Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/11/2002 03:43 PM House HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                         April 11, 2002                                                                                         
                           3:43 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Fred Dyson, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Gary Stevens                                                                                                     
Representative Vic Kohring                                                                                                      
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 407                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the certificate of need program."                                                                           
     - MOVED CSHB 407(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 23                                                                                              
Proposing amendments to Uniform Rule 20 of the Alaska State                                                                     
Legislature; and providing for an effective date for the                                                                        
     - MOVED HCR 23 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 464                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to statewide school district correspondence                                                                    
study programs."                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 464(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
BILL: HB 407                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM                                                                                         
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)COGHILL                                                                                            
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/13/02     2232       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
02/13/02     2232       (H)        CRA, HES                                                                                     
03/04/02     2469       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): JAMES                                                                          
03/13/02     2530       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): SCALZI                                                                         
03/14/02                (H)        CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
03/14/02                (H)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
03/18/02     2593       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): DYSON                                                                          
03/19/02                (H)        CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
03/19/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/19/02                (H)        MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                  
03/21/02                (H)        CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
03/21/02                (H)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
03/21/02                (H)        MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                  
03/22/02     2638       (H)        CRA RPT 2DP 2NR 3AM                                                                          
03/22/02     2638       (H)        DP: SCALZI, MEYER; NR: GUESS,                                                                
03/22/02     2638       (H)        AM: KERTTULA, MURKOWSKI,                                                                     
03/22/02     2638       (H)        FN1: (HSS)                                                                                   
03/26/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/26/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/26/02                (H)        MINUTE(HES)                                                                                  
03/28/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/28/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
04/02/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
04/02/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
04/04/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
04/04/02                (H)        -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                       
04/09/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
04/09/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
04/11/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
BILL: HCR 23                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES:SPLIT HOUSE HESS                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): EDUCATION                                                                                                           
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/11/02     2204       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
02/11/02     2204       (H)        EDU, HES                                                                                     
02/13/02                (H)        EDU AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 120                                                                   
02/13/02                (H)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
02/13/02                (H)        MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                  
02/13/02     2227       (H)        EDU RPT 6DP                                                                                  
02/13/02     2227       (H)        DP: GREEN, WILSON, JOULE,                                                                    
02/13/02     2227       (H)        STEVENS, BUNDE                                                                               
02/13/02     2228       (H)        FN1: ZERO(H.EDU)                                                                             
04/04/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
04/04/02                (H)        -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                       
04/09/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
04/09/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
04/11/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
BILL: HB 464                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:SCHOOL DISTRICT CORRESPONDENCE STUDY                                                                                
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)JAMES                                                                                              
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/19/02     2313       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
02/19/02     2313       (H)        EDU, HES                                                                                     
02/22/02     2370       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): DYSON                                                                          
02/27/02     2416       (H)        REFERRALS CHANGED TO HES, EDU                                                                
03/07/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/07/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/07/02                (H)        MINUTE(HES)                                                                                  
03/13/02     2530       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): COGHILL,                                                                       
                                   KOHRING, GREEN,                                                                              
03/13/02     2530       (H)        FOSTER                                                                                       
03/14/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/14/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/14/02                (H)        MINUTE(HES)                                                                                  
03/19/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/19/02                (H)        -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                       
03/21/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/21/02                (H)        -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                       
03/22/02     2655       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): FATE                                                                           
03/26/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/26/02                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/26/02                (H)        MINUTE(HES)                                                                                  
04/02/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
04/02/02                (H)        <Bill Canceled>                                                                              
04/11/02                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
ELMER LINDSTROM, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                            
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
P.O. Box 110601                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska  99811-0601                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on  HB 407; explained department's                                                               
fiscal notes and emphasized that there will be a large impact.                                                                  
KAREN McCARTHY, Staff                                                                                                           
to Representative Con Bunde                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION  STATEMENT:   As committee  aide for  the House  Special                                                               
Committee  on  Education,  sponsor   of  HCR  23,  presented  the                                                               
resolution and answered questions.                                                                                              
CARL ROSE, Executive Director                                                                                                   
Association of Alaska School Boards                                                                                             
316 West Eleventh Street                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska 99801-1510                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HCR 23.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 02-31, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR FRED  DYSON called the  House Health, Education  and Social                                                               
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:43  p.m.                                                               
Representatives   Dyson,  Wilson,   Coghill,  Stevens,   Kohring,                                                               
Cissna,  and Joule  were  present at  the call  to  order.   [For                                                               
minutes  on the  overview  presentation from  the Alaska  Suicide                                                               
Prevention  Council   heard  jointly  with  the   Senate  Health,                                                               
Education  and  Social  Services   Standing  Committee,  see  the                                                               
3:03 p.m. minutes for this date.]                                                                                               
HB 407-CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM                                                                                            
CHAIR DYSON  announced the  first order  of business,  HOUSE BILL                                                               
NO. 407, "An Act relating to the certificate of need program."                                                                  
Number 0110                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING  moved   to  adopt  version  22-LS1389\P,                                                               
Lauterbach,  4/11/02,  as  the  work   draft.    There  being  no                                                               
objection, Version P was before the committee.                                                                                  
CHAIR DYSON offered his understanding that Version P is the same                                                                
as   Version   O   with   [Representative   Cissna's   conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1] that was adopted at the April 9 hearing.                                                                           
Number 0200                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved to adopt Amendment 1, which read                                                                   
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     Page 7:   Delete lines 1 - 4.                                                                                              
     Page 7, line 1:                                                                                                            
     COMPREHENSIVE  HEALTH  PLAN;  LIMITATIONS.    The  plan                                                                    
     required under  AS 47.05.010(b), enacted by  sec. 11 of                                                                    
     this Act,                                                                                                                  
               (1) It is not intended  by the legislature to                                                                    
     be updated periodically;                                                                                                   
               (2)   shall be prepared by  the Department of                                                                    
     Health and  Social Services by  January 1, 2003,  and a                                                                    
     copy  of it  shall be  given by  the department  to the                                                                    
     legislature by that date: and                                                                                              
               (3)   shall  be prepared  by using  staff and                                                                    
     other resources  of the  department that  are generally                                                                    
     available  to  perform  the duties  of  the  department                                                                    
     without   an   additional  appropriation   specifically                                                                    
     designated for  preparation of the  plan or  without an                                                                    
     additional  appropriation to  fund  indirect impact  of                                                                    
     existing personnel or resources."                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                      
Number 0220                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  explained  that Amendment  1  would  add                                                               
"relating  to  comprehensive  health   planning"  to  the  title.                                                               
Referring to  the fact  that the  amendment to  Version O  at the                                                               
April 9 hearing had been conceptual, he said:                                                                                   
     We  adopted this  by  conceptual amendment,  basically,                                                                    
     and  ...  I  wanted  to  look it  over  and  ask  legal                                                                    
     drafting to  look it over,  and this is  basically what                                                                    
     [would] come back.   And the only thing  that we didn't                                                                    
     look  at was  the date,  and Representative  Cissna had                                                                    
     ... registered some  concern about that.   And I'm open                                                                    
     to that discussion.   But at this point,  it would take                                                                    
     the plan that's required and ... then put it in these                                                                      
     three bullets, if you will.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL noted  that  Amendment 1 [paragraph  (1)]                                                               
calls  for a  one-time plan;  it is  not intended  to be  updated                                                               
periodically,  which  is  in  contrast  to  what  is  already  in                                                               
statute, to his recollection.   [Under paragraph (2)] it would be                                                               
prepared by [the  Department of] Health and  Social services, and                                                               
the  date  would  be  2003,  as  adopted  [in  the  amendment  to                                                               
Version O at  the previous hearing].   He indicated he  wanted it                                                               
to be very  clear that this [plan is to  be developed] within the                                                               
resources of the Department of  Health and Social Services, which                                                               
paragraph (3) accomplishes.                                                                                                     
Number 0325                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  DYSON asked  whether Representative  Cissna  was in  basic                                                               
agreement with Representative Coghill's Amendment 1.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA replied that she  was in agreement, but had                                                               
real concerns  about the date.   She indicated she'd  requested a                                                               
partial  copy of  the  health plan  dated  June 1984;  department                                                               
personnel had  informed her  of what  is in  place that  could be                                                               
drawn on for  a [future plan].  She stated  that there are gaping                                                               
holes  [in the  current state  health plan].   She  asked if  the                                                               
department could  speak to  this matter.   She suggested  that an                                                               
understanding of  the missing pieces  would give members  an idea                                                               
of what is reasonable timing for using existing services.                                                                       
Number 0450                                                                                                                     
ELMER LINDSTROM,  Deputy Commissioner,  Department of  Health and                                                               
Social Services,  told the committee  he didn't believe  the date                                                               
to be  a relevant matter  because, briefly, "No money,  no plan."                                                               
He  said  the  [1984]  report  was  the  last  one  done  by  the                                                               
department.   He  explained that  rarely a  week goes  by in  the                                                               
department  in which  someone  does not  say, "I  wish  we had  a                                                               
comprehensive  health   plan.".    If  the   department  had  the                                                               
resources,  it  would have  done  a  plan.    In the  absence  of                                                               
additional  resources  to  develop   a  comprehensive  plan,  Mr.                                                               
Lindstrom said he thought the plan would not be accomplished.                                                                   
Number 0519                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA said  she  was uncertain  about the  date.                                                               
She remarked, "I really care about  Alaska and that we survive as                                                               
a state in  some kind of not-third-world  category."  Referencing                                                               
the  [old  health  plan]  with its  problems  and  the  preceding                                                               
overview presentation  by the Alaska Suicide  Prevention Council,                                                               
she  again emphasized  the need  for a  plan.   As for  the bill,                                                               
Representative  Cissna said  she  sees  "two perfectly  wonderful                                                               
sides," without a way to  discern the right policy; she expressed                                                               
doubt that the committee could  arrive at good policy without any                                                               
information, which  is lacking in  critical areas.   For example,                                                               
there is no health systems data; it doesn't exist.                                                                              
Number 0599                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  pointed out that  there will be  a change                                                               
in the  administration [because  the governor's  term is  up] and                                                               
suggested that if this administration  is going to say, "No way,"                                                               
it might be good  to [extend the date to 2004].   He conveyed his                                                               
inclination  to  allow  the  date   to  change  to  2004  if  the                                                               
department is required to use existing resources.                                                                               
CHAIR DYSON offered  his conviction that Alaska needs  to do some                                                               
comprehensive  planning in  mental health,  senior care,  health-                                                               
service  delivery  in urban  and  rural  areas, prenatal  alcohol                                                               
poisoning,  child  abuse,  and  alcohol abuse.    He  stated  his                                                               
intention  of joining  [Representative  Cissna]  in holding  some                                                               
interim hearings  on this matter.   He added that other  bills in                                                               
the  committee, pertaining  to planning,  won't make  it [through                                                               
the  legislative   process  this   session].    He   deferred  to                                                               
Representative Cissna with regard to the date.                                                                                  
Number 0708                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  said no  area is as  needing of  effort as                                                               
the medical health [planning] area.   She pointed out that mental                                                               
health does  have a comprehensive  plan, as  do many areas.   She                                                               
added, "We really  are just ragged in  the fastest-growing sector                                                               
of our economy,  which is really pretty scary.   And I agree with                                                               
you:  this summer, you're on.  Let's go for 2004."                                                                              
CHAIR   DYSON   announced,   "Let   the   record   reflect   that                                                               
Representative Cissna moves  that we amend Amendment  1, line 12,                                                               
to January [1,] 2004."                                                                                                          
Number 0755                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  objected, saying he didn't  see the point                                                               
of changing it  back.  He noted  that this is just  what was done                                                               
at the last meeting - it was changed  from 2004 to 2003.  He said                                                               
his concern  at that  time was that  a lot is  being asked  to be                                                               
done;  however, it  is not  unreasonable to  expect that  this be                                                               
done by  2003.   He offered  that if the  premise is  that things                                                               
will  be  different  in  a new  administration,  why  not  simply                                                               
consider this bill next year?                                                                                                   
CHAIR  DYSON said  the amendment  from Representative  Cissna had                                                               
been presented  suddenly on  [April 9], and  that perhaps  it was                                                               
acted upon with less than due diligence.  He added:                                                                             
     Several  of us  have had  time to  think about  it some                                                                    
     more.   The reason we did  a title change today  was to                                                                    
     make  sure that  Representative  Cissna's amendment  on                                                                    
     Tuesday did not fail for  lack of a broad enough title.                                                                    
     ... But it is an amendment  to a bill largely aimed ...                                                                    
     on a  different subject.   So  ... you  could certainly                                                                    
     argue that a comprehensive study  belonged in a bill of                                                                    
     its own,  but the  reason we're  dealing with  this one                                                                    
     now  is  because [of]  the  interest  in modifying  the                                                                    
     certificate of need that's come up this year.                                                                              
CHAIR DYSON  acknowledged that  Representative Cissna  and others                                                               
recognize  that  having   better  information  and  comprehensive                                                               
planning  would  be  a  valuable  component  in  evaluating  CONs                                                               
[certificates of need].  He  expressed his belief that the bill's                                                               
sponsor is interested in seeing  the bill move forward this year.                                                               
When  these two  subjects  were linked,  he  said, the  committee                                                               
wound up dealing  with the date.  He offered  his perception that                                                               
the real issue is whether it  is reasonable to expect - with very                                                               
limited resources  - to have a  valuable product that is  able to                                                               
be accomplished by January.                                                                                                     
Number 0928                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA expressed  her  view of  a "complete  tie"                                                               
between an  evaluation tool  and the  plan.   She said,  "I don't                                                               
have  the  tools  to  make  that decision,  and  I've  asked  the                                                               
department,  and they  don't  have  the tools  to  make ...  that                                                               
decision."    She said  perhaps  other  members felt  comfortable                                                               
making [this decision], but she didn't.                                                                                         
CHAIR DYSON said  he would argue that this  is why Representative                                                               
Cissna's amendment carried.                                                                                                     
Number 0971                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE offered  his  understanding  that when  the                                                               
amendment  passed [on  April  9]  with the  2003  date, that  was                                                               
assuming  an accompanying  fiscal  note; the  2004  date and  the                                                               
clarification that this  will be done with  existing resources is                                                               
the difference  between the two dates.   He said, "This  way, the                                                               
bill moves forward  without a fiscal note,  giving the department                                                               
18  months  to  do  something with  its  existing  resources,  as                                                               
opposed  to  doing  something  in 6  months  with  no  additional                                                               
resources."   He specified that he  was speaking in favor  of the                                                               
amendment to Amendment 1 [to change the date to 2004].                                                                          
CHAIR DYSON voiced his  understanding the Representative Cissna's                                                               
amendment [on April  9] called for the plan to  be completed with                                                               
existing  resources and  hadn't anticipated  a fiscal  note.   He                                                               
asked whether Representative Stevens  maintained his objection to                                                               
the amendment to [Amendment 1].                                                                                                 
Number 1046                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS said yes.   He added that Alaska is facing                                                               
enormous problems  statewide such as  the "salmon disaster."   He                                                               
noted  that  these  problems  need serious  study,  and  [if  the                                                               
amendment  to Amendment  1  failed]  would be  dealt  with via  a                                                               
report  to the  legislature  by  January 2003.    In response  to                                                               
Representative Cissna,  he said he  thought he would  support the                                                               
2003 date, but indicated he wanted to hear more about it.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA withdrew the amendment to Amendment 1.                                                                    
Number 1130                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  DYSON asked  if there  was any  objection to  Amendment 1.                                                               
Hearing no objection, he announced that Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                
MR. LINDSTROM,  in response to  Chair Dyson, said  the department                                                               
had prepared  two fiscal notes, both  dated 4/10/02.  One  is for                                                               
$100,500 for  health planning and facilities  management, and the                                                               
other, from the Division of  Medical Assistance, is in the amount                                                               
of $4.6 million, for Medicaid services.                                                                                         
CHAIR DYSON  observed that Representative Coghill  had put before                                                               
the committee a zero fiscal note.  He requested an explanation.                                                                 
Number 1210                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL called  his  zero fiscal  note a  "direct                                                               
challenge to  the administration's fiscal  note."  He said  a lot                                                               
has to do with  how he figured the growth of  the economy and the                                                               
way some  Medicaid reimbursements are  calculated.  He  asked the                                                               
committee  to recognize  that  this will  not  have an  actuarial                                                               
impact  on the  state.   He said  he recognizes  the department's                                                               
concerns, but drew attention to  words in the department's fiscal                                                               
note  such  as may,  if,  expected,  estimates, assumptions,  and                                                               
CHAIR DYSON  asked whether it  is correct  that even if  the bill                                                               
passes in  its present form,  there will  be no impact  until new                                                               
facilities are  built, in use,  and impacting Medicaid  rates and                                                               
reimbursement rates.                                                                                                            
Number 1293                                                                                                                     
MR.  LINDSTROM agreed,  but pointed  out that  every fiscal  note                                                               
[from a  department] is based on  assumptions regarding "somebody                                                               
doing something."   The department's fiscal note is  based on the                                                               
best information  the department  has, he said,  and on  what the                                                               
department  believes  is most  likely  to  happen, based  on  the                                                               
letters  of  interest  and  CON  applications.    In  this  case,                                                               
however, the  decisions of  whether to  build facilities  will be                                                               
independent business decisions that the state doesn't control.                                                                  
MR.  LINDSTROM   added  that  the  committee   has  heard  widely                                                               
divergent  testimony   on  the  impacts   of  the  bill.     Some                                                               
passionately  believe  [HB 407]  is  the  best thing  that  could                                                               
happen to  health care in the  state, while others believe  it is                                                               
the  death  knell for  the  health  care infrastructure  in  many                                                               
Number 1346                                                                                                                     
MR. LINDSTROM noted that everyone  believes this bill will have a                                                               
significant  impact;  the department  shares  this  opinion.   He                                                               
offered  that  the  department could  not  provide  members  with                                                               
certainty  about the  exact  costs.   He  referenced his  earlier                                                               
testimony  that  a lack  of  data  has hindered  [more  accurate]                                                               
estimates.   He stated,  "There is  ... rarely  a bill  that goes                                                               
through the legislature  where it is more  abundantly clear that,                                                               
yes, there  will be a  fiscal impact, and  it will accrue  to the                                                               
Medicaid program because the Medicaid  program insures one out of                                                               
six Alaskans ... in this state."                                                                                                
MR.  LINDSTROM  referenced an  analysis  done  on behalf  of  the                                                               
Tanana  Valley Clinic  by Information  Insights, dated  March 25,                                                               
which ultimately  concluded that  over time the  bill -  at least                                                               
under the assumptions given - would  [result in] a savings to the                                                               
Medicaid  program.    He   added,  "Nevertheless,  this  analysis                                                               
provided  by Tanana  Valley Clinic  indicated in  the first  year                                                               
there would  probably be  an additional cost  of $200,000  to the                                                               
Medicaid program  if one  facility was built  in Fairbanks."   He                                                               
expressed doubt  that anyone  knew for  sure how  many facilities                                                               
would be  built.   "There is unanimity,  Mr. Chairman,  that this                                                               
bill is going to have a fiscal impact," he concluded.                                                                           
CHAIR  DYSON  concurred, noting  that  members  indeed had  heard                                                               
conflicting  testimony, including  testimony about  other states.                                                               
He announced  his intention, out  of respect for  the department,                                                               
to send the bill forward with all three fiscal notes.                                                                           
CHAIR DYSON  called for an  at-ease at 4:08  p.m.  He  called the                                                               
meeting back to order at 4:09 p.m.                                                                                              
Number 1450                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  DYSON informed  members that  an objection  for discussion                                                               
purposes needed to be withdrawn to [Amendment 1].                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON withdrew her objection.                                                                                   
CHAIR  DYSON  again asked  whether  there  was any  objection  to                                                               
Amendment 1.  There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                
Number 1470                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS asked about the multiple fiscal notes.                                                                   
CHAIR  DYSON explained  that  it  is within  the  purview of  the                                                               
Speaker  [of the  House]  to  decide [on  a  fiscal  note].   The                                                               
committee  is  providing the  Speaker  with  a synthesis  of  the                                                               
information it has received about the fiscal notes.                                                                             
Number 1505                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL moved  to  report CSHB  407 [version  22-                                                               
LS1389\P,  Lauterbach, 4/11/02],  as  amended,  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING objected  for  discussion  purposes.   He                                                               
said he wasn't comfortable including  the three fiscal notes, and                                                               
would prefer  to adopt the zero  fiscal note.  He  concurred with                                                               
Representative Coghill  and suggested  overhead could  be greatly                                                               
offset, with  a possible  result of  zero cost  or at  least much                                                               
less cost than the department projects.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING  then   withdrew  his  objection,  saying                                                               
although the legislation  doesn't go as far as he  would like, he                                                               
wanted to  move it forward.   He reiterated that he  didn't agree                                                               
with the  department's fiscal notes,  which are higher  than what                                                               
he would expect.                                                                                                                
Number 1573                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA objected  to the  motion, explaining  that                                                               
she believes  the state isn't prepared  to deal with some  of the                                                               
problems it  is facing, and  that the plan  needs to be  in place                                                               
prior  to making  such choices.   In  response to  Representative                                                               
Stevens,  she reiterated  that she  objected to  making a  choice                                                               
without having the tools to do it.                                                                                              
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representatives Dyson,  Stevens,                                                               
Kohring,  Joule,  Wilson, and  Coghill  voted  to move  CSHB  407                                                               
[version  22-LS1389\P,  Lauterbach,  4/11/02,  as  amended]  from                                                               
committee.    [Representative   Cissna  abstained.]    Therefore,                                                               
CSHB 407(HES) was  moved out of  the House Health,  Education and                                                               
Social Services Standing Committee by a vote of 6-0.                                                                            
HCR 23-LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES:SPLIT HOUSE HESS                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON   announced  the  next  order   of  business,  HOUSE                                                               
CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO.  23, Proposing  amendments to  Uniform                                                               
Rule 20  of the  Alaska State Legislature;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date for the amendments.                                                                                              
Number 1660                                                                                                                     
KAREN McCARTHY,  Staff to Representative Con  Bunde, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  presented HCR  23 on  behalf of  the House  Special                                                               
Committee  on Education  (HEDU), the  resolution's sponsor.   She                                                               
explained that HCR  23 would amend the Uniform Rules  to create a                                                               
standing  House education  committee;  it  would reconfigure  the                                                               
House Health,  Education and  Social Services  Standing Committee                                                               
(HHES) to be the House  health and social services committee; and                                                               
the Senate  committees would  remain unchanged.   She  noted that                                                               
the change would be in effect for the next legislative session.                                                                 
MS.  McCARTHY  informed  members that  Representative  Guess  had                                                               
first  introduced  this  matter  as HCR  11;  the  House  Special                                                               
Committee on  Education, upon review,  had decided to  sponsor it                                                               
as HCR 23.  She said it  was felt that HEDU has proven beneficial                                                               
to  the legislative  process  by  facilitating focused  committee                                                               
work on education  bills and issues.  She  offered that education                                                               
issues  are complex  and very  important, and  that the  workload                                                               
related  to education  has become  significant and  would benefit                                                               
from the full attention of a permanent, standing committee.                                                                     
MS.  McCARTHY  noted   that  issues  such  as   the  High  School                                                               
Graduation Qualifying  Exam (HSGQE), school  designators, teacher                                                               
shortage,  and education  reform in  general have  benefited from                                                               
the full  attention given  them in  the special  committee [HEDU]                                                               
without  the potential  scheduling  challenges  that HHES  faces.                                                               
She  reported that  HCR 23  is  supported by  the Association  of                                                               
Alaska   School  Boards   and  the   Alaska  Council   of  School                                                               
Administrators.  She  expressed hope that members  would move HCR
23 out  of committee.   She added  that certainly no  offense was                                                               
ever intended to HHES and the good work of its members.                                                                         
Number 1732                                                                                                                     
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director, Association  of  Alaska  School                                                               
Boards (AASB),  testified in support  of [HCR 23].   He explained                                                               
that AASB has  a long and positive history of  working with HHES.                                                               
The past two  years, AASB has been working with  HEDU and has had                                                               
a successful  and positive  relationship as well.   He  said that                                                               
due to  the specificity of  education issues, AASB  believes [HCR
23] to  be an [appropriate  measure].  He mentioned  the workload                                                               
of HHES and indicated a  standing education committee would allow                                                               
both  committees sufficient  time  to focus  on their  respective                                                               
issues, which would be of great value to the state.                                                                             
Number 1800                                                                                                                     
CHAIR DYSON  asked Ms.  McCarthy about the  zero fiscal  note and                                                               
the fact that each committee requires a committee aide.                                                                         
MS. McCARTHY replied  that the rationale for the  fiscal note was                                                               
that  no  additional money  would  be  necessary beyond  what  is                                                               
currently being  spent.  Already  there are two  committee aides,                                                               
one  for HHES  and one  for HEDU;  therefore, removing  education                                                               
from HHES would not require employing additional staff.                                                                         
Number 1881                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL remarked that  so many issues addressed in                                                               
creating an  education budget  cross over  into health  and human                                                               
services policies.  He added:                                                                                                   
     Many of the titles now are  coming right out of ... the                                                                    
     federal [Department of Health  and] Human Services, and                                                                    
     many of  the state  laws are coming  right out  of what                                                                    
     we're  doing in  health and  social services.   And  we                                                                    
     find them  combined there  - everything  from childcare                                                                    
     to many  of the mandates  ... that really are  going to                                                                    
     be in the health and social service area.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked Ms.  McCarthy whether  this subject                                                               
was discussed in HEDU hearings.                                                                                                 
MS. McCARTHY responded no, not  that she recalled.  She suggested                                                               
members of HHES [who also serve on HEDU] might remember.                                                                        
Number 1918                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING referenced  Ms. McCarthy's  discussion of                                                               
the  zero fiscal  note  and  suggested there  would  be costs  in                                                               
addition to  the committee aide,  such as for  supplies, computer                                                               
equipment,  teleconference  personnel,  transcribers,  and  other                                                               
costs.  He asked whether those were considered, for example.                                                                    
MS.  McCARTHY  replied  that  those costs  already  exist.    For                                                               
instance,  the recording  secretary [position  in House  Records]                                                               
already exists, although she was  uncertain about the workload of                                                               
the recording  secretaries and whether another  position would be                                                               
warranted if a standing education committee were established.                                                                   
Number 1987                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING said:                                                                                                    
     It's not  that the  extra costs  wouldn't be  worth it;                                                                    
     perhaps  it  would be,  if  we  could have  a  separate                                                                    
     committee  that's focusing  just  on education  issues,                                                                    
     and it  might very well  be worth incurring  some extra                                                                    
     costs  if this  fiscal  note wasn't  correct and  there                                                                    
     would be some overhead that was not reflected there.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING  added that  he thought  the [legislative]                                                               
processes should  be more  streamlined; this  is being  sought at                                                               
the  agency level.    He  explained that  the  intent  of a  bill                                                               
several  years ago  that  he'd sponsored  was  to streamline  the                                                               
processes  of what  then  were the  Department  of Community  and                                                               
Economic  Development   and  the  Department  of   Community  and                                                               
Regional  Affairs.     He  said  he   espouses  streamlining  and                                                               
suggested  this   might  be  accomplished  by   having  education                                                               
remaining in HHES.                                                                                                              
MS.  McCARTHY offered  that  the  sponsors of  HCR  23 feel  that                                                               
education is a  sufficiently complex and important  area of work,                                                               
as is the health and social  services area.  Considering that all                                                               
of the  necessary pieces  are currently in  place and  both areas                                                               
are very important,  she suggested it would be  beneficial to the                                                               
state to [establish education as a standing committee].                                                                         
MS.  McCARTHY  addressed  efficiency, reporting  that  since  the                                                               
beginning  of the  Twenty-Second  Alaska  State Legislature,  119                                                               
bills have been referred to HHES,  42 bills to HEDU, and 33 bills                                                               
to both committees.   While some [bills] may  have benefited from                                                               
a  second  perspective,  she suggested  members  might  not  know                                                               
whether  it  would  have  been more  efficient  to  avoid  double                                                               
referrals for those 33 bills.                                                                                                   
Number 2081                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA questioned whether  the legislature had the                                                               
"human power" to accomplish  [having another standing committee].                                                               
She suggested that a  test run has been done and  asked if it has                                                               
been problematic for people to work this into their schedules.                                                                  
MS. McCARTHY  replied that  it hadn't appeared  to be  a problem.                                                               
The HEDU  members have been  in attendance for every  meeting for                                                               
which they have been in town, she reported.                                                                                     
Number 2115                                                                                                                     
MR. ROSE  pointed out  that the U.S.  Congress passed  the 1,180-                                                               
page [reauthorization] of the  Elementary and Secondary Education                                                               
Act (ESEA),  the full impact  of which remains undetermined.   He                                                               
said  many  predict that  the  impact  of  this [Act]  to  public                                                               
education will  be akin  to the impact  of the  IDEA [Individuals                                                               
with  Disabilities Education  Act].   He  suggested  the need  is                                                               
great to focus on educational  issues with ESEA's passage and the                                                               
upcoming reauthorization of IDEA.                                                                                               
Number 2146                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  commented that  she has had  the privilege                                                               
of serving on both committees, as  have other members.  She said,                                                               
"I  can't imagine  what one  chairman  would have  done with  all                                                               
this."   She explained that  both chairs had [a  heavy workload].                                                               
She suggested that  with the upcoming issues  in both committees,                                                               
something needs  to be reorganized.   She added, "I  firmly agree                                                               
that  it  should  be  pulled  out  into  two  committees."    She                                                               
explained  that this  doesn't reflect  poorly on  HHES.   Simply,                                                               
many issues  need to be  addressed.  She recommended  passing the                                                               
Number 2196                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   STEVENS   noted   that  he   has   served   with                                                               
Representatives  Wilson and  Joule on  both  HHES and  HEDU.   He                                                               
offered his  impression that  this is  a natural  separation; but                                                               
acknowledged his  lack of an  historical point of reference.   He                                                               
said  he  didn't know  how  HHES  would expand  [otherwise],  and                                                               
mentioned perhaps adding an hour  to those meetings because of so                                                               
much to  address there.   He added  that the  education committee                                                               
has addressed  the Foundation [Formula],  the exit  exam, teacher                                                               
shortage issues,  and student  loan programs.   He  observed that                                                               
this  represents  an  enormous  amount  of  the  budget  and  the                                                               
responsibility that legislators have.   He expressed appreciation                                                               
for  his  opportunity  to  work   with  the  [health  and  social                                                               
services] committee but suggested  that education issues might be                                                               
more than [HHES]  wishes to handle.  He said,  "It seemed to work                                                               
quite well,  and I  would think  it would be  a natural  thing to                                                               
have separate standing committees."                                                                                             
Number 2243                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  DYSON  noted  the  practice of  the  legislature  to  have                                                               
special  committees, some  of which  have continued  for quite  a                                                               
while, to handle  special loads and special issues;  he cited the                                                               
House  Special Committee  on Oil  and Gas  and the  House Special                                                               
Committee   on  Fisheries   as  examples   and  indicated   their                                                               
[duration] is appropriate.   The need for  these committees waxes                                                               
and  wanes  with  economic  and  cultural  conditions,  he  said,                                                               
cautioning  against  taking  lightly  the step  of  [making  them                                                               
standing committees].  He said he'd  be a strong voice in support                                                               
of continuing  the House Special  Committee on  Education, should                                                               
the  need  continue,  but  was unwilling  to  create  a  standing                                                               
committee  based  on  two  years'  experience,  when  one  hadn't                                                               
existed in the prior forty-two years.                                                                                           
Number 2300                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  DYSON also  pointed out  the danger  in a  committee, when                                                               
focused on one specific topic  of special interest to members, of                                                               
becoming an "advocacy group."  He  said one of his mentors on the                                                               
Anchorage Assembly  had said that  as important as  education is,                                                               
it is one of the functions  that government is required to supply                                                               
and shouldn't  get a disproportionate  voice.  He  explained that                                                               
this is  in spite of  how important he  and the people  of Alaska                                                               
believe education to be.                                                                                                        
TAPE 02-31, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2333                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  DYSON observed  that having  too many  committee referrals                                                               
can slow a bill's progress, and  is sometimes used as a method to                                                               
do just  that.  He said  the creation of [HEDU]  was a deliberate                                                               
move for a  special, foreseen need; he indicated  that was wisely                                                               
done, and spoke in favor of  the flexibility.  He reiterated that                                                               
he is  unwilling to put  this committee  into law [as  a standing                                                               
committee] after just two years.                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON offered  his opinion that if the House  has many more                                                               
committees  than the  Senate, a  "disconnect"  occurs, making  it                                                               
more difficult  for joint hearings  to take place.   He suggested                                                               
that a largely parallel structure  in both bodies works well; the                                                               
greater the  departure from this  structure, the  more difficulty                                                               
is added.   Disagreeing with the premise for a  zero fiscal note,                                                               
he  said the  special committee  is not  a "given,"  whereas [the                                                               
costs will  be certain] if the  committee is put into  state law.                                                               
Furthermore, he  said he couldn't  agree with a zero  fiscal note                                                               
because  costs will  be  incurred for  the  committee, the  aide,                                                               
transcription, supplies, and other incremental costs.                                                                           
Number 2249                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  DYSON turned  attention to  the overlap  of education  and                                                               
health-and-social-services  issues.     He  observed  that  early                                                               
development was,  rightly or wrongly, included  in the department                                                               
of education.   He indicated  that the areas of  juvenile justice                                                               
and   family  and   youth  services   greatly  impact,   and  are                                                               
intertwined with,  education.  As  examples, he  mentioned nurses                                                               
in the  schools who  are mandatory reporters  [of abuse]  and who                                                               
deliver health  services in  the school context,  as well  as the                                                               
Smart Start program.                                                                                                            
CHAIR DYSON  suggested this  has worked well  this year  in large                                                               
part  because  of  the excellent  relationship  between  the  two                                                               
committees' chairs.  Both chairs  were in support [of the special                                                               
committee] and  agreed with the  Speaker [of the House]  that any                                                               
bill  referred  to  one  committee could  be  [upon  the  chair's                                                               
request] referred  to the other  committee.  However,  that might                                                               
not always  be the case.   Specifying that he would  vote "no" on                                                               
this resolution, he  said that if he is reelected  and there is a                                                               
need for  the special committee,  he will  be a strong  voice for                                                               
continuing the [House Special Committee on Education].                                                                          
Number 2145                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA suggested  that an additional consideration                                                               
is  the long-range  fiscal plan,  whether one  is established  or                                                               
not.   If  no plan  is created,  she offered,  "We're looking  at                                                               
maybe dismantling  a lot of  things."  She indicated  that should                                                               
the [legislature]  take responsibility  for the state  and become                                                               
accountable  to the  public that  is paying  for state  services,                                                               
some serious commitments need to  be made to address [health-and-                                                               
social-services  and  education] issues.    She  noted that  some                                                               
bills  [heard  by  HHES]  have  indicated  this  as  well.    She                                                               
highlighted the importance  of addressing why Alaska  is rated so                                                               
low in national studies regarding  health.  She offered that this                                                               
should not  be this way;  to her,  this indicates failure  to the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  observed  that another  issue,  one  just                                                               
dealt with  by HHES, is medical  services and that the  state has                                                               
not measured  up to what  it was doing in  [1984].  She  said the                                                               
three groups  facing the most  jeopardy right now are  the small-                                                               
business people,  the nonprofits,  and the self-employed.   Those                                                               
require time commitments  in the state.  She said  she would vote                                                               
"yes"  for the  resolution, but  conveyed respect  for the  "very                                                               
thought-provoking and good comments of the chair."                                                                              
Number 2053                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS asked that the  issue of cost be addressed                                                               
again.  The costs of the  committee will continue whether it is a                                                               
special  committee  or a  standing  committee,  he offered.    He                                                               
pointed  out that  the  chair  had indicated  his  support for  a                                                               
continuing  special committee.    He said  the  problems are  not                                                               
going  away; neither  are the  education needs.   Therefore,  the                                                               
legislature's focus on these matters would  not go away.  He said                                                               
a  cost  will  be  incurred  for either  a  standing  or  special                                                               
committee.    He  also  said he  believes  the  legislature  will                                                               
continue to  need an education  committee, which is why  he would                                                               
like to see  it become permanent, thereby relieving  HHES of some                                                               
responsibilities so its members can be more effective.                                                                          
Number 1997                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE moved  to report  HCR 23  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected.                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote  was taken.    Representatives Cissna,  Joule,                                                               
Wilson,  and  Stevens  voted  to  move  HCR  23  from  committee.                                                               
Representatives  Dyson, Kohring,  and Coghill  voted against  it.                                                               
Therefore, HCR 23  was reported from the  House Health, Education                                                               
and Social Services Standing Committee by a vote of 4-3.                                                                        
HB 464-SCHOOL DISTRICT CORRESPONDENCE STUDY                                                                                   
[Contains  discussion relating  to  SB 346,  the companion  bill,                                                               
changes for which  were incorporated into Version P of  HB 464 on                                                               
Number 1900                                                                                                                     
CHAIR DYSON  announced the  final order  of business,  HOUSE BILL                                                               
NO.  464,   "An  Act  relating   to  statewide   school  district                                                               
correspondence  study  programs."    [Before  the  committee  was                                                               
Version P,  22-LS1494\P, Ford, 3/18/02,  adopted as a  work draft                                                               
on 3/26/02.]                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON expressed  his belief that the impetus  for this bill                                                               
was a concern about the  regulations [proposed by] the Department                                                               
of  Education and  Early Development  (EED).   Those  regulations                                                               
have been  modified, but there  isn't complete satisfaction.   He                                                               
offered his  personal opinion that  some staff people  within EED                                                               
and   in  the   educational   establishment   are  uneasy   about                                                               
alternatives  in   education.    The  initial   regulations  were                                                               
contrary to the interests of parent-directed education, he said.                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  also  offered  his belief  that  the  bill's  going                                                               
forward  continues   protection  for  parent-led   education  and                                                               
minimizes   [EED's]   capacity   to   negatively   interfere   in                                                               
alternative education.   He  noted that  the committee  had heard                                                               
testimony and done everything but vote  on the bill.  He reported                                                               
that the sponsor [Representative James]  had asked for it to move                                                               
forward,  and  that  it  would  be heard  by  the  House  Special                                                               
Committee on Education.                                                                                                         
Number 1772                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING moved  to  report CSHB  464 [version  22-                                                               
LS1494\P,  Ford,  3/18/02]  out   of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection,  CSHB 464(HES) was  moved out of the  House Health,                                                               
Education and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                               
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Health, Education and Social  Services Standing Committee meeting                                                               
was  adjourned  at  4:41  p.m.   [For  minutes  on  the  overview                                                               
presentation  from the  Alaska Suicide  Prevention Council  heard                                                               
jointly  with the  Senate Health,  Education and  Social Services                                                               
Standing Committee, see the 3:03 p.m. minutes for this date.]                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects