line                                                              
12, should  be deleted.   That would  make it consistent  with the                                                              
first amendment.   It does allow for a bit  broader interpretation                                                              
of regional conditions  not particular to  economic circumstances,                                                              
like cultural or social circumstances.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked:  If the  word "economic" was  struck, would                                                              
there still be  small allowances made for the cost  of living from                                                              
one region or another?                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND  answered  no, that  was never part  of the  program.                                                              
Right now the  benefit levels and the qualifying  criteria are the                                                              
same across the state.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1762                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked  the committee if there was  any objection to                                                              
striking the  word "economic" on  page 7, line  12.  There  was no                                                              
objection; therefore, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if CSED is going  to contract its services to                                                              
the Native  corporation to do  the collections and  those receipts                                                              
will all go to the Native nonprofit organization.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND agreed that is true.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked how CSED gets  reimbursed for the cost of its                                                              
efforts.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1818                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MIKLOS  answered  it would  be  the  same  if the  CSED  were                                                              
collecting on  behalf of a private  family.  The CSED  wouldn't be                                                              
reimbursed  by  the  corporation.   Sixty-six  percent  of  CSED's                                                              
funding  is federal  funding, so  it  would continue  to get  that                                                              
level of reimbursement.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked  Mr. Nordlund  why it should  say "fair  and                                                              
equitable".                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND  explained that  in determining  the grant  amount, a                                                              
number  of things that  come into  consideration.   First of  all,                                                              
there are constantly  changing caseloads.  In some  regions of the                                                              
state  the caseload  might  go up  or down  faster  than in  other                                                              
regions.   That needs  to be  considered every  year as  the grant                                                              
amount is determined.   In some regions there  are more two-parent                                                              
families than in other parts of the  state.  Under state law, two-                                                              
parent families receive  a benefit reduction of 50  percent in the                                                              
summer  months.   The region  with more  two-parent families  will                                                              
receive  less money.   If  that situation  changed  and more  two-                                                              
parent families  were able  to go  to work,  the funding  would be                                                              
greater.  It is those kinds of situations  that fluctuate size and                                                              
makeup  of caseload  that really  have  a dramatic  effect on  the                                                              
amount of funding necessary to run  the program.  It would be hard                                                              
to design a formula that would take all that into consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND  said the  state  might  anticipate what  the  child                                                              
support  collections will  be and  deduct them  up-front and  then                                                              
reconcile it  at the end, or it  might do a partial  reduction up-                                                              
front and reconcile at the end of  the year.  It is in the state's                                                              
interest to  make the  reduction because the  amount of  money for                                                              
this program  is a limited and  static sum.  Whatever  funding the                                                              
state provides to the Native organization  comes at the detriment,                                                              
in a  sense, to  the non-Native  population in  the state,  so the                                                              
state has to  make sure it is  balanced and fair.   The department                                                              
is not  asking for  additional funds  for the Native-run  program;                                                              
the money is coming out of what has already been appropriated.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2029                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE said  basically the  reduction in grants  to                                                              
the Native corporations  is not some type of disincentive  to work                                                              
with the  child support collection;  it is a refinancing  of state                                                              
general fund dollars with money coming in from child support.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GREEN  asked:     When   the  program  is   being                                                              
administered  by the Native  corporation, will  it be the  same as                                                              
the state is doing?  For example,  if there were two families in a                                                              
village, one Native and one non-Native,  would the programs be the                                                              
same?                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND answered this bill would  allow the state to contract                                                              
services with the  Native corporation to provide  services to that                                                              
non-Native, who would have to come  under the program rules of the                                                              
Native corporation.   In larger villages or cities,  there will be                                                              
non-Natives  receiving   services  from  the  state   and  Natives                                                              
receiving  services from  the Native organization.   The  programs                                                              
are required under  federal law to be comparable,  but they can be                                                              
slightly different.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked:   In a place  where both  the state                                                              
and  the  Native   corporation  are  offering  services,   can  an                                                              
individual choose which program to  use?  Can only Natives use the                                                              
Native-run program?  Or can a Native use the state program?                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND  said  the  individual  is  not  eligible  for  both                                                              
programs.     Under  the  federal   law  that  sets  up   for  the                                                              
administration   of   the   Native-run    programs,   the   Native                                                              
organization defines  its service area and population.   Once that                                                              
service population  is defined, then  the federal money  that used                                                              
to come  to the  state to serve  that individual  now goes  to the                                                              
Native  organization.   The Native  organization  might decide  to                                                              
redefine its service population,  and that would affect the amount                                                              
of federal  funding.   The federal government  wants to  make sure                                                              
the  federal funding  follows the  client, whether  the client  is                                                              
served  by  the state  or  the  Native organization.    Once  that                                                              
decision is made and the federal  funding is flowing to the Native                                                              
being served  by the Native  organization, then that  person would                                                              
not have the choice of being served by the state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked:   If  a Native  didn't want  to get                                                              
into that, could he/she sign up with the state?                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND answered  no.   For  the purposes  of the  temporary                                                              
assistance program,  he/she would need to be served  by the Native                                                              
organization.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON  asked Mr.  Nordlund  if the  Native  corporations                                                              
would be audited.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDLUND answered  yes,  the Department  of  Health &  Social                                                              
Services will be  auditing the Native organizations  for fiduciary                                                              
kinds  of  responsibilities,  but   the  federal  government  will                                                              
continue to audit the programs for welfare reform requirements.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked:   If  a recipient  of one  of the  programs                                                              
feels  he/she is  not being  treated  fairly, what  is the  appeal                                                              
process?                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-24, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2353                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND  responded that  the first level  of appeal  would be                                                              
with the Native-run program.  If  a satisfactory conclusion is not                                                              
reached  there, an  appeal  can be  made  to the  department,  and                                                              
beyond that, the court.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if the legislators  could act as ombudsmen on                                                              
behalf of a constituent.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDLUND  said he believes someone  could appeal to  the local                                                              
representative  informally, and the  representative could  talk to                                                              
the department.   He  pointed out that  the legislature  still has                                                              
the "power of the  purse" over this program.  There  is a separate                                                              
component  for  the  program in  the  department's  budget  called                                                              
"Native Family  Assistance Programs" where  there is money  to run                                                              
the program.  Certainly the threat  of changing that appropriation                                                              
through the normal  process that the legislature uses  is a hammer                                                              
that the legislature could have over  the department, and that the                                                              
department, therefore, would have over the Native organization.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOMENGEN added that the individual  being served by the Native                                                              
program is  really in  the same  position as  anyone who  is being                                                              
served through a  grantee of the state.  In the  circumstance of a                                                              
grantee of  the DHSS, the  DHSS would  be contacted, and  then the                                                              
department would  have to  deal with the  grantee directly  on the                                                              
issue.   It would not  necessarily be  a matter of  contacting the                                                              
grantee.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2168                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  OLMSTEAD  asked  if  this  bill   will  increase  the  CSED's                                                              
workload.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MIKLOS  answered that it will  not affect the workload  of the                                                              
CSED one way or another.  She stated  that there is no priority of                                                              
collecting one type of case over another.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON announced  that  if there  was  no objection,  the                                                              
committee would  withdraw Version G and  adopt Version H  of HB 98                                                              
as the working  document.  There being no objection,  the proposed                                                              
CS  for  HB  98,  version  1-GH1011\H,  Lauterbach,  2/24/00,  was                                                              
adopted  as a  work draft.   [Note:   Version  H incorporates  the                                                              
amendments adopted in Version G.]                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:45 p.m.-4:46 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE made a  motion to move  CSHB 98,  version 1-                                                              
GH1011\H, Lauterbach,  2/24/00, out  of committee with  individual                                                              
recommendations and attached fiscal note.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call  vote was  taken.   Representatives Whitaker,  Green,                                                              
Morgan,  Brice  and Dyson  voted  in  favor  of moving  the  bill.                                                              
Representative Coghill  voted against it.   Representative Kemplen                                                              
was absent.  Therefore, CSHB 98(HES)  moved from the House Health,                                                              
Education and Social  Services Standing Committee by  a vote of 5-                                                              
1.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:47 p.m. to 4:49 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 392 - CONTINUANCES OF CINA HEARINGS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next  order of business as House Bill                                                              
No. 392, "An Act relating to continuances  for temporary placement                                                              
hearings that  follow emergency custody  of a minor;  and amending                                                              
Rule 10, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1937                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JIM WHITAKER, Alaska  State Legislature,  sponsor,                                                              
came forward to present HB 392.   He explained that this change in                                                              
the  law is  simple  and yet  meaningful.   The  genesis for  this                                                              
legislation is concern, distress  and probable near-panic in which                                                              
parents  or  guardians  may  find  themselves.    This  minor  law                                                              
accomplishes one thing:   it requires that the  judge presiding at                                                              
the CINA  [Child in  Need of  Aid] hearing  inform each  parent or                                                              
each guardian  that he/she has a  right to request up to  a seven-                                                              
day continuance  - that he/she has  a right to have time  to think                                                              
and to defend himself/herself.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER said  hopefully, given  time, the  parent                                                              
will  become introspective  and contemplate  what positive  action                                                              
he/she can take to reunite the family,  rather than having time to                                                              
only react angrily and negatively,  which pits him/her against the                                                              
system, a  reaction which only keeps  the family apart.   The bill                                                              
requires the judge to tell the parents/guardians  that they have a                                                              
right to take enough time to think and "get their act together."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  said he  understands that judges  can do  this now                                                              
and perhaps should,  and this only makes it clear  in the law that                                                              
the judges are required to do it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER answered that is correct.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN   made  a  motion  to  adopt   the  proposed                                                              
committee  substitute   (CS)  for  HB  392,   version  1-LS1224\D,                                                              
Lauterbach, 2/29/00,  as a work draft.  There  being no objection,                                                              
Version D was before the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON  invited  the  sponsor's   staff  to  explain  the                                                              
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LORI BACKES, Staff  for Representative Jim Whitaker,  came forward                                                              
to explain  the changes  in the proposed  CS.  She  explained that                                                              
all the changes  came about as a result of comments  received from                                                              
Blair  McCune and  Elmer Lindstrom.    In the  original bill,  the                                                              
hearing was  referred to as a  temporary placement hearing.   That                                                              
has been changed  to refer to those hearings as  temporary custody                                                              
hearings.  The reference to "up to  seven days" has been taken out                                                              
so there  is not  a limit,  and it  would be  up to the  presiding                                                              
judge's discretion  whether it would  be necessary to have  a two-                                                              
day limit  or an 11-day  limit, so it  would not be  unnecessarily                                                              
restricted.    On  page  2,  line 1  of  the  original  bill,  the                                                              
following was  deleted:   "the court may  not grant more  than one                                                              
continuance before a temporary placement hearing is held."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1728                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  expressed concern that by  removing that cap                                                              
of up  to 7  days, it  is possible  that the  judge could  grant a                                                              
continuance  up  to 60  days  and stop  the  clock  on the  90-day                                                              
hearings for complete custody or for the process.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BACKES  indicated it is  the intention that  these proceedings                                                              
don't  take  longer than  is  absolutely  necessary.   She  hasn't                                                              
received any response  that it may be extended  extraordinarily to                                                              
the degree suggested.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1635                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GLADYS LANGDON,  Children Services  Manager, Southcentral  Region,                                                              
Family  Services,  Division of  Family  & Youth  Services  (DFYS),                                                              
Department  of Health &  Social Services  (DHSS), came  forward to                                                              
testify.   She acknowledged  support of  the amended changes  from                                                              
the committee.   In  addition to  that, the  department is  asking                                                              
that there be  one additional change to be consistent  with recent                                                              
legislative  and  court  rules,  to  make  a  distinction  between                                                              
children in  need of  aid and delinquent  minors.  The  department                                                              
recommends changing the word "minor"  everywhere it appears in the                                                              
bill, including the title, to "child".                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if the title can be changed.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ELMER LINDSTROM,  Special Assistant,  Office of the  Commissioner,                                                              
Department of  Health & Social  Services, came forward  to answer.                                                              
He stated that the title can be changed.   He explained that a few                                                              
years  ago, the  juvenile and  child-in-need-of-aid statutes  were                                                              
one body  of statutes.   Subsequently,  AS 47.10  became the  CINA                                                              
statute and  AS 47.12  became the juvenile  statute, but  there is                                                              
still some  residual  misuse of names.   The  department wants  to                                                              
refer to "child" in AS 47.10 and to "minor" in AS 47.12.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked  if there was  any objection  to adopting  a                                                              
conceptual  amendment that  would  delete "minor"  and replace  it                                                              
with  "child"  wherever  it appears  in  the  CS.   There  was  no                                                              
objection; therefore, the amendment was adopted.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1432                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LANGDON stated  that the department supports this  bill.  This                                                              
is already occurring in regions across the state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  WOOLIVER,  Administrative  Attorney,  Administrative  Staff,                                                              
Office  of  the  Administrative  Director,  Alaska  Court  System,                                                              
responded to  a question by Chairman  Dyson, saying the  court has                                                              
no objection to the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  stated that if this  bill passes or not,  the fact                                                              
that parents  have a right  to ask for  a continuance ought  to be                                                              
clearly stated in the brochure put out by DHSS.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. OLMSTEAD noted this is a wonderful change.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1324                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARCI  SCHMIDT testified  via teleconference  from the  Matanuska-                                                              
Susitna  Legislative  Information   Office.    She  expressed  her                                                              
support for HB 392.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1316                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CLYDE  LORENZ testified  via teleconference  from  Fairbanks.   He                                                              
expressed his satisfaction with HB 392.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1309                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CALDER said he didn't have any  objections.  He suggested dual                                                              
or  parallel sections  to  do the  same  for parents  involved  in                                                              
juvenile cases.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON said Mr. Calder's point was well taken.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1252                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SARAH  SHORT testified  via teleconference  from  Anchorage.   She                                                              
believes this is  a good bill.  She is concerned  about protecting                                                              
the rights  of parents to  be able to  have visitation  during the                                                              
time the child  is in limbo when  the state has custody,  but when                                                              
there hasn't  been a  court hearing  to say  whether the  child is                                                              
really in need of aid.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1197                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BLAIR MCCUNE, Deputy Director, Public  Defender Agency, Department                                                              
of Administration,  testified via  teleconference from  Anchorage.                                                              
He expressed support for HB 392.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked  if language should be added  to suggest that                                                              
the judge make  provision for the  family to be able to  visit the                                                              
child, or  to direct the department  to make the  provision during                                                              
this continuance.   Or is  that a "given,"  and the  department is                                                              
already supposed to do that?                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LANGDON answered  that the department is already  making those                                                              
arrangements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON noted that there is  concern that it sometimes - or                                                              
perhaps even often - doesn't happen.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. LANGDON  said it  is already  an expectation  and part  of the                                                              
policy that the  department provides visitation for  families.  To                                                              
that extent,  she doesn't  see that there  needs to be  additional                                                              
orders from the court.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  made a motion  to move CSHB 392,  version 1-                                                              
LS1224\D, Lauterbach,  2/29/00, as amended, out  of committee with                                                              
individual recommendations and the  zero fiscal note.  There being                                                              
no  objection,   CSHB  392(HES)  moved  from  the   House  Health,                                                              
Education and Social Services Committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 269 - VIDEOTAPING OF INTERVIEWS WITH CHILDREN                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1040                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next  order of business as House Bill                                                              
No. 269,  "An Act related  to the  videotaping of interviews  with                                                              
children who are alleged to have been abused or neglected."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1021                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GENE   THERRIAULT,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                              
sponsor, came  forward to  present HB 269.   He explained  that HB
269  was   drafted  to   spark  the   discussion  on   videotaping                                                              
allegations of  child abuse.   He has worked  on this in  the past                                                              
and was  not successful in  advancing the idea  at that time.   He                                                              
said he thought  it was time to  try again.  Shortly  after making                                                              
his request,  he learned that  Representative Coghill  was working                                                              
on a piece  of legislation also.   The two of them met  and agreed                                                              
that these  two ideas  would be melded  together sometime  through                                                              
the committee  process, and  he would look  forward to  working on                                                              
that possibility.   This  bill asks  for a  pilot project  for the                                                              
videotaping alleged  abuse and would be located in  Fairbanks.  He                                                              
decided to  go with a pilot  project because a number  of problems                                                              
have  driven  up the  cost  of implementing  this.    In order  to                                                              
control the fiscal problems he had  seen in the past, he thought a                                                              
pilot project  was the  way to go.   He  doesn't have any  problem                                                              
with tightening up any broad language in the bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0860                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked what  happens to the videotapes after                                                              
the pilot project is finished.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT answered  that the department would know                                                              
how that  information is kept.   That is  part of the  expense run                                                              
into in the past,  how are the tapes kept, who  has access to them                                                              
for viewing,  and under what  circumstances do people  have access                                                              
to them.   A lot of  that needs to be  fleshed out in the  way the                                                              
pilot project would run before something is attempted statewide.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN commented  that  the pilot  project is  an                                                              
attractive concept.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0793                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THERRIAULT noted  he is  agreeable to any  changes                                                              
about the timing of the pilot project.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if there  are any other projects in the                                                              
state that come close to a videotaping effort like this.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THERRIAULT answered  he  has heard  in some  areas                                                              
there are setups  where some videotaping is done.   He is not sure                                                              
if it  is on  allegations of  child abuse.   That information  may                                                              
come from the department.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0673                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  STOCKARD,  Captain,  Division  of  Alaska  State  Troopers,                                                              
Department  of  Public  Safety  (DPS),   came  forward  to  answer                                                              
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  said he was concerned  that HB 269  might restrict                                                              
law enforcement  officers.   He referred to  page 1, line  13, and                                                              
asked if that would restrict the troopers.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. STOCKARD noted that the DPS believes  the potential exists.  A                                                              
couple years  ago there was a  bill that mandated a  memorandum of                                                              
agreement  between  the  Departments  of Law,  Public  Safety  and                                                              
Health & Social  Services; that established as  standard operating                                                              
procedures the need  to always audiotape or to  videotape wherever                                                              
practical.  That  is done in urban locations,  but rural locations                                                              
tend to  be more  problematic in  terms of having  a video  set up                                                              
that is convenient  to use and in a dedicated room.   It is easier                                                              
in the more metropolitan areas to arrange for those facilities.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. STOCKARD  noted that  the bill  appears to  say that  in every                                                              
case,  DHSS and  law enforcement  both  have a  need to  interview                                                              
kids.  That  is true in cases  where there are allegations  of in-                                                              
family abuse  or neglect.  It is  not the case when it  involves a                                                              
stranger  or a babysitter  or some  person outside  the home.   In                                                              
many of  those cases,  although DFYS  is notified  of a  report of                                                              
harm to a child,  the troopers will do the only  interviews of the                                                              
child and will proceed  to the Department of Law,  but there is no                                                              
reason for DFYS  to be involved so long as there  is no indication                                                              
that the family  is any way involved.   A lot of  the restrictions                                                              
written  around DFYS  being involved  in every  case of abuse  and                                                              
neglect of a  child take DPS in  at the same time.   There is some                                                              
concern about some of the details on some things.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON  requested  confirmation  that if  an  officer  is                                                              
investigating  a reported crime  against a  child, this  would not                                                              
affect DPS.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. STOCKARD said it says "a child  alleged to have been abused or                                                              
neglected".  Certainly, neglect wouldn't  come in, but abuse isn't                                                              
specified by a family member.  It could be another adult.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON agrees it appears to be problematic.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0251                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked Captain  Stockard to explain  an in-                                                              
town procedure.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. STOCKARD explained that if a  report of harm comes into DPS or                                                              
DFYS, the agencies notify each other;  90 percent of the time they                                                              
are able to do a single, coordinated  interview with both agencies                                                              
present.   About 10 percent  of the time  one agency or  the other                                                              
won't  have  anyone  available  to  come  when  the  interview  is                                                              
scheduled.   In  Fairbanks, there  is  no permanently  established                                                              
facility  specifically  set  up  for  interviewing  children,  but                                                              
sometimes  the  interviews  are  videotaped.    There  is  such  a                                                              
facility  in  Palmer;  a  significant  number  of  interviews  are                                                              
videotaped there  and this facility  is available to the  DFYS and                                                              
the troopers.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON said  they are trying  to prevent  the child  from                                                              
having to  go through repeated  interviews with different  people,                                                              
which can "re-victimize" the kids.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-25, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0010                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  suspended the hearing  on HB 269 in order  to take                                                              
up SCR 12.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SCR 12 - SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON announced  the next  order of  business as  Senate                                                              
Concurrent Resolution No. 12, Relating  to declaring March 2000 as                                                              
Sobriety Awareness Month.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0069                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  JERRY  WARD,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  sponsor,  came                                                              
forward to present  SCR 12.  He noted in the  past the legislature                                                              
has honored  the solution which is  sobriety.  The month  of March                                                              
is sobriety month,  and this has been done for several  years.  He                                                              
hopes this  resolution will go forward  with Mike Williams  on the                                                              
Iditarod race.   Mike Williams is  one of the founders  of the AFN                                                              
[Alaska Federation of Natives] sobriety movement.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0116                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE thanked  Senator  Ward for  his advocacy  on                                                              
sobriety  issues.   He wondered  if  there would  be any  conflict                                                              
since  there  was  an  earlier  resolution  designating  March  as                                                              
developmental disabilities month.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON answered that there is no limit on that.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  made  a motion  to  move  SCR 12  out  of                                                              
committee  with  individual recommendations  and  attached  fiscal                                                              
note.   There  being no  objection, SCR  12 moved  from the  House                                                              
Health, Education  and Social Services Committee.   [The testimony                                                              
of Pam Watts was heard later this same meeting.]                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 269 - VIDEOTAPING OF INTERVIEWS WITH CHILDREN                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0205                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  reopened the  hearing on House  Bill No.  269, "An                                                              
Act related  to the  videotaping of  interviews with children  who                                                              
are alleged to have been abused or neglected."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0223                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GLADYS LANGDON,  Children Services  Manager, Southcentral  Region,                                                              
Family  Services,  Division of  Family  & Youth  Services  (DFYS),                                                              
Department  of Health &  Social Services  (DHSS), came  forward to                                                              
testify.   She  explained  that the  information  obtained in  the                                                              
pilot project  will be used  to assess whether  videotaping should                                                              
be required statewide.  If adequately  funded, DFYS is not opposed                                                              
to the pilot  as a means of  ascertaining the efficacy  as well as                                                              
the programmatic  and fiscal costs of videotaping  interviews with                                                              
children.  The pilot is particularly  useful because it allows for                                                              
exigent  circumstance  which  can  cause  some  interviews  to  be                                                              
necessary, because it recognizes  that extraordinary circumstances                                                              
may cause equipment unavailability  or failure.  The pilot program                                                              
appropriately  provides  that  failure  to  videotape  should  not                                                              
result in ability to proceed to act on information obtained.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LANGDON  continued that  there  will be  a  need  to use  two                                                              
persons  in every investigation  since fixed  cameras and  tripods                                                              
are  not  effective  or  accurate  for  videotaping  children  who                                                              
frequently  move  about  during interview  sessions.    Additional                                                              
staff  will need  to  be used  for taping  interviews  as well  as                                                              
managing,   organizing,   cataloging,  storing,   retrieving   and                                                              
transcribing  and copying  the large  number of  videos that  will                                                              
accumulate.  To  be effective, the pilot program  must provide the                                                              
resources  to   maintain  a  valid  control  group.     Sufficient                                                              
resources  must be  available  to  enable DFYS  to  commit a  high                                                              
quality of  effort to the  evaluation and reporting  components of                                                              
the pilot program.  In order to determine  the impact of the pilot                                                              
program  it would  need two  groups for  comparison.   There is  a                                                              
great cost  in discovery  for all the  parties who want  copies of                                                              
the videotapes.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  asked  Ms.  Langdon to  explain  the  two                                                              
groups, for comparison.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0447                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LANGDON  explained  that one  group will be  the children  who                                                              
will be interviewed through the division  and the other group will                                                              
be interviewed through the pilot  program.  The two groups will be                                                              
compared  to  see  if there's  really  a  difference  between  the                                                            
videotaped interviews and interviews not videotaped.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked if audio  tapes are transcribed right                                                              
now or if  the interview is just  written by the social  worker or                                                              
whoever conducted it.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. LANGDON replied  that in situations where there  is taping, it                                                              
is transcribed.  In other situations, there is no transcription.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0680                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SARAH  SHORT testified  via teleconference  from  Anchorage.   She                                                              
said everyone she  works with in her community  would benefit from                                                              
HB 269 and would  support it.  It will save costs  in the long run                                                              
because more  time is being  spent investigating false  reports of                                                              
harm  where  children  have  been  coerced  into  making  wrongful                                                              
statements.  She referred to a situation  in Wenatchee, Washington                                                              
where there were falsified reports  of harm, coerced testimony and                                                              
children who were led in the interviews.   She believes people are                                                              
going to  want this program  throughout the  state.  This  will do                                                              
something to save the children, and  she will help get support for                                                              
this bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0846                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT CALDER testified via teleconference from Fairbanks:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     I  agree with  Sarah that  this should  be a  full-time,                                                                   
     statewide  requirement placed  on the department,  which                                                                   
     has  abused its  discretion repeatedly  over the  years,                                                                   
     and  I think  we  need to  look at  this  sensibly as  a                                                                   
     correction  of a  problem with  the  way our  government                                                                   
     operates to  the detriment of its citizens,  rather than                                                                   
     allowing  ourselves  to  be   lulled  to  sleep  by  the                                                                   
     argument that  we don't really  know whether its  a good                                                                   
     idea  and all  we need  is another  three-year study  to                                                                   
     find  out  whether  the department's  going  to  end  up                                                                   
     liking it.  ... I've been following this for years."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CALDER mentioned the economic benefits of this bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1049                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CLYDE  LORENZ testified  via teleconference  from  Fairbanks.   He                                                              
indicated he  agrees that videotaping  is needed immediately.   He                                                              
believes the  pilot project is a  poor excuse to do away  with it.                                                              
The parents  have to be accountable,  and he believes it  is about                                                              
time for  the DFYS and  the Department  of Law to be  accountable.                                                              
There  are  so many  false  accusations  that  happen, and  it  is                                                              
tearing families apart.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1109                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARCI  SCHMIDT testified  via teleconference  from the  Matanuska-                                                              
Susitna  Legislative  Information Office.    She  stated that  she                                                              
would go  with Representative Coghill's  bill [HB 256] if  she had                                                              
to choose.  She agreed that more  work needed to be done to either                                                              
combine the two bills or make the language clearer.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1174                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JODI OLMSTEAD testified  via teleconference from North  Pole.  She                                                              
stated  that  people want  accountability  to  families,  parents,                                                              
agencies and  children.   By using  videotaped interviews  and the                                                              
transcription, everyone  would be working  off the same  "sheet of                                                              
music" instead of  having multiple interviews.  She  would like to                                                              
know  what  the checks  and  balances  are  right now  for  social                                                              
workers  officers, children  and  parents  to protect  themselves.                                                              
She encouraged  the committee to support Representative  Coghill's                                                              
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON   appointed  a   subcommittee  of   Representative                                                              
Whitaker, Coghill and  Therriault to work on HB 269.   [HB 269 was                                                              
heard and held.]                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SCR 12 - SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  returned to Senate  Concurrent Resolution  No. 12,                                                              
Relating to declaring  March 2000 as Sobriety  Awareness Month, to                                                              
add the testimony of Pam Watts.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1532                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAM WATTS,  Director, Governor's  Advisory  Board on Alcoholism  &                                                              
Drug  Abuse (ABADA),  Office of  the  Commissioner, Department  of                                                              
Health & Social  Services, came forward to testify.   She noted it                                                              
is gratifying to recognize the increased  awareness on the part of                                                              
the  legislature of  the role  that alcohol  abuse and  dependency                                                              
play in  a wide range  of tragic  circumstances across  the state.                                                              
Alcohol is  implicated in  83 percent of  child abuse  and neglect                                                              
investigations; in 46  percent of all homicides in  the state; and                                                              
in  60 percent  in  domestic  violence   cases.    Alcohol-related                                                              
deaths  in  Alaska are  at  11.2  percent  compared to  5  percent                                                              
nationally.   The Alaskan  adult  suicide rate  is four times  the                                                              
national  average  and a  suicide  rate  nine times  the  national                                                              
average  where  alcohol is  implicated  in  many of  these  cases.                                                              
Fifty  percent  of  the emergency  room  hospital  visits  involve                                                              
alcohol;  and 77  percent of  the seriously  mentally ill  persons                                                              
incarcerated have co-occurring substance abuse disorders.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. WATTS  reported in a  recent Gallup  Poll survey it  was found                                                              
that  approximately  58,000  Alaskans   are  alcohol-dependent  or                                                              
abusers.   Over  41  percent of  the 58,000  are  dependent.   The                                                              
stretch between  abuse and  dependency is not  a large one.   That                                                              
makes  9.7  percent  of  Alaska's   population  alcohol-dependent,                                                              
compared with 4.38 percent nationally.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WATTS  further  reported  that   a  sober  lifestyle  is  not                                                              
maintained in isolation  for most alcohol-dependent  people.  It's                                                              
not just as  easy as making a  decision to quit.  They  need help.                                                              
The  investments in  children's programs  are  doomed to  marginal                                                              
outcomes  if the  substance  abuse issues  of  the parents  aren't                                                              
addressed.   Correctional  facilities  will continue  to see  high                                                              
rates of recidivism  if alcohol and drug issues  aren't addressed.                                                              
About 12.5 percent  of the adults in Alaska are  estimated to need                                                              
treatment for alcohol  dependency or abuse - 0.5  percent for drug                                                              
dependency  alone and  another 1.2  percent for  both alcohol  and                                                              
drug abuse problems.                                                                                                            
MS. WATTS  noted that the  ABADA appreciates the  recognition that                                                              
supporting  sobriety is  hard work  for  everyone, especially  the                                                              
person  who is  recovering,  and  particularly in  an  environment                                                              
where    a  lot  of messages  promote  the  opposite  of  a  sober                                                              
lifestyle.   The  ABADA  encourages the  legislature  not only  to                                                              
support Sobriety Awareness  Week, but to make sure  that access to                                                              
treatment  and aftercare  services  continue to  be available  for                                                              
people who  seek help in dealing  with this disease that  has such                                                              
devastating effects on the residents of this state.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Ms. Watts if  she knew the magnitude of fetal                                                              
alcohol poisoning in Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WATTS indicated  there are varying figures.   At this point it                                                              
is extremely difficult to come up  with an accurate figure because                                                              
the reporting  and diagnosis  of fetal  alcohol syndrome  (FAS) is                                                              
minimal.   With  some recent  federal dollars  aimed at  providing                                                              
diagnostic teams, there will a more  accurate figure.  [SCR 12 was                                                              
moved out  of the Health,  Education and Social  Services Standing                                                              
Committee.]                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1734                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further business  before the committee,  the House                                                              
Health, Education  and Social Services Standing  Committee meeting                                                              
was adjourned at 5:59 p.m.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects