Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/11/2000 03:11 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                                                                                  
                         April 11, 2000                                                                                         
                            3:11 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                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
State Board of Education                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Sally Rue - Juneau                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 355                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing a state community service program;                                                                         
establishing by statute the Alaska State Community Service                                                                      
Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 355 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Phil Younker - Fairbanks                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 300                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to the establishment and enforcement  of medical                                                              
support  orders  for  children; and  providing  for  an  effective                                                              
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 300(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 409                                                                                       
"An  Act  prescribing  the  rights   of  grandparents  related  to                                                              
hearings on petitions to adjudicate  a minor as a child in need of                                                              
aid and  to the testimony of  grandparents at those  hearings; and                                                              
amending Rules 3,  7, 10, 15, 17(e), and 19, Alaska  Child in Need                                                              
of Aid Rules."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSSHB 409(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 149                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  insurance coverage  for treatment  of mental                                                              
illness and  substance abuse; repealing  provisions of ch.  8, SLA                                                              
1997,  that terminates  required mental  health benefit  coverage;                                                              
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 149 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 375                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to abuse of inhalants."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING POSTPONED                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 355                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/09/00      2147     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/09/00      2147     (H)  HES, FIN                                                                                            
 4/06/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
 4/06/00               (H)  Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                             
 4/11/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 300                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MEDICAL SUPPORT ORDERS FOR CHILDREN                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 1/21/00      1962     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 1/21/00      1962     (H)  HES, JUD, FIN                                                                                       
 1/21/00      1962     (H)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (REV)                                                                              
 1/21/00      1962     (H)  GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                       
 2/24/00               (H)  HES AT   3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
 2/24/00               (H)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 2/24/00               (H)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 3/23/00               (H)  HES AT   3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
 3/23/00               (H)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 3/23/00               (H)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 4/11/00               (H)  HES AT   3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 409                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: GRANDPARENTS' RIGHTS REGARDING CINA                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/16/00      2220     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/16/00      2221     (H)  HES, JUD, FIN                                                                                       
 2/23/00      2278     (H)  SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                       
 2/23/00      2279     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/23/00      2279     (H)  HES, JUD, FIN                                                                                       
 2/25/00      2315     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): KOOKESH                                                                               
 3/23/00               (H)  HES AT   3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
 3/23/00               (H)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 3/23/00               (H)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 4/06/00               (H)  HES AT   3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
 4/06/00               (H)  Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                             
 4/11/00               (H)  HES AT   3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 149                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INSURANCE:MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE ABUSE                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 3/19/99       516     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 3/19/99       516     (H)  HES, L&C, FIN                                                                                       
 4/08/99               (H)  HES AT   3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
 4/08/99               (H)  HEARD AND HELD                                                                                      
 4/08/99               (H)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 4/10/99               (H)  HES AT  10:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
 4/10/99               (H)  HEARD AND HELD/SUBCOMMITTEE APPOINTED                                                               
 4/10/99               (H)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 4/11/00               (H)  HES AT   3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SALLY RUE, Appointee                                                                                                            
  to the State Board of Education                                                                                               
7083 Hendrickson Road                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as Appointee to the State Board of                                                               
Education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PHIL YOUNKER, Appointee                                                                                                         
   to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                
121 Spruce Avenue                                                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska  99709                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as Appointee to the Alaska Mental                                                                
Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MATTHEW TURNER                                                                                                                  
Big Brothers/Big Sisters                                                                                                        
PO Box 20049                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska  99802                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 355.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
YVONNE CHASE, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                               
Department of Education & Early Development                                                                                     
333 West Fourth Avenue, Suite 220                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 355.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT BASSETT, Coordinator                                                                                                     
Spirit of Community Initiative                                                                                                  
Volunteers of America, Alaska                                                                                                   
no address provided                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 355.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA MIKLOS, Director, Central Office, Child Support                                                                         
Enforcement Division, Department of Revenue                                                                                     
550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 310                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 300.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PETER TORKELSON, Staff                                                                                                          
   to Representative Fred Dyson                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 104                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented amendments to SSHB 409.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-44, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN FRED DYSON called the House  Health, Education and Social                                                              
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  3:11  p.m.                                                              
Members present at  the call to order were  Representatives Dyson,                                                              
Green, Kemplen and Coghill.  Representatives  Whitaker, Morgan and                                                              
Brice arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
State Board of Education                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the committee  would consider one nominee                                                              
for the State Board of Education.   Members would not vote for the                                                              
nominee  but  would  pass  her name  out  of  committee  for  full                                                              
consideration  of the House  and Senate.   (A resume  was provided                                                              
for the appointee.)                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SALLY  RUE,  Appointee  to  the State  Board  of  Education,  came                                                              
forward to testify.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked Ms.  Rue what she considers the three                                                              
most important issues  facing state education and  how she intends                                                              
to address them in her tenure on the Board of Education.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0241                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE  indicated that  the first issue  would be meeting  higher                                                              
standards.  That  is going to take a long commitment,  and that is                                                              
well on the way.  From her school  board and volunteer experiences                                                              
in Juneau,  she  knows there  are going  to be some  bumps in  the                                                              
road.   A steady  course needs to  be maintained  to focus  on the                                                              
goal  and figure  out how to  get there  from here.   It  probably                                                              
won't be an  easy or quick process.   It is important  to stick to                                                              
the standards and refine them as  needed.  One of the bumps in the                                                              
road is probably going to be the  results of the first high school                                                              
qualifying exam.   How that is dealt with will have  to be thought                                                              
out carefully,  and what  will be done  to make sure  all students                                                              
succeed in the end.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE mentioned  another issue she would be  defining, a broader                                                              
role for  both the board and  the Department of Education  & Early                                                              
Development (EED) in terms of incorporating  the early development                                                              
aspect  into  the  department.    She  does  not  have  tremendous                                                              
expertise in  that area, but  she is very  interested in it.   The                                                              
more that is found out about how  children develop, the more those                                                              
years become absolutely critical.   Problems need to be taken care                                                              
of before the problems show up in school.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RUE  said the  third  issue  would  be seeing  more  students                                                              
graduate  from  high  school  but also  seeing  more  high  school                                                              
graduates  go   on  to  some   kind  of  postsecondary   training.                                                              
Generally a high school diploma is  not adequate for making a wage                                                              
to raise a family on these days.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  asked Ms. Rue  if she would  be supportive                                                              
of  initiatives that  allowed qualified  high  school students  to                                                              
take college credits at the expense of the school district.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE said she  hadn't thought a lot about that;  she would have                                                              
to  think about  the details.   Generally,  she  is supportive  of                                                              
students having options.   She knows there are  students in Juneau                                                              
who have  taken courses  at the University  of Southeast  when the                                                              
high school couldn't offer the courses.   At some point, resources                                                              
become an issue so she would have to look at the details.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0446                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  asked Ms. Rue how she would  see her role in                                                              
connecting  early childhood  development and  K-12 education.   He                                                              
also asked what  she is going to do to ensure  that the gifted and                                                              
talented regulations will be developed over the summer.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RUE replied  she is  still new  at  this and  hasn't had  any                                                              
detailed conversations  about that.  She doesn't  know the details                                                              
of where  the EED  is in  terms of  the regulations  so she  can't                                                              
really answer that.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE  said there  has been a  subcommittee appointed  for early                                                              
childhood development, and she volunteered  for that subcommittee.                                                              
She  would   look  for  the   board  to  have   some  far-reaching                                                              
discussions on what the role should be.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0608                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  mentioned that one of the  leading causes of                                                              
youth  death  is firearm  mishaps.   He  asked  Ms.  Rue what  she                                                              
thought of  a voluntary course in  the schools on  outdoor living,                                                              
gun safety and things like that.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE said  she is very  supportive of hunter education  and gun                                                              
safety  courses.   A voluntary  course would  be fine.   She  is a                                                              
little worried  that schools are expected  to do so much  in light                                                              
of trying  to narrow down  and doing  better on math,  reading and                                                              
writing.   All  those things  have  to be  weighed carefully,  and                                                              
resources would  be an issue.   She supports having  those courses                                                              
whether it is the school that offers them or not.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON  asked  Ms.  Rue  to discuss  how  she'll  make  a                                                              
decision on how  much to "dumb down" the qualifying  exam if there                                                              
is an unacceptable failure rate.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0740                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE replied  she does not  believe the exam should  be "dumbed                                                              
down."   The  question of  where  the cut  is set  is a  different                                                              
question.  That  gets back to the standards and  what the students                                                              
should  know  and be  able  to do  when  they graduate  from  high                                                              
school.  Then the question is how do we get the students there.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON said some standards  were set a couple years ago on                                                              
how much  money goes into  the classroom,  and how much  goes into                                                              
administration.  That  has sparked a lot of discussion  about what                                                              
are classroom expenses.   He noted that Ms. Rue voted  a few weeks                                                              
ago to  put all the  administration as part  of the 70  percent of                                                              
the classroom.  He asked her to address what she was thinking.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE admitted she did vote for  that.  There was not the option                                                              
of picking  and choosing  different positions  in the 400  line of                                                              
school administration.   The choice  was either waiting a  year to                                                              
have it become  effective if the chart of accounts  was changed or                                                              
taking too  much now and dealing  with the problem of  some school                                                              
districts that have been switching  from having principals to head                                                              
teachers which means  there may be people evaluating  teachers who                                                              
do not get in  their classrooms; they may be 100  miles away.  She                                                              
looks  at  principals,  and  possibly  some  vice  principals,  as                                                              
critical pieces of improving the schools.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RUE said  philosophically,  she  doesn't agree  with  setting                                                              
principals  off as  an extraneous  category saying  administration                                                              
has nothing to do  with instruction; she believes it  has a lot to                                                              
do  with instruction.    She doesn't  see  much  progress made  on                                                              
getting students and schools to higher  standards without having a                                                              
really  strong instructional  leader in  the principal.   That  is                                                              
key.  She understood at the time  it would cause some unhappiness,                                                              
in  terms  of  the  budget,  but  on the  merits  of  it  and  the                                                              
substantive reasons,  it was  the right thing  to do, and  that is                                                              
how she voted.  The board requested  that the EED change the chart                                                              
of accounts  so the support staff  and travel could be  sorted out                                                              
and not be associated with instruction.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked who, besides  the principals, did she vote to                                                              
include in the classroom.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE answered that whoever is  in that line, which right now is                                                              
probably  all  the  staff  in  the  central  office  of  a  school                                                              
building.  If she had the choice,  she would not support that; she                                                              
would support people who really have  the instructional leadership                                                              
roles, not the school secretary and other people in the office.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  said he  appreciated that  explanation.   He asked                                                              
Ms. Rue if she  believes that charter schools  should receive part                                                              
of the local contribution.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE  answered  it depends  on how  it is sorted  out and  what                                                              
services the regular schools provide  for the students.  She would                                                              
want to look at it on a case-by-case basis.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked if  she would decide  what a charter  school                                                              
gets based upon  what services it requires, not it  getting a fair                                                              
share of each funding stream.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE said the charter schools  should get a fair share, but she                                                              
would want  to see what is  being proposed and what  the situation                                                              
is in the district.  There is a charter  school in Juneau that she                                                              
supported, but she also learned from  that experience that quite a                                                              
bit of  effort is  required from  the school  district to  make it                                                              
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  said the school  district gets money  from several                                                              
different sources,  such as state  money, federal money  and maybe                                                              
some grants  and in some  districts from the  local tax base.   In                                                              
essence, most of  that money flows into one pot,  then it goes out                                                              
for lots  of things.   He asked Ms. Rue  if she thought  the local                                                              
contribution ought to  be set aside and the charter  schools can't                                                              
get their fair share of that.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE  said she  doesn't necessarily  believe  that.  She  would                                                              
still have to look at what the proposal  was.  She agrees with the                                                              
principle  of the  charter schools  getting  a fair  share of  all                                                              
funding streams.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1061                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked Ms. Rue who  should set the standards  for a                                                              
school's behavior and safety standards.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE  answered the  local school  board, the school  districts,                                                              
the parents and staff at the school.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  he had heard  some village  teachers                                                              
say that  a lot of  students in sixth,  seventh and  eighth grades                                                              
are beginning to  not want to complete school.   The students have                                                              
a  hopelessness about  them.   He  wondered  if  the REAAs  [Rural                                                              
Education Attendance  Area] should be combined at  the high school                                                              
level  to give  the students  something to  look forward  to.   He                                                              
asked Ms. Rue  what are some of the solutions  to getting students                                                              
from the seventh grade into postsecondary education.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE answered one solution is  to give students hope that there                                                              
will be something  to do, and they  will have a future  in Alaska.                                                              
Another area to  look at is how to provide them  with high quality                                                              
teaching.  It is  a concern that small districts  tend to have new                                                              
and not very  experienced teachers who tend to stay  only a couple                                                              
of years.  Inexperienced teachers  who only stay a short time is a                                                              
handicap.   That is  something that  needs to be  dealt with.   It                                                              
would help to  have more local teachers, more  Native teachers and                                                              
more minority teachers.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE  noted there is  a worry that  students who fail  the exit                                                              
exam will leave school.  Who is going  to want to come back in the                                                              
senior year after flunking the test  twice?  It is the board's job                                                              
to make sure that doesn't happen  and give the students across the                                                              
state  the tools  to succeed  at that  exam.  She  doesn't have  a                                                              
magic  answer,  but  it takes  caring  teachers,  and  experienced                                                              
teachers certainly help.   She would like to work  on getting more                                                              
students into  postsecondary education. If students  see something                                                              
to do  beyond high school,  they will see  the need to get  a high                                                              
school diploma.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  asked Ms. Rue what the primary  thing is she                                                              
will bring to the Board of Education.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1294                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE answered  she brings a passion for education.   It is what                                                              
she does  avocationally, not professionally.   She said  she feels                                                              
like she has a  vision for what the system can be.   It has a long                                                              
way to go, and it is not an easy thing to move that way.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  asked Ms. Rue  what she believes  has caused                                                              
the panic in  Alaska about the fact that there  are the competency                                                              
tests.   He wondered if  it is a problem  of the school  system or                                                              
because there  are so many  dysfunctional families or  parents who                                                              
don't  care.   He asked  if there  are  adequate requirements  for                                                              
children to  go from one grade to  the next, or are  students just                                                              
allowed to move on.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE  replied her  answer lies  in moving  to standards  rather                                                              
than seat time.  If the move can  be made to standards so students                                                              
understand what they  are supposed to be doing, and  what it looks                                                              
like when they are doing that at  an acceptable level, it connects                                                              
them much more to real things.  Learning  feels more relevant, and                                                              
students begin to see why they need to know something.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  said  he  was appalled  to  find  out  that                                                              
students graduating  from high  school can't do  a checkbook.   He                                                              
wondered how can that be.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUE said  because up until  now, the system has  been oriented                                                              
toward  seat  time.    Students  need  to  be  involved  in  their                                                              
education and understand what standards  are.  She believes Alaska                                                              
is moving in the right direction.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON thanked Ms. Rue for  serving and advised her to not                                                              
the  let  system   absorb  her.    [Ms.  Rue's   confirmation  was                                                              
advanced.]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB 355 - STATE COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1500                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next  order of business as House Bill                                                              
No. 355, "An  Act establishing a state community  service program;                                                              
establishing  by  statute  the  Alaska   State  Community  Service                                                              
Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1520                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN  KEMPLEN, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor,                                                              
came  forward to  present  HB 355.    He has  become  increasingly                                                              
concerned about the  lack of participation in the  civic sector by                                                              
the citizens.   Before he became a legislator, he  was very active                                                              
in his  neighborhood and community,  and he found  it increasingly                                                              
difficult to  get people to  participate in volunteer  activities.                                                              
He  discovered that  volunteerism  is an  essential  trait of  the                                                              
American  character  and  has always  been  powerful  in  American                                                              
culture.    He  told  the  committee  members  there  are  several                                                              
articles  in   their  packets   that  addressed  the   diminishing                                                              
character  trait.  Technology  has  played a great  role in  this.                                                              
One of the  articles maintained that television  is drawing people                                                              
away from participating in the community,  faith organizations and                                                              
community  service organizations.   The  Internet is also  keeping                                                              
people  isolated  from  their neighbors.    With  this  increasing                                                              
isolation  of  individuals,  the  community needs  are  not  being                                                              
addressed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN explained  that in the  past, many  of the                                                              
social problems were dealt with in  the civic sector by social and                                                              
community organizations.   House Bill 355 provides  incentives for                                                              
people to  participate in civic  sector organizations and  do some                                                              
good  for their  neighborhood and  the  community at  large.   The                                                              
Department of  Education & Early  Development has provided  a zero                                                              
fiscal note  for HB 355.   The Alaska Housing  Finance Corporation                                                              
said it foresees  no increased cost  for the housing voucher.   It                                                              
would be treated as a component of its portfolio.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN noted that  the community service  program                                                              
that was  created by executive order  is lodged in  the Department                                                              
of  Education  & Early  Development  (EED).    It was  created  to                                                              
channel the Americorps grants from  the federal government, and HB
355 moves  that commission  to Alaska statutes  and gives  it some                                                              
additional  responsibilities.     The  commission  will  take  the                                                              
initiative  to create  an Alaska-based  community service  program                                                              
instead  of just  monitoring the  Americorps pass-through  grants.                                                              
The EED feels it can do that with existing staff.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1797                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked Representative  Kemplen if this was a                                                              
prototype, or if  it was patterned after things  existing in other                                                              
states or communities.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN   answered  that  the   community  service                                                              
program  is  something already  in  place.    This bill  makes  it                                                              
Alaska-specific and strengthens it.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1835                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER asked Representative  Kemplen how  HB 355                                                              
revamps the existing Community Service Commission.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN replied it  doesn't revamp the  commission                                                              
itself, it  just moves it  into Alaska statutes.   It makes  it an                                                              
official  state-sponsored  program and  gives  it some  additional                                                              
responsibilities.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER   asked  how  exactly  it   enhances  the                                                              
commission.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN   said  it  enhances  it   by  giving  the                                                              
commission  members  a  greater  charge.    It  strengthens  their                                                              
mission  so they  become  responsible for  laying  out an  Alaska-                                                              
specific  community service  program.  The  commission will  write                                                              
administrative  procedures  and  regulations  on how  this  Alaska                                                              
program would be  implemented, what would qualify  an organization                                                              
to  receive  the  designation  of  an  official  Alaska  community                                                              
service program, and  what type of criteria it would  have to meet                                                              
in order  to justify the housing  or education voucher.   It gives                                                              
the commission work.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1934                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  asked  Representative   Kemplen  what  he                                                              
envisioned  as  part  of  the  community  service  specific  to  a                                                              
community; what kinds of logistical  things was he thinking people                                                              
would do.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN   suggested  a  number  of   things  could                                                              
qualify,  but the  Community Service  Commission  would set  those                                                              
parameters.   That  would  be the  commission's  charge to  define                                                              
exactly  what  the  sideboards  are  that  qualify  for  community                                                              
service.    It  will  be  structured.   It  will  have  to  be  an                                                              
established  civic organization.   There are  already a  number of                                                              
civic  organizations that  provide  community  service, and  those                                                              
organizations could apply to participate  in this Alaska community                                                              
service program.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  commented that this group  will be doing  a lot of                                                              
work.  If it can do it without existing  cost, he wondered what is                                                              
being done now that the commission will quit doing.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN said  his impression  from talking  to the                                                              
members of  the Community Service  Commission, is that  they don't                                                              
do too much now besides approve the  federal pass-through dollars.                                                              
House Bill 355 will tap into that potential.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2048                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked where  the money is  going to come  from for                                                              
the vouchers.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  answered that the housing  voucher becomes                                                              
part of  the portfolio of  the Alaska Housing Finance  Corporation                                                              
(AHFC).   The AHFC is  guaranteeing a  100 percent mortgage  loan.                                                              
That is  carried on  the AHFC's  books so  there is no  additional                                                              
cost  to the  AHFC.   The  educational  vouchers  could come  from                                                              
either  the university  as  a  line item  in  its budget  or  from                                                              
federal funds.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  referred to page 3  of HB 355 and asked  about the                                                              
faith based organizations.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  answered Catholic Community  Services does                                                              
social service activities  and would be eligible for  this type of                                                              
activity  because  it is  separate  from  the  other part  of  the                                                              
organization.   It  basically precludes  preaching  of a  specific                                                              
faith.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE explained that  this commission wouldn't draw                                                              
from the EED's current resources,  it just is putting what it does                                                              
now into statute.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2199                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER asked  Representative Kemplen  if he  had                                                              
given thought  to the  notion that  the volunteer  efforts  of the                                                              
individuals, who might qualify for  either the educational voucher                                                              
or the  housing voucher,  would now  be no  longer voluntary,  but                                                              
there would be remuneration considered  for that time.  Therefore,                                                              
it may have an implication with regard to federal income taxes.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN said  it may.   Often  most people  who do                                                              
volunteer activities  don't make  very much  money.  Young  people                                                              
out of  high school  or recent  college graduates  are not  making                                                              
very much money.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER said because  the individuals may not have                                                              
substantial  earnings, they  may  essentially be  taxed for  $2500                                                              
credit referred  to on  page 6, line  14.   The volunteers  may be                                                              
taxed  on revenue,  but  this  is  a credit  so  it could  have  a                                                              
substantial  negative   effect  on   their  tax  situation.     He                                                              
recommended that Representative Kemplen look into that.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked Representative  Kemplen if he thought                                                              
about  putting this  commission into  the Department  of Health  &                                                              
Social Services.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2310                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN replied  he did  not consider  that.   The                                                              
current commission  is lodged  in EED  and the administration  was                                                              
comfortable  in keeping  it  there.   The  programs  that will  be                                                              
eligible have yet to be defined by  the commission.  If there is a                                                              
heavy social services orientation  to it, that may be something to                                                              
address down the road.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked if Representative  Kemplen studied or                                                              
knew of  any studies on  the structure for community  volunteerism                                                              
in Alaska.   He  commented that there  are a  lot of nonprofit  or                                                              
civic minded  organizations that are  probably doing this,  and it                                                              
seems that this could insert a community  in areas where nonprofit                                                              
and other civic organizations have already asserted themselves.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-44, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2351                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN  answered  he  hasn't  done  a  systematic                                                              
analysis but  in conversations with  people who are active  in the                                                              
civic  sector, they  tell  him this  is great;  it  would make  it                                                              
easier   to  get   people   to   participate  in   the   different                                                              
organizations,  and it  would make  the organization  do a  better                                                              
job.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER  asked   Representative  Kemplen  if  the                                                              
commission would  pay pass-through  dollars to the  university for                                                              
the educational  voucher and the same  then would be true  for the                                                              
recipient of the housing voucher  to pay for mortgage insurance no                                                              
matter who the mortgage holder may be.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN   explained  if  a  participant   were  to                                                              
complete the defined length of community  service, he/she would be                                                              
eligible for a voucher, either housing  or education.  It would be                                                              
very similar to the GI [Government  Issue] bill.  As a veteran, he                                                              
received a housing voucher from the  Veterans Administration which                                                              
guaranteed his loan  at 100 percent so he can purchase  a home for                                                              
zero  down payment.    This would  be very  similar.   The  actual                                                              
details would have  to be worked out by the  commission; this bill                                                              
just  gives the  commission  the  authority to  move  forward.   A                                                              
participant  would  receive  a  certificate   from  the  Community                                                              
Service  Commission   with  the  backing   of  AHFC.     When  the                                                              
participant  applies  for  a  housing  loan,  the  certificate  is                                                              
presented to  the loan officer, and  the loan officer knows  it is                                                              
guaranteed  100 percent  by the portfolio  held  by AHFC, and  the                                                              
participant  doesn't  have to  put  anything  down.   The  biggest                                                              
obstacle  to  moving  someone  into home  ownership  is  the  down                                                              
payment.  This becomes a great incentive for people.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2191                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER  said in going back to the  full faith and                                                              
credit of AHFC,  he asked if that would then be  subsidized by the                                                              
pass-through dollars  as attributable  to the commission  from the                                                              
federal government.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN answered it would not be subsidized.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER asked if  that would  be a cost  borne by                                                              
AHFC.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN explained that  AHFC would guarantee  that                                                              
loan.  If  someone pays on time  and doesn't default, there  is no                                                              
cost to AHFC.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER said the  problem with  that is it  is on                                                              
the  wrong  side  of  the  ledger of  the  portfolio;  that  is  a                                                              
liability  and that  could be  problematic, and  he suspects  that                                                              
will be reflected in a fiscal note  of an appropriate amount.  The                                                              
same question would be appropriate  with regard to the university.                                                              
There  is no  pass-through  funding  from  the commission;  it  is                                                              
simply the responsibility of the  university given this voucher as                                                              
a result of HB 355.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN explained  that employees of the university                                                              
now can take classes at no cost.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON temporarily  suspended the  hearing on  HB 355  in                                                              
order to take testimony for a confirmation hearing.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the committee  would consider one nominee                                                              
for the  Alaska Mental Health  Trust Authority Board  of Trustees.                                                              
Members would  not vote for the  nominees but would pass  his name                                                              
out of committee  for full consideration of the  House and Senate.                                                              
(A resume was provided for the appointee.)                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2138                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PHIL  YOUNKER,  Appointee  to  the   Alaska  Mental  Health  Trust                                                              
Authority  Board of  Trustees, testified  via teleconference  from                                                              
Fairbanks.  He told  the committee he has been in  Alaska about 36                                                              
years and  works in the  investment field.   He has served  on the                                                              
Alaska  Mental Health  Trust  Authority Board  for  the past  five                                                              
years  and is  seeking  a second  term.   He  has  felt the  trust                                                              
authority board  has accomplished a lot.   He serves as  the asset                                                              
manager on the board.  He is proud  of the land management project                                                              
to provide ongoing funds on an annual basis.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE stated  his  appreciation for  the work  Mr.                                                              
Younker has done on the trust authority.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2085                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER  said Mr.  Younker  is  a pillar  of  the                                                              
community, and he continues to serve the community well.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON thanked  Mr. Younker for his willingness  to serve.                                                              
[Mr. Younker's confirmation was advanced.]                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB 355 - STATE COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2071                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  reopened the  hearing on HOUSE  BILL NO.  355, "An                                                              
Act establishing  a state community service  program; establishing                                                              
by  statute the  Alaska State  Community  Service Commission;  and                                                              
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2056                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MATTHEW TURNER, Big Brothers/Big  Sisters, came forward to testify                                                              
in support  of HB  355.   The entire  product of Big  Brothers/Big                                                              
Sisters is entirely dependent upon  adult volunteers who work with                                                              
children.   If there is  a commission  in place that  sets certain                                                              
standards for both an agency and  the volunteer, it seems like the                                                              
question of  liability is pretty  low risk.  The  volunteer proves                                                              
himself/herself  by showing  up on  time, doing  the service,  and                                                              
basically following a contract with  an agency for no payment.  He                                                              
wondered  if the question  of liability  would  take a lower  mark                                                              
because of that.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. TURNER  noted that  this is a  good step  in the direction  of                                                              
legislation  impacting  culture  because  it raises  the  bar  for                                                              
volunteers  and agencies  that  are  part of  this  program.   The                                                              
commission is  going to expect  that certain commitments  are met.                                                              
It will be an asset to the agencies  to know there is enough of an                                                              
incentive  to  know  there  will  be  follow  through  on  what  a                                                              
volunteer  says  he/she  will  do  and  follow  through  on  those                                                              
commitments over the  course of a year.  Another  positive outcome                                                              
of HB 355 would  be the impact on agencies.  In  order to qualify,                                                              
agencies are going to have to meet  certain performance standards.                                                              
There will be some accountability without a lot of penalty.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TURNER noted that many people  are imported from other states,                                                              
and this bill will encourage more volunteerism in Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1896                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
YVONNE  CHASE,  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Education  &                                                              
Early  Development   (EED),  testified  via   teleconference  from                                                              
Anchorage.  The Alaska State Community  Service Commission resides                                                              
within the  EED.  She researched  what other states have  done and                                                              
said many  states are  in the process  of moving their  respective                                                              
commissions  into statute, and  ten states  already have  moved to                                                              
establish  their   commissions  in  statute.     Establishing  the                                                              
commission  in  statute  formalizes the  commitment  to  volunteer                                                              
services.   The  EED did  submit a  zero fiscal  note because  the                                                              
department saw the bill, with the  exception of the section on the                                                              
housing  vouchers,  as actually  taking  the functions  that  were                                                              
presently  outlined  for  the  commission  and  moving  them  into                                                              
statute. The commission  has two staff people,  and the department                                                              
doesn't  anticipate more  staffing would  be necessary with  these                                                              
changes.   A  good deal  of the  work in  reviewing proposals  and                                                              
determining community  needs is done by the commission  members in                                                              
a volunteer  capacity.   The department  sees  this as a  workable                                                              
bill in statute.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1815                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked Ms. Chase  if organizations  like Alcoholics                                                              
Anonymous  or  Boy  Scouts  are   disqualified  because  of  their                                                              
religious affiliation or orientation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHASE answered  no they wouldn't be disqualified  because of a                                                              
religious  orientation.   She believes  the  issue is  not of  the                                                              
organization's   religious  orientation   but   rather  that   the                                                              
organization will serve individuals  regardless of their religious                                                              
orientation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked Ms.  Chase how the commission came to                                                              
be in the Department of Education  & Early Education.  He asked if                                                              
it  was  there  originally  or  did it  go  through  HB  40  under                                                              
reorganization.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1766                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHASE  answered  that the commission  was  moved under  HB 40.                                                              
Initially,  the  commission  was  in the  Department  of  Labor  &                                                              
Workforce Development,  as a result of the changes in  HB 40.  The                                                              
commission  members  at  the  time   felt  that  the  commission's                                                              
placement  fit  better in  the  Department  of Education  &  Early                                                              
Development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1730                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT C.  BASSETT, Coordinator,  Spirit of Community  Initiative,                                                              
Volunteers of  America, Alaska, testified via  teleconference from                                                              
Anchorage  in favor  of  HB 355.   He  has  experience with  state                                                              
commissions  in  other states,  most  notably  New York,  and  the                                                              
function and role  of the state Community Service  Commission is a                                                              
wonderful and critical  part of the strategy for  developing human                                                              
resources in  any state.  He  has followed the development  of the                                                              
Alaska  Community Service  Commission, and  it is  at an  exciting                                                              
stage right now.  He believes that  to codify the state commission                                                              
and also to establish  a state community service  program would be                                                              
a  wonderful strategy  to keep  people  engaged, especially  young                                                              
Alaskans  who are  frankly  facing disengagement,  either  because                                                              
they are dropping out of school or  don't necessarily see a worker                                                              
career path, or  possibly don't see themselves going  on to higher                                                              
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BASSETT  likes the  fact  that  the  proposed bill  seems  to                                                              
emphasize disadvantaged  youth and young people who may  not be on                                                              
the fast  track to success.   By  providing some additional  state                                                              
leadership through  the EED, the  state is doing a  great service.                                                              
It  increases   the  emphasis  on   volunteerism.     It  connects                                                              
volunteerism to  educational development.  All experiences  out in                                                              
the  community  that  are  structured,   mentored  and  supervised                                                              
provide great education  and in some cases, better  education than                                                              
what is going on  in a classroom.  It also focuses  on citizenship                                                              
at a time when young people and adults  are questioning what their                                                              
role is in the community.  This bill  says it is important to be a                                                              
citizen, and  that is going to  be recognized through a  system of                                                              
incentives that  are tied to higher  education.  Education  is the                                                              
key.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BASSETT noted  lastly the bill focuses on motivation.   If the                                                              
young people are  not motivated in school, and if  they don't feel                                                              
there  is an  opportunity  for them  in  the community,  there  is                                                              
direction  to be  motivated if  they  find an  opportunity to  get                                                              
involved in a  community activity in service or  volunteerism that                                                              
is meaningful to  them where they feel valued and  have some sense                                                              
of success.  That leads to building  on to a career path or higher                                                              
education.   It is a great  proposal to have the  state commission                                                              
become formally part of the EED.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON closed the public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1577                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  made a motion to move HB  355 from committee                                                              
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  objected.  He  said the idea  sounds good,                                                              
but he has not had time to think  about ramifications.  He doesn't                                                              
want  to see  civic organizations  get crowded  by a  governmental                                                              
organization in volunteerism.   He would like to  do more research                                                              
because it is not clear to him that  this type of commission isn't                                                              
going to  overshadow some of the  community efforts.  He  might be                                                              
mistaken, and he is open to discussion  on it.  However, he is not                                                              
ready to move the bill out of committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  said, to alleviate Representative  Coghill's                                                              
concerns,  this  bill  enhances   civic  organizations'  volunteer                                                              
efforts.     It  provides  a   stream  of  volunteers   for  those                                                              
organizations  to use to  work within the  community, and  that is                                                              
why he supports  it.  Anything that can be done  to encourage more                                                              
volunteerism  in   the  community  is  a  good   thing,  and  thus                                                              
establishing the commission in statute  is appropriate and timely.                                                              
The  commission  is  not  competing.     It  is  cooperating  with                                                              
volunteer organizations.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1469                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER  said  he  likes  the idea,  and  it  has                                                              
tremendous merit, but  he has some practical concerns.   He is not                                                              
going to  oppose the  bill moving  on.   However, he is  concerned                                                              
with what the  university and AHFC  may have to say, and  with the                                                              
tax and  wage concerns.   He offered to  work with the  sponsor in                                                              
the interim to advance something like this.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was taken.   Representatives  Kemplen, Whitaker,                                                              
Green,  Brice  and  Dyson  voted  in favor  of  moving  the  bill.                                                              
Representative   Coghill voted against it.   Representative Morgan                                                              
was  absent.   Therefore,  HB 355  moved  from  the House  Health,                                                              
Education and Social  Services Standing Committee by  a vote of 5-                                                              
1.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB 300 - MEDICAL SUPPORT ORDERS FOR CHILDREN                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1385                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next  order of business as House Bill                                                              
No. 300, "An Act relating to the  establishment and enforcement of                                                              
medical  support  orders  for  children;   and  providing  for  an                                                              
effective date."   He asked Ms. Miklos  if she'd had time  to look                                                              
over the proposed committee substitute (CS).                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1337                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA   MIKLOS,   Director,  Central   Office,   Child   Support                                                              
Enforcement Division (CSED), Department  of Revenue, testified via                                                              
teleconference  from Anchorage.   She said for  the most  part the                                                              
changes  are fine.   She  and Diane  Wendlandt had  a question  on                                                              
Section  7, page  7,  lines 9-13,  which is  confusing.   She  was                                                              
worried  that  it  would  do  the  opposite  of  what  is  wanted.                                                              
Specifically, her  concern is in  regard to the  words "government                                                              
assistance",  which  she  interpreted  to  mean that  if  it  were                                                              
covered  by government  assistance,  then the  CSED  would not  be                                                              
collecting  the support  from  the  parent.   She  asked what  the                                                              
purpose of that sentence is.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MIKLOS  referred to  page 12, line  25, Indirect  Amendment of                                                              
Court Rule.   In their reading of  the court rule, the  two orders                                                              
are not locked  together like in statute now.   They don't believe                                                              
that the  statute, even  as written, would  amend the  court rule.                                                              
That is not  as big an issue  for them as the question  on Section                                                              
7.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MIKLOS said  she has  mistakenly  spoken and  thus wanted  to                                                              
correct her  comments as  follows:  The  CSED wouldn't  collect on                                                              
behalf of Medical Assistance; rather,  Medical Assistance would do                                                              
the  collecting.   She reiterated  her concern  that the  language                                                              
"government  assistance" would  prohibit  Medical Assistance  from                                                              
collecting  this  money if  the  people  were already  covered  by                                                              
government assistance.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON  said  he  understood  her; it  would  negate  the                                                              
ability to get reimbursed.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MIKLOS agreed  that  is  what she  is  worried  about.   From                                                              
discussions with the committee, she  thought that was the opposite                                                              
of what some of  the members of the committee want,  and it is the                                                              
opposite  of what  the federal  government intends  when it  tells                                                              
CSED it must go after medical support orders.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  said his  staff told him  that is quoted  directly                                                              
from the court rules.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MIKLOS  said no, "government  assistance" is not in  the court                                                              
rules.  The court rule says, "reasonable  health care expenses not                                                              
covered  by insurance  unless a  court orders  otherwise for  good                                                              
cause" so there is a little difference in the language.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked Ms.  Miklos how  this bill  is doing  in the                                                              
Senate.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MIKLOS replied  that it  is scheduled  [to be  heard in  the]                                                              
Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow.   She also told the committee                                                              
the House  Bill will go to  the [House] Judiciary  Committee after                                                              
[it  is moved  out  of the  House]  Health, Education  and  Social                                                              
Services Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON said  it  would be  his desire  to  let the  House                                                              
Judiciary  Committee  decide whether  it  is consistent  with  the                                                              
court rules or not.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1060                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN   made  a  motion  to  adopt   the  proposed                                                              
committee  substitute   (CS)  for  HB  300,   version  1-GH2061\D,                                                              
Lauterbach, 4/11/00,  as a work draft.  There  being no objection,                                                              
Version D was before the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1032                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER  made a motion  to move CSHB  300, version                                                              
1-GH2061\D,  Lauterbach, 4/11/00,  from committee with  individual                                                              
recommendations and the attached fiscal note.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1020                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected because  he hadn't had a chance to                                                              
spend  the time  [reviewing  the  CS] that  he  would have  liked.                                                              
Furthermore,  he  is  still  concerned  about  private  insurance,                                                              
although  it looks like  that was  addressed in  the proposed  CS,                                                              
which seems quite  different.  Representative Coghill  removed his                                                              
objection.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked  whether there was further  objection.  There                                                              
being no  objection, CSHB  300(HES) moved  from the House  Health,                                                              
Education and Social Services Committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:30 p.m. to 4:31 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 409 - GRANDPARENTS' RIGHTS REGARDING CINA                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0923                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  announced the  next order  of business  as Sponsor                                                              
Substitute for House Bill No. 409,  "An Act prescribing the rights                                                              
of grandparents related  to hearings on petitions  to adjudicate a                                                              
minor  as  a  child  in  need of  aid  and  to  the  testimony  of                                                              
grandparents at those  hearings; and amending Rules 3,  7, 10, 15,                                                              
17(e), and 19, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON noted  that the last time the committee  heard this                                                              
bill, the Department  of Health & Social Services  objected to the                                                              
difficulty  of   finding  and  informing  all   the  grandparents.                                                              
Therefore, Peter Torkelson will offer some amendments.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0882                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PETER TORKELSON, Staff to Representative  Fred Dyson, Alaska State                                                              
Legislature, came  forward to present two amendments  to SSHB 409.                                                              
The first  amendment is a technical  title change to make  it more                                                              
accurate.   The  second  amendment addresses  the  issue that  the                                                              
department  had with the  bill while  still granting  grandparents                                                              
the rights the sponsor believes they should have.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0819                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE made a  motion to  adopt Amendment  1, which                                                              
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "to":                                                                                            
          Insert "child-in-need-of-aid"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, lines 1-2:                                                                                                         
          Delete "on petitions to adjudicate a minor as a                                                                       
     child in need of aid"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked  whether  there was  any  objection.   There                                                              
being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0795                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE  made a  motion  to  adopt Amendment  2  [1-                                                              
LS1458\G.1, Lauterbach, 4/5/00], which read:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 9-18:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
          "(d)  the department shall give advance written                                                                       
     notice  of all  court hearings  in a child's  case to  a                                                                   
     grandparent  of   the  child  if  the   grandparent  has                                                                   
     contacted  the department,  requested  notice about  the                                                                   
     hearings   in  the  child's   case,  and  provided   the                                                                   
     department with a current mailing address."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked  whether  there was  any  objection.   There                                                              
being no objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TORKELSON  noted  that  the  Division  of  Family  and  Youth                                                              
Services (DFYS)  said this  change would  negate the rather  large                                                              
fiscal  note.     There  may  be  a  few  costs   related  to  the                                                              
notification  but not  the large  amount that  would have  applied                                                              
under the old version of HB 409.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE stated his understanding  that the bill could                                                              
be passed out without the fiscal note, then.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN asked  Mr.  Torkelson whether  the DFYS  had                                                              
indicated how much the fiscal note would be reduced.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. TORKELSON answered  no, it would just take care  of the fiscal                                                              
concerns with the bill.  There would  be postage costs involved in                                                              
notifying the grandparents but not a huge addition.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0686                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a motion  to move CSSSHB 409, version 1-                                                              
LS1458\G, Lauterbach,  3/16/00, as amended, out  of committee with                                                              
individual  recommendations.   There  being  no objection,  CSSSHB
409(HES)  moved  from  the  House  Health,  Education  and  Social                                                              
Services Standing Committee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 149 - INSURANCE:  MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE ABUSE                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0661                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next  order of business as House Bill                                                              
No. 149, "An  Act relating to insurance coverage  for treatment of                                                              
mental illness  and substance abuse;  repealing provisions  of ch.                                                              
8,  SLA  1997, that  terminates  required  mental  health  benefit                                                              
coverage;  and  providing  for  an  effective  date."    He  asked                                                              
Representative Coghill  to give a subcommittee report.   [The bill                                                              
had been assigned to a subcommittee on 4/10/99.]                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0637                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  reported that  the subcommittee on  HB 149                                                              
could not  come to  a conclusion  on the matter,  so the  bill was                                                              
coming back before  the committee for perusal.   He personally had                                                              
strong objections  to this bill going on, considering  the mandate                                                              
of mental  health insurance  coverage at  this time, but  couldn't                                                              
get a  consensus in  the subcommittee.   He  recommended that  the                                                              
committee not move the bill out of committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0574                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  made a motion to move HB  149 from committee                                                              
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote  was taken.   Representatives  Brice,  Kemplen,                                                              
Whitaker  and   Dyson  voted   in  favor   of  moving   the  bill.                                                              
Representatives    Coghill   and    Green   voted   against    it.                                                              
Representative Morgan  was absent.   Therefore, HB 149  moved from                                                              
the  House   Health,  Education   and  Social  Services   Standing                                                              
Committee by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0514                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further business  before the committee,  the House                                                              
Health, Education  and Social Services Standing  Committee meeting                                                              
was adjourned at 4:39 p.m.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

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